UK ambassador to US resigns amid Trump row Kim Darroch, Britain’s envoy to Washington, has stepped down from his post, saying it was ‘impossible’ to continue.

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Envoy Kim Darroch described Trump's administration as "clumsy and inept" [Sait Serkan Gurbuz/Reuters]
Envoy Kim Darroch described Trump’s administration as “clumsy and inept” [Sait Serkan Gurbuz/Reuters]

Kim Darroch has resigned as British ambassador to the United States as a diplomatic row between the two allies erupts.

The diplomat said “the current situation makes it impossible for me to carry out my role” following the leak of unflattering remarks made about US President Donald Trump.

“Since the leak of official documents from this embassy there has been a great deal of speculation surrounding my position and the duration of my remaining term as ambassador” he said in his resignation letter to Foreign Office Head of the Diplomatic Service Simon McDonald.

“I want to put an end to that speculation. The current situation is making it impossible for me to carry out my role as I would like.”

The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office confirmed the 65-year-old’s resignation on Wednesday.

“That tranche of documents – diplomatic telegrams – was leaked to a British newspaper; it is assumed by either a politian or civil servant who is symapthetic to Donald Trump and wanted to embarrass the ambassador:” said Al Jazeera’s Laurence Lee from London.

“Trump then went full-bore against the UK: disinviting the veteran diplomat from several events and the administration cancelling an important meeting with UK trade minister Liam Fox.

“He has been described as a very experienced and very capable diplomat and this has led to a flat spin of a diplomatic crisis.”

Trump had on Monday launched a broadside against UK Prime Minister Theresa Mayand said the United States would “no longer deal” with the British ambassador after the diplomat’s assessment of the Trump administration as “inept” was leaked to the Daily Mail newspaper.


Britain has launched an inquiry into the leak of confidential memos from the diplomat that angered the US president and embarrassed London.

“Contact has been made with the Trump administration setting out our view that we believe the leak is unacceptable” May’s spokesman told reporters earlier this week.

Trump lambasted May’s handling of Brexit on Twitter saying she disregarded his advice.

“What a mess she and her representatives have created” he wrote. “I do not know the Ambassador but he is not liked or well thought of within the US. We will no longer deal with him.”

“The good news for the wonderful United Kingdom is that they will soon have a new Prime Minister. While I thoroughly enjoyed the magnificent State Visit last month – it was the Queen who I was most impressed with!”

Hours after Trump’s tweet May’s spokesman reiterated Britain’s position that the leak was unfortunate and said Darroch “continues to have the prime minister’s full support”.


In confidential memos to his government dating from 2017 to the present Darroch said reports of in-fighting in the White House were “mostly true” and last month described confusion within the administration over Trump’s decision to call off a military attack on Iran.

“We don’t really believe this Administration is going to become substantially more normal; less dysfunctional; less unpredictable; less faction riven; less diplomatically clumsy and inept” Darroch wrote in one memo.

Ministers said the government did not agree with Darroch.

Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt – one of two men who might replace May by the end of the month – said: “I have made it clear that I don’t share the ambassador’s assessment of either the US administration or relations with the US administration but I do defend his right to make that frank assessment.”

He promised “serious consequences” for whoever had leaked the memos.

An inquiry was under way to determine who was behind the second serious disclosure of confidential material this year. May’s spokesman said police would be involved if there was evidence of criminality.

Two months ago May fired Defence Minister Gavin Williamson after secret discussions in the National Security Council about Chinese telecoms firm Huawei were leaked to the media and an inquiry concluded that he was responsible.