Theresa May ‘regrets’ UK envoy’s remark on Trump
An inquiry has been ordered into the leak of some emails of UK’s ambassador to the US, Kim Darroch, in which he labelled President Donald Trump’s administration as ‘inept, insecure and incompetent’. The British PM’s office expressed regret on Monday.
A spokesperson for Prime Minister Theresa May said she had full faith in the envoy, whose job is provide ‘honest, unvarnished’ assessments, but added that his views did not necessarily reflect those of May or that of the British government.
Contact has been made with the Trump administration on the issue, conveying the unacceptable nature of the leak, the spokesperson said, adding that the police would be involved if there is any evidence of criminality in the inquiry by the Cabinet Office.
The row continued to create ripples in Westminster, with foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt rejecting the envoy’s views, praising the Trump administration as ‘highly effective’, while trade secretary Liam Fox insisting the envoy is not the problem, but the leak.
Promising ‘very serious consequences’ for those behind the leak, Hunt said: “I made it clear that I don’t share the ambassador’s assessment of either the US administration or relations with the US administration”.
“Because we have one of the best diplomatic networks in the world and the foundation of that is the free exchange of information and opinions, and the understanding that we are not always going to agree with each other, but we want to know what people around the world are thinking”, he added.
Defending Darroch, Fox reiterated that his views leaded to the media did not reflect those of the government, but said: “They (diplomats) are there to make an assessment on a day to day basis. They send regular reports back. Obviously they vary over time”.
“And they add colour so that politicians in London can get a feel for what’s going on elsewhere. The same will happen with the American ambassador reporting back to Washington”.
In the widely published emails, Darroch called the White House under Trump ‘dysfunctional’ and ‘divided’, but also informed the London headquarters that the US President should not be written off.
He wrote that to get through to Trump, “you need to make your points simple, even blunt”, wondering whether the Trump White House “will ever look competent”.
“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.
According to him, Trump’s presidency could “crash and burn” and “end in disgrace”, the tabloid reported, adding the cables were dated early 2017. The UK and US have what is described as a ‘special relationship’.