UK envoy’s candid cable on Trump sparks row
There were calls to sack the British ambassador to the US, Kim Darroch, after his confidential diplomatic memos on the Donald Trump administration were leaked to the ‘Mail on Sunday’, but the Foreign Office said they did not necessarily represent views of the government.
Darroch labeled the administration ‘inept, insecure and incompetent’, calling the White House under Trump ‘dysfunctional’ and ‘divided’. However, he also informed the London headquarters that the US President should not be written off.
In remarks that raised hackles among many, 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’.
Nigel Farage, leader of the Brexit party known for his proximity to Trump, called for Darroch’s resignation, calling him “totally unsuitable for the job,” adding that the “sooner he is gone the better”.
However, a Foreign Office spokeswoman said: “The British public would expect our ambassadors to provide ministers with an honest, unvarnished assessment of the politics in their country”.
“Their views are not necessarily the views of ministers or indeed the government,” she added, noting “we pay them to be candid. Our team in Washington have strong relations with the White House and no doubt that these will withstand such mischievous behavior.”
Justice secretary David Gauke told BBC it is very important that ambassadors give “honest and unvarnished advice to their country…It is disgraceful that it’s been leaked, but we should expect our ambassadors to tell the truth, as they see it.”