British ambassador to U.S. quits over leaked criticisms of Trump

British Ambassador to the United States Kim Darroch resigned Wednesday, just days after leaked diplomatic cables showed he said U.S. President Donald Trump is “insecure” and “incompetent.”

British Ambassador to the United States Kim Darroch resigned Wednesday after leaks exposed his criticism of President Donald Trump. File Photo by Michael Reynolds

Darroch said in a resignation letter to the British Foreign Office the fallout from the controversy was too much. His departure came one day after Trump said his administration would no longer work with the diplomat.

“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,” Darroch said. “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.”

Darroch was set to remain in the post until December, but he said resigning now and finding a new diplomat to work with the United States is the best course of action.

“I am grateful to all those in the U.K. and the U.S. who have offered their support during this difficult few days,” Darroch wrote. “This has brought home to me the depth of friendship and close ties between our two countries. I have been deeply touched.”

Senior Foreign Office official Simon McDonald said he accepted the resignation with “deep personal regret,” and praised Darroch for “dignity, professionalism and class.”

“You were simply doing your job,” McDonald answered.

British Prime Minister Theresa May thanked Darroch, who’d worked in the post since January 2016.

“We owe him an enormous debt of gratitude,” she said. “I hope the house will reflect on the importance of defending our values and principles, particularly when they are under pressure.”

“For 42 years, Sir Kim served his country with the utmost dedication and distinction,” Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Britain’s chief executive diplomat, said Wednesday. “His career took him from Tokyo to Brussels, from Downing Street — where he became national security adviser — to our Embassy in Washington.

“If one theme ran through all his endeavors, it was his unswerving devotion to upholding the interests of the United Kingdom, in the best tradition of British diplomacy.”

Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said Darroch was treated “beyond unfair and wrong.”

“The whole house should join together in deeply regretting the feeling he’s got that he must resign,” he said.

ByNicholas Sakelaris