You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Sir Kim Darroch latest: Boris Johnson says memo leak culprit should be 'run down, caught and eviscerated'

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 10/07/2019 Harriet Brewis
Boris Johnson posing for the camera © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited

Whoever leaked Sir Kim Darroch’s comments on Donald Trump should be “run down, caught and eviscerated,” Boris Johnson has said.

The Tory leadership frontrunner was responding to news of Sir Kim’s resignation as Britain’s Washington ambassador, following a row over diplomatic cables.

The British diplomat had called the Trump administration “inept” and “dysfunctional” in private communications which were then shared with the press, sparking a trans-Atlantic row.


Sir Kim quit after the US president insisted the White House would no longer deal with him, saying it was now “impossible” for him to carry out his role as he would like.

Sir Kim Darroch resigns as ambassador to the US

Mr Johson said he “regretted” the ambassador’s departure, describing him as “superb”.

Speaking to Sky News in the wake of the announcement, he said: “I want to say that I regret that really. Because I think he was a superb, is a superb diplomat and I worked with him for many years.

“I think that whoever leaked his diptels really has done a grave disservice to our civil servants, to people who give impartial advice to ministers.

“And I hope whoever it is is run down, caught and eviscerated quite frankly.”

Theresa May pays tribute to Sir Kim Darroch

The former London mayor added that civil servants must be able to offer blunt and honest advice to ministers “in a spirit of freedom” without the threat of such leaks.

“It is not right that civil servants’ careers and prospects should be dragged into the political agenda,” he said.

“I think we should be protecting the civil service from that kind of publicity.”

It comes after Mr Johnson faced criticism for his lack of support for the diplomat during a televised debate on Tuesday.

The former foreign secretary refused to say whether he would keep Sir Kim in post, focusing on the “fantastic importance” of maintaining a good relationship with the US.

Kim Darroch wearing a suit and tie: Sir Kim Darroch resigned amid a row over leaked emails which criticised the US President's administration. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) Alex Wong (Getty Images) © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited Sir Kim Darroch resigned amid a row over leaked emails which criticised the US President's administration. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) Alex Wong (Getty Images)

The 65-year-old diplomat was due to retire later this year, but in a letter to Foreign Office senior official Simon McDonald, he wrote: “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.

“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.”

Responding to the letter, Mr McDonald said Sir Kim had been the target of “a malicious leak” and expressed gratitude for his work.

“You are the best of us,” he said.


More from Evening Standard

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon