Britain’s former US ambassador blames Boris Johnson for his resignation

Sir Kim Darroch left Washington post in scandal over leaked diplomatic cable disparaging Donald Trump

Britain's ambassador to the US resigned days after diplomatic cables criticising President Donald Trump caused embarrassment to two countries that often celebrate having a "special relationship". AP
Britain's ambassador to the US resigned days after diplomatic cables criticising President Donald Trump caused embarrassment to two countries that often celebrate having a "special relationship". AP

Sir Kim Darroch, the former British ambassador to Washington who resigned after a storm erupted over a series of leaked diplomatic cables disparaging US President Donald Trump, has revealed he told Boris Johnson he shared the blame for his resignation.

The former ambassador has shed new light on his cacophonous departure from one of Britain’s most important diplomatic posts in an upcoming memoir, Collateral Damage, being serialised by The Times.

In a delayed parting shot aimed at the prime minister, Sir Kim reveals Mr Johnson’s attempts to avoid taking the blame for his departure, and claims he helped to force the envoy out when he was under fire from Mr Trump.

The former ambassador had called the US president “inept” in diplomatic cables leaked by the tabloid press.

Mr Johnson, who Sir Kim says was regarded as a “kindred spirit” by Mr Trump, repeatedly refused to say he would support keeping the envoy on in Washington during a television debate with rival candidate for Conservative party leadership, Jeremy Hunt.

Mr Hunt stuck to the official line, offering his unequivocal support to the besieged envoy.

A foreign office spokesperson said at the time: “Ambassadors are paid to be candid and offer an unvarnished assessment.”

Sir Kim recounted a telephone call with Mr Johnson after he tendered his resignation the following day.

He told The Times: “He sounded just like Boris Johnson sounds — starting and then restarting sentences. Very Boris. He said, ‘But why did you resign? Wouldn’t it all have blown over after a few weeks?’”

When asked by Mr Johnson if the ambassador’s resignation was his fault, Sir Kim said: “In part it was.”

Mr Johnson was accused of throwing the ambassador under the bus to protect his fledgling relationship with the US president.

Published: September 5, 2020 04:09 AM

SHARE

Editor's Picks
NEWSLETTERS
Sign up to:

* Please select one

Most Read