Police investigation launched into leaked UK diplomatic memos

British counter terrorism police set to probe on whether leak of Sir Kim Darroch's private memos breaches law

The United Kingdom Ambassador to The U.S. Kim Darroch sits for an interview on Bloomberg Television in New York, New York, Friday May 18, 2018. Photograph: Victor J. Blue

Police have launched an investigation into the alleged leaking of diplomatic memos penned by former British ambassador to the US Sir Kim Darroch, after the leak of private memos insulting US President Donald Trump appeared in a British newspaper.

London’s Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism unit will look into whether a breach of the Official Secrets Act has been commited.

In a statement on Friday evening, Met Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said that he believed the leak damaged Britain’s international relations and there is “clear public interest in bringing the person or people responsible to justice”.

“I would say to the person or people who did this, the impact of what you have done is obvious,” said Mr Basu.

“However, you are now also responsible for diverting busy detectives from undertaking their core mission. You can stop this now. Turn yourself in at the earliest opportunity, explain yourself and face the consequences.”

Sir Kim Darroch resigned on Wednesday, three days after a newspaper published his secret diplomatic memos that called Mr Trump incompetent, inept and insecure.

The leak led to the Mr Trump freezing him out of the White House and firing off tweets calling him wacky, stupid and pompous, and describing outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May as a fool.

Boris Johnson, former foreign secretary and favourite to become the next UK prime minister, failed to voice support for Mr Darroch in a televised leadership debate.

It is believed that proved to be the final straw for the ambassador. His resignation has sparked a furious debate as to who leaked the memos and influence exerted by President Trump on Mr Johnson’s policy.