Secret diplomat cables from Sir Kim to various Government officials described Trump and his administration as “inept and insecure”. The POTUS had responded by tweeting in a furious tirade the ambassador was “not liked or well thought of within the US” and that he would “no longer deal with him” as well as attacking Theresa May. The US President tweeted: “I have been very critical about the way the UK and Prime Minister Theresa May handled Brexit. What a mess she and her representatives have created. I told her how it should be done, but she decided to go another way.”
Hitting back a Government spokesman said: “We have made clear to the US how unfortunate this leak is. The selective extracts leaked do not reflect the closeness of, and the esteem in which we hold, the relationship.”
Despite calls from Nigel Farage for Sir Kim to be removed from his position, the statement went on to give a vote of confidence to him: “At the same time we have also underlined the importance of ambassadors being able to provide honest, unvarnished assessments of the politics in their country.
“Sir Kim Darroch continues to have the Prime Minister’s full support.”
Sir Kim was made ambassador to the US in August 2015, effective upon Sir Peter Westmacott’s departure the following January.
He had joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1976 and Diplomatic Service in 1980, he previously served as the Permanent Representative to the EU under both Gordon Brown and David Cameron and was the UK’s National Security Adviser before his move to his current position.
The statement concluded: “The UK has a special and enduring relationship with the US based on our long history and commitment to shared values and that will continue to be the case.”
After Trump won the 2016 Presidential election, he tweeted Mr Farage should serve as Britain’s ambassador to the United States.
A Downing Street spokesman rejected the notion and said that the Government was happy with Sir Kim: “He is doing a great job. We have chosen our ambassador and there is no vacancy.”
The current Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, locked in a Tory leadership battle with his predecessor Boris Johnson has said he did not agree with the views that Sir Kim held but nonetheless defended the ambassador’s right to give his personal advice in private.
Tom Fletcher, who was UK ambassador to Lebanon from 2011 to 2015, and a foreign policy adviser to Tony Blair, Mr Brown and Mr Cameron, staunchly defended Sir Kim and attacked whoever was responsible for the leak.
Mr Fletcher tweeted: “Surely in UK and US interests to contain the damage that leaker has done. Serious leaders know diplomats have a duty to report candidly.
“For a President to personally attack an ambassador of an ally in this way is deplorable. Ambassador can’t defend himself, but ministers should.”
Sir Kim’s future could become clearer when the Tory leadership contest concludes later this month.