UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said that he doesn’t agree with the British ambassador who described US President Donald Trump as “inept”.
Hunt also underscored that London would not allow any disruptions to UK-US relations over the leaked memos.
“Of course, I am disappointed that what happened has happened. I don’t think it’ll be a surprise to anyone in the United States that we have this kind of frank exchanges, and there are different views inside the Foreign Office. But what we will not allow to happen is any interruption in the superb relationship that we have with the United States, which is our closest ally around the world”, Hunt said.
He expressed concern over the leak of the ambassador’s memos, stressing the need to find out how this occurred.
Hunt was echoed by UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman who said that May disagrees with Darroch’s assessments.
“Contact has been made with the Trump administration setting out our view that we believe the leak in unacceptable. It is, of course, a matter of regret that this has happened”, the spokesman told reporters.
The spokesman also insisted that the diplomatic leaks do not fully reflect the British government’s stance and that police will interfere if any evidence of criminality is found during a probe into the leaks. According to the official, “strong” ties between the UK and the US will continue despite the leaks.
This comes after media outlets reported, citing a UK government official as saying that confidential text messages sent by the UK’s ambassador to the US, Sir Kim Darroch, back to London describe Trump as “inept”, “insecure”, and “incompetent”.
The cables, which were first published on Saturday by the newspaper Daily Mail, said that Trump was “uniquely dysfunctional and his career could end in disgrace”. In the cables, dating from 2017 to today, Ambassador Darroch also described conflicts within the administration as “knife fights”.
“We don’t really believe this administration is going to become substantially more normal; less dysfunctional; less unpredictable; less faction riven; less diplomatically clumsy and inept”, the ambassador said in one memo.
CNN cited an unnamed UK Foreign Office source as saying that the leaked cables were authentic.
“The British public would expect our Ambassadors to provide Ministers with an honest, unvarnished assessment of the politics in their country. Their views are not necessarily the views of Ministers or indeed the government. But we pay them to be candid. Just as the US Ambassador here will send back his reading of Westminster politics and personalities”, the source said.
“[…] So I can understand it and I can say things about him but I won’t bother”, he added.
“From the moment Trump was elected this man was the wrong person to be the British ambassador – a globalist in outlook, totally opposed to the Trump doctrine”, Farage told the Daily Mail.
He added that “the comments are wholly unsurprising but for him to speculate about Trump’s alleged involvement with Russia shows him to be totally unsuitable for the job and the sooner he is gone the better”.
Trade Minister Liam Fox has meanwhile promised to apologise to the US president’s daughter Ivanka Trump who he is due to meet over the leak of the UK ambassador’s memos.
“I will be apologising for the fact that either our civil service or elements of our political class have not lived up to the expectations that either we have or the United States has about their behaviour, which in this particular case has lapsed in a most extraordinary and unacceptable way”, he told the BBC.
He described the leaks as “unprofessional, unethical, and unpatriotic” which Fox argued “can actually lead to a damage to that [UK-US] relationship which can therefore affect our wider security interest”.
‘Nothing New’ in the Cables, Timing is ‘Significant’ – Diplomat
Peter William Ford, a retired British diplomat who was ambassador to Bahrain from 1999–2003 and to Syria from 2003–2006, claimed that “nothing is new or surprising” in the leaked diplomatic cables.
“Nobody needs the British Ambassador in Washington to tell them that Trump is a dangerously inept liar. What’s significant is the timing”, he said, recalling that “this bombshell arrives comes just as members of the Conservative Party are about to choose a new leader and Prime Minister”.
This is “a choice between a man widely seen (wrongly, as it happens) as a steady pair of hands, Jeremy Hunt, and a man seen by many as a dangerously inept liar, Boris Johnson, a man, moreover, apparently favoured by Trump. The subliminal message is: choose Johnson and Number 10 will soon be as dysfunctional as the White House”, Ford pointed out.
He added that “whoever leaked was no friend of Johnson and no fan of the hard Brexit Johnson appears ready to risk. The finger of suspicion points towards an ally of Hunt or a senior bureaucrat”.
According to Professor David Woodard, Clemson University political scientist and former political consultant for Republican congressmen, “To the president [Trump], the UK is leaderless until the election to replace May. Once a new prime minister is in office, then Kim Darroch will probably be replaced.”
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