Sir Kim Darroch Resigns: The Trump Tantrum Saga Continues
Kim Darroch resigns following leak as he says it is 'impossible to carry on'.
Sir Kim Darroch, a veteran ambassador, an eminent leader, and a highly respected diplomat - the man who was called a “very stupid”, “pompous fool” by President Trump, has just tendered his resignation.
At the centre of a diplomatic disaster created by Trump, Ambassador Darroch wrote, in his letter to Simon McDonald, the senior-most official at the Foreign Office, that the feud meant that he could not continue in his role. “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,” he wrote. “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.”
Confirming the news for the Foreign Office, McDonald stated that he had to accept the resignation with “deep personal regret”, and praised the esteemed envoy for always behaving, “over a long and distinguished career, with dignity, professionalism and class”.
The British Prime Minister, speaking the House of Commons right after the news of the resignation emerged, commended Sir Kim for a lifetime of service to the United Kingdom. She added: “We owe him an enormous debt of gratitude. I hope the house will reflect on the importance of defending our values and principles particularly when they are under pressure.”
Sir Nigel Kim Darroch is 65 years old and was, as such, scheduled to step down later this year. This aside, any hope that he could continue in the role after the new PM steps in was quashed yesterday when Boris Johnson very pointedly refused to back him up or speak on the matter.
This is not the first time Sir Darroch was subject to a leak. He took on his role as the Ambassador to the United States in January 2016. In November the same year, following the US election, a diplomatic memo from Darroch to PM Theresa May was leaked, in which he had stated that Trump could be influenced by Britain. At the time, his leaked memo said, “The president-elect is above all an outsider and unknown quantity, whose campaign pronouncements may reveal his instincts, but will surely evolve and, particularly, be open to outside influence if pitched right.”
The biggest impact on this is how UK diplomats will now perceive their role in critiquing and assessing foreign leaders. The leak suggest that no communication is safe and sacrosanct. A diplomat’s role is not only to represent and negotiate his country’s interests, but also to candidly and honestly report back to his sovereign. If the confidentiality of this process is breached, then we will have to navigate a whole new world of diplomacy.
Additionally, this move speaks volumes about Donald Trump’s powers to influence the internal workings and decisions of other nations. Although the individual in question was an Ambassador to the US, the decision to appoint, and pull back representation falls solely on the leaders of a nation. In this case, Trump’s bullying and manipulation brought the issue to a head, and left no room for political manoeuvring.