Donald Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal to spite his predecessor Barack Obama, the UK’s former ambassador reportedly said in a new leaked diplomatic memo. Sir Kim Darroch claimed the US president’s actions amounted to “diplomatic vandalism” and were fuelled by “personality” reasons, according to a document seen by The Mail on Sunday (July 14).
The ambassador’s comments are said to have been made in May 2018 after then-foreign secretary Boris Johnson made a failed trip to the White House in a bid to change Mr. Trump’s mind on leaving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. The revelation came as police identified a suspect behind the leak, according to The Sunday Times. Just hours earlier, Mr. Johnson and Tory leadership rival Jeremy Hunt criticized Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner Neil Basu for warning journalists they could face prosecution for publishing the memos.
Mr. Basu said the leaked emails could be a “criminal matter” that was not in the public interest, and that a police investigation had been launched into a potential breach of the Official Secrets Act. Mr. Hunt said he would “defend to the hilt the right of the press to publish those leaks if they receive them and judge them to be in the public interest”.
And Mr Johnson said prosecution “would amount to an infringement on press freedom and have a chilling effect on public debate”. Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry told BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show: “It was wrong for it to be leaked, it was wrong for President Trump to throw a wobbly and behave like a toddler, it was wrong for Theresa May to be as weak as she was.
“But the real villain of the piece is Boris Johnson, who refused to stand with one of our most senior diplomats. That’s not the way to behave.” And work and pensions secretary Amber Rudd said: “I was disappointed by Boris Johnson’s response. I think the correct response was to stand up for our ambassador.”
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27 September, 2019