Public Split on Kim Darroch Resignation

YouGov have conducted some remarkably speedy polling of the public’s attitude towards the Kim Darroch affair, although the fieldwork was conducted before his resignation. Over half the public thought it was wrong for the comments to have been leaked, 37% went further and said it was also wrong for the press to have published them. Good luck getting journalists not to publish a scoop like that…

On the issue of whether Darroch should have been replaced however, the public were much more split. 41% thought the next PM should have kept Darroch in place, while 35% thought that he should have been replaced with “someone more able to have good relations with the US Government”. Unsurprisingly there’s a very high “don’t know” response of 24%…

There’s already a clear Leave-Remain split on the issue, Remainers favoured keeping Darroch by 58% to 20% while Leavers favoured replacing him by 52% to 28%. More Tories also favoured replacing him, while Labour and Lib Dems supporters tended to want to keep him in place.

The reality is that what made Darroch’s resignation inevitable was Trump’s incredibly hostile response to the leak. The suggestion being put about by “friends of Darroch” that he was somehow going to stay in Washington for the next six months while being frozen out of every single meeting and function with the Trump administration, but then dramatically changed his mind after watching last night’s TV debate is plainly a fantasy. Darroch could have left office with his head held high as the innocent victim of a malicious leak against him, instead he has decided to turn it into a political attack on Boris…

UK Ambassador to US Kim Darroch Resigns

The UK’s ambassador to the US Kim Darroch has resigned after the Mail on Sunday’s explosive leaks. Darroch’s position had clearly become untenable after the Trump administration froze him out and Trump himself launched a barrage of tweets attacking him directly. Darroch says:

“Although my posting is not due to end until the end of this year, I believe in the current circumstances the responsible course is to allow the appointment of a new ambassador.”

Particularly with Brexit going on, the realpolitik is that the UK needs an ambassador who can deal with the uniquely unpredictable and temperamental President of the US, not just an FCO box-ticker and lifelong Europhile. The manner in which Darroch was removed was certainly undignified. That doesn’t mean there aren’t potential replacements out there who would actually be much more suitable for the job…

Read Darroch’s resignation letter in full below:

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Trump Doubles Down on “Very Stupid” Ambassador and “Foolish” May

It’s popcorn time again as Trump continues to rip up every page of the diplomatic rulebook in response to the Kim Darroch leaks:

Say what you really think, Donald!

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