United Kingdom police probe leaking of envoy's memos

Clay Curtis
July 13, 2019

The Metropolitan Police has launched a criminal investigation into the alleged leak of diplomatic emails from Kim Darroch, the UK's ambassador in the United States, where he called American President Donald Trump's administration "inept, insecure and incompetent", the media reported on Saturday. However, you are now also responsible for diverting busy detectives from undertaking their core mission.

Scotland Yard's assistant commissioner Neil Basu released a statement urging the press not to publish leaked documents and to instead hand them to police.

Basu said that the leaks may be a "criminal matter" as he urged the culprit to "turn yourself in at the earliest opportunity, explain yourself and face the consequences".

Those comments drew a furious response from the president who denounced him as a "very stupid guy" and a "pompous fool" and said the the White House would no longer deal with him.

He mentioned Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who said in a tweet on Wednesday that Darroch "always understood the strength of President Trump and referred to him as the "Terminator" who is indestructible and will most likely be reelected".

He added: "I would advise all owners, editors and publishers of social and mainstream media not to publish leaked government documents that may already be in their possession, or which may be offered to them, and to turn them over to the police or give them back to their rightful owner, Her Majesty's Government".

"The state threatening media freedom is a risky road to tread", Health Minister Matt Hancock said on Twitter.George Osborne, editor of the London Evening Standard and a former finance minister, described the remarks as a "very stupid and ill-advised statement from a junior officer who doesn't appear to understand much about press freedom".

"I think that the conduct of Boris Johnson has discredited him enormously in the eyes of many people in this country", Sir Alan said.

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The Official Secrets Act bars public servants from making "damaging" disclosures of classified material.

Trump earlier had publicly blasted the former British diplomat after reports unveiled details of Darroch's telegrams assessing the US government and Trump's administration.

Mr Johnson denied any culpability, saying he had spoken to Sir Kim on Thursday to express his sadness over his resignation and the ambassador told him he had not watched the ITV debate.

The exposure of Ambassador Kim Darroch's confidential communications has caused a stir across the Atlantic.

However Mr Johnson has sought to distance himself from speculation that his comments caused Sir Kim to quit, saying "I think that unfortunately what I said on that TV debate was misrepresented to Kim".

Some senior Conservative figures criticised Mr Johnson over his perceived failure to defend Sir Kim.

The new prime minister will be named on July 23 and take office the following day.

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