Inquiry Launched Into Leaked Memo From UK Ambassador Critical Of "Inept" Trump Administration

7 July 2019, 16:44 | Updated: 8 July 2019, 10:06

The government has launched an inquiry into a leak of emails from the UK ambassador which described Donald Trump's White House as "uniquely dysfunctional" and "inept".

Leaked memos detail the British Ambassador's assessments of the Trump administration from 2017 to the present, questioning whether it would "ever look competent.

In the cache of documents, Sir Kim Darroch described the White House: "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."

After the President's state visit to the UK in June, Sir Kim warned that while Mr Trump had been "dazzled" by the pomp and ceremony of his visit, his administration would 'remain self-interested' and "this is still the land of America first".

And in one of the most recent documents, Sir Kim refers to "incoherent, chaotic" US policy on Iran, suggesting that calling off a planned air strike with minutes to spare may have been motivated by Mr Trump's campaign to be re-elected in 2020.

"It's more likely that he was never fully on board and that he was worried about how this apparent reversal of his 2016 campaign promises would look come 2020," Sir Kim said.

A spokesperson for the Foreign Office described the leak as "mischievous behaviour", adding ambassadors are "paid to be candid".

"The British public would expect our ambassadors to provide ministers with an honest, unvarnished assessment of the politics in their country," they said.

"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.

"Of course we would expect such advice to be handled by ministers and civil servants in the night way, and it's important that our ambassadors can offer their advice and for it remain confidential.

"Our team in Washington have strong relations with the White House and no doubt these will withstand such mischievous behaviour".