Senior British diplomat in the US quits over Brexit 'half-truths'

6 December 2019, 18:17

Alexandra Hall Hall resigned on Friday
Alexandra Hall Hall resigned on Friday. Picture: PA / Gov.UK

By Maddie Goodfellow

A senior British diplomat in Washington has quit her post, saying she can no longer work for a government she does not trust.

Alexandra Hall Hall, the lead envoy for Brexit at the British Embassy, accused Tory ministers of using "misleading and disingenuous" arguments about Brexit.

She also said her position had become "unbearable personally and untenable professionally."

The diplomat said she was "dismayed" by political leaders' lack of honesty "even with our own citizens".

In her resignation letter, which has been seen by American broadcaster CNN, Ms Hall Hall said she is "no longer prepared to peddle half truths" about Brexit.

Reports say she also condemned "some behaviour towards our institutions, which, were it happening in another country, we would almost certainly as diplomats have received instructions to register our concern".

The diplomat continued: "I am also at a stage in life where I would prefer to do something more rewarding with my time, than peddle half-truths on behalf of a government I do not trust."

A Foreign Office spokesman said: "We won't comment on the detail of an individual's resignation."

She emphasised that the decision had nothing to do with being "for or against Brexit"
She emphasised that the decision had nothing to do with being "for or against Brexit". Picture: PA

Her letter was addressed to deputy ambassador Michael Tatham and dated December 3.

Ms Hall Hall, who has worked for the Diplomatic Service for more than 33 years, said that the actions of ministers were making it difficult for diplomats to uphold "core values" abroad.

In the letter, she wrote: "I took this position with a sincere commitment, indeed passion, to do my part, to the very best of my abilities, to help achieve a successful outcome on Brexit.

"Each person has to find their own level of comfort with this situation.

"Since I have no other element to my job except Brexit, I find my position has become unbearable personally, and untenable professionally."

She also emphasised that her decision to quit had nothing to do with being "for or against Brexit, per se".