British ambassador to the US resigns

The British ambassador to the US, Kim Darroch, has resigned from office. His move came in response to the scandal triggered at the weekend by the publication of confidential memoranda in which Darroch called the Trump administration "inept". Trump responded furiously on Twitter. How much damage has the incident caused?

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The Daily Telegraph (GB) /

Someone who can do business with Trump needed

London needs an ambassador to the US who is accepted by its government, The Daily Telegraph writes:

“While it is admirable that an aspirant to the job of British prime minister wants to defend an ambassador who, through no fault of his own, has been terminally damaged and rendered incapable of doing his job, it is surely obvious to Hunt that while the current president of the United States remains in office, Britain needs someone who can do business with him. Sir Kim no longer fits that bill and it was obvious before last night's debate [the TV duel between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt] that he would have to be replaced. How can Britain’s interests be served by an ambassador with whom the US administration refuses to deal?”

Eesti Ekspress (EE) /

Refreshingly candid

Erik Moora, chief editor of Eesti Ekspress, welcomes Darroch's candidness:

“Darroch's conclusions are nothing new. What is new, interesting and refreshing for observers is the fact that we now know what the top diplomats really think about the current situation and how they talk about it. In public their language is always just the opposite: approving, encouraging and covering up problems. ... Of course this is a huge problem for Great Britain, because Brexit makes it feel alone and vulnerable. It needs the goodwill of the US administration now more than ever. But Trump's petty and immature reaction to personal criticism of any kind only makes the problem worse.”

Ria Novosti (RU) /

Sensationalism damaging for the whole country

Ria Novosti, on the other hand, says the revelations have already done too much damage:

“While the British Daily Mail is certainly a tabloid newspaper, it is traditionally patriotic. By publishing the diplomat's dispatches it gave its readers the chance to giggle about foreign policy intrigues but it also tripped up the career diplomat Darroch and compromised the country's relations with its most important ally in difficult times. There are likely to be many versions of who initiated this leak and the publication of the article and why. The fact remains, however, that the revelations are of no use to society and damaging for the state. The United Kingdom's national interests have been sacrificed for the sake of the selfish and short-term interests of certain circles in the establishment, the civil service and the media.”

De Volkskrant (NL) /

Typical of the Brexit era

The affair is a result of the Brexit chaos, De Volkskrant comments:

“What is certain is that the Brexiteers saw Darroch as an obstacle to the coveted free trade agreement between the two great powers. ... The question is who Darroch's successor in Washington will be. May could appoint someone quickly while she is still prime minister. If she leaves it to Johnson, it is highly likely to be a political appointment. That would break with the tradition of a neutral civil service, which dates back to the mid-nineteenth century. ... Johnson was strongly criticised for trashing Darroch. ... The prominent conservative Tim Tugendhat said 'real leaders defend their people'. But for the Brexiteers the goal justifies any means.”