British ambassador to the U.S. resigns in wake of memo leaks

LONDON (NBC) – The United Kingdom diplomatic and political circles in were in shock Wednesday over the resignation of the British ambassador to the United States.

Sir Kim Darroch was set to retire at the end of the year but said in a statement that the fallout from the leaks of diplomatic memos was making it impossible to do his job.

President Trump called the ambassador “wacky” and “pompous,” saying the administration would no longer deal with him.

In the leaked papers, published by a British newspaper over the weekend, the ambassador called the Trump administration dysfunctional, inept and chaotic.

The resignation has come as a massive shock in Britain where Sir Kim Darroch is respected and admired.

Prime Minister Theresa May said, “Sir Kim has given a lifetime of service to the United Kingdom and we owe him an enormous debt of gratitude.”

The U.K. is in the process of picking a new leader of the Conservative Party who will become prime minister in the next two weeks.

The leading candidate, former London Mayor Boris Johnson, was criticized after he failed to defend the ambassador. Wednesday, he called Darroch a superb diplomat. “It is not right that civil servants careers’ and prospects should be dragged into the political agenda,” Johnson said.

The U.S. State Department said, “The United States and the United Kingdom share a bond that is bigger than any individual.” The statement also said, “We look forward to continuing that partnership.”

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