Theresa May has 'full faith' in Sir Kim Darroch despite leaked cables criticising Donald Trump
Downing Street has insisted Theresa May still has "full faith" in the UK's ambassador to the United States following the leak of top-secret cables in which he criticised the Trump administration.
Sir Kim Darroch sparked a diplomatic backlash after it emerged that he had branded the US administration “inept” and “uniquely dysfunctional” in a series of memos which were revealed by the Mail on Sunday.
The leaks have already triggered an angry response from President Trump, who said Sir Kim had “not served the UK well”.
Meanwhile the UK Foreign Office has begun an inquiry into the source of the leak.
But a Downing Street spokesperson said on Monday: “The Prime Minister has full faith in her ambassador to Washington.
"Our ambassadors provide honest, unvarnished assessments of politics in their country. Those views are not necessarily the views of ministers or indeed the Government.
"This leak is not acceptable. We would expect such advice to be handled in the correct way and a leak inquiry has been launched."
However, Number 10 distanced itself from the contents of the leaked, which included claims that the US President "radiates insecurity" and could be plunged into "disgrace and downfall".
Mrs May's official spokesperson added: "The Prime Minister does not agree with that assessment.
"As you've seen most recently during the state visit, the Prime Minister has a good relationship with the President and the Government works closely and constructively with the administration across a wide range of issues."
The spokesperson also revealed that UK government officials had been in touch with the Trump administration since the leak, and said it was "a matter of regret that this has happened".
On suggestions the police could become involved in the hunt for those responsible for the leaks, Mrs May's spokesperson said: "If evidence of criminality is found, the police would then be involved. Until that point, the investigation will be cross-government led by the Cabinet Office."
The spokesman also said he had "seen nothing to suggest that hostile state actors have been involved".
HUNT: SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt on Monday morning warned of “serious consequences” for those found responsible for the exposure of the sensitive memos.
He told reporters at a press conference in the Foreign Office: "I'm very concerned about it, because fundamental to the proper functioning of our diplomatic network - which I happen to believe is one of the finest if not the finest in the world - is to be able to exchange opinions frankly.
"So we need to find out how it happened, not least to give confidence to our teams all over the world that they can continue to give us their frank assessment.
"So that's why we're going to have a leak inquiry. I hope we get to the bottom of it.
"Of course there'll be very serious consequences if and when we find out whoever is responsible."
Mr Hunt again streseed that he did not share the views of the Foreign Office’s chief US representative, and describing the Trump administration as “highly effective”.