Liz Truss warns Theresa May that replacing Kim Darroch is a job for the next Prime Minister

Posted On: 
11th July 2019

Liz Truss has warned Theresa May that choosing the UK's next ambassador to the United States should be a job for the next Prime Minister.

Liz Truss has hit out at Theresa May.
PA Images

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury said it will take "months" to find a replacement for Sir Kim Darroch, who resigned from the post after top-secret cables in which he criticised Donald Trump were leaked.

Downing Street has refused to rule out Mrs May identifying his successor before she leaves Number 10 in a fortnight.

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A spokesman for the Prime Minister said: "The ambassador is appointed by the Prime Minister on the recommendation of the Foreign Secretary with the approval of the Queen.

"In terms of this particular replacement, that will take place in due course."

That has sparked an angry backlash from supporters of Boris Johnson - hot favourite to be the next Tory leader - who insist he should get to choose the new ambassador if he becomes PM.

Speaking at a Westminster lunch, Ms Truss, who is backing the former Foreign Secretary's leadership bid, said: "The Permanent Secretary at the Foreign Office has been clear that this is a job that is going to take months rather than weeks to recruit for. It's likely that the new ambassador will be selected and appointed by the new Prime Minister."

Meanwhile, Ms Truss attacked Sir John Major after he said he was prepared to go to court to stop the next Prime Minister suspending Parliament - known as "prorogation" in order to force through Brexit by 31 October.

She said: "I remember when John Major complained that Margaret Thatcher was trying to be a back seat driver to his government and I believe he should take his own advice."

The Cabinet minister, tipped as a possible Chancellor if Mr Johnson becomes Prime Minister, also said prorogation should be considered by whoever succeeds Mrs May.

"It's not something I would like to see, but I think it's very important not to box off options," she said.

And in a further swipe at Mrs May, Ms Truss hit out at her plans to announce a major boost to education funding as one of her final acts in Downing Street.

She said: "I think spending needs to be decided at spending reviews because you need to consider all the priorities across government and it's wrong to settle one department in isolation from all the others.

"What I want to see is education spending considered at the spending review."