Was the diplomatic leak part of a plot to make Nigel Farage UK ambassador to the US?

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There was a very interesting discussion on Radio 4’s Westminster Hour, last night, concerning the leaking of memos from the UK ambassador to the USA, Sir Kim Darroch.

Pippa Crerar, Policy Editor of the Mirror, expressed the view that the leaks were unlikely to have come from a civil servant because the memos were restricted. Therefore, the leaks are more likely to have come from senior politicians. Ms Crerar then asked us to look at the motivations of those involved.

The following wasn’t mentioned on the programme, but it is not outlandish to suggest that the undermining of Sir Kim is part of a plot to make Nigel Farage the UK ambassador to the USA. Of course, he would love all the adoration in the US that would be involved, and all the facetime with his best buddy Donald Trump.

From Boris Johnson’s point of view, Farage’s appointment would get a potential rival well out of the way and convince ex-Conservatives who are now Brexit party voters, to come back into the Tory fold.

Already, the Telegraph, through Asa Bennet, is suggesting such a scenario: “Boris will need an ambassador Trump trusts in Washington. Why not send Nigel Farage?”

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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  • IMO it is just another civil servant leak…BUT, just because you’re paranoid it doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you…

    The problem is not Sir Kim Darroch’s views ( after all, it is our ambassador’s duty to report things as he sees them) it is the leak. Boris Johnson, who is now a great Donald fan, accused Trump of “quite stupefying ignorance” and deemed him “unfit” to be president.
    It’s a bit rich for Farage ( who has made a career out of ‘being economical with the truth) to call for Darroch’s head (for being honest).

  • Yeovil Yokel 8th Jul '19 - 4:56pm

    Unlike Farage and the EU, to the best of my knowledge Darroch has never publicly insulted the US government either verbally or by turning his back on it.

    Can the Mail on Sunday publish a leaked confidential diplomatic memo with impunity? And is there a connection between the MoS’ report and Farage’s remarkably fast response to it? There’s a lot more to this than meets the eye.

  • Matt (Bristol) 8th Jul '19 - 5:51pm

    A) I don’t want to live in a world where that is ‘serious’ politics
    B) It’s possible that’s the motivation (but really? Either Boris or Farage has that many friends inside the Foreign Office? Still?)… but…
    C) Any Tory leader who aggrandised Farage at this time would be basically provoking a split. Even inviting him to a conference at Downing Street might lead to, say, Grieve or Lee or Sandbach or Heseltine or Gauke or Stewart or (insert long list here) walking out.
    D) The only Tory leader who would do this is one who has decided that the Tory party has served its purpose and needs to be remade in a new Trumpian image, by crisis and chaos as the tools.
    E) Oh heck, that sounds like Bannon. Is Boris still allegedly talking to Bannon? Or is Bannon still exaggerating how much Boris talks to him?
    F) I’m going to just say ‘silly season’ and pray I’m right.

  • Richard Underhill 8th Jul '19 - 5:59pm

    No, this is a conspiracy theory.
    Remember the pessimist who was US ambassador to the Court of Saint James in 1940?
    One of his sons went on to be US President and said “We have to go to the moon.”
    They went and came back alive.

  • Yeovil Yokel 8th Jul '19 - 8:00pm

    Just breaking on the BBC: Trump increases the pressure on HMG by saying that “we will no longer deal with him” (i.e Ambassador Darroch). If our Government had any b******s they would tell the Americans: “Darroch stays”. But they won’t.

    This is murky stuff.

  • John Marriott 8th Jul '19 - 8:28pm

    It’s the reaction to the leak that interests me. The Ambassador was just doing his job, in the knowledge, he was right to assume, that his comments were for a very small nucleus of people.

    So we’ve had the savage reaction from people like Bill Cash MP in Parliament and, on Channel 4 News this evening, the increasingly available Richard Tice MEP. According to them, the man should go. These were countered by Ministers Alan Duncan and Tom Tugendhat respectively. From their comments you can see why they are where they are and they are on the right side of this particular argument.

    This evening Trump has now waded or rather tweeted in by saying that his administration will have nothing more to do with our current Man in Washington any more. I reckon it’s time for him to go before defenestration takes place and conveniently at about the time we are due to get a new PM.

    So, in the meantime I just hope that they find out who leaked the story. Like Ms Crerar I reckon the culprit may well be one of a certain person’s inner circle. So, let’s find out!

  • William Fowler 9th Jul '19 - 7:08am

    Farage as ambassador was muted back when Trump was elected but Madame May et al were suitably horrified at the very idea but actually missed a trick to bring Farage into the fold, so just more incompetence on their part… a bit late now, I would say, as Farage is aiming at being the next PM!

  • David Goble 9th Jul '19 - 9:27am

    Mr Farage would not want to be PM; he would have to take responsibility for what he says and does. The problem with Mr Farage being our Ambassador in Washington is easy to see. In the event of there being a clash of opinions between American and British interests, whose interests would reign supreme in Mr Farage’s view – British or American?

  • David Goble 9th Jul ’19 – 9:27am………………..Mr Farage would not want to be PM; he would have to take responsibility for what he says and does………….

    If ‘taking responsibility’ were a criterion for PM neither of the two aspirants would qualify. The original idea of PMQ’s was that the PM would answer questions; when is the last time anyone heard a straight answer from any PM?
    FDR’s ‘Power with Responsibility’ no longer applies; what counts is getting the top job.

  • John Marriott 9th Jul '19 - 10:08am

    All this fuss about who might succeed Sir Kim surely misses the point. According to the Vienna Convention the ‘diplomatic bag’ is sacrosanct. If not, then surely centuries of interaction between nations goes out of the window. What a corrupt and literally rotten age we appear to be living through. Where is there a place for decency or even a modicum of common sense any more, when people feel at liberty to promulgate ‘alternative facts’, get their opinions from social media and, in some cases, try to run the world via Twitter and leaks? Anyway, at least we still have Wimbledon, where, with the noble exception of Ms Konta, normal service has been resumed and there isn’t a Brit to be found in the last 16 of either singles.

    As I said earlier, whoever caused the present ‘crisis’ needs to be sought out and have an example made of them, and I would include the recipient of the leak as well. It’s just a pity that so few LDV contributors (currently seven and then mainly about the prospect of Ambassador Farage) seem that energised about a principle which, in my opinion, if not upheld, could remove yet another brick from the democratic wall that still protects us from some of the worst excesses of totalitarianism.

  • David Becket 9th Jul '19 - 10:46am

    Ambassadors have the responsibility of reporting back to their governments, and have been doing it for generations. Leaks do not occur, and the diplomatic service has been trained to ensure that comments are confidential. If the ambassador believes the White House to be dysfunctional then he should say so. Most would agree with him, except Johnson, Farage and their ilk. To think these could be running our country is unbelievable.
    We are dependant on a dysfunctional house of commons to stop this. May could have done so, but failed. Unless the house and the British public wake up to what is going on this country, as we know it, is doomed.

  • I’m with John Marriott on this “It’s the reaction to the leak that interests me.”

    I find it interesting that all the MoS had to say about how it got to view the memo’s was “In the memos, seen by The Mail on Sunday following an unprecedented leak”, which to me seems to imply they know the source, and it wasn’t a civil servant. Which given the Mail seems to be backing Boris would indicate the leak came from his camp, who would naturally want an excuse to curry favour with Trump.

    What is interesting is the lack of reaction from T.May, if she had been M.Thatcher, both Boris and Hunt would have been questioned by now and Boris’s (and his girlfriends) computers and homes would be in the process of being fully searched.

  • Richard Underhill 9th Jul '19 - 11:35am

    In ‘Yes Prime Minister’ an Arabist at FCO was appointed Ambassador to Israel.
    He said “They won’t want me”. The PM said “It is a promotion”.
    Has Theresa May been too hasty? Might she use her expiring authority?

  • Richard Underhill 9th Jul '19 - 3:11pm

    William Fowler 9th Jul ’19 – 7:08am
    Have you seen Nigel Farage’s record at standing for Westminster?
    Imagine there is no Conservative candidate,
    no Labour candidate,
    no Liberal Democrat candidate.
    He still lost.

  • The future of the British Empire was doomed as soon as the American army seized the airports in 1775.

  • Richard Underhill 10th Jul '19 - 8:58am

    A Special Relationship has been created on Centre Court, where the crowd have made Serena Williams into “an honoury Brit”. She enjoys performing with “Sir Andy”.

  • John Littler 10th Jul '19 - 12:23pm

    No supposedly independent country should allow itself to have it’s PM described as Trump did, to have it’s policy and Diplomatic staffing dictated to by the leader of another country.
    For this to happen just after Trump was given a controversial State visit is outrageous. 

    The Orange mickey taker took his entire extended family of sprogs, a daughter handed a vice presidential role and a golf session protected by half the armed protection officers of Scotland costing millions.

    It was never worthwhile and this is now proven

  • Yeovil Yokel 10th Jul '19 - 2:08pm

    The resignation of our ambassador makes my blood boil. If there was such a thing as a political credit rating, then the so-called Special Relationship should be downgraded to Junk status.

  • John Marriott 10th Jul '19 - 2:46pm

    A ‘Special Relationship’? Yes, but not of equals. It wasn’t even during WW2 and it certainly wasn’t after Suez. However, if we do cast ourselves adrift at the end of October, to where do we turn? I suppose that Putin might be interested, although his country’s lack of economic clout, compared with that of the USA, might rule him out.

    If we settle back into Trump’s embrace, bang goes that oft voiced concept of taking back control. Mind you, such is the love affair that many of our citizens have with all things ‘American’, that I doubt whether they will be that bothered.

  • John Peters 10th Jul '19 - 3:05pm

    The ambassadors job was to represent the UK’s interests in the USA. A job he was spectacularly unsuited for.

    Apparently he suggested President Trump was inept. If that accurately summarises his feedback to the UK government than I would say the ambassador is inept. If all he wanted to do is dog-whistle to his masters why not just post a link to the Guardian.

    His position was untenable once his ill considered briefings were leaked. To blame it on Boris – as some are doing – is deluded.

  • Dennis Wake 10th Jul '19 - 3:09pm

    John Marriott: Just have a look at the twitter comments. People seem to have gone crazy and are obsessed with the US. I heard someone who was going to the US, when he was asked if he had been abroad before, say no he had only been to France. Maybe that obsession with Trump and the US could account for many Leave voters.

    When we leave the EU we might be better of joining the USA – at least we would have members of Congress and not be totally at their mercy.

  • John Marriott 10th Jul '19 - 3:53pm

    @Dennis Wake
    Having recently discovered distant relatives on the other side of the pond and having recently had the pleasure of going over there to meet some of them for the first time, perhaps I should paraphrase the Farage dictum and say; “Love the USA, hate the Administration”!

    Judging by the crocodile tears he was shedding today at the news of Sir Kim’s resignation, Bojo (or Al to his family) might be considering his place of birth as an asset when dealing with the Commander in Chief. After all, both are native New Yorkers, with an interesting relationship with the truth.

  • Yeovil Yokel 10th Jul ’19 – 2:08pm……………..The resignation of our ambassador makes my blood boil. If there was such a thing as a political credit rating, then the so-called Special Relationship should be downgraded to Junk status…………..

    In my lifetime (post WW2) the ‘specialrelationship’ has almost always served only one purpose; as a compliant nation giving the cloak of respectability to whatever the US decides to do on the world stage. The only difference today is the complete lack of pretence, by a US president, that this is how things really are.

    As Sir Alan Duncan, the Conservative Foreign Office minister, told the BBC ..”Boris Johnson – a former foreign secretary and who hopes to be the future prime minister – has basically thrown our top diplomat under the bus.
    “There are a lot of people in the Commons who are very, very angry and feel that he has lost so much respect for having done what he has done.””His disregard for Sir Kim and his refusal to back him was pretty contemptible and also not in the best interests of the country he is trying to lead …”For someone who wants to lead, let alone unite, the country, that was contemptible negligence on his part, He has basically thrown this fantastic diplomat under the bus to serve his own personal interests..

    Perhaps it is the only ‘good thing’ to come out of the Trump presidency/Johnson premiership; now everyone knows exactly what ‘special’ actually means.

  • John Marriott 10th Jul '19 - 5:12pm

    Talking of that special relationship again, i am reminded of the reaction of PM Harold Wilson to US President Lyndon Johnson’s request that British troops be sent to Vietnam. I often wonder whether that was the former’s answer to that ‘postcard’ published by the pop group ‘The Move’ depicting Harold in a certain position behind LBJ. So perhaps, occasionally, we do bite back, but clearly not often enough!

  • Dennis Wake 10th Jul '19 - 5:16pm

    John Marriott: expats: Stand by for another leap in support for Brexit if the twitter comments are anything to go by. Is this obsession with the USA because of their total lack of any practical gun control and your ability to murder anyone you like provided you come from the right background ? It seems it might be.
    It seems the Brexiteers are in some way connected with US financial interests and are hoping to make a lot of money from that policy.

  • Sir Kim Darroch should write a book about this to be published just before the next election. Listening to the comments from Conservatives they seem even more determined to support Boris Johnson. The Brexiteers seem paranoid.

  • Richard Underhill 11th Jul '19 - 12:05pm

    This is an important post and should be filled immediately.
    Theresa May should act now.
    If an ambassador has a holiday there is presumably a deputy who can fill in promptly and should be considered quickly.
    Failure to act on this urgent issue would damage her legacy.

  • Richard Underhill 11th Jul '19 - 12:10pm

    It may look like patronage, but a Conservative Prime Minister should be willing to recommend Sir Kim Darroch for a peerage, thereby bringing him into Parliament.
    She would thereby provide legal protection for whatever he says.

  • Richard Underhill 11th Jul '19 - 12:22pm

    John Marriott

  • Dennis Wake 11th Jul '19 - 3:01pm

    Clearly we cannot rely on the US with their rackety system of Government and 73 year old baby running it with a 55 year old baby running the UK so even more reason to stay in the EU. Even Farage says he expects to be still in the European Parliament after 1st November. Boris might win an election without any mention of Brexit and then call the whole thing off. Some people are already expecting that to happen.

  • Richard Underhill 11th Jul '19 - 7:26pm

    10th Jul ’19 – 5:12pm
    “US President Lyndon Johnson” said that the UK government, (under Harold Wilson) gave every possible means of support, except what mattered.
    Harold Wilson had been a member of Clem Attlees’s Labour cabinet.
    The PM had decided to support the USA after communist North Korea invaded the south. The financial cost had to be borne by the NHS, causing a prominent resignation.

  • Richard Underhill 24th Jul '19 - 8:31am

    Farage has said that he is open to an electoral pact with the Conservatives,
    but the PM should call a general election first, and
    Farage “does not believe a single word the Conservative Party tells him”.

  • Simon Banks 1st Aug '19 - 1:42pm

    So the proposal is for Farage to be US ambassador to the UK…oh, not, I’ve got that wrong. If the UK government has any ability to stand up for its country, it cannot allow any foreign head of state to dictate who is our ambassador. For the rest of us, we could not trust Farage to stand up for the UK over trade deals or discourage some military idiocy. The Manning leaks included the US ambassador to Tunisia, then a corrupt dictatorship, giving a scathing report on that government and asking how long the US could continue to support him. Of course, when the Tunisian President protested, the US sacked its ambassador??

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