UK police launch criminal probe into leaked memos on Donald Trump

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson

London's Metropolitan Police said on Friday its counter-terrorism command, which takes national responsibility for investigating allegations of criminal breaches of the Official Secrets Act, was leading the investigation. "However, you are now also responsible for diverting busy detectives from undertaking their core mission", he said.

The Mail on Sunday published cables from Ambassador Kim Darroch describing the Trump administration as dysfunctional, clumsy and inept.

President Donald Trump on Friday backtracked on his criticisms of the UK's ambassador to the USA after learning that the ambassador, Kim Darroch, had compared him to Arnold Schwarzenegger in "The Terminator". You can stop this now.

It comes as Boris Johnson, front runner to be Britain's next prime minister, denied he was responsible for the resignation of Darroch but admitted his comments had been a factor in the shock departure of one of the country's most senior diplomats.

Announcing the criminal investigation, Mr Basu said he was satisfied the alleged leak had damaged United Kingdom global relations.

He advised individuals and the media not to publish leaked government documents, warning this could be a criminal matter, and to instead hand them over to the police or return them to their rightful owner.

In the Commons on Thursday, the Foreign Office minister Sir Alan Duncan said an internal Whitehall inquiry had found no evidence the leak was the result of computer hacking.

Johnson was branded "contemptible" and accused of throwing Darroch "under a bus", by Conservative MPs, while the opposition Labour Party labeled Johnson a "Donald Trump patsy".

His lack of explicit support for the ambassador was widely seen as the final straw in his decision to quit.

"(Darroch) said that what somebody had relayed to him had certainly been a factor in his resignation", he told BBC television in a testy interview. "Some people just told me - too bad - they said he actually said some very good things about me", he said.

"I wish the British ambassador well", Trump told reporters as he left the White House on Friday to head to Wisconsin.

The president said he had been informed by his friend and golf partner, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, that, as well as calling his administration "inept", Sir Kim had said complimentary things about him.

Mr Trump softened his tone on Sir Kim, who he called a "pompous fool" earlier this week.

On Friday, the American president said that Britain needed to stop their "leaking problems".

There will be relief in Whitehall that the row over Sir Kim's cables appears to have had no lasting impact on relations with the USA, coupled with concern that his resignation may have been unnecessary after all.

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