Met Police Launch Criminal Investigation Into Ambassador 'Inept' Email Leak

UK police investigate Kim Darroch cables - CNN

The Metropolitan Police has launched a criminal investigation into the alleged leak of diplomatic emails from Kim Darroch, the UK's ambassador in the U.S., where he called American President Donald Trump's administration "inept, insecure and incompetent", the media reported on Saturday.

The government has already opened an internal inquiry into the publication of the memos, which were critical of the Trump administration - and prompted a furious reaction from the United States president, who said he would no longer deal with Sir Kim.

The head of Britain's diplomatic service, Simon McDonald, said this week he was "bracing" himself for further leaks, which he described as "the worst breach of trust in our service in my career".

"The publication of leaked communications, knowing the damage they have caused or are likely to cause, may also be a criminal matter", he said.

The statement also said there has been damage caused to Britain's global relations, and there would be clear public interest in bringing the person or people responsible to justice.

Mr Basu also warned the media that any further publication of the ambassador's emails could be a criminal offence, and should be returned to the government.

"I fear there may be more", he said.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and his predecessor Boris Johnson said the leaker should be found but the press should not be targeted.

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.


"I fear there may be more", he said.

"If they [the press] are receiving stolen material they should give it back to their rightful owner", he told the Today programme.

Sir Kim announced on Wednesday he was resigning, saying his position had become "impossible" following the leak of his dispatches in which he described Donald Trump's White House as "inept" and "dysfunctional".

Donald Trump branded Darroch "a very stupid guy" and banned him from Washington.

He asked the person behind the leaks to turn themselves in and avoid wasting detectives' time, saying: "You can stop this now".

In an interview on Friday, Johnson denied he was responsible for Darroch's resignation, but admitted his comments had been a factor.

Some senior Conservative figures criticised Mr Johnson over his perceived failure to defend Sir Kim.

"Some people just told me. he actually said very good things about me", Trump said.

British lawmakers are warning that the country is at risk of turning into a "police state", as police tell media outlets not to publish leaked government documents after a row that led to the resignation of the UK's ambassador to the US.

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