Donald Trump has dramatically escalated the transatlantic war of words over the leak of the British ambassador’s advice describing his administration as “inept”.
In a series of tweets, the US president accused Theresa May of making a “mess” of Brexit and said his administration would no longer deal with the ambassador, Sir Kim Darroch.
And he said the “good news” for the UK was that it would soon have a new prime minister.
His comments came as the chair of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee asked for a police investigation into the leak of years’ worth of diplomatic cables after confidential briefings from the UK’s ambassador to Washington were published.
The cables revealed that Sir Kim Darroch briefed the Foreign Office that Donald Trump was “inept” and “radiates insecurity”.
The US president hit out following the leak, saying Sir Kim had “not served the UK well” and his administration were “not big fans” of the envoy.
And in a series of tweets on Monday he said he would no longer be willing to work withthe ambassador.
“I have been very critical about the way the UK and Prime Minister Theresa May handled Brexit. What a mess she and her representatives have created. I told her how it should be done, but she decided to go another way.
“I do not know the ambassador, but he is not liked or well thought of within the US. We will no longer deal with him.
“The good news for the wonderful United Kingdom is that they will soon have a new Prime Minister. While I thoroughly enjoyed the magnificent state visit last month, it was the Queen who I was most impressed with!”
Downing Street said the Prime Minister had “full faith” in the UK’s ambassador and defended the need for “unvarnished assessments” from diplomats, but Number 10 distanced itself from Sir Kim’s withering assessment of the Trump White House.
“As the foreign secretary has said, this leak is not acceptable,” Theresa May’s spokesman said. “We would expect such advice to be handled in the correct way and a leak inquiry has been launched.” T
he spokesman said there was “nothing to suggest” hostile state actors had been involved.
Asking an urgent question in the Commons about the leak, Tory MP Tom Tugendhat said he had written to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner to ask for an investigation.
Downing Street said the Government would call in the police if criminality was suspected, but international trade secretary Liam Fox, who is visiting the US, called for the law to be involved. Mr Fox said he would apologise to the President’s daughter Ivanka Trump at a meeting yesterday.
There was speculation the leak may have been carried out to justify a political appointment as Sir Kim’s successor.
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage said: “This man should not have been there after November 2016 when Trump got elected. The sooner he’s gone ...the better.”