The ambassador’s position became untenable after watching the Conservative leadership debate on Tuesday, in which the frontrunner, Boris Johnson, stepped back from backing him.
Sir Kim Darroch said the raw, in a letter to Simon McDonald, the most senior official at the Foreign Office in which Trump called the ambassador “a pompous fool” and “very stupid”, meant he could not continue.
He said: “Since the leak of official documents from this embassy, there has been a great deal of speculation surrounding my position and the duration of my remaining term as ambassador.” Then he added: “I want to put an end to that speculation. The current situation is making it impossible for me to carry out my role as I would like.”
McDonald said in the context, replying to the letter that Darroch had been the target of “a malicious leak” and that ““You are the best of us.”
This announcement came right before prime minister’s questions. No 10 said Theresa May had spoken to Darroch directly for about five minutes around 11.30 am. By this time, he had already spoken to McDonald.
May expressed her sorrow to Darroch and told him that it was “a matter of great regret that he has felt it necessary to leave his position”.
She also said: “Sir Kim has given a lifetime of service to the United Kingdom and we owe him an enormous debt of gratitude. Good government depends on public servants being able to give full and frank advice. I want all our public servants to have the confidence to be able to do that.”
May added: “I hope the house will reflect on the importance of defending our values and principles, particularly when they are under pressure.”