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Resignation of Uk Ambassador to Usa

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:38 am on 11th July 2019.

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Photo of Liz McInnes Liz McInnes Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs) 10:38 am, 11th July 2019

Thank you, Mr Speaker, for granting this urgent question, and I congratulate my right hon. Friend Mr McFadden on securing it. He spoke for almost the whole House, and certainly everyone in the country, as indeed did the Minister in his response, in expressing his dismay about the circumstances that have led to the resignation of Sir Kim Darroch—who has had to resign, let us remember, simply for doing his job and telling the truth about what is happening in Washington.

While Sir Kim is entirely innocent and can leave office with his head held high, there are many guilty parties in this affair who should be hanging their heads in shame. First, there is whoever is responsible for leaking the memos. Then there is Donald Trump, and his ridiculous temper tantrums. Then there is the outgoing Prime Minister, who has indulged Donald Trump so much but received nothing but disrespect in return.

For me, however, the biggest villain of all is the man who is about to become our Prime Minister. He had the chance on Tuesday night—not just once, but six times—to defend Sir Kim and oppose Donald Trump, but instead he made an active choice to throw our man in Washington under the bus. It was the most craven and despicable act of cowardice that I have seen from any candidate for public office, let alone someone running to be Prime Minister. It sends the worst possible signal to our diplomatic service abroad, and it should send warning signs to our whole country—if we thought that the current Prime Minister was bad when it came to her spineless attitude towards Donald Trump, then things are about to get a whole lot worse.

Will the Minister therefore ensure that a new ambassador to the US is appointed before the next Prime Minister takes office, so that we still have at least one UK representative willing to speak truth to power in Washington?