UK’s Ambassador to the USA - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:43 pm on 8th July 2019.

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Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State 6:43 pm, 8th July 2019

My Lords, with the leave of the House, I shall now repeat in the form of a Statement the Answer given by my right honourable friend the Minister of State for Europe and the Americas to an Urgent Question in another place on what steps he is taking to ensure that the apparent unauthorised disclosure of communications from the UK’s Ambassador to the USA are fully investigated by all relevant agencies. The Statement is as follows:

Her Majesty’s Government utterly deplore the serious breach of classified information; it is totally unacceptable. As the Prime Minister has already said, we retain full confidence in the British Ambassador to Washington, Sir Kim Darroch, for whom we have enormous respect as a distinguished and long-serving diplomat.

The Prime Minister and the British public expect our ambassadors to provide Ministers with an honest and unvarnished assessment of the politics in their country. We pay our ambassadors to be candid, just as the US Ambassador here will send back his candid reading of Westminster politics and personalities. That does not mean that it is the same as what the British Government think.

We have announced a leak inquiry, which I can reassure the whole House will be thorough and wide-ranging and will ultimately report to the Cabinet Secretary. A cross-government investigation led by the Cabinet Office has been launched, which I can reassure the whole House will be thorough and wide-ranging”.

My Lords, that concludes the Statement.