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10 Sep, 2019 05:00

Theresa May’s revenge: UK ambassador who dissed Trump gets lordship

Theresa May’s revenge: UK ambassador who dissed Trump gets lordship

The former UK ambassador to the US, forced to resign after diplomatic cables in which he insulted US President Donald Trump were leaked to the press, has been made a Lord as a parting shot from outgoing PM Theresa May.

Ex-ambassador Kim Darroch, who referred to Trump in leaked cables as “inept” and “uniquely dysfunctional,” has been appointed to the House of Lords, included on a voluminous list of honors bestowed by May on Monday following her departure from No. 10 Downing Street.

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Darroch was forced to leave his post after the president swore his administration would “no longer deal” with him following the leaks, and incoming PM Boris Johnson refused to guarantee he would be allowed to stay. May, however, spoke to Darroch privately just minutes before he quit to offer her support, and issued a public statement backing the ambassador’s ability to “provide honest, unvarnished assessments of politics in their country.”

Indeed, most MPs were more outraged at the still-unknown leaker than at Darroch for calling the US president “clumsy” and “incompetent” and observing that he “radiates insecurity.” Others blamed Johnson for “shamefully forcing out” the diplomat by refusing to support him in the face of a volley of insults from the White House, which called him “wacky” and “stupid.”

May and Trump never really got along, with the US president criticizing his British counterpart over her mishandling of Brexit and crime, while she scorned his insensitive language and pandering to anti-immigrant sentiment.

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The former Conservative PM’s honors list has been slammed for cronyism and “rewarding failure.” The list includes at least 20 of her former advisers, who have been lavished with knighthoods and life peerages, as well as several big donors to the party. May’s former joint chiefs of staff Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, both forced to quit following the party’s catastrophic showing in the 2017 election, received CBEs, and Olly Robbins, the thrice-failed Brexit negotiator, received a knighthood.

The prodigious list is all the more galling considering May had promised to curtail her predecessors’ practice of leaving with lengthy resignation honors lists. She infamously condemned former PM David Cameron’s decision to award a knighthood to his ex-communications director, claiming it made her want to “retch” – then awarded a knighthood to her own communications director, Robbie Gibb.

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