UK Police Launch Probe into Leak of Ambassador's Secret Cables

UK police investigate Kim Darroch cables - CNN

Scotland Yard has launched a criminal investigation into a leak of emails from the British ambassador critical of the Trump administration. You can stop this now.

British ambassador Kim Darroch quit on Wednesday after U.S. president Donald Trump called him "stupid" and "wacky" following the publication of the confidential memos by a newspaper.

Counterterrorism police chief Neil Basu said Friday that the leak had damaged United Kingdom worldwide relations and there was "a clear public interest" in prosecuting the perpetrator or perpetrators.

Basu said that the leaks may be a "criminal matter" as he urged the culprit to "turn yourself in at the earliest opportunity, explain yourself and face the consequences".

Darroch resigned after days of scathing criticism from the U.S. president on Twitter.

"Some people just told me - too bad - they said he actually said some very good things about me", he said.

Darroch quit after a TV leadership debate between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, in which Johnson failed to back the ambassador and criticised the leak.

Johnson said Darroch had not watched the debate but had heard an inaccurate account of what was said.

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"If I were the Metropolitan police commissioner, and I wanted to maintain my credibility and the credibility of my force, I would quickly distance myself from this very stupid and ill-advised statement from a junior officer who doesn't appear to understand much about press freedom", the former chancellor tweeted.

"(Darroch) said that what somebody had relayed to him had certainly been a factor in his resignation", he told BBC television in a testy interview.

"Boris called Kim yesterday to express his full support and his admiration for his skills but I think we have to focus on what happened".

Johnson pointedly refused to back Darroch during the televised debate on Tuesday, leading to accusations from fellow Conservative Party MPs that he had thrown the ambassador "under the bus" in order to bolster his own ties with Trump.

Norman Lamb, the former health minister who now heads the science and technology committee as a Liberal Democratic MP, said: "We can't contemplate any slippery slope to a police state that accepts that sort of limitation on the freedom of the press to report".

Mr Johnson was heckled at a Conservative leadership hustings in Cheltenham last night.

Outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May and the Foreign Office have both defended the disgraced envoy, saying, however, that the leaks were regrettable.

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