Special Relationship’s last hope? Only ONE can save toxic UK-US relations – revealed
The Foreign Office has begun an investigation after it emerged Mr Darroch’s comments on Donald Trump being “insecure”, “inept” and running a “uniquely dysfunctional” White House in private memos were leaked. Theresa May was quick to back Mr Darroch, with Downing Street stating she had “full faith” in the UK’s ambassador to the US after the huge breach in confidentiality triggered a political firestorm. But Mr Trump was left furious, and on Monday evening launched a scathing attack against Mrs May’s handling of Brexit describing it as a “mess” and accused her of not listening to his advice on how the UK should leave the European Union.
The scandal immediately sparked fears in Britain, with International Trade Secretary Liam Fox warning: “This is such a damaging, potentially damaging event.”
But the US President continued his tirade on Tuesday, mocking Mrs May’s “foolish“ Brexit disaster” and branding Sir Kim “wacky” and a “stupid guy” in a furious series of tweets.
Just hours later, Sir Kim resigned from his position but that evening, Boris Johnson failed to back the ambassador during a live TV debate, sparking a furious reaction from fellow Tory MPs and throughout Westminster as a whole.
Junior Foreign Office minister Alan Duncan accused Mr Johnson of throwing the ambassador under the bus when he refused to back the envoy, while former Conservative MP Nick Boles claimed the British public will now see the Tory leadership frontrunner as “Donald Trump’s poodle”.
READ MORE: Boris, Hunt or May? Who should decide the next US ambassador? Express.co.uk poll
Boris Johnson is best placed to restore the relationship given his personal chemistry with the President
Political experts have told Express.co.uk historically strong relations between the UK and US have been “damaged” as a result of the scandal – albeit likely only on a short-term basis.
They claimed Mr Johnson could be best placed to repair the increasingly strained relations between the two global superpowers should he become the UK’s next Prime Minister because of his close relationship with Mr Trump.
Prior to his state visit to the UK last month, the US President spoke warmly of Mr Johnson, describing him as his “friend”.
University of Warwick politics professor Wyn Grant told Express.co.uk: “The leak has been damaging in the short term, but I think that the damage is only short term. After Christmas there will be a new ambassador.
“Boris Johnson is best placed to restore the relationship given his personal chemistry with the President.”
Leeds Trinity University politics lecturer Kostas Maronitis said: “Considering the ongoing leadership debates we can safely assume that Boris Johnson is closer to President Trump but not necessarily to secretaries and various delegations.”
But experts have warned Mr Johnson’s close relationship with the US President may not be enough to win him over.
The diplomatic controversy comes as the UK desperately tries to strike a post-Brexit trade deal with the US as the October 31 to leave the European Union quickly approaches.
Mr Trump has been hinting that a huge deal could soon be on the table, but there are fears the cross-Atlantic war of words has thrown that into significant jeopardy.
Political experts told Express.co.uk the row between the UK and US will not likely have any significant impact on a future trade deal between the two countries.
Dr Steve McCabe from the Institute of Design and Economic Acceleration at Birmingham City University said: “It is simply too important to let a petty matter of what was said about a President who, let’s face it, may not be in office in just over 18 months’ time get in the way of commerce.”
But they warned although Mr Johnson might have the closer relationship with Mr Trump, he might not be the right person to negotiate it.
Alistair Jones, a politics professor at De Montfort University in Leicester told Express.co.uk: “Johnson has an excellent relationship with Trump, Hunt does not.
“If it is about the relationship with the President, Johnson is the better candidate. If it is about negotiating a full trade deal, Hunt is by far the better candidate.”
Dr McCabe acknowledged if Mr Johnson does become the next Prime Minister “there will be an immediate effect” because of his closeness to Mr Trump.
But in a warning to the leadership favourite, he said: “As Johnson is discovering, being a thorn in the side of Theresa May over Brexit is one thing, being an effective statesman and successful Prime minister is quite another.
“He may be realising that batting for his own side requires unquestioning dedication regardless of how close you are to the American President.”
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