COPS launched a criminal probe today into the memo leaks involving ex-Brit ambassador Sir Kim Darroch slamming Donald Trump.
It comes days after Sir Kim resigned from his £184,000-a-year role after leaked diplomatic cables revealed he reportedly called the US president “inept”, “insecure” and “incompetent”.
In the sensitive documents, Sir Kim allegedly voiced fears that the American president could also still attack Iran.
He wrote: “We don’t really believe this Administration is going to become substantially more normal; less dysfunctional; less unpredictable; less faction riven; less diplomatically clumsy and inept.”
The Met Police Counter Terrorism Command launched the investigation after a cross-government investigation led by the Cabinet Office.
The CTC take responsibility for investigating allegations of criminal breaches of the Official Secrets Act.
Police said it was clear that because of the leak, UK-US relations had been affected.
Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said: “Given the widely reported consequences of that leak I am satisfied that there has been damage caused to UK international relations, and there would be clear public interest in bringing the person or people responsible to justice.
“The investigation will be reviewed at every stage to ensure a proportionate investigation is undertaken.”
The news comes as Prime Minister hopeful Boris Johnson admitted he played a role in his resignation as British ambassador by failing to defend him from Mr Trump’s onslaught.
‘STOP THIS NOW’
Following the leaked messages, Mr Trump launched a scathing Twitter attack on Sir Kim and Theresa May on Monday.
He said: “I have been very critical about the way the UK and Prime Minister Theresa May handled Brexit.
“What a mess she and her representatives have created.
“I told her how it should be done, but she decided to go another way.
“I do not know the Ambassador, but he is not liked or well thought of within the US. We will no longer deal with him.”
Police are demanding for the individual responsible for the leaks to turn themselves in, adding “the impact of what you have done is obvious”.
Mr Basu said: “I would say to the person or people who did this, the impact of what you have done is obvious.
“However, you are now also responsible for diverting busy detectives from undertaking their core mission. You can stop this now.
“Turn yourself in at the earliest opportunity, explain yourself and face the consequences.
“Also, to anyone who knows or suspects those responsible, or who has any information, please come forward.”
Anyone with information is encouraged to come forward and call 0800 789321.
Given the widely reported consequences of that leak I am satisfied that there has been damage caused to UK international relations, and there would be clear public interest in bringing the person or people responsible to justice
Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu
Since the memos were leaked, a number of political figures came out in support of Sir Kim.
Downing Street said this week that Mrs May has “full faith” in him but does not agree with all of his assessment of the Trump administration.
Foreign Secretary and Tory leadership hopeful Jeremy Hunt insisted on Saturday that the 65-year-old was “doing his job” as “frank opinions” from ambassadors are vital.
Hunt had tried to smooth over the Transatlantic rift by emphasising Sir Kim’s words were “not the view of the British government” and “not my view”.
He said: “We continue to think that under President Trump the US administration is not just highly effective but the best possible friend of the United Kingdom on the international stage.”
Mr Hunt also said he would not be afraid to confront Mr Trump if he is voted Tory leader. He added: “The trick with him is to call a spade a spade.”
At a hustings event last night, Johnson vowed to stand up to Trump as he insisted the ousted ambassador has his full support.
MOST READ IN NEWS
The former London Mayor faced claims he hadn’t offered enough support for Sir Darroch, who resigned from his position as ambassador to Washington after memos of him describing Mr Trump as “inept” were leaked.
Mr Johnson hit back at accusations that he threw Sir Darroch “under the bus” to strengthen his ties with the US President.
He said: “I will stand up for our fantastic diplomats across the world.”
We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Email us at email@example.com or call 0207 782 4368. You can WhatsApp us on 07810 791 502. We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours.