Published: Sun, July 14, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

United Kingdom police to investigate leak of ambassador's memos

United Kingdom police to investigate leak of ambassador's memos

The Mail on Sunday published details of the dispatch from Sir Kim Darroch, despite a warning from Scotland Yard that journalists who released further details of the ambassador's communications could be in breach of the Officials Secrets Act (OSA).

The Metropolitan Police called on members of the public with information about the leaks to come forward and implored the perpetrator to "turn yourself in at the earliest opportunity, explain yourself and face the consequences".

The British ambassador to the US who quit over leaked memos criticizing Donald Trump and his administration claimed that the president pulled out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal to spite his predecessor Barack Obama.

Journalists are no longer above the legislation, however it with out a doubt is known "in a free, liberal and democratic society" that the media "wants to be free to document on leaked paperwork that they judge are in the general public interest", says Ian Murray, government director of the Society of Editors.

A criminal probe is being carried out by the Met's counter terrorism unit, which is responsible for investigating breaches of the Official Secrets Act.

Assistant commissioner Neil Basu said: "Given the widely reported consequences of that leak I am satisfied that there has been damage caused to United Kingdom global relations, and there would be clear public interest in bringing the person or people responsible to justice".

In this photo, taken on Friday, Oct. 20, 2017, British Ambassador Kim Darroch hosts a National Economists Club event at the British Embassy in Washington.

Parts of Manhattan in the dark after power outage
Saturday's outage occurred on the 42nd anniversary of a NY blackout that crippled the city during a heat wave on July 13, 1977. Video shared with CNN showed fans still in their seats in the darkened venue, clapping and cheering despite the power outage .

The White House responded by refusing to deal with him, and Trump branded the ambassador a "pompous fool" in a Twitter fusillade.

In the Commons on Thursday, the Foreign Office minister Sir Alan Duncan said an internal Whitehall inquiry had found no evidence the leak was the result of computer hacking. It is aimed at civil servants and others in the government with access to sensitive information and is not created to target journalists.

However, he was widely criticised by editors and politicians including the foreign minister Jeremy Hunt and ex-London Mayor Boris Johnson, the two men battling to replace Theresa May as prime minister when she steps down in just over a week's time.

The chairman of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, Tom Tugendhat, said Sunday he does not believe publishing leaked material constitutes a crime.

"Freedom of the press is vital, of course". In the memos, Darroch had called Trump's administration inept.

In his statement, Basu urged the person or people who leaked the memos to turn themselves in.

Darroch's defenders said his critical memos showed he was doing his job by providing candid assessments as diplomats are expected to do, but he said the controversy had made it impossible to function.

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