Boris Johnson, who will likely become the United Kingdom's next prime minister soon, denied on Wednesday that he played a role in the resignation of the British ambassador to the U.S., who stepped down after the leak of diplomatic cables in which he was harshly critical of the Trump administration.
Johnson told The Sun it was "bizarre" he was being blamed for the resignation of Kim Darroch, who left his post after President TrumpDonald TrumpMan sentenced to nearly four years for running scam Trump, Biden PACs Meadows says Trump's blood oxygen level was dangerously low when he had COVID-19 Trump endorses David Perdue in Georgia's governor race MORE publicly bashed him as a “very stupid guy” and “pompous fool,” saying the White House would no longer work with him.
Several British politicians from both the governing and opposition parties have accused Johnson of not defending Darroch adequately against Trump's barbs.
Johnson, one of two Conservative Party leaders vying to succeed Prime Minister Theresa MayTheresa Mary MayOvernight Defense: Pentagon chief defends Milley after Trump book criticism | Addresses critical race theory | Top general says Taliban has 'strategic momentum' in war Will Ocasio-Cortez challenge Biden or Harris in 2024? The Hill's Morning Report - Biden takes office, calls for end to 'uncivil war' MORE, stopped short of condemning the criticism during a televised debate with Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt, instead stressing his good relations with the White House and the importance of the trans-Atlantic relationship.
Hunt, by contrast, called Trump's attacks "disrespectful" and pledged to keep Darroch on as ambassador should he take over at 10 Downing Street.
Darroch resigned hours after Johnson's comments.
“I can’t believe they’re trying to blame me for this,” Johnson told The Sun. “I’m a great supporter of Kim’s. I worked very well with him for years.”
Conservative Member of Parliament Nicholas Soames, however, said Johnson had “hung Kim Darroch out to dry ... and I was ashamed to see it," according to The Associated Press.
Labour Party official Liz McInnes called Johnson’s behavior “the most craven and despicable act of cowardice I have seen from any candidate for public office, let alone someone running to be prime minister," the AP reported.
The Labour Party itself is calling for May to appoint a new ambassador before leaving office later this month so that Johnson does not have authority over the decision.