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Sir Kim Darroch: UK police launch investigation into 'leak' of emails

 Sir Kim Darroch and President Donald Trump

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The Metropolitan Police has launched a criminal investigation into the alleged leak of diplomatic emails from the UK ambassador in the US, which were critical of the Trump administration

Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said there was a "clear public interest" in bringing those responsible to justice.

Sir Kim Darroch stepped down as ambassador on Wednesday, saying it was "impossible" for him to continue.

President Trump had earlier said the US would no longer deal with Sir Kim. "a very stupid guy" after confidential emails emerged where the ambassador had called his administration "clumsy and inept".

Announcing the criminal investigation, Mr Basu said he was satisfied the alleged leak had damaged UK international relations. urged whoever was responsible to turn themselves into and "face the consequences".

"I would say to the person or people who did this, the impact of what you have done is obvious," he said.

"However, you are now also responsible for diverting busy detectives from undertaking their core mission . "

Anyone with information about the alleged leak or those responsible should contact the police, he added.

He advised individuals and the media not to publish leaked government documents, warning this could be criminal matter, and instead hand over them to the police.

The investigation was launched by the Met Police Counter Terrorism Command, which takes national responsibility for investigating allegations of criminal breaches of the Official Secrets Act, Mr Basu said.

The government had already opened an internal inquiry into the publication the memos.

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Media caption Boris Johnson on Sir Kim Darroch

Sir Kim's resignation prompted him for wide support ̵

1; as well as criticism of Tory leadership front runner Boris Johnson.

According to some Whitehall sources, Sir Kim decided to resign after Mr Johnson failed to support him during a TV debate on Tuesday night.

Mr Johnson said he had spoken to Sir Kim on Thursday to express his sadness about his resignation and the ambassador told him had not watched the TV debate.

But on Friday he told the BBC a "misrepresented" account of his remarks later relayed to Sir Kim had been "a factor" in his decision to step down.

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Media caption Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn pay tribute to Sir Kim Darroch's service

Prime Minister Theresa May said Sir Kim's departure was "a matter of deep regret" and public servant s should be able to give full and frank advice.

In the emails, Sir Kim said: "We really do not believe this administration is going to become substantially more normal; less dysfunctional; less unpredictable; less faction grants; less diplomatically clumsy and inept. . "

The emails, dating from 2017, said rumors of" infighting and chaos "in the White House were mostly true.

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