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British police launch investigation into leak of former Ambassador’s cables criticizing Trump

From WN

London’s Metropolitan Police have launched a criminal investigation into the alleged leak of diplomatic cables from the Britain’s former ambassador to the United States, Sir Kim Darroch, The Independent reports.

Detectives from the Counter Terrorism Command, who take national responsibility for probing criminal breaches of the Official Secrets Act, are leading the inquiry.

Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said there was “clear public interest” in prosecuting whoever was responsible for the leak, which had caused “damage to UK international relations.”

He also appealed for the leakers to turn themselves in “and face the consequences.”

It came two days after Sir Kim stepped down as Britain’s ambassador to the U.S. following the publication of memos describing President Donald Trump as “inept” and “dysfunctional.”

The story enraged Trump, who took to Twitter to call the ambassador a “very stupid guy” and a “pompous fool” and to say the White House would no longer deal with him.

Tory leadership contender Boris Johnson was also accused of throwing Sir Kim “under the bus” by failing to give the ambassador his support in a TV debate.

Basu, the Met’s head of specialist operations, was previously involved in assessing the leak of National Security Council information about the Chinese tech giant Huawei, which led to the firing of Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson.

He said the Met had been brought in following a cross-government investigation led by the Cabinet Office into the leak.

“As a result, the Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command, who take national responsibility for investigating allegations of criminal breaches of the Official Secrets Act, has launched a criminal investigation.” – Neil Basu

“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,” Basu said.

“The investigation will be reviewed at every stage to ensure a proportionate investigation is undertaken,” he added. “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.”, Jim Berrie

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