July 10, 2019 / 4:16 PM / 7 months ago

Essential to defend diplomats under fire - UK's Hunt

LONDON, July 10 (Reuters) - British politicians need to defend the country’s diplomats when they face criticism from overseas governments, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said on Wednesday when asked about the resignation of Britain’s ambassador to Washington.

Kim Darroch quit earlier in the day after repeated criticism from U.S. President Donald Trump following the release of diplomatic messages in which Darroch had described Trump’s administration as inept.

“I think it is absolutely essential that when our diplomats do their job all over the world – and in this case Sir Kim Darroch was a very experienced diplomat – we defend them,” Hunt told reporters at an event to promote media freedom.

Late on Tuesday, former foreign secretary Boris Johnson - the frontrunner to succeed Theresa May as prime minister - had declined to back Darroch during a television debate with Hunt. (Reporting by William James and David Milliken; editing by Stephen Addison)

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