Darroch’s resignation also comes a day after Boris Johnson, the frontrunner to replace May as Conservative party leader and UK prime minister at the end of this month, refused to say last night whether he would protect the ambassador if he became leader. Johnson was appearing in a televised debate with his opponent in the race, foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt, who said that he would back Darroch until his term expired at the end of the year. Hunt also criticized Trump’s attack on the Washington ambassador.

The FT, citing government sources (paywall), reported that Darroch’s takeaway from the debate was that “when the chips are down [Johnson] was willing to throw civil servants under the bus.”

The head of the UK Foreign Office, Simon McDonald, said he accepted Darroch’s resignation with “deep personal regret” and thanked him for his service.

Several government officials and commentators have defended Darroch, with Hunt and May arguing that governments rely on ambassadors to provide frank assessments of world leaders in order to conduct diplomacy.

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