United Kingdom police launch investigation into leaked ambassador cables

President Trump made the comments as he left the White House this morning

Last week, a Sunday newspaper published leaked memos from Britain's Washington ambassador that provoked a serious diplomatic spat with U.S. President Donald Trump and ultimately led to the envoy announcing his resignation.

The backlash comes after Scotland Yard launched an investigation into the leaking of confidential communications between the UK's ambassador to the US Kim Darroch, and the Foreign Office, in which he made disparaging remarks about the Trump administration.

Kim Darroch quit on Wednesday after Donald Trump called him "stupid" and "wacky" following the publication of the confidential memos by a newspaper.

In a statement, the London Metropolitan police's assistant commissioner, Neil Basu, said that "given the widely reported consequences of that leak", there had been "damage caused to United Kingdom worldwide relations" and that there "would be clear public interest in bringing the person or people responsible to justice".

Mr Basu also warned owners, editors and publishers of social and mainstream media not to publish leaked government documents, and to return any in their possession to their rightful owners.

Mr Osborne, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, tweeted that to maintain credibility the Met Commissioner, Cressida Dick, should distance herself from "this very stupid and ill-advised statement from a junior officer who doesn't appear to understand much about press freedom".

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and his predecessor Boris Johnson said the leaker should be found but the press should not be targeted.

The inquiry will be carried out by the Metropolitan Police counter terrorism command which is responsible for investigating breaches of the Official Secrets Act.

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And earlier this month, the president downplayed concerns about how migrants are being treated at the facilities. He said they were given three hot meals a day from local restaurants, as well as juice and crackers.

"They should also be aware of the huge damage that has already been done and the potentially even greater damage to be done by further breaches of the Official Secrets Act".

"If they [the press] are receiving stolen material they should give it back to their rightful owner", he told the Today programme.

"I think that unfortunately what I said on that TV debate was misrepresented to Kim".

He asked the person behind the leaks to turn themselves in and avoid wasting detectives' time, saying: "You can stop this now".

He urged the culprits: "turn yourself in at the earliest opportunity, explain yourself and face the consequences".

But in an interview with the BBC's Andrew Neil, Mr Johnson said when he spoke to Sir Kim by telephone the ambassador told him he had not seen the debate himself although somebody had told him about Mr Johnson's comments.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump has suggested he was too quick to denounce Sir Kim following the leak.

It comes as Boris Johnson, front runner to be Britain's next prime minister, denied he was responsible for the resignation of Darroch but admitted his comments had been a factor in the shock departure of one of the country's most senior diplomats.

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