"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," Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said in a Friday statement.
"I would say to the person or people who did this, the impact of what you have done is obvious," Basu continued. "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."
😱As part of the Met Police investigation into Kim Darroch leak, Scotland Yard tell editors not to publish leak gvt documents.— Sam Coates Sky (@SamCoatesSky) July 12, 2019
I wonder what editors and other journalists think of this😱
Sky News reported Scotland Yard advised journalists not to publish any further such leaks. The same police department currently has WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange under lock and key, awaiting extradition to the US for helping to bring to light other such embarrassing diplomatic cables stolen by former US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning in 2009. In the US, federal charges against Assange stem from the US' Espionage Act, with reference to the possession of classified government documents.
Darroch resigned on Wednesday amid public criticism by US President Donald Trump, who effectively cut him off from the White House. “The current situation is making it impossible for me to carry out my role as I would like,” the diplomat said in his resignation letter.
On July 6, the UK tabloid The Daily Mail published leaked diplomatic cables in which Darroch referred to the US president as "inept and incompetent."
"We don’t really believe this Administration is going to become substantially more normal; less dysfunctional; less unpredictable; less faction riven; less diplomatically clumsy and inept," one cable read.
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt rallied to Darroch's defense Thursday, saying he was "the best of Britain” and urging London's other diplomats to follow Darroch's example. "Keep speaking up without fear or favour, remembering that the UK government alone will determine appointments based on our national interest alone," he said.
"I think it was absolutely disgraceful that those diptels [diplomatic telegrams] were leaked and I think it is vital – and as I said to Kim and I say to everybody – that all our civil servants, all great ambassadors such as Sir Kim, should feel free to speak without fear or favour to their political masters and then it is up to their political masters to decide what to do with it," former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said at a Conservative Party leadership hustings Thursday. "And I think whoever leaked that, those diptels, deserves to be hunted down and prosecuted.”