Ambassador row: Publishing leak ‘not in public interest’ says Met Police

Scotland Yard has said it respects the rights of the media, but that publishing leaked diplomatic documents is not in the public interest.

Police have launched a criminal investigation into the leak of diplomatic emails from the UK ambassador in the US, Sir Kim Darroch.

Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said publishing the emails could be a criminal offence.

Editors criticised an earlier statement warning against further publication.

Mr Basu said police have « no intention of seeking to prevent editors from publishing stories in the public interest in a liberal democracy ».

However, he said the Metropolitan Police had been told that the publication of « these specific documents… could also constitute a criminal offence and one that carries no public interest defence ».

« We know these documents, and potentially others, remain in circulation, » he added.

The government has already opened an internal inquiry into the publication of the memos, which were critical of the Trump administration – and prompted a furious reaction from the US president, who said he would no longer deal with Sir Kim.

President Trump branded Sir Kim « a very stupid guy » after confidential emails emerged revealing the ambassador had called his administration « clumsy and inept ».

Sir Kim stepped down as ambassador on Wednesday, saying it was « impossible » for him to continue.

Source: The Guardian

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