Sir Kim Darroch
Darroch in 2016
|British Ambassador to the United States|
|Assumed office |
28 January 2016
|Prime Minister||David Cameron |
|Preceded by||Sir Peter Westmacott|
|United Kingdom National Security Advisor|
23 January 2012 – 7 September 2015
|Prime Minister||David Cameron|
|Preceded by||Sir Peter Ricketts|
|Succeeded by||Sir Mark Lyall Grant|
|Her Majesty's Permanent Representative to the European Union|
July 2007 – 23 January 2012
|Prime Minister||Gordon Brown|
|Preceded by||Sir John Grant|
|Succeeded by||Sir Jon Cunliffe|
Nigel Kim Darroch
30 April 1954
South Stanley, County Durham, England
Vanessa Darroch (m. 1978)
|Alma mater||Durham University|
Sir Nigel Kim Darroch KCMG ( //; born 30 April 1954) is a senior British diplomat. He has been serving as the British Ambassador to the United States since January 2016. He resigned his post on 10 July 2019 following the leak of diplomatic cables in which he had been critical of the Trump administration, and will leave the post upon the appointment of his successor.
Darroch was born in the village of South Stanley in County Durham, England, on 30 April 1954. He was educated at Abingdon School and at Durham University (Hatfield College), from where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in zoology in 1975.
Darroch joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in 1976. He was appointed to the Diplomatic Service in 1980 to serve as a First Secretary in Tokyo from 1980 to 1984. He served in a number of posts, including as desk officer for the Channel Tunnel project and co-secretary of the UK-French Channel Tunnel Treaty Group, as private secretary to David Mellor and then The Lord Glenarthur as the FCO's Minister of State from 1987 to 1989, and as Counsellor for External Affairs at the British Permanent Representative to the European Union for a year before being promoted to Director as head of the FCO's press office in 1998.
In 2000, Darroch moved back to policy work as Director of EU Comd,[clarification needed] and in 2003 promoted further to be Director-General, Europe. In 2004, he transferred to 10 Downing Street, as Head of the Cabinet Office European Secretariat, where he served as the Prime Minister's principal advisor on European affairs. After three years, Darroch was appointed to replace Sir John Grant in Brussels, as British Permanent Representative to the European Union in 2007 for a four-year term.
On 24 June 2011, it was announced that Darroch would replace Sir Peter Ricketts as National Security Advisor in January 2012, with Sir Jon Cunliffe selected as Darroch's replacement as Permanent Representative to the European Union.
Ambassador to the United States
On 7 July 2015, the Foreign Office announced that Darroch would be replaced by Sir Mark Lyall Grant in September 2015, with Darroch moving to a different diplomatic post. On 20 August 2015, the Foreign Office announced that his new role would be as the Ambassador to the United States, replacing Sir Peter Westmacott from January 2016.
In November 2016, following the US election, a memo by Darroch to Prime Minister Theresa May was leaked in which he said the President-elect of the United States, Donald Trump, could be influenced by the British government. The following week, Trump tweeted that Nigel Farage should serve as British ambassador to the United States. Downing Street said that there was no vacancy and that the UK had "an excellent ambassador to the US". Darroch was in London the next day for consultations with May that were said to have been long planned.
Cables leak and resignation
On 7 July 2019, secret diplomatic cables from Darroch to the British government, dating from 2017 to 2019, were leaked to The Mail on Sunday. They included Darroch's unflattering assessments of the Trump administration, e.g. that it was "inept and insecure". In response, Nigel Farage said Darroch was "totally unsuitable" for office, and Trump tweeted that Darroch was "not liked or well thought of within the US" and that "we will no longer deal with him". The Prime Minister, Theresa May, expressed support for Darroch and ordered a leak inquiry.
On 10 July, Darroch resigned as Ambassador to the United States. He wrote that "the current situation is making it impossible for me to carry out my role as I would like". Previously, Boris Johnson, the frontrunner in the election to replace May, had declined to publicly back Darroch. Consensus among political commentators in the UK was that this made Darroch's position untenable. Both May and the leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, praised Darroch's service in the House of Commons and deplored that he had to resign under pressure from the United States. A spokesman for the prime minister said that it was an ambassador's job to provide "an honest and unvarnished view" of the US administration. Darroch will remain in the post until a successor is appointed.
In 1978, Darroch married Vanessa, now a teacher at the British International School of Washington. They have two children, Simon, a geologist based at Vanderbilt University who also studied at Durham, and Georgina, a botanist at Kew Gardens.
- List of Old Abingdonians
- List of Durham University people
- List of heads of missions of the United Kingdom
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| Director-General, Europe of the
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Sir Stephen Wall
| Head of the
Cabinet Office European Secretariat
Sir John Grant
| UK Permanent Representative to the European Union
Sir Jon Cunliffe
Sir Peter Westmacott
| British Ambassador to the United States
Sir Peter Ricketts
| National Security Advisor
Sir Mark Lyall Grant