Boris Johnson, a leadership candidate for Britain's Conservative Party, attends a hustings event in Maidstone, Britain July 11, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
LONDON (Reuters) – Boris Johnson vowed to stand up for Britains diplomats around the world and take a robust approach towards U.S. President Donald Trump if he succeeds in becoming the next prime minister.
Johnson, the favourite to be named as Theresa Mays successor on July 23, has been criticised for failing to support Britains ambassador to Washington, Kim Darroch, before he resigned this week.
Diplomatic memos from Darroch describing the Trump administration as inept were leaked to a British newspaper, infuriating the U.S. president, who launched a Twitter attack on both the envoy and outgoing prime minister Theresa May, who had given Darroch her full support.
Johnson pointedly refused to back Darroch during a televised debate, leading to accusations from fellow Conservative Party lawmakers that he had thrown the ambassador “under the bus” in order to bolster his own ties with Trump.
“I will stand up for our fantastic diplomats across the world,” Johnson told a leadership campaign rally on Thursday.
The former London mayor said there were reasons to believe Britains relationship with the United States was the “single most important strategic fact of our times”. But he said he had criticised Trump before and would do so again if needed.
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