Following the Government statement on the resignation of the United Kingdom’s ambassador to the United States, Peter Aldous pays tribute to Sir Kim Darroch and highlights the fundamental importance of the UK’s diplomatic and civil services as vital cornerstones of British governance that must not be undermined.
Sir Kim Darroch is the epitome of all that is the very best about Britain and our institutions. Notwithstanding the enormous pressures of Brexit and all its consequences, does my right hon. Friend agree that our diplomatic and civil services are fundamental and vital cornerstones of British governance that none of us must ever undermine?
I absolutely agree with my hon. Friend. In my years as a Minister, I have always seen ambassadors serve the interests of their country and the Government they serve. I have seen that in terms of diplomacy, and I have also seen that whatever their private views—by and large, one never knows their private views—on the issue of Brexit and preparation, they have gone full tilt in support of the requests and requirements of Ministers to take all the steps that may be necessary to cope with that process. They are the envy of the world. One of the great components of our soft power is the reputation of our diplomats for professionalism and integrity, and we must never see that undermined. I know perfectly well that if the Government were of a different colour—looking across the Chamber—our ambassadors would serve them just as well.
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