London: Scotland Yard has launched a criminal investigation into the leak of classified diplomatic emails sent by Britain's ambassador to America which criticised US President Donald Trump's administration as "dysfunctional".
Kim Darroch has since been forced to resign from his post after his views of an "inept" and "dysfunctional" Trump government hit the newspapers last week and attracted direct social media attacks from the US President.
"The Metropolitan Police Counter Terrorism Command, who take national responsibility for investigating allegations of criminal breaches of the Official Secrets Act, has launched a criminal investigation," Neil Basu, the Met Police's Indian-origin counter-terrorism lead, said in a statement on Friday.
"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. The investigation will be reviewed at every stage to ensure a proportionate investigation is undertaken," he said.
The Met Police probe follows a cross-government investigation led by the UK Cabinet Office, which resulted in a "Gateway Process" for the police to step in. Addressing the guilty person or people, Basu accused them of diverting busy detectives from undertaking the core counter-terrorism mission.