Ex-ambassador Kim Darroch made a peer in Theresa May’s resignation honours

Written by Richard Johnstone on 10 September 2019 in News
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Former civil service Europe advisers Olly Robbins and Peter Storr also recognised

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Theresa May has made former UK ambassador to the United States Sir Kim Darroch a peer in her resignation honours list, two months after he stepped down from the post following a leak of diplomatic memos he had sent to Whitehall criticising the Trump White House.

Darroch resigned after concluding that the row over the memos, which described the Trump administration as “uniquely dysfunctional” and “diplomatically clumsy and inept”. meant he could not stay on.

He will become a peer in the next parliamentary session, with parliament currently prorogued until the Queen’s Speech on 14 October.


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The Metropolital Police launched an inquiry into the leak in July. Appearing before the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee yesterday, cabinet secretary Sir Mark Sedwill said police involvement was unusual for a leak inquiry.

"Most leak inquiries are internal, but this was sufficiently serious that it crossed the legal threshold and so this is now a police matter and they are conducting the investigation," he told the MPs.

Other civil servants recognised in May's resignation list include Olly Robbins, who served as the PM's Europe adviser and chief Brexit negotiator, who has been made a knight commander of the Order of St Michael and St George.

Peter Storr, who also served as a Europe adviser to May in No.10, was made a knight commander of the Order of the Bath, while Peter Hill, who was May’s principal private secretary in Downing Street, has been named a companion of the Order of the Bath.

A number of other civil servants who worked closely with May were also given honours.

James Slack, the former Daily Mail political editor who joined government as the prime minister’s official spokesman, was awarded a CBE, while Victoria Busby, who was deputy director for events and visits in No.10, received an OBE.

Clare Brunton, who was private secretary to May, was named an MBE, as was Eleanor Nicholson, who was deputy director of the Cabinet Office’s Europe unit secretariat.

British Empire Medals were given to Graham Howarth, head chef at the PM’s Chequers residence, and to No.10 housekeeper Debra Wheatley.

A number of May’s political and special adviser staff also received gongs.

Both May’s initial joint chiefs of staff, Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy, were named CBEs, while their replacement Gavin Barwell, who came in after the 2017 election that lost May her majority in the House of Commons, was named a peer.

Robbie Gibb, who served as May’s director of communications in Downing Street, ias given a knighthood, while Richard Jackson, former head of operations in No.10, and James Marshall, the director of the prime minister’s policy unit, were both awarded CBEs.

OBEs were awarded to Kirsty Buchanan, who is now director of communications at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and was formerly a special adviser to the prime minister, and to Keelan Carr and Alexander Dawson, two former directors of research and messaging in No.10.

Paul Harrison, who was special adviser press secretary to May, was also awarded an OBE, as were her former spads James McLoughlin and Raoul Ruparel.

MBEs were awarded to David Beckingham, a political adviser in No.10, and to Jennifer Sharkey, May’s former executive secretary.

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Richard Johnstone is CSW's deputy and online editor and tweets as @CSW_DepEd

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