Richard Tice Branded 'Hilariously Thick' For Comments About UK Ambassador's Resignation

"He literally doesn’t understand what diplomats do." Critics round on Brexit Party MEP after Newsnight appearance.

A Brexit Party MEP has been described as “hilariously thick” for comments he made on Newsnight about the resignation of the UK Ambassador to the US.

Richard Tice said Sir Kim Darroch’s decision to step down was an opportunity to replace him with a “pro-Brexit businessman” to “completely reset the agenda in a pro-Brexit world”.

The comments from Tice, a pro-Brexit businessman, drew swift condemnation from his fellow panelists.

Sir William Patey, the British Ambassador to Afghanistan from 2010-12, said: “Well if we start appointing ambassadors depending on whether or not they’re pro or anti-Brexit, it’ll be a sorry world quite frankly.

“We appoint ambassadors to look after the British national interest and those national interests are broad and varied.

“The idea that you send some partisan politician [to be ambassador] would be the death knell of an impartial civil service.”

Brexit Party MEP Richard Tice and Times journalist Alice Thomson.
Brexit Party MEP Richard Tice and Times journalist Alice Thomson.
BBC Newsnight

Tice went on to accuse Darroch of being “naive” for sending the cables revealed in a leak earlier this week, that described Donald Trump as “inept”, “incompetent” and “insecure”.

He added: “I’ll tell you what – I couldn’t do a worse job than what Sir Kim did, let’s be honest.”

Times journalist Alice Thomson said in reply: “He was giving very considered, valuable advice which is what ambassadors have been doing for generations and generations and it’s never been leaked.

“The appalling thing is the leak.”

Thomson’s comments are backed up other ambassadors who have said reporting frank assessments of their host country is a fundamental part of the job.

Tice’s appearance on Newsnight prompted mockery on social media, with Sunday Times columnist India Knight saying he “literally doesn’t understand what diplomats do”.

Darroch quit his post in Washington on Wednesday morning after deciding it was now “impossible” for him to do his job.

HuffPost UK understands Darroch decided to resign after he watched Boris Johnson, the frontrunner to become prime minister, in Tuesday night’s ITV leadership contest refusing to rule out sacking him.


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