Hunt exhorts UK envoys to ‘speak truth to power’ in coded rebuke to Johnson

Foreign secretary sends message to FCO staff as leadership rival comes under fire over Darroch resignation

Jeremy Hunt has implored British diplomats to continue “speaking truth to power and standing up for British interests” as the fallout from the resignation of the UK ambassador to Washington became a key battleground in the fight to succeed Theresa May.

In a message to all Foreign Office staff that will be seen as a coded rebuke to Boris Johnson, Hunt praised the departing ambassador, Sir Kim Darroch, hailing him and his diplomatic colleagues as “the best of Britain”.

“The twin roles you perform of speaking truth to power and standing up for British interests have never been more vital,” wrote Hunt, the foreign secretary, on Thursday. “Please keep speaking up without fear or favour, remembering that the UK government alone will determine appointments based on our national interest alone.”

He added: “I want you to know that you will always get all the support you need to carry out your vital work. I will ensure you get it.”

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