Members of the Foreign Office gathered in solidarity with Sir Kim Darroch last night after the UK ambassador to the US handed in his resignation.
British diplomat Sir Simon McDonald tweeted a picture of a packed chamber as staff united to show their support for their colleague, who was forced to stand down for doing his job.
He said: “At the Foreign Office we stand together. More colleagues attended my all-staff meeting to express solidarity with Kim Darroch than any other in my 4 years as Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office”.
The thinly-veiled criticism of former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson comes as the Conservative leadership frontrunner came under fire for not “backing his man”.
Tory Tom Tugendhat, who chairs the Commons foreign affairs committee, tweeted: “Leaders stand up for their men. They encourage them to try and defend them when they fail”.
Foreign Office minister Alan Duncan also piled on the pressure, saying Johnson had thrown him under a bus after repeatedly failing to back the ambassador.
Reports in the Guardian suggest that Johnson had left him no option but to resign given that he didn’t have the support of the US president or his likely future boss.
Diplomatic editor Patrick Wintour wrote: “There is now shock and contempt across the Foreign Office and in parliament, not just towards the leaker and Trump but also towards Johnson.
“Whatever sanctimonious expressions of regret Johnson mouths and however much he blames the leaker, the Foreign Office knows he effectively sacked Darroch, believing he was carrying out the orders of Donald Trump.”