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Suspected leaker of Kim Darroch cables identified – report

GCHQ called in to help counter-terrorism police examine email and phone records

The suspect behind the leak of confidential memos from Britain’s Washington ambassador has been identified, the Sunday Times newspaper has reported.

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British officials have launched an inquiry to find the person responsible for the leak of emails published by the Mail on Sunday. Counter-terrorism police have launched a criminal investigation.

According to the Sunday Times, which cited unnamed government sources, a suspect had been identified and suggestions that it could be the result of a computer hack by a foreign state had been ruled out.

“They think they know who did the leaking,” an unnamed government source told the paper. “It’s now a case of building a case that will stand up in court. It was someone with access to historical files. They went in and grabbed a range of material. It was quite crude.”

Both the Sunday Times and the Mail on Sunday reported that intelligence officials from the GCHQ eavesdropping spy agency were about to join the investigation to find the suspect by examining email and phone records.

The Mail on Sunday published newspaper published memos from Kim Darroch in which he described Donald Trump’s administration as “inept” and “dysfunctional“, prompting an angry response from the US president and causing the envoy to announce his resignation. It has now published further memos from Darroch, defying a police warning that doing so could be a criminal act.

The paper said Darroch had written to the British government in May 2018 that Trump had decided to unilaterally withdraw from Iran’s nuclear deal with major powers for “personality reasons” because it had been agreed by his predecessor Barack Obama. Darroch said in the cable that the Trump administration was “set upon an act of diplomatic vandalism” the paper said.

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