Political News

UK appoints new ambassador to the US

Posted February 7, 2020 3:30 p.m. EST

— The United Kingdom appointed a new ambassador to the United States on Friday, more than six months after the previous ambassador resigned following a leak of his private diplomatic cables disparaging the Trump administration.

Amb. Karen Pierce will be the first woman to hold the top envoy spot in Washington. She takes on the role at a challenging time, as the US continues to diverge from its allies on a number of major foreign policy issues and the US and UK chart their bilateral course post-Brexit.

The two countries recently hit a point of contention after the UK's decision to allow Huawei to be a part of its 5G network despite heavy lobbying from the US to ban the Chinese tech company. President Donald Trump "tore into" UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a phone call last week after the decision, according to a person familiar with the call.

Pierce is currently the British Ambassador to the United Nations in New York and the Permanent Representative at the UN Security Council.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab praised Pierce's appointment to the post, saying in a statement Friday, "We're proud to be sending to Washington such an outstanding diplomat, and I warmly congratulate her on her appointment."

Pierce said she was "honored to have been asked to represent the UK in the US."

"I think it is the UK's single most important relationship," she said in a statement. "There is a deep bond between Britain and the US, built on many pillars."

The British Embassy has been helmed by Charge d'Affaires Michael Tatham since July 2019. The former UK Ambassador to the US, Kim Darroch, resigned after a series of leaked diplomatic cables revealed he had told 10 Downing Street that the Trump administration was "inept" and "clumsy."

His resignation came after Trump said the White House would "no longer deal with" Darroch, who Trump called "not liked or well thought of within the US." Darroch also left his post after then-Prime Minister candidate Johnson refused to support him.

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