'Special relationship' under threat as the government reels from damaging revelations from America that include spying, nuclear missile leaks and serious diplomatic errors - from branding David Cameron a ‘political lightweight’, to accusing Prince Andrew of ‘inappropriate behaviour'
Whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks has released 250,000 classified documents that have landed the US government in hot water and threatened to undermine diplomatic relations – for good.
The American Embassy cables are said to portray David Cameron as a ‘political lightweight’, accuse Prince Andrew of ‘inappropriate behaviour’, and expose ‘grave fears’ over the security of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons programme. The leaks also reveal technical details of secret US-Russian nuclear missile negotiations in Geneva and US efforts to combat al-Qaeda in Yemen.
What’s even more controversial is that the documents include details of a US spying operation organised by Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, on diplomats at the United Nations, including British officials, in what looks like a breach of international law.
Desperate efforts are now being made to shore up the special relationship in the wake of the damaging revelations about the US assessment of Britain.
The leaked material has been strongly condemned by both the US and British government but criticisms of British operations in Afghanistan are said to be devastating, putting the US-UK alliance under strain.
The White House said that the disclosure of confidential diplomatic communications on front pages of the newspapers around the world would have deep impacts for US foreign interests.
A foreign office spokesman said, ‘We condemn any unauthorised release of this classified information, just as we condemn leaks of classified material in the UK.’
He concluded, ‘They can damage national security, are not in the national interest and, as the US have said, may put lives at risk. We have a very strong relationship with the US government. That will continue.’