A special relationship, indeed. British intelligence services will stop sharing information with their American counterparts about the Manchester bombing after leaks persisted even after public rebukes from Amber Rudd (who called the leaks “irritating”) and Michael Fallon (who branded them “disappointing”).
In what must be a diplomatic first, Britain isn’t even the first of the United States’ allies to review its intelligence sharing protocols this week. The Israeli government have also “reviewed” their approach to intelligence sharing with Washington after Donald Trump first blabbed information about Isis to the Russian ambassador from a “close ally” of the United States and then told reporters, unprompted, that he had “never mentioned Israel” in the conversation.
Whether the Manchester leaks emanate from political officials appointed by Trump – many of whom tend to be, if you’re feeling generous, cranks of the highest order – or discontent with Trump has caused a breakdown in discipline further down the chain, what’s clear is that something is very rotten in the Trump administration.
Elsewhere, a transcript of Trump’s call to the Philippine strongman Rodrigo Duterte in which the American president revealed that two nuclear submarines had been deployed off the coast of North Korea, has been widely leaked to the American press.
It’s all part of a clear and disturbing pattern, that even the United States’ strongest allies in Tel Aviv and London cannot rely on this president or his administration to keep their secrets.