A 19-year-old Brexit Party staffer claims he was behind the secret memo leak that exposed UK ambassador Kim Darroch’s insulting emails about President Trump — and ultimately led to his resignation earlier this month.
“Tens of thousands of words have been devoted to speculation about the motivation behind the disclosure,” wrote Steven Edginton, a self-described journalist, in a piece published Sunday by the Daily Mail.
“Today I want to set the record straight and reveal the real story about how Sir Kim’s diplomatic cables entered the public domain.”
Edginton, who works as a digital strategist for Nigel Farage’s anti-EU party, claimed to have gotten the leaked emails — in which Darroch blasted Trump as a “pompous fool” and his administration as “utterly dysfunctional” — from a “trusted source.”
He said he worked for several months on a story with political journalist Isabel Oakshott about the exposed correspondence between Darroch and Foreign Office officials in London, but ended up leaving his name off of it to avoid a “possible controversy.”
“I am not the leaker – I am a young journalist,” Edginton said. “But I did play a critical role in the publication of a story that has reverberated on both sides of the Atlantic.”
The young man insisted that the leak was not politically motivated, as many believe.
“I am sorry to disappoint the conspiracy theorists but this was not a Brexiteer plot to topple Sir Kim, nor was it some devilish scheme to torpedo the independence of the Civil Service by installing a political appointee in Washington,” Edginton said. “Instead, it was simply an honest journalistic endeavor. As a 19-year-old freelance journalist with a passion for politics, I was looking for a big project through which to develop my career…I knew this was a big story…What changed everything was the volcanic rage that the leaked cables provoked from Donald Trump.”
Darroch wound up getting a tongue lashing from President Trump on Twitter and resigned just days later.
“Do I expect to be arrested? I honestly don’t know,” Edginton said. “There is one thing I know for certain: I won’t tell anyone the name of my source – and never will.”
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