GIVEN that they have passed comment on just about every topic imaginable in the last couple of weeks, the silence emanating from Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt over Donald Trump’s criticism of Sir Kim Darroch, the UK’s ambassador in Washington, is deeply troubling.

Having unleashed a tirade of abuse on Twitter on Monday, Mr Trump kept up his personal attacks on Mr Darroch, who was born and raised in Stanley, County Durham, yesterday. “The wacky ambassador that the UK foisted upon the United States is not someone we are thrilled with,” ranted the US president. “A very stupid guy.”

The Government has defended Mr Darroch, who infuriated Mr Trump by criticising him in a series of memos that were leaked at the weekend, with a spokesperson insisting that ambassadors have to be able to provide honest assessments of the politics in the country they are inhabiting.

However, neither Mr Johnson nor Mr Hunt have publicly backed the UK’s ambassador or spoken out against Mr Trump’s bullying.

It is almost as if the two candidates to be our next Prime Minister are prioritising maintaining cordial relations with the US president above defending a senior diplomat who is being derided for doing his job.

That is alarming, and hardly sends out a positive signal about the UK’s international standing in a post-Brexit world. Without any European partners to rely on, are we going to allow the US to trample all over us come what may?