Premium

'Our ambassador was right in his assessment of the US president' - Telegraph readers on this week's top stories

Sir Kim Darroch who has decided to resign as the UK ambassador to the US
Telegraph readers shared their thoughts on the Sir Kim Darroch email leak  Credit: Niall Carson/PA

The special relationship was under strain this week after the British ambassador to the US, Sir Kim Darroch, resigned following the publication of leaked diplomatic cables. The reaction from Donald Trump, whose administration was described as "inept" and "incompetent" by Mr Darroch in the cables, was swift and scathing - with the President taking to Twitter to call Sir Kim "a very stupid guy". Telegraph readers had their say on the contents of the cables, as well as the continued fallout since their publication. 

As the Tory leadership contest entered its final stages, the two prospective candidates went head-to-head in one of the last live TV debates, this time on ITV. One of the issues raised during the debate was that of taxes on high earners’ pensions, which is currently creating staffing issues in key public services, including the NHS. Telegraph readers had their say on the matter which is plunging the NHS into crisis. 

And finally, an intrepid anonymous writer described how they managed to bag a seat in business class without being caught this week. The jury was out among Telegraph readers over whether this was an act of genius or plain old theft. 

Read on to see how Telegraph readers reacted to the week’s top stories and, as always, share your own views in the comments section below.

Donald Trump 'will no longer deal' with British ambassador, as he hits out at Theresa May for Brexit 'mess'

Before his resignation on Wednesday, Sir Kim Darroch was the UK’s top diplomat in Washington. But, in a leaked cable sent by the ambassador, Mr Trump's administration was described as "inept" and "incompetent". The president took to Twitter to denounce Darroch - and Theresa May, for good measure - and in the process, created one of the biggest diplomatic crises in decades. 

'I don’t expect personalised attacks on the US president'

@Clarissa Flynn

"I don’t expect our ambassadors to engage in subjective, personalised attacks on the elected US president, particularly in a way that could be leaked. If he had genuine concerns about the US administration (as opposed to a pro-Clinton diatribe), he should have voiced them in a secure format. For Sir Kim to accuse him of incompetence and ineptness is a bit rich in the circumstances."

'May will be gone but Trump will still be there'

@Paul Casimir

"What is astonishing is that, once again Theresa May handles something terribly wrong, yet the entire Tory Party, with absolutely no sense of the fact that the UK has to continue a relationship with the US, its main ally and guarantee of its security, once May is gone just sits there passively on their backsides and say and do nothing. May will be gone in a few days but Trump will still be there. At least attempt to salvage a relationship post May. Just astonishing."

'Our ambassador was right'

@Elizabeth Kirkby

"It seems our ambassador was right in his assessment, undiplomatic though the language was. The trouble was that he did not consider someone with an axe to grind would leak those confidential memos."

'I sneaked into business class on an eight-hour BA flight – and got away with it'

Have you ever wandered into business class on a long-haul flight? An anonymous writer encountered that very scenario on a recent sojourn with British Airways, and achieved what "many might have daydreamed about but few have dared". Telegraph readers debated whether such ideas were for people with their heads in the clouds.  

'Never dared try business class'

@Richard Vine

"I used to travel very frequently alone on BA. On check in I used to ask for an aisle seat and sidle round to look at the seat map on the screen. We would have a quick chat about which seat was best, but I would have noted which rows were completely empty.

"At the gate I'd have another go at seeing the seat map by asking a spurious question about my seat. If the row was still empty I would then board the plane last and head for the empty row. As soon as the seat belt sign went off I'd lie across all three seats and pretend to go to sleep. Never failed. Never dared try business class though."

'Look as though you belong'

@Paul Gilson 

"Just be one of the last to enter the plane, turn left and find an empty spot then look as though you belong. I managed a nice meal and got as far as Dubai where the plane refuelled before a hostess did some checks and discovered I wasn't on the first class manifest. I ended up cramped in tourist class for the rest of the flight but it was worth a crack." 

'I'm surprised this doesn't happen more often'

@Marcus Aurelius 

"Given how unpleasant economy is becoming and how insanely expensive better seats are becoming, I'm surprised this doesn't happen more often.

"Air New Zealand, one of the world's most expensive international carriers (at least from New Zealand return) want about £12,000 equivalent for my wife and I to fly to the UK in business."

Who won the ITV leadership debate? Our writers have their say

On Tuesday night, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt took part in a final head-to-head debate as the Tory leadership race edges towards its climax. The two men vying to be Britain’s next Prime Minister clashed on a variety of issues, including pension tax and Sir Kim Darroch’s role as the British ambassador to the US. Our readers gave their verdicts on who they think came out on top.

'Boris did not back our Ambassador'

@Dorothy Jackson

"Boris was vague, unable to deal with questions, entitled, did not back our Ambassador against the posturing of a foreign gainsayer, willing to thrust the Queen into the centre of the largest constitutional upset of our era. I could go on. We are going to look utterly unhinged when this BoZo prinks and preens on the world stage, as our representative, then curtsies and genuflects to Trump. Not in my name chum!"

'Boris will stand up to the EU'

@Brian Chambers

"Boris's message is that he will stand up to the EU and fight for the best deal as possible using all leverage at the UK's disposal to get it. He may fail, so we will need to leave on no deal. And if that happens, then the UK will bounce back and seek all opportunities possible.

"Hunt's message is that the UK needs to understand that no deal would be bad therefore we need to supplicate ourselves to the EU in order to get some sort of deal. I would rather we fight for the UK and fail, than meekly seek scraps and succeed."

'Leaving without a deal is the only logical route'

@Rod Thonger 

"Given the EU has said it won't renegotiate (though that could obviously change), I haven't seen anybody ask 1) what Hunt will then do, and 2) what either of them will do when blocks are put in the way to prevent leaving without a deal.  

"I hope both have their own devious plans to bypass any blocks.  If not, then we're back to Parliament where they can't agree on anything.  Leaving without a deal is the only logical route."

NHS pensions: waiting lists soaring as consultants refuse to work overtime

Senior managers claimed this week that some NHS waiting lists have soared by 50 per cent in three months due to doctors refusing to work overtime. NHS chiefs have suggested that a pension tax hike has resulted in staff cutting their hours. Telegraph readers have had their say on whether doctors can really be blamed for the recent rise in waiting lists. 

'Having been through this it would be wrong of me to criticise others'

@John Blackley

"I remember an occasion when my co-workers discovered that our recent pay rise meant that working overtime would bump us into a different tax band and so we, as a unionised group, decided against working overtime. That was in the early nineteen seventies and we were electricians in a steelworks. 

"Having been through that experience it would be wrong of me to criticise others for making the same decision just because they make a great deal more than I did then.

"Just another management mess in the ongoing mess that is our sacred NHS."

'Would anybody else consider working extra hours only to have it taken in tax?'

@barry lee 

"Regardless of what people think about doctors and consultants earnings, we all rely on them for our healthcare so I think that they are a special case and anything that cause them to withhold their labour is not desirable especially in the light of the shortage of doctors and consultants. Would anybody else consider working extra hours only to have it taken in tax?

"The government is to blame for this, I would rather give the money to healthcare workers than MPs who produce nothing but hot air."

'Tories continue to attack those who actually pay for everyone else'

@Simon Smith

"I have reduced my working hours as it is not worth going to work due to taxation. It has improved my quality of life I suppose but has resulted in a reduced tax take to the exchequer and loss of productivity to my employer. You would think 'conservatives' would understand, but as the current batch of Tories are actually socialist in matters of taxation they continue to attack those who actually pay for everyone else."

Why do we all want Bond 25 to fail? How the public turned against Daniel Craig's 007

Ahead of the as-yet untitled 25th James Bond film, Tom Fordy explained why so many people have turned against the once loved Daniel Craig.

'Here's hoping Bond 25 gets back to what the films do best'

@E Humperdink

"Spectre was boring, and the retconning of the previous Craig films with Blofeld playing the role of master puppeteer was intellectually insulting.

"Having said that, here's hoping Bond 25 gets back to what the films do best: A single mission with decent stakes, a dastardly villain with a twisted quirk, occasional levity in the script, a great chase scene."

'I do not think Daniel Craig is the worst Bond ever'

@William Wilson

"I do not share the view of many others that Craig is the best Bond ever, though he's certainly not the worst. He was brilliant in Layer Cake, but as Bond comes across as a bit of a spiv - a gangster rather than an assassin, in too tight Italian suits.

"As for the next Bond, I hope it's not that chap from the Bodyguard - too short, has no bulk and therefore lacks presence or menace." 

'The vast majority of the UK public are indifferent to the film'

@Richard Frost 

"The vast majority of the UK public have no idea that a new Bond film was being shot, or that it was having problems. They are indifferent to the film, rather than wanting it to fail before they even know anything about it.

"Why could a whole new world of "00" agents not be opened up, with all of the plots currently written being used, but not all with 007? And not all white agents, or all men? Plenty of scope for two or three films a year, and lots of links, perhaps going back to a time when the original 00s were handing over to their trainees - maybe even showing the trainees first.  The scope is almost endless!

"And for goodness sake, bring back some lightness and humour!"