The U.K. government said Monday leaks of memos in which its ambassador to the U.S. described President Donald Trump’s administration as “dysfunctional” were a matter of regret, and promised to investigate. 

The memos from Kim Darroch, the ambassador to Washington, were leaked to a Sunday newspaper, annoying Trump and triggering demands on the U.K. side to find out who had disclosed them.

“Contact has been made with the Trump administration setting out our view that we believe the leak in unacceptable. It is, of course, a matter of regret that this has happened,” a spokesperson for Prime Minister Theresa May told reporters. 

U.K. Trade Secretary Liam Fox, who is on a visit to Washington, told BBC Radio he would apologize for the leak to the Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter. Fox is due to meet her during his trip.

“I will be apologizing for the fact that either our civil service or elements of our political class have not lived up to the expectations that either we have or the United States has about their behaviour, which in this particular case has lapsed in a most extraordinary and unacceptable way,” Fox said.

“Malicious leaks of this nature … can actually lead to a damage to that relationship, which can therefore affect our wider security interest.”

The revelations come at a time when the U.K. is hoping to strike a major trade deal with its closest ally after it leaves the European Union, an exit scheduled for Oct. 31.

Trump told reporters, of Darroch: “We are not big fans of that man and he has not served the U.K. well, so I can understand and I can say things about him, but I won’t bother.”

‘Clumsy and inept’

In memos to his government dating from 2017 to the present, Darroch said reports of in-fighting in the White House were “mostly true,” and last month described confusion within the administration over Trump’s decision to call off a military strike on Iran.

“We don’t really believe this administration is going to become substantially more normal; less dysfunctional; less unpredictable; less faction riven; less diplomatically clumsy and inept,” Darroch wrote in one memo.

‘It is, of course, a matter of regret that this has happened,’ a spokesperson for Theresa May told reporters about the memo leak involving Trump, shown here with the U.K. prime minister in London last month. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said on Monday an inquiry would be held into the leak.

“I have made it clear that I don’t share the ambassador’s assessment of either the U.S. administration or relations with the U.S. administration, but I do defend his right to make that frank assessment,” Hunt told reporters.

“What we will not allow to happen is any interruption in the superb relationship that we have the United States, which is our closest ally around the world,” he added, promising “serious consequences” for whoever who had leaked the memos.

Nigel Farage, leader of the Brexit Party and long a thorn in the side of British governments, said figures such as Darroch would be “not be around” if ex-foreign minister Boris Johnson, one of two candidates seeking to replace May as prime minister, was chosen by Conservative Party members.

Despite being close to Trump, Farage ruled himself out of becoming Britain’s next ambassador in Washington.

“I don’t think I’m the right man for that job,” Farage told BBC Radio.

An inquiry is being held to determine who was behind the second serious disclosure of confidential material this year.

Two months ago, May fired Gavin Williamson as defence minister after secret discussions in the National Security Council about Chinese telecom firm Huawei were leaked to the media, and an inquiry concluded he was responsible. 

Williamson denied any involvement and police said there was no reason for a criminal investigation.