According to the BBC, the leaks from whistle blower website Wikileaks, which claims Governments need to be ‘held to account’, include details of blunt appraisals of Governments, politicians and world leaders by US diplomats.
One of the leaks, which The Guardian has been provided with, claims US diplomats accused Prince Andrew of ‘inappropriate remarks’ about a British law enforcement agency in a foreign country, although no further details have emerged.
Other leaks include US officials’ descriptions of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi as ‘feckless, vain and ineffective’, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France as ‘thin-skinned and authoritarian’ and German Chancellor Angela Merkel ‘risk-averse’. Afghan President Hamid Karzai was described as ‘extremely weak’.
Jonathan Hemus, founder and director of Insignia Communications, told PRWeek: ‘In reality, the biggest crisis here is for US diplomats – and they will need to get into crisis management mode because this information is damaging, insensitive and inappropriately leaked. They need to be most active.
‘For the people and organisations mentioned, there is safety in numbers because there are so many of them. In many cases where the leaks are unflattering, if they make a song and dance of it, they will fan the flames further.
‘But the world’s media will be looking for the most combustible information in the leaks, so those mentioned should take some time, seek out anything that could damage their reputation, and act then.'