UK Defence Secretary identified as Huawei leaker and sacked

06 May, 2019, 04:58 | Author: Emmett Rice
  • Gavin Williamson has been sacked as Defence Secretary

As a result, she had "lost confidence in his ability to serve" in her Cabinet, the i reports.

National Security Council meetings are held in secret, with senior ministers agreeing to not share information from the meetings - or to risk prosecution under the Official Secrets Act.

In the meeting, the Prime Minister agreed to let Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications firm at the heart of a diplomatic storm in the US, to be involved in building Britain's 5G network, with restrictions placed on what it would have access to.

In the western intelligence sharing alliance, the US, Australia and New Zealand have all expressed serious concern that Huawei does the bidding of the Chinese government and giving it unhindered access to the UK's 5G infrastructure will allow it to harvest sensitive data about Britain and its partners.

This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

He went on to ask the Prime Minister why she was ignoring the advice of two of the UK's closest intelligence allies and putting in danger the 70 year intelligence sharing relationship.

'They will be absolutely astonished that a senior minister could leak information of that nature.

He hit back with a letter to the PM in which he cast doubt on the investigation conducted by Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill. Prime Ministerial whims at a time of political crisis are not the best recruitment strategy.

Labour deputy leader Tom Watson said that Mr Williamson's case can not be closed while he stands accused of criminal behaviour of which he protests his innocence.

Scotland Yard said it was not carrying out an inquiry, although it would look into any information "that would suggest criminal offences have been committed".

More news: Main UK parties take Brexit battering in local elections

The Prime Minister was warned that Mr Williamson - who continues to protest his innocence - will seek revenge for the way he was unceremoniously booted out of Government.

"I am therefore concerned by the manner in which you have engaged with this investigation", she said.

Yesterday, in an urgent debate on the issue in the House of Commons, Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington said the British government would not refer the matter to the police and viewed the case as "closed".

Former national security adviser Lord Ricketts told the BBC: "On the face of it, this is a breach of the Official Secrets Act".

Mrs May, who is clinging to her job despite failing to persuade Parliament to accept her plans for Britain's exit from the European Union, fired Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson on Wednesday, May first.

Ms Rigby said the ex-minister told her the situation was "a witch-hunt from the start" and he had been "in a kangaroo court with a summary execution".

And Mrs May is also potentially liable because she sanctioned Mr Williamson's promotion when he put himself forward to be Defence Secretary - a position for which he had no discernible qualification - after Sir Michael Fallon quit in November 2017 when allegations emerged about his previous behaviour towards women.

Williamson responded in a letter to May, saying he was "sorry you felt recent leaks" originated from the defense ministry.

Again, she is the third Defence Secretary since the election.

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