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1 May, 2019 16:54

UK's May sacks defence minister Williamson over Huawei leak

UK's May sacks defence minister Williamson over Huawei leak

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has dismissed Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson after he was found responsible for a leak from the National Security Council about Huawei’s involvement in the UK’s 5G network.

The scandal broke last week when the Daily Telegraph published the leaked data from the National Security Council meeting, during which the ministers agreed that the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei would be granted limited access to assist in developing the British 5G network.

A formal inquiry into the leak, led by the Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill, was launched following the incident.

The investigation found “compelling evidence” suggesting that Williamson was ultimately responsible for the disclosure, a document, signed by the prime minister and published on social media by the Times Deputy Political Editor Sam Coates, states.

May decried her defense secretary’s reluctance to cooperate with the investigation by saying that his conduct during the probe “has not been of the same standard as others.” She also said that she lost confidence in him as the defense secretary and asked him to leave the government. At the same time, May thanked Williamson for his “wider contribution” to the government.

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Downing Street confirmed the development by saying that the prime minister had sacked Williamson due to the loss of confidence in his “ability to serve.” Penny Mordaunt, who'd previously served as the International Development Secretary in May’s government, replaced Williamson at the post of the Defence Secretary. Her appointment was already approved by the Queen.

Williamson, who has been defence secretary since 2017, continues to deny leaking the information. 

Also on rt.com ‘Not the case’: Ex-Defence Secretary Williamson denies he was behind Huawei leak

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