UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has been sacked following an investigation into leaked information pertaining to Huawei’s role in the building Britain’s 5G infrastructure.
Reports last week revealed the UK had planned to allow the controversial Chinese mobile company to build limited aspects of the UK’s next-gen network.
However, there’d been no official announcement from the government and an inquiry was launched to discover the source of the information leaked to the media.
Williamson, who had served in the high-level cabinet position since 2017, had denied the allegations, but a letter from Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday outlined a loss of confidence and asserted there was compelling evidence he was involved.
The Prime Minister told Williamson that the leak from last week’s meeting was “an extremely serious matter and a deeply disappointing one”.
Mrs May added (via BBC): “In our meeting, I put to you the latest information from the investigation, which provides compelling evidence suggesting your responsibility for the unauthorised disclosure. No other, credible version of events to explain this leak has been identified.”
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The letter went on: “It is vital that I have full confidence in the members of my cabinet and of the National Security Council. The gravity of this issue alone, and its ramifications for the operation of the NSC and the UK’s national interest, warrants the serious steps we have taken, and an equally serious response.
“It is therefore with great sadness that I have concluded that I can no longer have full confidence in you as secretary of state for defence and a minister in my cabinet and asked you to leave Her Majesty’s government.”
The National Security Council meeting had disclosed that Huawei would be allowed to have a limited role in building the UK’s 5G network. The UK had come under pressure from the United States to limit the company’s involvement over fears the infrastructure would be used for spying purposes.
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