Theresa May sacks defence minister over Huawei leak
British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday sacked Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson following a probe into the leak of news that Britain had conditionally allowed China’s Huawei to develop the UK 5G network.
“The Prime Minister has this evening asked Gavin Williamson to leave the government, having lost confidence in his ability to serve in the role of Defence Secretary and as a member of her Cabinet,” said a spokeswoman from her Downing Street office ST reported.
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.