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Saturday, February 24 2024

British Defence Secretary sacked over Huawei leak

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gavinmainLondon: Gavin Williamson has been sacked as the Defence Secretary of Britain following an inquiry into a leak from a top-level National Security Council meeting.

Downing Street said Prime Minister Theresa May had “lost confidence in his ability to serve” and Penny Mordaunt will take on the role, the BBC reported on Wednesday.

The inquiry followed reports over a plan to allow Huawei limited access to help build the UK’s new 5G network.

Williamson, who has been defence secretary since 2017, “strenuously” denies leaking the information.

In a meeting with Williamson on Wednesday evening, May told him she had information that provided “compelling evidence” that he was responsible for the unauthorised disclosure.

In a letter confirming his dismissal, she said: “No other, credible version of events to explain this leak has been identified.”

Responding in a letter to the Prime Minister, Williamson said he was “confident” that a “thorough and formal inquiry” would have “vindicated” his position.

“I appreciate you offering me the option to resign, but to resign would have been to accept that I, my civil servants, my military advisers or my staff were responsible: this was not the case,” he said.

The inquiry into the National Security Council leak began after the Daily Telegraph reported on the Huawei decision and subsequent warnings within the cabinet about possible risks to national security over a deal with Huawei.

Williamson is strenuously still denying that the leak was anything to do with him at all.

There is nothing found, or anything conciliatory, in either the letter from the Prime Minister to him or his reply back to her.

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