Published: Thu, May 02, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Theresa May fires Gavin Williamson fired over Huawei leak

Theresa May fires Gavin Williamson fired over Huawei leak

The United States has been urging allies in Europe to exclude Huawei from 5G networks, noting that the company is obligated under Chinese law to give Beijing backdoor access to data on its networks.

Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson was sacked by British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday, following a probe into a leak of information about Chinese telecoms giant Huawei.

There are growing calls for him to now be prosecuted for breaching the Official Secrets Act, which carries up to two years in prison. A pretty controversial plan in a climate where the U.S. has accused Huawei of being funded by Chinese State Security.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox and Penny Mordaunt as well as Mr Williamson had all raised concerns during the meeting.

In firing Williamson on Wednesday, May said an investigation had left no other credible explanation for the leak except that Williamson was responsible.

In a letter to Williamson, May said she "can no longer have full confidence" in him in the wake of the investigation. "I emphatically believe this was not the case", Williamson replied, denying responsibility.

The PM requested that Williamson resign from his position.

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Rory Stewart, another potential leader but one who has been loyal to May and backs her Brexit deal, replaces Mordaunt as global development secretary.

Gavin Williamson has been fired from the British government. Penny Mordaunt has taken up the role as the UK's first female Defence Secretary.

"This must now be referred to the Metropolitan Police for a thorough criminal investigation into breaches of the Official Secrets Act", said Liberal Democrat Leader Vince Cable.

Scotland Yard said in a statement that it was a matter for the NSC and the Cabinet Office and it was not carrying out an investigation at this time.

Scotland Yard said it was not carrying out an inquiry, although would look into any information "that would suggest criminal offences have been committed". The concerns stem around the Chinese government's interference with 5G infrastructure built by Huawei.

US President Trump has already warned Germany that the US will share less intelligence should the country include Huawei in 5G network development.

The scandal over the Huawei leak has rocked May's already divided government and sparked anger in Parliament.

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