No. 10 has finished its investigation into the source of an embarrassing leak about a National Security Council vote to allow Huawei to help build out the UK’s 5G infrastructure despite Washington’s warnings and even some misgivings within the UK government itself.
As a result, the PM has decided to sack Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson, presumably because he was the source of the leak.
In a statement, May thanked Williamson for his service, but said his conduct relating to an “unauthorized disclosure” out of the NSC.
The leak, which surfaced last week, prompted No. 10 to launch a diligent investigation. All cabinet members who attended the meeting were asked to deny being the source of the leak by Whitehall’s most powerful official, Cabinet secretary Sir Mark Sedwil, who was tasked with leading the investigation.
“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,” a Downing Street spokesman said. “The prime minister’s decision has been informed by his conduct surrounding an investigation into the circumstances of the unauthorized disclosure of information from a meeting of the National Security Council.”
“The prime minister thanks all members of the National Security Council for their full co-operation and candor during the investigation and considers the matter closed.”
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No. 10 confirmed almost immediately that Williamson would be replaced at the MoD by international development secretary Penny Mordaunt, who will become the UK’s first female secretary of defense…offering a welcome break from the interminable coverage of May’s disastrous negotiations with Labour, and the mounting internal rebellion against her rule.
Williamson was hardly a prominent figure in May’s cabinet, and his departure prompted the Twitter wits to crack a few jokes.
I've always thought Gavin Williamson looked like an accident Huawei-ting to happen. #HuaweiLeak
— British Politics teacher (@Mike__Towers) May 1, 2019
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