Theresa May Fires British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson After Leaks

01 Mai, 2019, 21:55 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Huawei is a Chinese company

British Prime Minister Theresa May said she "can no longer have full confidence" in Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson in the wake of an investigation into leaks from a secret government meeting about Huawei.

The spokesman added that the Government now "considers the matter closed" - although many observers believe it is likely that the Opposition will push for a police investigation and criminal charges if the now ex-minister breached the Official Secrets Act.

"It is vital for the operation of good government and for the UK's national interest in some of the most sensitive and important areas that the members of the NSC - from our Armed Forces, our Security and Intelligence Agencies, and the most senior level of Government - are able to have frank and detailed discussions in full confidence that the advice and analysis provided is not discussed or divulged beyond that trusted environment", May wrote to Williamson, in a letter published by the Guardian newspaper on Wednesday.

Williamson will be replaced as defence secretary by Brexiter Penny Mordaunt, widely regarded as another potential leadership contender, who has been global development secretary.

Today's dismissal for "the unauthorised disclusure" of National Security Council information led to demands for a criminal investigation will follow.

Sky News political editor Beth Rigby said his replacement of Mr Williamson could be a hint of Theresa May's favourite for party leader.

Britain's Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson is seen outside Downing Street in London, Britain, April 2, 2019.

May asked Williamson to leave her Cabinet after an investigation found him responsible for a high-level security leak.

Theresa May has sacked Gavin Williamson as defence secretary after finding "compelling evidence" that he was culpable of leaking confidential cabinet discussions. Rory Stewart enters the Cabinet as new International Development Secretary.

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"It has been conducted fairly, with the full cooperation of other NSC attendees. Your conduct has not been of the same standard as others".

The leak concerned a top-secret meeting about the decision to approve a contract for Huawei last week, when details were given to the Daily Telegraph.

No other, credible version of events to explain this leak has been identified.

"In our meeting, I put to you the latest information from the investigation, which provides compelling evidence suggesting your responsibility for the unauthorised disclosure".

With Williamson now identified as the culprit, Downing Street made clear that the leak inquiry has been shut down. And he should forgo his ministerial severance pay.

Transport Salaried Staffs Association general secretary Manuel Cortes said: "This topsy turvy Tory world we are all being forced to live in has to end". The government insists no decision has been made about that.

Just a few years after his election, Williamson became David Cameron's parliamentary aide, acting as his eyes and ears among MPs.

Some of the UK's closest allies have blocked Huawei from work on their own networks because of security concerns, some of which were reportedly raised by Cabinet ministers present at the NSC meeting about the firm's involvement. "It is also the essential first step to restoring dignity and integrity to the discredited process of fixed government in this country".

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