British Prime Minister, Theresa May, on Wednesday fired Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson over the leaking of a key decision related to the Chinese telecoms company Huawei from a National Security Council meeting.
A statement from Downing said that May had lost confidence in Williamson and that Minister for Women and Equalities Penny Mordaunt would replace him.
“The Prime Minister has this evening asked Gavin Williamson to leave the Government, having lost confidence in his ability to serve his role of Defence Secretary and as a member of her Cabinet,” the statement 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.
In April, UK newspaper the Daily Telegraph reported that Britain would allow Huawei access to parts of the country’s 5G mobile network, such as antennae and other “noncore” infrastructure, despite warnings from May’s cabinet ministers and the US.
An inquiry was launched by Cabinet Secretary Mark Sedwill after the information from the secret discussions on April 23 was published in the paper.
In a letter to Williamson, May said it was an “extremely serious matter, and a deeply disappointing one.”
“It is vital that I have full confidence in the members of my Cabinet and of the National Security Council.
“The gravity of this issue alone, and its ramifications for the operation of the NSC and the UK’s national interest, warrants the serious steps we have taken, and an equally serious response.”