UK defense chief ousted over Huawei leak

UK defense chief ousted over Huawei leak
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Britain's defense secretary has been ousted following an inquiry into how information about the United Kingdom's 5G network was leaked from the government's National Security Council.

Prime Minister Theresa MayTheresa Mary MayLabour's loss should tell Democrats not to tack too far to the left Is Corbyn handing Brexit to Boris Johnson? Boris Johnson is under pressure to stand up to Trump on climate change MORE indicated in a statement released by Downing Street that she had lost confidence in Defense Minister Gavin Williamson, The Guardian reported.

The defense chief was removed despite him denying being the source of the leak about Chinese telecom giant Huawei's involvement in the U.K.'s 5G network.


“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," read the statement.

The Guardian reported that the prime minister's office also released a letter from May to Williamson indicating that the firing came due to an unwillingness to fully comply with the government's inquiry.

“It has been conducted fairly, with the full cooperation of other NSC attendees. They have answered all questions, engaged properly, provided as much information as possible to assist with the investigation, and encouraged their staff to do the same," May wrote to Williamson, adding: "Your conduct has not been of the same standard as others.”

The news comes following reports that Huawei would be involved in the U.K.'s 5G network.

The move was seen as dismissive of U.S. concerns about Huawei's proximity to the Chinese government and accusations that the company's devices can be accessed by Chinese intelligence services.

The move was criticized by some British lawmakers, including the head of the country's foreign affairs committee.

“Allowing Huawei into the U.K.’s 5G infrastructure would cause allies to doubt our ability to keep data secure and erode the trust essential to Five Eyes cooperation,” chairman Tom Tugendhat said at the time.

A source told Reuters, however, that the company would be blocked from the "core" parts of Britain's network infrastructure.