Theresa May fires Gavin Williamson fired over Huawei leak

Theresa May fires Gavin Williamson fired over Huawei leak

Born in Scarborough, Mr Williamson will go down in history as the first casualty of a Whitehall leak inquiry since Sir Leon Brittan, the then Richmond MP, quit as Trade and Industry Secretary in 1986 over the Westland scandal.

But the former fireplace salesman now faces calls for his prosecution and could be jailed for five years if found to have breached the Official Secrets Act.

Lib Dem Jo Swinson has written to Met commissioner Cressida Dick to ask for an investigation into the sacked minister to be launched.

The central role he played and the trust he built in brokering a deal with the DUP means he has the potential to work across benches to orchestrate opposition to the Prime Ministers efforts.

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.

An inquiry was carried out by Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill.

Labour deputy leader Tom Watson told the BBC that the police should now investigate whether Williamson had breached the Official Secrets Act.

But while the ex-minister acknowledges being asked about what happened at the NSC, Williamson insists he told him nothing - and adds that his own admission of the phone call shows that he can not be guilty. Whether she resigns in the coming months, as she has indicated she would do, or is ousted more quickly, is a point of debate.

But in a letter from May to Williamson on Wednesday, she said her investigation "provides compelling evidence suggesting your responsibility for the unauthorised disclosure".


"One of the things that underlines an alliance is the ability to share information and when we share information with allies and partners we have to have common standards of information assurance", Gen Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, told a Congressional committee.

In a letter he said he rejected the offer to resign rather than be sacked, saying that this would have sent a signal that he accepted either he or his team was guilty.

"But we would of course co-operate fully should the police themselves consider that an investigation were necessary".

May, the report said, had overruled concerns expressed at the NSC meeting by her Home Secretary Sajid Javid, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, International Trade Secretary Liam Fox, and International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt.

In a letter to Williamson, May said she "can no longer have full confidence" in him in the wake of the investigation.

He added: "I am sorry that you feel recent leaks from the National Security Council originated in my department".

The former head of the Central Intelligence Agency will meet Mrs May and Jeremy Hunt, the Foreign Secretary, in London next Wednesday.

And while the coming days will clarify Gavin Williamson's culpability over leaks, the more fundamental question, moving on, is how best to improve the quality and calibre of Ministers - and whether new appointees need to be subjected to more intense scrutiny before they take office.

Downing Street made clear that Mr Williamson will retain his membership of the Privy Council, which enables him to be invited to see sensitive material.

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