May 1, 2019 - Technology

U.K. defense secretary fired over Huawei leak

Gavin Williamson. Photo: Wiktor Szymanowicz/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

U.K. Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson was fired by Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday over his role in a leak of secret information regarding the role of China's Huawei in building out British 5G networks, BBC reports. He was replaced by Secretary of International Development Penny Mordaunt, the first woman to hold the position.

The big picture: May told Williamson in his firing letter that the investigation into the leak provided "compelling evidence suggesting [his] responsibility for the unauthorized disclosure." The leak came from the U.K.'s National Security Council, "a forum where secret intelligence can be shared by GCHQ, MI6 and MI5 with ministers, all of whom have signed the Official Secrets Act," per BBC.

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