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, the 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 the BBC.

Go deeper: Why Huawei is the United States' 5G boogeyman

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Updated 1 min ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus — COVID-19 looms over White House Halloween celebrations
  2. Health: Fauci says maybe we should mandate masks if people don't wear them — America was sick well before it ever got COVID-19
  3. World: Polish President Andrzej Duda tests positive for COVID-19.

Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus

Marc Short with Katie Miller, Vice President Pence's communications director, in March. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times via Reuters

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force.

6 hours ago - World

Opposition leader Leopoldo López flees Venezuela

Venezuelan opposition politician Leopoldo López outside the Spanish embassy in Caracas, in 2019. Photo: Juan Barreto/AFP via Getty Images

Leopoldo López, a former political prisoner and prominent Venezuelan opposition leader, has left the country, his Popular Will party confirmed in a statement Saturday.

Why it matters: He's been an influential force in the push to oust President Nicolás Maduro's regime and a mentor to opposition leader Juan Guaidó. He'd been in the Spanish ambassador's Caracas residence since escaping house arrest in April 2019 following a failed military uprising.