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Theresa May fires Defense Secretary after investigation into 5G leaks

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By Philip Pangalos
Theresa May fires Defense Secretary after investigation into 5G leaks

British Prime Minister Theresa May has fired her Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson after an investigation into leaks from a secret government meeting about Chinese telecoms firm Huawei and the development of Britain's new 5G communications network.

The Prime Minister's office said Theresa May has "lost confidence" in Mr Williamson.

Downing St. 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," and concluding that: "Your conduct has not been of the same standard as others".

An investigation was launched last week after newspapers reported that the Security Council, which meets in private, had agreed to let Huawei participate in some aspects of Britain's new 5G wireless communications network, despite US warnings that the Chinese tech giant may help introduce spyware on behalf of the Chinese state.

In a letter, Mr Williamson categorically denies any involvement in the matter, saying: "I strenuously deny that I was in any way involved in this leak and I am confident that a thorough and formal inquiry would have vindicated my position."

The government insists that no decision has been made yet, with an official announcement not due until June.

In the meantime, Penny Mordaunt was announced as the new defense secretary.