Britain’s defense secretary was asked to leave the government on Wednesday due to leaks over a contract involving Chinese cellphone maker Huawei, said a government statement.
“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,” the statement said.
It said the “decision has been informed by his conduct surrounding an investigation into the circumstances of the unauthorised disclosure of information from a meeting of the National Security Council.”
May’s decision came following reports that Williamson was found responsible for a leak from the National Security Council meeting about Huawei’s involvement in the U.K.’s 5G network.
The inquiry into the leaks followed reports of ministers’ concerns over a plan to allow Huawei access to assist in building the U.K.'s new 5G network.
“The prime minister thanks all members of the National Security Council for their full cooperation and candour during the investigation and considers the matter closed,” the statement added.
Downing Street announced that following Williamson's sacking, International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt has been appointed his successor.
Williamson replaced Sir Michael Fallon in 2017.
By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal in London