UK police will not probe sacked defense minister over Huawei leak

LONDON (Reuters) – British police will not investigate the sacked defense minister, Gavin Williamson, after a senior officer said the information that was leaked about Chinese telecoms company Huawei was too minor to count as a criminal offence.

FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson is seen outside Downing Street in London, Britain, April 2, 2019. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis/File Photo

Prime Minister Theresa May fired Williamson on Wednesday, despite his denials that he was to blame for a newspaper report that Britain would allow Huawei equipment to be used in part of a new 5G mobile data network.

The Daily Telegraph story, which came from a meeting of Britain’s normally top-secret National Security Council (NSC), embarrassed the government and set it at odds with the United States over the next generation of communications technology.

The opposition Labour Party had called for a criminal investigation into the leak. But on Saturday, Britain’s top counter-terrorism police officer rejected this.

“I am satisfied that what was disclosed did not contain information that would breach the Official Secrets Act,” Metropolitan Police assistant commissioner Neil Basu said.

“The leak did not cause damage to the public interest at a level at which it would be necessary to engage misconduct in a public office. It would be inappropriate to carry out a police investigation in these circumstances.”

Williamson, once in charge of party discipline for May’s Conservatives, was an important ally for the prime minister as she struggled to steer Britain through Brexit without a majority in parliament or consensus on how to leave the European Union.

May defended her decision to sack him following a brief investigation by the government’s most senior civil servant, Mark Sedwill, who unusually is also the NSC’s secretary.

“The importance of this was not about the information that was leaked, it was where it was leaked from. This was about the NSC and trust in the NSC,” she told Sky News on Saturday before the police said there was no criminal case to answer.

“The investigation was conducted properly, and was about the fact that something was leaked from the NSC, and the importance of everybody around that table having trust when they come together in those meetings,” she added.

Williamson said he had not been given full details of the evidence against him.

“With the Met Police not willing to do a criminal investigation it is clear a proper, full and impartial investigation needs to be conducted on this shabby and discredited witch hunt,” he told reporters.

Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by Ros Russell

Source link

more recommended stories

  • France delays signing of Internet pledge amid U.S. pressure

    BIARRITZ, France (Reuters) – France delayed.

  • Trump says U.S. would tax French wine in response to digital tax

    U.S. President Donald Trump speaks with.

  • App looks to get tips from coffee drinkers to Colombia growers

    BOGOTA (Reuters) – An app that.

  • U.S. House lawmakers ask regulators to scrutinize bank cloud providers

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two U.S. lawmakers.

  • VMware to pay $5 billion for firms offering cloud security, developers platform

    (Reuters) – VMware Inc said on.

  • Volkswagen not interested in buying Tesla stake

    FILE PHOTO: Volkswagen AG CEO Dr..

  • Splunk to buy cloud software firm SignalFx in $1 billion deal

    (Reuters) – Data analytics software maker.

  • Ahead of G7 summit, Macron presses U.S. to help reform taxes on big tech

    FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron.

  • Citigroup, BNP caught up in U.S. case against Huawei CFO: documents

    NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S.-based Citigroup.

  • Intel unveils first artificial intelligence chip Springhill

    FILE PHOTO: Computer chip maker Intel’s.

  • Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi posts 15% rise in sales, misses estimates

    FILE PHOTO: Xiaomi branding is seen.

  • Sony to buy ‘Spider-Man’ developer Insomniac Games

    FILE PHOTO: The logo of Sony.

  • U.S. grants Huawei another 90 days to buy from American suppliers

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States.

  • Shell debuts electric vehicle chargers in Singapore, first in Southeast Asia

    FILE PHOTO – A sign is.

  • Exclusive: U.S. set to give Huawei another 90 days to buy from American suppliers – sources

    SINGAPORE/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Commerce.

  • Alibaba and the $15 billion question: Amid Hong Kong’s protests, when to list?

    HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong’s.

  • Exclusive: U.S. to extend Huawei’s partial reprieve on supply curbs – sources

    SINGAPORE/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Commerce.

  • China’s Ninebot unveils scooters that drive themselves to charging stations

    BEIJING/HONG KONG (Reuters) – Segway-Ninebot Group,.

  • Amazon.com defeats IRS appeal in U.S. tax dispute

    (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc on Friday.

  • Rental firm walks away from Tesla order after quality dispute

    FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Car rental company.

  • STAR Market tech board offers hope to Chinese venture capitalists

    SHANGHAI/HONG KONG (Reuters) – When Chinese.

  • Nvidia revenue tops expectations on strength in video gaming, auto units

    (Reuters) – Nvidia Corp’s quarterly revenue.

  • Online spending helps UK retail sales grow unexpectedly in July

    LONDON (Reuters) – British retail sales.

  • China’s Lenovo first-quarter profit more than doubles on record PC market share

    (Reuters) – Chinese PC maker Lenovo.

  • FCC chairman circulates order to approve Sprint, T-Mobile tie-up

    FILE PHOTO: A smartphone with Sprint.

  • U.S. aviation regulator bans select MacBook Pro laptops from flights

    FILE PHOTO: Apple company logos are.

  • Facebook paid contractors to transcribe users’ audio: Bloomberg

    FILE PHOTO: Attendees walk past a.

  • Exclusive: Google’s jobs search draws antitrust complaints from rivals

    BRUSSELS/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Google’s fast-growing.

  • Colombia fines Uber more than $629,000 for obstructing regulatory visit

    BOGOTA (Reuters) – Colombia’s commerce regulator.

  • Deliveroo quits Germany to focus on other markets

    FILE PHOTO: A biker wearing a.

  • Russia tells Google not to advertise ‘illegal’ events after election protests

    MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s state communications.

  • Tesla electric car catches fire after hitting tow truck in Moscow

    Joe Young, media relations associate for.