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Gavin Williamson sacked as defence secretary following leak inquiry

File photo dated 10/01/19 of Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson. Theresa May has sacked Gavin Williamson as Defence Secretary, following an investigation into the leak of information from a National Security Council meeting, Downing Street has announced. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date date: Wednesday May 1, 2019. See PA story POLITICS Williamson. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Gavin Williamson has been sacked as Defence Secretary following an inquiry into the leak of information from last week's National Security Council meeting.

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt was appointed Defence Secretary following the sacking.

Downing Street said that Prime Minister Theresa May asked Mr Williamson to leave the Government having "lost confidence in his ability to serve".

The inquiry by Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill was launched after information from secret discussions about Chinese telecoms firm Huawei's involvement in the development of the UK's 5G mobile network was printed in the Daily Telegraph.

Mr Williamson was listed in the Telegraph as being among a small group of ministers whose warnings about Huawei's involvement were overruled by the Prime Minister.

In a statement, a Downing Street spokesman said: "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 Prime Minister's 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.”

"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."

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