Cabinet ministers ‘will be told to hand over phones’ in hunt for Huawei leak mole

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CABINET ministers will reportedly be asked to hand over their mobile phones in a leak inquiry after the secret decision about the Huawei telecoms giant was made public.

Five senior ministers had opposed Theresa May’s decision to allow the Chinese company to supply “non-core” elements of the new 5G network during a National Security Council meeting on Tuesday.

Gavin Barwell has warned any leaker would be sacked
Reuters

An investigation has been launched to root out any ministers or staff who may have spoken to The Daily Telegraph before the newspaper broke the story on Wednesday.

Gavin Barwell, the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, has warned anyone found to be behind the leak would be sacked.

The Telegraph reports ministers will be asked to provide details of all mobile phones in their possession and hand them over for inspection following the major security breach.

Senior Tories had vented their fury over the leak given the sensitivity of the decision and the intelligence aired at the NSC.

Ex-Defence Secretary Michael Fallon signalled he believed whoever was responsible should face jail for breaching the Official Secrets Act.

He stormed: “If someone leaks once they can do so again and that is a greater threat.”

‘UTTERLY APPALLING’

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt flatly denied he was behind the leak. He said: “I think it is utterly appalling that that should happen.”

“I have never leaked confidential Cabinet discussions and I never will.”

In a statement, Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson also denied the leak, saying he nor any of his team had “divulged information from the National Security Council”.

On a trip to a Kent Police training college yesterday, Home Secretary Sajid Javid said that “if” leaks happen they should “absolutely” be looked at.

It was self-evidently a politician who lost the argument and wanted to get their revenge


Whitehall official

A spokesman for Sajid Javid also confirmed he “categorically denied” being behind the leak.

Mr Williamson’s accusation to civil servants is said to have stunned Mr Sedwill, who told a meeting of mandarins about it later on Wednesday.

The Tory is said to have told civil servants it was “completely out of order” that the security secretariat who had made the Huawei recommendation had leaked the discussion.

But one Whitehall official told The Sun that Mr Williamson’s complaint has “gone down extremely badly”.


The official added: “It’s pretty poor for anyone to try to finger civil servants for this, when it was self-evidently a politician who lost the argument and wanted to get their revenge”.

The PM’s official spokesman said: “The prime minister is clear that the protection of information on matters of national security is of the highest importance.”

It is understood the matter has not been referred to police at this stage.

PA:Press Association

Gavin Williamson has accused Whitehall mandarins of leaking a secret decision about the Huawei telecoms giant[/caption]

PA:Press Association

Jeremy Hunt flatly denied he was behind the leak and said he ‘think it is utterly appalling that that should happen’[/caption]

Huawei will supply non-core elements of the new 5G network
Alamy

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