Gerald Howarth: PM ‘responsible for damaging national security’

Gerald Howarth: PM ‘responsible for damaging national security’

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Sir Gerald Howarth, a former defence minister, has said that the prime minister was more “responsible for damaging national security” than Gavin Williamson, who was sacked yesterday evening.

Mr Williamson was sacked after "compelling evidence" emerged that he was responsible for leaking details from a National Security Council meeting to a newspaper, which he denies.

Mr Howarth, now chairman of the whistleblowing company Addveritas, told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer: “No state secrets were revealed and no one was placed in danger. There was no danger to national security.

“The crime appears to have been that he revealed that the prime minister had rejected the advice of her intelligence advisers.

“She wants to give critical access to our 5G network to a Chinese company that is answerable to the Chinese totalitarian communist government.”

Mr Howarth said the decision to allow Huawei to bid for contracts on the 5G network had caused “a rift” between the UK and allies such as the US.

“I think the question is who is responsible for damaging national security,” he added.

“It does not seem to be the person who leaked this information. It looks to me that the finger points to the prime minister herself.

“If that is true that is the decision she made, then it is in the national interest to know what the prime minister of the UK is doing.”

However, Labour peer Lord Alan West said that what goes on at the council “should never be disclosed”.

The peer, who has also held the position of defence minister, told Julia: “The leak inquiry has come to the conclusion that he did leak this information.

“If he did do that, it is absolutely right that he should be sacked as a cabinet minister.”

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