The mysterious sacking of Gavin Williamson as UK Defence Secretary has taken yet another turn as it emerges that Theresa May and Number 10 are seemingly waging a smear campaign against Williamson, a claim Number 10 has denied.
Williamson was sacked last week and blamed for the leaking of sensitive classified information to The Telegraph surrounding the Chinese company Huawei’s bid to run the new 5G phone network in the UK. Williamson has been particularly outspoken in his own defence and has now accused the government of waging a propaganda campaign to discredit him.
Highlighting “disturbing” recent stories that suggested Williamson wished to send troops to at least five African countries and “invade Africa”, alongside other reports that suggested he had claimed that Theresa May’s diabetes made her unfit for office, Williamson accused the government of a smear campaign.
“I find it very disturbing that No 10 are leaking confidential information in order to try and smear me,” he said. “This goes to show that they had no evidence to justify the actions the prime minister took last week.”Gavin Williamson
The information leaked to the press about Williamson was yet again from the National Security Council (NSC), the origin of the original Huawei leaks. Downing Street has denied the government is responsible.
Speaking to The Mirror last week, Williamson said he believed that he would be completely exonerated by any Scotland Yard investigation into the Huawei leaks and he was furious that Prime Minister Theresa May had refused to allow a police investigation. He added that it had been his opinion that the leak was an official leak and the government itself was responsible.
“I thought the buggers, they’ve leaked the sodding thing.”Gavin Williamson
Ken Macdonald, a former director of public prosecutions, has said that the leak was a breach the Official Secrets Act, arguing that any “damaging disclosure relating to security or intelligence” was a breach of the act. Despite Theresa May considering the matter closed, there have been calls from across the political divide for a full and independent investigation.
Following the sacking of Williamson, the United States secretary of state Mike Pompeo will “warn” Theresa May against working with Huawei, stating that the company poses a risk to British national security.