Huawei is one of the world's biggest technology giants (Picture: PA)
Technology

MPs Demand Inquiry Over Leaked Huawei 5G Plans

MPs are calling for an inquiry after information about how the UK will use Huawei's 5G technology was leaked.

Huawei is one of the world's biggest technology giants (Picture: PA)

A criminal investigation could be ordered into the leaking of secret discussions between ministers and intelligence chiefs in the National Security Council.

It is after details of decisions about the Chinese firm Huawei and the UK’s 5G network were made public.

The Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has issued a statement saying: "Neither I nor any of my team have divulged information from the National Security Council."

The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Jeremy Wright MP, earlier answered an urgent question in the House of Commons about how the UK will use Huawei 5G technology.

There are concerns that if the government allows the company to construct the UK's 5G network, it will open the door for the Chinese government to access Britain's communications network. 

However, Huawei has denied having any such ties, and said it would not pose any security risk to the UK.

Speaking to MPs in the Commons, Jeremy Wright said an evidence-based review is taking place into the supply chain of 5G, to ensure a diverse and secure base.

"Despite the inevitable focus on Huawei, this review is not solely about one company or even one country," he said.

Huawei sign at Hanover Fair
(Picture: PA).

"We have to strike a difficult balance between security and prosperity and recognise the reality of globalised networks and supply chains.

"Although I will make it clear that our security interests are pre-eminent and that has been the focus of this review.

"That is the way to ensure that the UK fully recognises the potential of 5G through its safe and secure deployment," he added.

He said the conclusions from the review will be reported once ministerial decisions have been taken.

Former Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon told Forces News it is extremely damaging if any the information discussed by the National Security Council is divulged to third parties.

"That [information] could help our adversaries, whether they are terrorists or whether they are other states," he said.

Although unsure about what the motivation behind the leak could have been, he said the key action to take to ensure that leaks from the centre of government are stopped.

"It is very, very important that it is properly investigated now by the police to make sure it doesn’t happen again," Sir Michael Fallon said.

"We need to get to the bottom of it. We need to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again."

Labour MP Jo Platt responded and warned: "If a minister did leak the information, they are not fit to serve in the cabinet, and are certainly not fit to be prime minister.

"Critical issues of national security should be handled with utmost care. Not used as political ammunition in a Tory party civil war.

"The individual, if identified, should immediately resign or be removed from their position," she added.

Dominic Grieve, the chairman of the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee, has responded and said the leak is "deeply worrying".

Mr Grieve said that collective Cabinet responsibility appeared to be breaking down.

He acknowledged the leak could be linked to the belief among ministers that a Tory leadership contest could be imminent.