Theresa May’s former Defence Secretary,Gavin Williamson who was sacked this week following a leak inquiry, was dismissed following concerns about his plans to ‘invade Africa’ and risk war with China.
Allies of the prime minister told the Sunday Times that Williamson, who is accused of leaking details of May’s plans to allow Chinese telecoms company Huawei access to Britain’s 5G network, risked dragging Britain into war.
The paper reports that May refused his request to send Royal Navy warships into Chinese waters in the South China Sea, leading the then Defence Secretary to scrawl “f*** the prime minister” on the accompanying paperwork, which was subsequently reported to Downing Street.
A leaked National Security Document, seen by the Times, also suggests that Williamson drew up plans for the British Armed Forces to be sent to “at least five African countries, including Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Kenya and Egypt”.
UK’s fired defense minister denies Huawei leak
After being fired by the British Prime Minister, defense minister Gavin Williamson strenuously denied he was involved in the leak from a meeting of the National Security Council, as several lawmakers demand a criminal investigation into whether secrecy laws were broken. Mia Womersley reports
The plans were reportedly for peacekeeping initiatives. However, Ministry of Defence officials told the paper that Williamson wanted to “find excuses to send troops”.
They added: “He wanted to invade Africa… He made it clear that he was keen to send the troops in.”
Allies of the prime minister also briefed the paper that Williamson had privately spread questions about May’s personal fitness for office, related to her ongoing diabetes condition.
Williamson was repeatedly heard making the claim, the paper reports.
One of May’s allies said: “It’s absolutely outrageous that he would attempt to use the prime minister’s health condition against her and to suggest it makes her too frail and ill to be the prime minister.”
Williamson and his allies deny the Sunday Times’ allegations and believe he has been targeted in a “witch hunt”.
“It’s ironic that an NSC document has been leaked in an attempt to discredit Gavin,” one ally of Williamson told the Sunday Times.
On claims that he risked dragging Britain into war, another ally said: “The fact that so many knives are now out for him shows that he ruffled feathers in pursuit of defending the armed forces. The prime minister always found it irritating that Gavin was willing to stand his ground when he thought it was in the best interests of the army, navy and air force. She had never done this for the police when she was home secretary and couldn’t work out why Gavin would do it for the military.”