British opposition parties are demanding police investigate a possible national security breach following Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson’s sacking on Wednesday, for allegedly leaking National Security Council discussions.
He insists meeting Telegraph journalist Steven Swinford last week does not prove he divulged the highly-sensitive news that Theresa May would allow Chinese telecoms giant Huawei to provide the “non-core” elements of Britain’s 5G infrastructure.
The revelation itself has outraged those who—fearing China’s government might access sensitive data through a Huawei backdoor and Britain might lose its security allies’ trust—believe Britain should eschew all Huawei products.
While police at Scotland Yard have not yet opened an inquiry, they said they would examine any information suggesting “criminal offences have been committed.”
The Official Secrets Act states that persons found guilty of violating state secrets are liable to prison terms of maximum two years.
Does this leak constitute a severe national security breach, as former national security advisor Lord Peter Ricketts told BBC’s Newsnight?
And if so, should government leaks require criminal investigations—or do internal inquiries suffice?
Credit for this article's header image goes to Getty.