An updated piece in today’s Times. Williamson has been convicted and sentences by a kangaroo court (Theresa May), to enable May to appoint Penny Mordaunt, one of her gal pals, in order to deliver another feminist “first”, the first female Defence Secretary. In her letter to Williamson (below) May wrote:
In our meeting this evening, I put to you the latest information from the investigation, which provides compelling evidence suggesting your responsibility for the unauthorised disclosure. No other, credible version of events to explain this leak have been identified.
The clue to the miscarriage of justice lies in the weasel words, “compelling evidence suggesting”. Compelling evidence doesn’t “suggest”, it shows. The Times piece:
Gavin Williamson blamed a vendetta by Britain’s most senior civil servant for his dismissal as defence secretary yesterday.
Mr Williamson became the first cabinet minister in more than 30 years to be sacked for leaking after he was accused of disclosing secret discussions about the Chinese telecoms company Huawei.
Theresa May said that a formal leak inquiry had found “compelling evidence” pointing to his responsibility and that he had failed to co-operate fully with the investigation.
The prime minister said that others in attendance at the National Security Council, from where the leak originated, had co-operated. She said that Mr Williamson’s conduct “has not been of the same standard”.
Mrs May said that she had no choice but to fire him to restore confidence in Britain’s most senior intelligence body, which allows top-level ministers to be briefed by security chiefs.
He has been replaced by Penny Mordaunt, 46, who becomes the first female defence secretary. She is replaced as international development secretary by Rory Stewart, who was prisons minister.
Mr Williamson, 42, told friends that he swore on his children’s lives that he was not responsible for the leak and blamed a poor relationship with Sir Mark Sedwill, the cabinet secretary and national security adviser, for his downfall. The two clashed over a cross-Whitehall security review soon after Mr Williamson was appointed defence secretary in December 2017.
The former defence secretary told the Daily Telegraph that he had been “completely screwed” by the outcome of the inquiry. “She has got the wrong person and the person who did leak this is still out there,” he said.
He is said to have admitted speaking to Steve Swinford, the Daily Telegraphjournalist who wrote the story about Huawei, but denied that he had revealed any details of the NSC meeting on April 23. He also insisted that he had helped with the leak inquiry.
“I volunteered everything up. I couldn’t have volunteered more information on the whole thing,” he told The Times. “Frankly I’d rather have had a police inquiry, because the beauty of a police inquiry is I’d have been absolutely exonerated and would have been in the clear.”
He later claimed that the inquiry had been “a witch-hunt from the start” and “a kangaroo court with a summary execution”.
The Cabinet Office launched an unprecedented leak inquiry that required ministers, aides and officials to hand over phones and laptops.
No 10 refused to say whether MI5 or GCHQ had been involved, or to expand on the nature of the evidence pointing to Mr Williamson’s culpability.
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