back to article May Day! PM sacks UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson for Huawei 5G green-light 'leak'

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has been sacked from the British government after apparently leaking the news that Blighty isn’t completely banning Huawei from its 5G networks. Williamson is accused of being the source for a Daily Telegraph front-page story stating that the National Security Council, made up of senior …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    About time too

    Williamson has done plenty of sackworthy things before but got away with it.

    Perhaps May has realised what Major realised - it's no good negotiating with the bastards, you need to knife them before they can knife you.

    And at least Mordaunt knows quite a bit more about naval affairs than Williamson did.

    1. Adrian 4

      Re: About time too

      You mean you've actually heard of these people ?

      Seems like one nobody replaced by another.

      1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Splash!

        "Penny Mordaunt has been pushed into the deep end"

        https://www.indy100.com/article/penny-mordaunt-splash-video-dive-defence-secretary-gavin-williamson-8895631

        icon: RN Merlin Helicopter

      2. Martin Summers

        Re: About time too

        "Seems like one nobody replaced by another."

        It's not Britain's Got Talent. Believe it or not, not everyone gets into politics to be in the public eye or get famous. It's not a job for the faint hearted potentially being splashed all over the news all the time. People forget that they're actually people and quite a few are trying to get on with doing a decent job in spite of the media and constant criticism.

        1. Ken 16 Silver badge

          "quite a few"

          Name two

          1. Martin Summers

            Re: "quite a few"

            "Name two"

            No, because that's a petty argument. You'd no doubt find fault with anyone I named. There are hundreds of them down there and no doubt a fair few self serving as well as the many that are trying to do a good job for their constituents. People keep consistently returning their MP's to parliament and there are MP's who do actually help the people they represent, thats just fact. It's easy to name call and point and get on your high horse about politics and politicians but you try doing the impossible job of keeping everyone happy and see how long you last. People need to grow up about politics in general in this country and have a clue what they're voting for instead of flip flopping around every year from one end of the political spectrum to another on a whim. The centre ground exists only during election time purely for the clueless.

            I envy how much the Yanks are involved in their politics and actually get it. Whereas here it's as the 'another nobody' comment above demonstrates turning into a talent show.

            1. Doctor Evil

              Re: "quite a few"

              "People need to grow up about politics in general in this country and have a clue what they're voting for instead of flip flopping around every year from one end of the political spectrum to another on a whim.

              I envy how much the Yanks are involved in their politics and actually get it."

              These two statements are mutually contradictory. Believe me, few inhabitants of this planet are less actively involved in politics -- or have less of a clue how it all actually goes together -- than the average American. The view from this side of the pond is much different; the White House makes Whitehall look positively exemplary as a working democracy!

    2. Flywheel
      Mushroom

      Re: About time too

      Just send Mr Grayling in - what could possibly go wrong!?

      (mushroom cloud coz .. well, it'll end one way or another)

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: About time too

        If we're going for the A team, why not Jeremy Hunt?

        I'll leave it up to you to decide what 'A' stands for in this case.

    3. BebopWeBop

      Re: About time too

      I loved the comment "put the department back on the political and media map with his occasionally zany announcements.

      You mean the lad who was stupid enough to suggest threatening China AND Spain... the former with an aircraft carrier that might last 5 minutes, the latter with paint guns?

      This is an old recording for Yes Minister - do watch it, hilarious

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcMA0MFdNZQ

      I am just furious he was not sacked (or even never put in place beforehand) for fuckwittery. Surely there must be some MPs on the government benches who would keep their stupid faces down and do something competently.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: About time too

        >I am just furious he was not sacked (or even never put in place beforehand) for fuckwittery. Surely there must be some MPs on the government benches who would keep their stupid faces down and do something competently.

        I did read recently that due to sackings, resignations and the rest, the government are down to about 10-20 MPs left who could possibly be promoted to a more senior position.

      2. MrBanana

        Re: About time too

        I believe he was referred to as "private Pike", which sums it up for those familiar with early British sitcoms.

    4. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: About time too

      OTOH Mordaunt is also a fruitcake's fruitcake and likely to be about as loyal to the Prime Minister as the rest of them.

      The leak didn't really tell anyone anything they didn't already know so the sacking is an over-reaction of an already embattled Prime Minister. Meanwhile Grayling has still got his job, presumably because he can't find the way out.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: About time too

        It's not really about what was said.

        It's about the risk that we are no longer seen as able to keep our house in order.

        Therefore we don't get the five-eyes information, and we are all much less safe as a result.

        Spooks rely on secrecy, it's really that basic. Besides, you don't know what was leaked, over what period of time it was leaked. All you know, is 1) *a leak* was published.

        Who knows what sensitive information is now in the public domain waiting for a editorial decision to publish and be damned.

    5. small and stupid

      Re: About time too

      Great. So instead of being equally ignorant about all the services, shell be biased towards the navy,

  2. OssianScotland
    Mushroom

    Torydammerung?

    Didn't Goering also get sacked just before Hitler's death?

    May seems to be determined to do a reprise of Downfall - you can almost see her in her bunker under Downing Street ordering imaginary divisions to defend her, and this ridding herself of potential opponents is definitely part of the script. With a little bit of luck, we will be rid of her very soon (although putting all 650 of the buggers up against the wall seems like a very good idea - just to make sure)

    icon for obvious reasons

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Torydammerung?

      Goering got sacked because he tried to take over, telling Hitler that as he was trapped in the bunker Goering should become Nazi Nummer Ein. Adolph didn't like it.

      Williamson was just being a shit.

      1. Paul 195

        Re: Torydammerung?

        @Voyna i Mor

        As unpleasant and dim as Williamson was, I honestly don't think he's done anything as bad as any of Hitler's senior ranking Nazis...

    2. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Torydammerung?

      Given that she’s now Secretary of State for Defence, Women and Equalities, it kind of demonstrates how shallow the talent pool is.

      1. Chris King

        Re: Torydammerung?

        "it kind of demonstrates how shallow the talent pool is."

        Given the current state of the party, it's not so much a pool, but more like a puddle.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Terminator

          Re: Torydammerung?

          more like a puddle

          Yeah, but who piddled it? Cameron or Farage? Or an abominable union thereof?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Trollface

            Re: Torydammerung?

            Two downvotes?

            I'm surprised and indifferentdelighted to see both Cameron and Farage read this.

        2. Sgt_Oddball
          Holmes

          Re: Torydammerung?

          Is that what they call cesspits now?

        3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Torydammerung?

          but more like a puddle

          .. which has the lifespan of yer actual puddle on the African savanna, under the full sun. And is full of an equivalent level of pondlife.

      2. Ken 16 Silver badge

        Re: Torydammerung?

        Don't ask, don't tell?

    3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      "May seems to be determined to do a reprise of Downfall "

      I like the idea, but be careful what you wish for.

      You've just replaced one dumbass (with possible ASD) with something worse

      Boris "I'm too busy banging someone 20 years my junior to run the country" Johnson

      Jacob Rees-Mogg. A complete ba***rd in a nice suit with elegant pronunciation is still a complete ba**rd.

      Jeremy Corbyn. "Fellow traveler" of the ERG in spirit, if not name.

      What a s**t shower they are.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "May seems to be determined to do a reprise of Downfall "

        Rees-Mogg a fellow traveller of Jeremy Corbyn? Methinks you should drink less in the mornings :-)

        1. Arthur the cat Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: "May seems to be determined to do a reprise of Downfall "

          Methinks you should drink less in the mornings

          With the current omnishambles in Westminster the only rational action is to drink lots more in the morning.

          [Beer icon as there's no gin bottle.]

        2. My Alter Ego

          Re: "May seems to be determined to do a reprise of Downfall "

          I can sort-of see where the OP was coming from. They both are in positions where they can sprout as much bullshit as they want, secure in the knowledge that they are not required to make actual decisions.

          It's easy to complain about the status quo, and waffle about solutions that have been shown to be unworkable, and they both excel at that. Mind you, they're not the only offenders.

        3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: "May seems to be determined to do a reprise of Downfall "

          I think he has a point: They both like to pretend they have principles but their actions say otherwise. And their backgrounds aren't that dissimilar either.

        4. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: "May seems to be determined to do a reprise of Downfall "

          "Rees-Mogg a fellow traveller of Jeremy Corbyn?"

          Well the OP actually had it the other way around, but yeah.

          Everything Corbyn has done in the last six months (even down to his habit of changing his party's whipping policy on the afternoon of a vote) has had the effect of making the available deal less likely and (given the PM's "reluctance" to toy with the idea of a second referendum) thereby made it more likely that we get a hard Brexit because nothing else has been agreed in time.

        5. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: "May seems to be determined to do a reprise of Downfall "

          Rees-Mogg a fellow traveller of Jeremy Corbyn?

          Same level of stench, just different olfactory components..

        6. fajensen

          Re: "May seems to be determined to do a reprise of Downfall "

          If you drink your early morning pee, nothing worse will happen that day. ... A friend told me.

    4. Primus Secundus Tertius

      Re: Torydammerung?

      The Onion, aka "America's Finest News Source", reported last December that Mrs May had had a narrow escape from a firing squad.

      https://www.theonion.com/theresa-may-narrowly-manages-to-survive-parliamentary-f-1831077604

  3. Danny 2

    Not Good Enough

    I made a big deal online six days ago about identifying Gavin as the leak. Not here because I assumed you all knew it too. Not a prediction, just stating the obvious.

    So I'll state the obvious now. This was a breach of the Intelligence and Security Committee made by an incompetent and nominally loyal cabinet minister who was angling for May's job. This was a clear and huge breach of the Official Secrets Act, plus he lied about it afterwards. This is not a resigning matter, not a 'drawing a line under it' matter, this is a crime, in fact with the denial two crimes, at the heart of government. He's still denying it.

    The Tory whip should be removed from him. GCHQ should be called in with the police to investigate him.

    One lesson that could be learned from Williamson and Javid's awful actions intended to aid their leadership bids is a zombie PM surrounded by ambitious fools is dangerous to the national good. Safety of the Realm!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not Good Enough

      Was Williamson a realistic leadership candidate? He had the desire but I’m not sure if he had the support in the near future to ever make that desire a reality. Regarding the severity of the leak, if he was responsible he was either very confident or very stupid - if he was caught that would have ended any future prospects of a leadership bid.

      Williamson obtained his position from having dirt on a lot of people, so he likely had a lot of enemies. And he wasn’t the most competent of Defence ministers.

      Did Williamson have anything to gain from the Huawei status quo as that is the present position (edge but no core)?

      I think others had more to gain and less suspicion, hopefully more information will be released to make it clearer.

      1. Danny 2

        Re: Not Good Enough

        Thatcher wasn't a realistic leader weeks before she became elected, she said so herself at the time.

        Corbyn was never a realistic leader, the far left in Labour just took it in turns to nominate one of them in rotating order never expecting any success.

        Williamson keeps a pet tarantula on his HoC desk to intimidate folk. I've never known anyone to keep a pet at work, guy's a psycho and not the sort of psycho he pretends to be, just a daftie with no empathy and unreasonable ambition.

        It was either him or Liam Fox, and Fox is more likely to be angling to score a directorship with Huawei. Williamson wants to rule the world and be worshipped as a god. Ivar, the Boneless, that's him as a Viking.

        1. katrinab Silver badge

          Re: Not Good Enough

          Of course there may be people who are angling for a directorship with Cisco.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Not Good Enough

            Of course there may be people who are angling for a directorship with Cisco

            I expect they'll get in via the back door

        2. Chris King

          Re: Not Good Enough

          "Fox is more likely to be angling to score a directorship with Huawei"

          He'll have plenty of company there:

          • Lord Browne of Madingley - Chairman of UK division
          • Sir Andrew Thomas Cahn - Non-Executive Director
          • John Suffolk - Global Cyber Security & Privacy Officer

          All supposedly chums of David Cameron, too.

          1. BigSLitleP

            Re: Not Good Enough

            Except that Cameron represents Cisco....

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Not Good Enough

              ... The back door of Cisco!

        3. Tigra 07
          Facepalm

          Re: Not Good Enough

          "Williamson keeps a pet tarantula on his HoC desk to intimidate folk. I've never known anyone to keep a pet at work, guy's a psycho and not the sort of psycho he pretends to be, just a daftie with no empathy and unreasonable ambition"

          Was he auditioning for the job of Prime Minister or a typical Bond villain?

          1. Aladdin Sane

            Re: Not Good Enough

            He was Chief Whip, so a Sir Francis Urquhart wannabe.

            1. BebopWeBop
              Facepalm

              Re: Not Good Enough

              And anyone who has read the books or watched the original UK TV series know how well that ended.

        4. Ken 16 Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Not Good Enough

          You mean disgraced former Defense Secretary Liam Fox might have leaked instead of disgraced former Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson?

        5. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Not Good Enough

          Ivar, the Boneless, that's him as a Viking

          Except that Ingvar (an alternative form of his name) the Boneless was a pretty effective leader, right up until he disappears from the record.

          (He was one of the leaders of the Great Heathen Army that conquered most of northern England)

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        "he was either very confident or very stupid "

        Why couldn't he be both?

        He was after all a) A Conservative Cabinet Minister b) An ex public school boy.

        Such people are programmed to believe a) They are always right b)People will always believe them.

        I think I have found a quick verbal short hand to sum of this sort of character in 2 words.

        "Stirling Archer."

        1. MonsieurTM

          Re: "he was either very confident or very stupid "

          I am sure there are many ex public school boys who do not fit into your flippant comment about them. Please retract it. Thank you.

          1. Ken 16 Silver badge

            Re: "he was either very confident or very stupid "

            You don't have to retract it all, just the tip.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "he was either very confident or very stupid "

          "He was after all a) A Conservative Cabinet Minister b) An ex public school boy."

          Normally, the leadership game is largely in the shadows. With May being a dead PM walking, the shadows aren't so dark.

          There are recent published polls for both Leadership contenders amongst both Tory MP's and the party membership. Williamson ranks about 10th on the leadership contenders list and just below 0 on the party approval scale. Combined with the contempt he's treated with by the military, I would have put him as a rank outsider. If he had tapped colleagues up for a leadership bid, I suspect they may have pointed out some of these issues.

          He wasn't liked, had got where he was due to knowing what people didn't want exposed and didn't seem particularly competent. I'm not trying to defend him as either a person or a politician but I suspect this was revenge based on how quickly he was identified - these inquiries usually last some time with no real results if they want no one to be identified or if the parties involved are careful.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "he was either very confident or very stupid "

          "He was after all a) A Conservative Cabinet Minister b) An ex public school boy."

          Gavin Williamson was notable for being comprehensively educated. He was not a public schoolboy. He didn't even go to a Russell Group uni, never mind Oxbridge. He's not your typical Tory by background. That will be one of the reasons so few of his colleagues are shedding tears at his defenestration.

        4. Martin Gregorie

          Re: "he was either very confident or very stupid "

          I think I have found a quick verbal short hand to sum of this sort of character in 2 words.

          "Stirling Archer."

          OR

          "Sturmey Archer" with a loose gear.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "he was either very confident or very stupid "

            "Sturmey Archer"

            back pedalling again, I see.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "he was either very confident or very stupid "

          "I think I have found a quick verbal short hand to sum of this sort of character in 2 words."

          I can do several in 1 word. "dickhead" or "twat" or "cunt" or "shithead" for the rest please find all the worst single word definitions in urban dictionary.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "he was either very confident or very stupid "

            You missed MP, or is that PM ?

    2. tip pc Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Not Good Enough

      Gavin was asked to resign but chose to be sacked as he believes he’s not the leaker.

      He probably is the leaker but is too stupid to know it but he’s taking a stand against the decision which is something different.

      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        Re: Not Good Enough

        well, resigning would be admitting it , and therefore incriminating himself to a crime

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        WTF?

        "as he believes he’s not the leaker."

        Icon says it all.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not Good Enough

      He is in real trouble if they start digging in to the novichok poisonings.

    4. GrapeBunch

      Re: Not Good Enough

      > Gavin

      Rumpole and the Official Secret.

      Has to be my favourite episode, as it could be brought forward not only in this discussion, but also over dinner tables in the very best of homes where Assange and Hutchins are mentioned.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not Good Enough

        It's such a shame we don't still hang people for treason.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not Good Enough

          After Brexit they can bring back the death penalty - perhaps for corrupt public officials, like in China?

          1. quxinot

            Re: Not Good Enough

            ^ Buy stock in rope manufacturers!

    5. MJI Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      It wasn't him it was

      Chronos!

      Says something that I can remember the pets names. Not keen on them, would prefer mammallian something like Snowy.

      1. HieronymusBloggs

        Re: It wasn't him it was

        "prefer mammallian something like Snowy"

        Like Adolf's bring-to-work pet Blondi?

    6. TVU Silver badge

      Re: Not Good Enough

      "The Tory whip should be removed from him. GCHQ should be called in with the police to investigate him"

      ^ It's all very well saying that but the real danger to national security arises from the UK allowing Huawei's equipment into the UK critical communications infrastructure and all because May wants to suck up to the Chinese government to try to secure one of her fantasy unicorn post-Brexit trade deals which will come at the expense of national security.

      That is the real scandal here.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not Good Enough

        Actually, I suspect it's the opposite. It's the rest of the EU who are cool with Huawei, and the US is a vastly more important trading partner than China.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not Good Enough

        >It's all very well saying that but the real danger to national security arises from the UK allowing Huawei's equipment into the UK critical communications infrastructure

        Its about 5-10 years too late for that seeing as a large part of the 3G and 4G kit is Huawei.

    7. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Not Good Enough

      But is leaking what is already essentially known really something to get that upset about?

      If this a crime, then by all means, throw the book at him and have him sent down. As it is this looks like more weak leadership by Mrs Strong-n-Stable and will come at with a high political price.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not Good Enough

        Yes, it's really that bad.

        Look what happened after the Manchester Arena bombings

        https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/may/25/uk-police-stop-passing-information-to-us-over-leaks-of-key-evidence

        That's what we are talking about here, it's a disgrace. The specifics of the information are less important.

        But again, all we know is what was published, not what was leaked. Treason is a strong word but is apropos.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Not Good Enough

          There is a difference between the political and legal aspects. By sacking him without an official criminal investigation May has accrued political damage. Whereas if he were to be charged after a police investigation he would be forced to resign and face trial and potential imprisonment.

          The point also stands: are secrets that are publically known still stands? That's for the courts to decide.

    8. eldakka

      Re: Not Good Enough

      This was a clear and huge breach of the Official Secrets Act,

      As the Minister of Defence, would he legally be in a position to declassify such information? I mean, often stuff gets declassified and released to the public, therefore someone has to have the authority (and/or delegate) to override the original classifying officers and make those sorts of decisions.

    9. fajensen
      Trollface

      Re: Not Good Enough

      GCHQ should be called in with the police to investigate him.

      Absolutely, except that is like expecting a dysfunctional family to call in Social Services for support!

      May's cabinet represents an extremely dysfunction family. Once The Authorities show up and their 'Cloak of Deniability' is lost, everyone will immediately rat out the others with the results that all will be going down for something.

      Most of their many children will be sent off to foster care, and some to the appropriate secure facilities.

      PS:

      That the moron & friends are all over the papers calling for an 'official investigation to clear his name' shows everyone very clearly that he is indeed a moron who cannot even new relied upon for simples stuff like: Follow the company line, sit it out in purgatory for a while and then ooze back in.

      This way nobody will want him back, ever.

  4. Blockchain commentard

    So, Williamson's competitors for May's job has taken him out of the running.

  5. Dave_uk

    It is May...

    May you can "go away and shut up"!

    1. John H Woods Silver badge

      Re: It is May...

      A Sir Humphrey-ism comes to mind: "The ship of state is the only state that leaks from the top"

      1. macjules

        Re: It is May...

        The ship of state is the only ship that leaks from the top. FTFY

        My favourite from GDS:

        The ship of state is the only ship where not only are the rats in charge but they have already jumped overboard and left the ship on course to hit an iceberg.

        1. John H Woods Silver badge

          Re: FTFY

          Ah yes, too much gin, apologies.

          1. richardcox13
            WTF?

            Re: FTFY

            > too much gin

            Sorry, I don't understand that concept.

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It is May...

      The leak was “May said Huawei can stay but only at the edge” - difficult to justify to the Chinese or the Americans and best hidden behind a committee statement to give future room to manoeuvre. And Mays made a career of kicking decisions down the road so it sounds out of character to begin with.

      My money would be on an unelected party that stood to gain, was settling a score or could safely land in another role after pleasing those above them,

      There’s likely a Yes Minister/Yes Prime Minister episode that covers this.

      1. David 132 Silver badge

        Re: It is May...

        I believe the apposite Yes, Minister quote goes something like...

        “Minister, to leak is an irregular verb... I give confidential press briefings, you leak, he’s been charged under the Official Secrets Act.”

      2. BebopWeBop

        Re: It is May...

        There is - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcMA0MFdNZQ - certainly a case where 30 minutes of Yes Minister trump a pithy Pratchett quote or Dilbert cartoon - to name the usual suspects for a laugh.

  6. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Flame

    Whens

    it graylings turn for wasting 50 million quid on shipping contracts that weren't needed? (including the infamous ferry company that had no ships, no port and no experience of running a ferry )

    But then again this guy has broken the official secrets act ( the one I signed when I worked for the MoD had unlimited jail sentences for handing over information to unauthorised parties) so lets see him in jail and sacked as MP like that labour MP from Peterborough ...

    Sadly I dont see that happening as no doubt he'll have his 'contacts' bail him out of the situation

    As for Penny Mordaunt getting a promotion..... gawd help us... just because someone serves in the military , it doesn't stop them from being a total arsebiscuit

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Whens

      "50 million quid on shipping contracts that weren't needed?"

      Probably were never needed but with the remoaner hysteria over the imminent prospect of half the UK popuilation dying from lack of medicines/food/crankshafts then it was politically nevessary to "be seen to be doing something" even if that something was completly unnecessary ... remember, look busy and do something.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Whens

        Let's hope you don't need any of the medicines that my pharmacist is trying to stockpile.

        You do understand that some isotopes used have a half-life of less than a day?

        I genuinely hope that everyone involved in the planning who suggests that it's a bad thing, is wrong, and a random anon coward is correct. Sadly that is unlikely.

        1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
          Flame

          Re: Whens

          would it be too crazy to expect the government to make the necessary arrangements to enable your pharmacist to get these supplies after we leave the EU?

          after all , we are only leaving a trading group, not the fucking planet!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Whens

            Would it be unreasonable for you perhaps to explain wtf we are having to discuss the fucking stockpiling of foods, fuel, and medicine.

            What are the actual benefits of doing this?

            What the actual f would it take to convince you it's a bad idea ?

            1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

              Re: Whens

              I think we having to discuss stockpiling because the gove has done very little , and a lot of squabbling, over the last two years to arrange leaving the EU smoothly.

              It was only last week that May said she would invite Corbyn to help.

              I couldnt believe it! only half the politicians were working on this all this time?

              The benefits of 'this'. you mean stockpiling? well i guess if the govt manage to totally screw up , maybe beurocracy and red tape will lead to some shortages.

              They should be filling in our WTO application form right now...

              convince me its whats bad idea? brexit? or stockpiling? its been very difficult to work out what you are referring to everytime you use the words IT and THIS

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Imprecise use of language

                1)I think Brexit is a bad idea, as I've yet to see any benefit of leaving the E.U.

                There are three major trading blocs, we can go with the US, the Chinese, or the EU.

                The EU is the least worst of the choices for our nation, especially given how interdependent our economy is on the SM/CU.

                I accept, I might not be aware of a benefit of leaving, but as yet no-one has explained it in terms I understand, perhaps you'll be good enough to buck the trend. Genuinely, I'm happy to be shown to be wrong.

                2)Stockpiling is a mitigation against the delays in transporting products. However stockpiling is no mitigation against perishable products and there are several from foods to isotopes that simply cannot be stored for long. We are discussing stockpiling as we are not self-sufficient in food, fuel, or medicine. That's not really down to the Government, it's due to our landmass, and share of natural resources. Do we even have enough guns and/or butter to be classed as north or southland? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guns_versus_butter_model

                3) Why do you think WTO will work when the ex-head of the WTO doesn't?

                'https://www.indy100.com/article/pascal-lamy-iain-duncan-smith-video-brexit-bbc-politics-wto-8891456

                What do you know about the WTO that the ex-head of the WTO doesn't?

                The Government is responsible for governing, that the WAB failed to get through the HOC, is the only reason there are cross-party talks. Why do you think that the HOC voted the WAB down?

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Any response forthcoming?

                Crickets..

                Well it's better to remain silent and be thought a fool, rather than speak out and remove any doubt.

                Please prove me wrong, explain why we are being shafted, sans lube.

                1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

                  Re: Any response forthcoming?

                  well the one benefit , however small you may value it at , is that the 740 million or so europeans would no longer have the right to move to our country to live.

                  another is that we could decide wether to follow all the eu brussels regulation , rather than be bound to.

                  wether those 2 things are worth it ... the jury is out / hung / 50:50

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Any response forthcoming?

                    Thank you for putting your reasons on the record.

                    1) Freedom of movement, I'm unsure why you think that removing our rights to work or live abroad is good for us.

                    2) There are rules which "allow EU citizens to freely circulate only for three months and then require them (should they want to stay longer) to show they are working (employed or self-employed), a registered student or have sufficient resources (pension, savings) to support themselves and comprehensive sickness insurance eg a valid European health insurance card enabling the NHS to claim back the cost of treatment or have private health insurance." [https://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=460].

                    We could implement them if desired, Teresa May during her tenure at the home office, chose not to implement them.

                    3) We currently have a veto over any laws we don't like.

                    We barely use it

                    "Official EU voting records* show that the British government has voted ‘No’ to laws passed at EU level on 56 occasions, abstained 70 times, and voted ‘Yes’ 2,466 times since 1999, according to UK in a Changing Europe Fellows Sara Hagemann and Simon Hix.

                    In other words, UK ministers were on the “winning side” 95% of the time, abstained 3% of the time, and were on the losing side 2%." [https://fullfact.org/europe/eu-facts-behind-claims-uk-influence/]

                    4) Which laws currently are troubling to you? I rather like the laws and protections which allow my small business to tell much larger businesses to fuck off when they try and rip me off. See for example, Conduct of Employment Businesses 2003 (1)(12)(b) prohibition on withholding payment from jobseekers. Eu derived legislation protecting us.

          2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

            Re: Whens

            But what about those isotopes? Not much point in stockpiling them, is there?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "I never thought leopards would eat MY face"

          > Let's hope you don't need any of the medicines that my pharmacist is trying to stockpile.

          I genuinely hope that they do.

          If the worst comes to the worst and the shit hits the fan, those who were willing to inflict this mess upon all of us in the first place are the ones that deserve most to suffer the consequences of their own actions.

          Zero sympathy.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "I never thought leopards would eat MY face"

            Sadly the ones who inflicted this mess on us are well protected.

            It's mostly us plebs who will suffer, regardless of desire.

            Roll on Scottish independence, and hopefully they'll accept refuges from south of the border.

      2. Frumious Bandersnatch

        Re: Whens

        remember, look busy and do something

        Psst! Pass it on: Jesus is coming. Look busy!

        1. Chris King

          Re: Whens

          "Psst! Pass it on: Jesus is coming. Look busy!"

          Sell the Popemobile and buy me a Renault 4 !

      3. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Whens

        When I read comments I am in a loop:

        while (nextWord != "remoaner")

        {

        ...

        }

      4. Martin Gregorie

        Re: Whens

        "look busy and pretend to do something". - FIFY

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Whens

          "look busy and pretend to do something"

          Oi!

          Stop giving away the secrets of my career!

    2. Giles C Silver badge

      Re: Whens

      And the Peterborough mp has been sacked, 27% of the electorate close to kick her out (and yes that does include me wanting to get rid of her) result was announced at 630 today

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ByElection

        It would be quite funny if she stood, and was returned with a bigger majority.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: ByElection

          It would be quite funny if she stood, and was returned with a bigger majority.

          Given that almost 20,000 of her constituents voted to kick her out, it wouldn't be funny it would be astonishing.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: ByElection

            As Brexit has proved, in this country, we are fucking stupid.

            We have a reading age of less than nine according to OECD https://www.oecd.org/skills/piaac/Country%20note%20-%20United%20Kingdom.pdf

            Our education system literally is going backwards https://literacytrust.org.uk/information/what-is-literacy/

            So, really nothing would surprise me any more?

            1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

              Re: ByElection

              As Brexit has proved, in this country, we are fucking stupid.

              Defining someone as stupid simply because they disagree with your view? Not the most logical of arguments

              We have a reading age of less than nine according to OECD https://www.oecd.org/skills/piaac/Country%20note%20-%20United%20Kingdom.pdf

              I'm curious how you get "reading age of less than nine" from that PDF. It seems to show that the UK is pretty much in the middle when it comes to literacy & numeracy in the EU, better than some like France, and non-EU places like the US, but worse than S. Korea or the Scandinavians, which won't come as a surprise to anyone. Disappointing to see the poor numeracy levels in may places, but it seems unfashionable these days to teach mental arithmetic in schools "why bother, everyone has a calculator" is the prevailing attitude.

              Our education system literally is going backwards https://literacytrust.org.uk/information/what-is-literacy/

              Yes, Tony Blair's policies have a lot to answer for. Not that his kids will suffer, of course, since he sent them to a private school.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: ByElection

                Reading age: http://www.see-a-voice.org/marketing-ad/effective-communication/readability/

                In England, adult literacy is often referred to in terms of ‘levels’ – for example, a 2011 government survey of adult literacy skills found that 14.9% (or 1 in 7) of adults in England have literacy levels at or below Entry Level 3, which is equivalent to the literacy skills expected of a nine to 11-year-old.

                https://literacytrust.org.uk/parents-and-families/adult-literacy/what-do-adult-literacy-levels-mean/

                https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2006/jan/24/books.politics

                https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/246534/bis-13-1221-international-survey-of-adult-skills-2012.pdf

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: ByElection @phil

                Brexit:

                I don't class people as stupid for voting to leave the E.U. That's a legitimate viewpoint, not one I hold, but a legitimate view. I have a dear friend, who's offspring is a serving member of the forces, they feel that us being out of the E.U. will somehow keep their child (who competes internationally on our behalf in shooting btw), safer. I don't agree, but I understand the instinct, and I view that as legitimate.

                We differ politically, but I'd defend that right to that view, even if I disagree.

                I think that the stupid label is justified to attach people who make such a decision, and are unable to elucidate their reasons for doing so. It doesn't have to be a *good* reason, but something that's at least grounded in some facts, failing that at least vaguely plausible.

                There is a perfect example of this up-thread. Of failing to explain why having to risk to public health is just waved away. I don't understand why my rights are being abridged, to no obvious advantage.

                Please explain what I'm missing.

        2. BebopWeBop

          Re: ByElection

          Funny but depressing

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 50 Million, Try 2.7 Billion

      https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/chris-grayling-ferry-contracts-blunders-cost-a8803296.html

      It's a good think they found the magic money tree, since failing grayling has cost us 2.7 Billion so far.

      Mind you that was in March, so it's quite possible that it's increased since.

      I do wonder what compromat he has on May, but mind bleach prevents me from wondering too much.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: 50 Million, Try 2.7 Billion

        Chris Fayling is a complete and utter twat.

        Needs sacking, may be deselecting. Totally incompetent.

        I noticed no one has reminded us about his cancellation of railway electrification schemes, forcing the purchase of Electro Diesels to fill in those gaps.

        But his nadir has to be the pizza company.

        1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

          Re: 50 Million, Try 2.7 Billion

          pah , a drop in the trough.

          less than a months national debt interest

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 50 Million, Try 2.7 Billion

            Food banks?

            Children killing one another?

            Massive levels of street homelessness?

            Seriously, that level of wastage is tragic, we owe our country much better than this level of apathy.

            We could do great things with that money, instead we've wasted it, and you have "pah" as response.

    4. Frumious Bandersnatch

      Re: Whens

      including the infamous ferry company that had no ships, no port and no experience of running a ferry

      But to be fair, it also had a pretty good privacy policy ... for a pizza delivery company.

    5. Fred Dibnah

      Re: Whens

      Despite being female, Penny Mordaunt might be better described as a complete cock:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvLcYUXBBuc

  7. CommanderGalaxian
    Black Helicopters

    Patsy

    LOL. The culprit is clearly a more senior member - else why not prosecute Williamson for a clear breach of the Official Secrets Act?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktxHWDgaH60

    1. Geoffrey W

      Re: Patsy

      The culprit was clearly Cronus the spider, Wiliamson's tarantula, which was lurking in a corner with it's multifaceted eyes watching everything the inferior legged invertebrates*** were up to. It's schemes are coming along nicely.

      ***Invertebrates - Creatures lacking a backbone.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Coat

        Re: Patsy

        When a spider leaks state secrets, do they appear on the Web?

        1. Geoffrey W

          Re: Patsy

          Tarantulas don't build webs. They're hunters. Just thought I should mention that.

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Patsy

        Cronus the spider, Wiliamson's tarantula

        Probably find that it's been to the GRU spy school (via Cuba)..

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Whilst May's actually making decisions...

    ...can she get Failing Grayling sacked and jailed too?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Whilst May's actually making decisions...

      Grayling seems sackproof, leading one to wonder what bodies he knows the location of.

      1. Frumious Bandersnatch

        Re: Whilst May's actually making decisions...

        It's not so much that, as knowing who has put in the big orders for carpets and quicklime. You don't get rich digging for gold. Hardware is where it's at. (BTW, GW can totally hook you up with a second-hand fireplace!)

        1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Unhappy

          "Grayling seems sackproof, leading one to wonder what bodies he knows the location of."

          It's simpler than that.

          He appears to be her only actual friend in the Cabinet from their shared background in the same constituency party IIRC

          Nothing much short of committing Frankie Boyle levels of malfeasance on live television would get May to even consider sacking him.

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Whilst May's actually making decisions...

        Grayling seems sackproof

        Or is being kept around, despite his inability to actually achieve anything[1] simply because he's not, and never will be, a threat to May..

        [1] Other than waste huge gobs of taxpayer cash of course.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Whilst May's actually making decisions...

      Failing Grayling is the gift that keeps giving.

      Something bad you need to announce? Release it during the two week period of Graylings latest screw up, no one will notice. If anyone does notice, they can say "at least I'm not Grayling".

      I expect May to finally stand down after "delivering Brexit" (take that how you choose to - I have no idea what it will mean) with the words "I did it much better than Failing Grayling would have" and everyone will nod and let her go.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Trollface

        Re: Whilst May's actually making decisions...

        I'm going to use that from now on. "I did it much better than Failing Grayling would have"

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can May be sacked now too.

    May has repeatedly lied to the electorate and parliament yet is still in post. The defence guy shouldn’t have revealed the info so soon but it would have been public knowledge sooner rather than later, but the revelation is in no way worse than the lies TM has been spouting these last 2 years.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Can May be sacked now too.

      Lies are one thing, and I'd like her and her cabinet to be sacked.

      Breaching a NSC meeting with the security services is not going to end well.

      Our services, will know who did it, how they communicated the information.

      He's toast and should be subject to the official secret acts, and chucked into prison.

      If you leak from a NSC meeting, and your motivation is anything less than something you'd be able to defend in public, you really should swing for it.

      1. Fred Dibnah

        Re: Can May be sacked now too.

        He. Or she.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Can May be sacked now too.

          If I read you correctly, you are requesting I apply the same disdain for a leaker of either sex in this case.

          I do, male or female, some sort of ability to have confidential national security meetings is required for a functional state in the modern world.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Can May be sacked now too.

      No. Sacking her would need a majority in either the Tory parliamentary party or the House of Commons. Neither has been able to agree on anything.

  10. Richard Tobin

    What's the security issue?

    All he did was leak something that would have been announced later.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What's the security issue?

      The issue is that the NSC meetings allow serving members of our security services to speak frankly.

      That seems like a trivial thing, but it's not, and our sole avenue of democratic oversight over people well versed in black arts rests on the idea that they can speak freely.

      It's not what he said, and frankly it is not his place to decide what gets released, either you are fit and proper to hold the office (at a minimum, you can keep stum when required) or not.

      I would point out tweaking the tail of the security services, is just not acceptable.

      It's treason, what else has he leaked? Trust at this level is not something you get back.

      I'm quite anti authoritarian, but our services need some protections, this is not okay.

      1. ninjakidd

        Re: What's the security issue?

        Bloody hell you lot are acting like he just sold the queens undies on eBay, what's wrong with ya? calm down. He has brought attention to the dodgy Chinese infiltrating our core networks, is that what you want is it? Just worry about something that is worth being worried about. This is much ado about nothing

        1. BigSLitleP

          Re: What's the security issue?

          "He has brought attention to the dodgy Chinese infiltrating our core networks"

          Amazing, every word in that sentence is wrong.

          1) No evidence that the Chinese government have a backdoor in Huawei kit

          2) Huawei kit is not going in core locations

          What he did bring attention to is that the Americans can kiss our shiny metal ass.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What's the security issue?

          Fuck off with the dog whistle.

          H have the best radios, fact.

          All the sodding kit is manufactured in China, mostly by bloody foxconn, regardless of the vendor badge.

          The point is simple, our spooks can speak freely, or not.

          That is fucking major, pull your head out and try to understand, OSA is not a fucking joke.

          Don't sign it if you don't want to be bound, and if you break it, you should swing.

      2. TVU Silver badge

        Re: What's the security issue?

        "I'm quite anti authoritarian, but our services need some protections, this is not okay"

        ^ It's also not OK for the current government to completely ignore and overrule the advice of the UK's own security service (and allies) about the threats and dangers of using knowingly Huawei equipment in critical infrastructure projects. It's not only ET who gets to phone home.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What's the security issue?

          Right, so you seriously think our security services are muppets?

          1) it's about the US not being able to compete on the radio design essential for the MIMO parts of the spec.

          2) There is no single piece of even vaguely credible evidence that the services have said anything other than the code is a bit *fragile*, so keep the control plane well segregated.

          3) The Idea of the xenophobe in chief having been told by our services, "this kit is well dodgy ma'am", and overruling them is just more tory leadership waffle.

          Show some evidence and tuck your dog whistle back in the warm dark place you pulled it from.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What's the security issue?

          >^ It's also not OK for the current government to completely ignore and overrule the advice of the UK's own security service (and allies) about the threats and dangers of using knowingly Huawei equipment in critical infrastructure projects. It's not only ET who gets to phone home.

          Does that mean we also need to rip out the Huawei 3G and 4G kit from our networks?

          Do our allies not include Germany and Italy, who also use Huawei kit and consider it safe?

        3. fajensen

          Re: What's the security issue?

          It's also not OK for the current government to completely ignore and overrule the advice of the UK's own security

          Yes, it totally is! The government governs, security services give advice to help with that. Security services don't get to run the country, even if they actually wanted the hassle, which strongly believe they don't. If you think it is wrong, you get to vote for another government.

  11. TheSkunkyMonk

    Government should be ran openly anyway, that way maybe they'd get some decent advice and we'd all know what we are actually paying them for.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Open Government

      I agree, but that's not what this is about.

      This was purely about leadership ambitions in the Tory party, either we have the ability for our spooks to speak frankly or not.

      This is not okay, it's not about open government, it's treason and hugely damaging to our national interests.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        "This was purely about leadership ambitions in the Tory party,"

        As have most of the issues that have resulted in the UK being enveloped in a perpetual s**t storm for the last 3 years.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      should be ran openly anyway

      s/ran/run/* g

      (ObPedant twitch)

  12. I3N
    Pint

    Well, edge computing is the ....

    core to 5G's features.

    All those little details that can't fit on the handset requiring wide bandwidth to load and unload.

  13. Nick Kew

    We can conclude ...

    Unless he's an innocent[1] man who's been framed or scapegoated, the conclusion has to be that he's utterly incompetent on the subject of communications security.

    Just when it really mattered!

    [1] in the narrow matter of the specific leak under discussion.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: We can conclude ...

      My view is simply that he is not evil nor traitorous but simply an idiot.

      Why do most parties have incompetents and idiots in positions of power or responsibility?

      The only reason the current goverment is hanging on is that the main opposition is even worse.

      1. BebopWeBop

        Re: We can conclude ...

        They are hanging on because (a) May is desperate for power - having screwed up the Home Office (and I saw a lot of that when I was seconded there for 12 months) she wanted to 'cemennt a legacy' and (b) The Tories are desperate to keep it until they can hand over the shit for someone else to take the blame (c) Labour are frantic NOT to be the party who takes the oncoming whit full in the face.

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: We can conclude ...

        Why do most parties have incompetents and idiots in positions of power

        Because, in the modern form of politics, competency is not a core value. Blind loyalty, advanced backstabbing, having the illusion of competency and schmoozing are.

  14. Dr_N

    He's Innocent!!!

    He swore on his kids' lives.

    Clearly the act of an innocent man.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: He's Innocent!!!

      Didn't Gummer try to feed beef to his daughter to reassure the public over BSE?

      A politician is someone who wouldn't sell his granny to the knackers - if he thought it might lose him votes.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: He's Innocent!!!

        I hold no brief for Gummer, but he was actually right, and the "the world is gonna die from CJD if we don't stop eating beef!" crowd were wrong....

        1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: He's Innocent!!!

          I suspect you have never experienced first-hand looking after someone with dementia if you think that sort of comment is clever.

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: He's Innocent!!!

            looking after someone with dementia

            Dementia != CJD. CJD is a specific condition caused by malformed prions of a certan type accumulating in the brain after being eaten in meat infected with the prions.

            The real stupidity of Gummer in feeding the beef to the girl was that the science hadn't been done (at that point) to determine conclusively the prevalence and severity of mad cow disease. So he took a risk with a child all in order to appear to be in control and get some publicity.

    2. batfink

      Re: He's Innocent!!!

      In the immortal words of Homer (no, the other one): "You can't take me - I've got a wife and children! Take them instead!"

  15. John G Imrie

    Innocent unless proven Guilty

    Right now, all that has happened is that the head of the Cabinet office has pointed at Mr. Williamson and said 'it could be you'. If they really thought it was him surely the police would have been called in. In stead of which we have Mrs May saying that the matter is now 'closed' and Mr. Williamson has been denied any chance of defending himself. This isn't the rule of law, this is a Star Chamber defenestration witch is rather worrying.

    1. Killing Time

      Re: Innocent unless proven Guilty

      As I understand the letter, he was sacked due to his behaviour during the investigation.

      This suggests at the very least that in private he was evasive despite his public undertaking and protestations. In a normal employment context this could be considered gross misconduct. Where are the facts to support the political finger pointing and scapegoating suggested?

      A lack of cooperation is not something you can tolerate from a defence secretary on a security matter.

      Good riddance.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Innocent unless proven Guilty

      He's admitted talking to the journalist, he didn't explain what he said.

      Let's be honest, the SigInt points to him, someone will leak the contents of that call.

      1. Killing Time

        Re: Innocent unless proven Guilty

        The significant point I see in the exchange of letters is that despite there being no suggestion of anyone else's involvement in May's termination letter, in his response he goes out of his way to point out his trust for the civil servants and others in his dept.

        Classic deflection. Muddying the waters by subtly inferring that the leak could have come from within the department. What a snakey POS. He doesn't give a toss who he screws over.

        Dump him out of UK politics, period.

    3. fajensen

      Re: Innocent unless proven Guilty

      This isn't the rule of law,

      No it isn't "the law", it is Politics. Maybe they are doing Mr Williamson a big favour and Mr. Williamson is too thick or self-absorbed to accept it?

      Think about it. We have total mass surveillance in place. Therefore the GCHQ will have the exact data and there is no doubt that Theresa May and her advisers would have been unofficially informed of the gist of it, leaving it up May with to decide if Mr. Williamson goes down the hard way or the soft way.

      The hard way does have the inconvenience of making it official and public knowledge that even Cabinet Ministers are monitored. That is why they don't want to go there.

  16. Danny 2

    Get Out Of Jail Free card

    In August of last year the prisons minister, Rory Stewart, announced he'd quit politics unless he could improve the ten worst prisons in a year, and got a lot of publicity for that. Those prisons are getting worse and his coat was on a shoogly peg. Just in the 'nick' of time he is now replacing Mordaunt as International Development Secretary. I'm curious if his replacement as prisons minister will be held to his pledge? Rhetorical question of course.

  17. Dave Coventry

    What is the risk?

    What is the risk of using Hauwei to implement 5G? Is it technically possible for them to install a backdoor for the Chinese Government to harvest intel? or to take down as required?

    1. Nick Kew

      Re: What is the risk?

      The risk is that somewhere among the toys Trump throws out of the pram is something that matters to us.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What is the risk?

      It's just rubbish.

      We have lots of H kit 2g 3G all over the UK.

      The premise is that in some way, telco kit will magically unsecure it's control plane due to commands from China.

      How exactly that is supposed to work is never explained, and everyperson with half a clue on the subject including our security services has been sceptical to say the least. Not least as the control plane is locked down to buggery in any telco network.

      The US are behind on the radio design, this is purely about keeping US backdoored kit while they catch up on the radio designs.

      1. Dave Coventry

        Re: What is the risk?

        Thanks.

        Much as I thought. Trump just being a spacker again.

        1. WolfFan

          Re: What is the risk?

          He never stopped. And he never will.

  18. ninjakidd

    To Russia with Love

    I wonder if Mr Williamson told Mrs May to "Shut up and go away" lol

    1. Danny 2

      Re: To Russia with Love

      Williamson did say, "I made May and I can break her", when demanding more MoD funding.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: To Russia with Love

        Williamson did say, "I made May and I can break her"

        So a classic case of the consequences of biting the hand that feeds you then..

        (Mind you, it doesn't seem to have affected the cats much.)

  19. James Anderson

    Blackadder the third

    Reminds me of the William Pit sketch.

    You are Penny the even less known?

    What next Derick who never existed.

    1. Primus Secundus Tertius

      Re: Blackadder the third

      Last year I heard Ms Mordaunt give a very sensible speech about the work of her then department (the foreign aid outfit). Except that what people really wanted to hear was something about the just-announced EU Withdrawal Agreement. Questions afterwards were about the EU.

  20. Zippy´s Sausage Factory
    Facepalm

    Incompetence? Fine.

    Idiocy? Fine.

    Racism? Ah well, you know what Boris is like - it was all in fun, right, no harm done, eh?

    Leaking to a Tory-friendly paper? You're fired.

    Personally I'd prefer the first three to be sacking offences and the third a borderline, but that's just me.

    1. Nick Kew

      A fair point, well made.

      Well, kind-of. Except then you're going to be mired in controversy over every judgement call. Not every case is as clear-cut as Grayling, Williamson, or Johnson, and even those might have defenders.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Incompetence? Fine.

      Idiocy? Fine.

      Racism? Ah well, you know what Boris is like - it was all in fun, right, no harm done, eh?"

      if you hold tories to those, the whole front bench would be empty...

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Mordaunt is famous in certain circles for a wardroom bet on how many times she could say “cock” in a parliamentary speech. She’d fit right in here on El Reg.

    On a more serious note it is clearly in the National Interest that the electorate be informed that a major economic rival will soon be privy to all our communications.

    1. batfink

      Surely...

      ..you mean "another major economic rival...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Fine, if you are offering the National Interest defence, own your leak, put your name to it.

      Anti Chinese dog whistles is not a national interest defence, especially since almost every mobile phone in the country is made in China.

      The mobile infrastructure of this country 3g/4g is H kit, it's comical to suggest that a slightly different Radio Access Network, (5g) is more or less a threat.

      So either it was a threat (not) or it's not a threat. Either way, cutting off the flow of intelligence from our partners as they can't trust our .gov to keep it confidential is a threat.

  22. lglethal Silver badge
    Go

    The reason the matter is now "closed"...

    The real reason the matter is now "closed" and not being referred to the police for a breach of the Official Secrets Act is that if Williamson was prosecuted, he would lose his seat in paliament, and at that point the government would have almost no majority (even with the DUP support).

    House of Commons total number of MP's = 650

    The 7 Sinn Fein MP's do not attend paliament (in protest, yadda yadda), so total is 643.

    Therefore, for a majority you need 322.

    Conservatives have 313 MP's.

    DUP has 10 MPs.

    Take away Williamson and you have Conservatives + DUP = 322 MPs.

    Just one defection would kill the government's ability to do anything.

    Alternatively, maybe Sinn Fein could decide to turn up and vote against everything the government does. Right now that would cause a collapse of government, and surely that would a better protest from them, rather then letting the government cuddle up to the DUP and really screw over Northern Ireland (at least from Sinn Fein's point of view)?

    1. BebopWeBop
      Devil

      Re: The reason the matter is now "closed"...

      The arithmetic seems good, but Sinn Fein are elected on the basis of not swearing allegiance to the crown.

      Not that it stops them taking the money, but if they thought it was in their interest I am sure they would abandon that pledge. However, they are calculating that Brexit pushes the probability of a vote on Irish unification closer and so they will be happy to passively enable that.

      1. John G Imrie

        Not that it stops them taking the money

        I was under the impression that as they did not swear allegiance they did not get paid, and as a matter of principle they did not submit expenses claims. I could be wrong though.

        1. Danny 2

          Re: Not that it stops them taking the money

          Sinn Féin MPs are denied their salaries but can and do claim staff costs and accommodation allowances. There's been some debate in Ireland if they should take a pledge similar to Salmond, who prefaced his pledge with "The Scottish National Party's primary loyalty is to the people of Scotland, in line with the Scottish constitutional tradition of the sovereignty of the people."

          It appears though Sinn Féin aren't going to change their stance due to Brexit stating that the “people of Ireland will not find a solution to Brexit in the parliament that is imposing it.”

  23. Gezza

    Perhaps he needed to go as he was too sharp and a potential problem with May having signed the UK into the Euro Army, squirrelled away in the WA if she fails to have Brexit actually stopped.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It is possible that Gavin Williamson was, in fact, too sharp and not the bluntest spoon in the chisel drawer, in which case this is a miscarriage of justice as he really DID know how to keep a secret. I'd suggest while theoretically possible, it's really really unlikely.

      PS: there isn't an EU army.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I fear for his children.

  25. sanmigueelbeer
    Holmes

    Maybe the leak came from the Chinese government?

    Where's me coat?

  26. Big_Boomer Silver badge

    Ok, who in the Cabinet had a Waaaah-wey phone?

    Is it just me or do politicians around the world seem to be getting more and more inept, incompetent, and comedic? Oh, I don't doubt that there are some out there who do a great job, are not on the take, and are not doing dodgy deals to get their pet project through, but I'm willing to bet that they are a small minority.

  27. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    And as a post script

    The leak from the meeting of the National Security Council about Huawei "did not amount to a criminal offence", the Metropolitan Police has said.

    There's a shock.

    Full story

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-48160004

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And as a post script

      Breach of OSA is not a criminal offence?

      At what point do we declare ourself a failed state?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And as a post script

        when you start offering referenda with options you don't know how to deliver

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