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What the papers say – May 2

Gavin Williamson’s sacking as defence secretary dominates the agenda.

What the papers say – May 2 (PA)
What the papers say – May 2 (PA)

Gavin Williamson’s sacking as defence secretary leads the papers on Thursday.

The Cabinet minister was fired by Theresa May on Wednesday after an inquiry into an unprecedented leak of information from the National Security Council (NSC).

Mr Williamson strenuously denied he was responsible for the breach, saying he swore on his children’s lives it was not true, the Daily Mail says.

He refused to resign, telling the PM he would “not resign over something I haven’t done”, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The Telegraph was first to report Mrs May’s decision to give the go-ahead for Chinese tech giant Huwaei to build parts of the UK’s 5G infrastructure.

Mrs May said an inquiry had found “compelling evidence” he was to blame, the Daily Express reports.

The PM also said he had failed to engage with the leak inquiry by Sir Mark Sedwill, the National Security Adviser, the Financial Times says.

As a result, she had “lost confidence in his ability to serve” in her Cabinet, the i reports.

Mr Williamson blamed a vendetta by Sir Mark, who is also the Cabinet Secretary, for his sacking, The Times reports.

He said he had been the victim of a “kangaroo court”, The Guardian reports.

There are calls for the former minister to now face a criminal investigation, The Sun says.

The Metro says he could be jailed for five years if found guilty of a breach of the Official Secrets Act.

Mrs May has so far declined to call in the police, saying she considers the “matter closed”, The Independent reports.

However, the Daily Mirror says calls were growing for detectives to look into the leak.

PA

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