When the former defence secretary Gavin Williamson was fired from his position on Wednesday, for allegedly leaking information related to Huawei, China hawks in the Cabinet lost a key ally in their fight against the company’s involvement in the UK 5G network.
The defence secretary was said to be one of five Cabinet ministers against Huawei’s bid, with Jeremy Hunt, Liam Fox, Sajid Javid and Penny Mordaunt also allegedly wary of the company’s closeness to the Chinese state, and the possibility it could use the network to spy on UK citizens.
But while they may have been disappointed to lose another voice in Cabinet against the Chinese telecoms behemoth, elsewhere in London it appears that champagne corks may have been popping at the defence secretary’s demise.
As the news broke at around 6pm on Wednesday, a friend of Mr Steerpike was passing by an office on 16 Old Queen Street (a few doors down from The Spectator) when he heard a loud and very distinctive cheer coming from the building as Williamson’s sacking was announced. The source tells Mr S that the celebration was loud enough to be heard from the street.
Coincidentally, Mr S notes that according to the Register of Members’ Interests, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd are listed as having an office on 16 Old Queen Street. The building is run by London Executive Offices, who rent out the space to several companies.
Why anyone in the building could possibly be celebrating a minister’s sacking, Mr S will leave to readers to speculate…