Government defeats Huawei rebel MPs

Oliver Dowden MP Digital Minister

 The government has defeated rebellious Tory MPs looking to keep tech titan Huawei away from the UK’s 5G network.

The group wanted guarantees the Chinese infrastructure provider would be restricted in its involvement.

Also, it had a time limit on its connection – December 2022.

Parliament rejected the amendment, with the government winning the vote by 306 to 282.

Digital minister Oliver Dowden said:

“We’re not in a position today to set out a specific date or timetable for reaching no high-risk vendors, that would require a new decision to be taken by the National Security Council.”

However, the government would work with other “five eyes” intelligence partners.

Mr Dowden said the Government is committed to reducing the UK’s reliance on Huawei within the current Parliament.

He told MPs: “There is a huge sense of urgency in this.

“This is why we are committed to working with our Five Eyes partners to make sure in this Parliament – we are setting for the first time here – we are setting out a timetable to say within this Parliament we will get the capacity so that then we can ensure that we will start to move away from our reliance on high-risk vendors.

“It’s already capped at 35%, we want to get to a position where we don’t need to rely on them at all.

“This is the important first step and this is about reassuring the House that we are on the path to diversification.”


About the Author

Philip Braund spent 16 years at the Daily Mirror as a reporter and news editor before moving to ITV. He was the series producer of the ground-breaking investigation programme The Cook Report, Managing Editor at ITV's Millbank Studios, and Head of News at ITV Central. He has won national and regional Royal Television Society awards for documentaries.

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