David Warburton MP for Somerton and Frome is one of a group of Tory rebels calling for China’s telecoms giant Huawei to be removed from UK telecoms networks, including 5G mobile phone infrastructure.
David was one of the signatories to the critical amendment to the government’s Telecommunication Bill tabled by the group which included four former Cabinet Ministers. Voting against the government today, David demanded the elimination of all Huawei technology from the UK’s mobile phone networks by the end of 2022.
The Government’s majority was slashed to just 24, giving a warning shot that when the forthcoming Telecommunication Security Bill comes forward, more are likely to join and the Government’s position on Huawei may be forced to change.
In January, Prime Minister Boris Johnson granted the Chinese company a limited role in supplying equipment for the UK’s 5G networks. Led by senior Tories Iain Duncan Smith, Damian Green, Owen Paterson and David Davis, the rebels assert that any technology from Huawei represents a significant surveillance risk – a view also held by the US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Japan and others. Many are concerned that Beijing may use the Chinese company’s equipment to spy on other countries.
Founder and former CEO of mobile phone software company Pitch Entertainment Group, David Warburton MP said, “As technology advances, cyber security is becoming increasingly critical in securing the safety of nations. It’s vital that we defend the UK’s intelligence and information networks, to protect them from manipulation, exploitation and misuse. There can be no complacency over the UK’s national security.”
David continued, “The involvement of Huawei in UK telecoms has the very great risk of jeopardising our national security, damaging the integrity and strength of our intelligence services and the NATO alliance. We must work to remove Huawei’s involvement in our crucial digital networks, not invite them in. Future conflict will be fought in cyberspace, and the resilience and security of our communications cannot be put at risk.”
Downing Street plans to puts forward legislation to implement its Huawei decision to a vote later in the spring.