THE PM’s new PR manager directly lobbied Chief of Staff No10 not to ban controversial tech company Huawei over spying concerns.
Guto Harri – hired by Boris Johnson on Saturday – used a 2020 meeting with Sir Eddie Lister to ask which ministers would “push” on behalf of his clients, the documents show.
On June 2, 2020, he met then-No 10 HR Manager Sir Eddie Lister along with three top executives of the company affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party.
During the 25-minute video call, Mr Harri, representing the lobbying firm Hawthorn Advisors, directly asked Sir Eddie which minister he could “press” for help, according to minutes taken. presently.
The UK Security Service is then conducting a risk review of allowing the company to participate in the UK’s core telecommunications network.
Mr. Eddie spoke very frankly about the Prime Minister’s views on the company, suggesting Mr Johnson do not want to ban them but are “stuck” between the pressure of the Tory party and the US government.
“This prime minister is not anti-China and not Donald Trump,” he stressed. And the Prime Minister added “believes in a good relationship with China. He doesn’t come from a negative place in any way.”
But he admitted: “We were arrested. We want the technology, we want it implemented. There is an American concern and a congressional concern.
“There is a large number of MPs across the entire political divide that have problems with China. Some are Atlanticists, some are pro-Covid, some are pro-Hong Kong, some are pro-human.”
After The Sun revealed Mr Harri’s connection to Huawei yesterday, No10 defended its appointment and said that he had previously “provided advice to a private company’s client and It’s completely legal.”
But the minutes show Mr Harri directly asking No10, “Are there any ministers we should talk to? Perhaps for a nudge into the DCMS (Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) or the Treasury? “.
Downing Street confirmed that full security checks have been completed on Johnson’s new Communications Director.
However, former No10 aide Dominic Cummings warned that Mr Harri should not be allowed to see sensitive intelligence data and that “his personal cell phone should be banned from using No10” because of the connection. associated with the company.
And former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith, a leading skeptic in China, has called for further investigation.
“Given the issue of the threat to national security that Huawei poses, which is why Huawei is barred from our 5G system, it is important to have clarity in these issues,” he said. this problem.
“Is Guto Harri now subject to full security scrutiny including past ties to Huawei?”
A No 10 spokesperson said: “In full compliance with appropriate guidance, government officials met with a number of interested parties, including Huawei, following the change in US policy. “
After a technical review by the National Cyber Security Center in response to US sanctions, the Government banned the purchase of any new 5G equipment from Huawei and is in the process of removing all Huawei equipment from the 5G network. .
“The Prime Minister always acts in the UK’s best interest when dealing with China, which allows us to manage disagreements, defend our values and maintain space to resolve issues. challenges, including security issues”.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/4634864/boris-new-spin-chief-lobby-huawei/ Boris Johnson’s new chief executive has lobbied the No 10 CEO not to bypass the law of Chinese company Huawei over spying concerns