Huawei will build parts of the UK's 5G network

But Ms James, the MP for Stourbridge, said: "In spite of Cabinet leaks to the contrary, final decision yet to be made on managing threats to telecoms infrastructure".

The newspaper reported that on Tuesday, May will allow Huawei "limited access to help build parts of the network such as antennas and other "noncore" infrastructure".

"National Security Council discussions are confidential". However, the political dimension can not be ignored - particularly in light of warnings from GCHQ offshoot the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) that Huawei's pisspoor software development practices are just as big a threat to national security as the ever-present concern of Chinese espionage backdoors.

She said: "You can't just eliminate all risk by banishing one supplier".

"Only a few weeks ago the excellent Malcolm Turnbull, former Prime Minister of Australia was here warning against this very decision".

Bob Seeley, a junior member of the government who has been preparing a report on Huawei, said: "I want to see if we can make it an issue in the leadership campaign and get the decision changed".

"We're at a fork in the road".

In keeping with the government's position over the last few years, no Huawei equipment will be installed in the core of any of British mobile network operator's setup.

A range of ministers spoke at the NSC meeting, with Philip Hammond, the chancellor, Greg Clark, the business secretary, and David Lidington, May's effective deputy, among those content to go along with a partial ban.

"If that's the Government's choice then we need immediate clarity on what their plan B is to give us the 5G network our future prosperity demands".

Martin, head of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), said Britain's decision would be announced in due course.

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But the former United States homeland security adviser Tom Bossert said: "I think it is a little overly rosy and optimistic to suspect that [risks] can be mitigated in new 5G infrastructure ..."

May's Downing Street office declined to comment on the story.

MI6 chief Alex Younger has said Britain needs to decide how "comfortable" it is in allowing Chinese firms to become involved while the head of GCHQ Jeremy Fleming has spoken of both "opportunities and threats" which they present.

The news comes despite the Home Secretary, as well as the Defence and Foreign Secretary have all expressed concerns over the green light the government has given the Chinese firm.

None of the Five Eyes intelligence sharing nations will use technology from Huawei in the "sensitive" parts of their telecoms networks, a senior US official said on Wednesday.

It is not clear to what extent the UK's decision may have been influenced by the United States, which has been placing pressure on other countries to follow its lead in cutting out Huawei from critical infrastructure.

We are investing £3 billion over five years to help the United Kingdom to remain internationally competitive as the US, South Korea, Germany and other nations build their 5G systems.

"There's a reason others have said no".

Washington has repeatedly claimed that Huawei has been stealing commercial information and spying on behalf of the Chinese government, allegations which the company has consistently denied.

A Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport spokeswoman said the security and resilience of the UK's telecoms networks is of "paramount importance".

  • Sonia Alvarado