Controversial Chinese tech giant Huawei has gotten approval for a £ 1 billion research lab near Cambridge after the local authority’s “censored” discussion on national security, said a planning committee member.
Deborah Roberts, the only councilor who voted against Huawei’s plans, said that the refusal of the South Cambridgeshire District Council to allow the planning committee to discuss national security concerns was a form of censorship.
Planning committee members were told that there was “significant local, national and international interest” in the application and were told not to base their decision on political or security concerns. Roberts said, “We have been absolutely censored.”
U.S. politicians, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Woody Johnson, his American ambassador to the United Kingdom, Woody Johnson, have reported raising concerns about Huawei’s plans for the 550-acre site, which will turn into research. of 400 laboratory people.
Roberts said she was “horrified” that the decision on Huawei’s plans “was given to the butcher, baker and candlestick maker” rather than considered by security officials. The approval of Huawei’s plans was made despite the campaign against the application.
Neil O’Brien, a conservative MP who co-founded the China Research Group, urged the government to delay the decision until after the publication of a review by the National Cyber Security Center on the effects of U.S. sanctions on Huawei.
A spokesman for the South Cambridgeshire District Council said: “It was important that members focus exclusively on national and local planning rules and their decision was based only on these considerations.”