AMERICA will withhold intelligence from Britain unless Boris Johnson can guarantee it is safe from Huawei.
He met with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab in the evening and a spokesman said they discussed “future opportunities for economic and security co-operation.”
The senior US administration figure revealed Washington DC is studying the controversial decision on Tuesday to allow Huawei parts in the new 5G network for its security implications.
The angry US president – who demanded Britain ban Huawei completely – is also said to be keen to follow up Boris’s public offer to build a US-UK alternative provider.
Ahead of dinner with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on Wednesday night, Mr Pompeo branded Huawei “an extension of the Chinese Communist Party”.
‘WE WILL EVALUATE’
He added: “We’ll evaluate what the United Kingdom did.
“But our view is that we should have Western systems with Western rules, and American information only should pass through trusted networks, and we’ll make sure we do that.
“We were urging them to make a decision that was different than the one that they made, and now we’ll have a conversation about how to proceed.”
In a bid to calm US fears, the PM on Wednesday night insisted intelligence-sharing with the US and other Five Eyes partners would not be compromised by the Huawei decision.
Answering questions from the public in a Facebook Q&A, he said he had “interrogated” the security and intelligence agencies about the issue.
Boris added: “There is no doubt in their mind that we can do it and we can allow Huawei into some aspects of 5G but not compromise our intelligence-sharing ability with America, Australia, Canada or New Zealand – the so-called Five Eyes.
“I’m very confident we can do that.”
Mr Pompeo’s threat came as Downing Street struggled to control a spiralling Tory backbench rebellion over his decision.
Former deputy PM Damian Green revealed he has joined a group of angry Conservative MPs who are ready to force a change in the decision via a Commons vote.
Mr Green dubbed granting access to Huawei as “a questionable path for the nation to take”, and warned it was faced “a very widespread opposition from members old and new, left and right”.
A spokesman for the Foreign Secretary said: “The Foreign Secretary’s discussions with Secretary Pompeo this evening focused on future opportunities for economic and security co-operation between the UK and US.
“The pair discussed the US’ proposal for peace between Israelis and Palestinians, and the situation in Iran and Yemen, and the Foreign Secretary underlined the need to de-escalate regional tensions.”
The statement did not reference tech giant Huawei.