The head of the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre says the UK had established the "toughest and most rigorous oversight regime in the world for Huawei".

The comments followed a report from the Royal United Services Institute published today which warned that it would be naive and irresponsible to allow Huawei equipment in the UK’s network.

NCSC’s head, Ciaran Martin, added that the decision on a potential ban of Huawei equipment would be made by ministers, and not by the agency assessing the risk.

Huawei is a Chinese telecommunications equipment manufacturer which is being scrutinised by cyber security authorities in the UK because of the widespread presence of its kit in Britain’s 5G network infrastructure.

However, speaking in Brussels today, Mr Martin refuted the idea that the UK would not able to manage the use of the Chinese firm’s equipment.

He explained: Huawei’s presence is subject to detailed, formal oversight, led by the NCSC.

Because of our 15 years of dealings with the company and ten years of a formally agreed mitigation strategy which involves detailed provision of information, we have a wealth of understanding of the company.

We also have strict controls for how Huawei is deployed. It is not in any sensitive networks – including those of the government. Its kit is part of a balanced supply chain with other suppliers.

Our regime is arguably the toughest and most rigorous oversight regime in the world for Huawei, Mr Martin added.

He stressed that the problems the agency has flagged with Huawei’s equipment are about standards of cyber security; they are not indicators of hostile activity by China – despite the driving factor that China’s hostile activities has had in raising questions about the company’s role in 5G networks.

Ciaran Martin added no decisions have been taken and no decisions are being announced today but noted the agency has never had cause to report to government any harms caused to the UK by China using the equipment vendor, and would be obliged to report this if it happened.

Talking to journalists following Mr Martin’s speech, the NCSC’s technical director Ian Levy has said that Huawei has fallen short in meeting the high standards which the NCSC expects.

The NCSC representatives confirmed that they have received a letter from Huawei outlining the company’s intention to address UK concerns about its equipment.

A government review into telecoms security which will recommend whether Huawei should be banned from UK networks will be completed in March, although its findings may be too sensitive to publish.

(c) Sky News 2019: NCSC: UK has ‘toughest and most rigorous oversight regime in the world for Huawei’