Home International UK: MI5 warns of suspected Chinese spy in Parliament

UK: MI5 warns of suspected Chinese spy in Parliament

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Home Secretary Priti Patel stressed that this identification was “the result of the robust structures put in place in the UK to identify foreign interference or any potential threat to our democracy”. The warning notice issued by MI5, quoted by the media, identifies the alleged agent as Christine Lee.

Britain’s domestic intelligence service, MI5, has warned MPs against the actions of a suspected Chinese government agent in parliament, authorities said on Thursday. According to Conservative MP Iain Duncan Smith, a strong critic of the Chinese regime, who spoke to his peers, “the Speaker (of the House of Commons) has been contacted by MI5” and in turn, “warns MPs that an agent of the Chinese government has been active in Parliament”. House Speaker Lindsay Hoyle’s office confirmed that a notice had been issued “in consultation with the security services”, without further comment.

The Chinese Embassy denies

“I know that many will be very concerned that an individual who knowingly engaged in political interference activities on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party has targeted parliamentarians,” tweeted the minister. Interior Priti Patel. She stressed however that this identification was “the result of the robust structures put in place in the UK to identify foreign interference or any potential threat to our democracy”. The Chinese Embassy in London denied the accusations, saying: “We never need and never seek to ‘buy influence’ in a foreign parliament.” “We strongly oppose the defamation and intimidation against the Chinese community in the UK,” she added.

The warning notice issued by MI5, quoted by the media, identifies the alleged agent as Christine Lee and underlines that she has “knowingly engaged in political interference activities on behalf of the Department of Labor of the Front United Communist Party of China”.

Payouts of hundreds of thousands of pounds

She played a facilitating role in the payment of “financial donations to political parties, parliamentarians, aspiring parliamentarians and people considering political office in the United Kingdom”, according to the same source, on behalf of foreign nationals based in China in particular. or in Hong Kong. Christine Lee is said to have paid hundreds of thousands of pounds to former Labor Party leader Barry Gardiner, as well as to the party itself. She was also pictured with former Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron at an event in 2015, and on another occasion with former Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn.

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In 2019, Christine Lee was decorated by Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May in recognition of her contribution to good relations with China. In a statement, Barry Gardiner assured that all donations were properly reported, stating that Christine Lee’s son worked for him until his resignation on Thursday. MP Iain Duncan Smith expressed concern that Ms Lee had not been arrested, but only barred from entering Parliament. He also called for an overhaul of parliamentary accreditation rules. The elected official is one of the British personalities targeted by Beijing sanctions for their criticism of the treatment of Uyghurs.

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