MI5 accused a Chinese lawyer of espionage in Parliament and senior officials

The office of the Speaker of the House of Commons, Lindsay Hoyle, confirmed to have sent an email to legislators to inform them of this episode.

Home Minister Priti Patel called the alleged Chinese infiltration attempt “very worrying” and said that “this development is the result of the strong structures put in place by the United Kingdom to identify foreign interference or any potential threat to our democracy “.

“The ‘speaker’ takes the security of the deputies and the democratic process very seriously, which is why he has issued this notice in consultation with the security services,” said a spokeswoman for Hoyle.

The message identified the suspect as Christine Lee, stating that he “carried out political interference activities on behalf of the Labor Department of the United Front of the Chinese Communist Party,” a body that seeks to maintain contact with personalities or groups outside the party.

This London-based lawyer would have donated $ 275,000 to Labor MP Barry Gardiner and hundreds of thousands to his party.

Former Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May – whose party has been accused of receiving millions of pounds from Russian donors – presented Lee with an award in 2019 in recognition of his contribution to ties between China and the United Kingdom.

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Lee was also photographed with May’s predecessor, the Conservative David Cameron, at an event in 2015, and separately with the former Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn.

“It facilitated financial donations to serving and aspiring MPs on behalf of foreign nationals based in Hong Kong and China. It was done covertly to mask the origin of the payments,” according to Hoyle’s message.

Following MI5’s warning about Lee’s activities, former conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith, highly critical of China, demanded strong action, news agencies AFP and ANSA reported.

China last year imposed sanctions on 10 UK individuals and organizations, including Duncan Smith, for what it called spreading “lies and misinformation” about human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region.

Lee has not been detained or deported, and has simply been banned from Parliament, she denounced.

At the moment, neither the Chinese embassy in London nor the British government have commented on the matter.

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