MI5 warns Chinese government 'agent' has been 'active' in UK parliament, MPs told
By SEAMLESS DAILY
13 January 2022
MI5 has warned that a Chinese government agent has been working in parliament "to subvert the processes", MPs have been told.
Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle, in a letter sent to MPs, warned that Christine Lee had been "engaged in political interference" for the Chinese Communist Party and sought to lobby parliamentarians.
MI5 sent out an "interference alert" warning Ms Lee has "facilitated financial donations to serving and aspiring parliamentarians on behalf of foreign nationals based in Hong Kong and China ... done covertly to mask the origins of the payments".
The "interference alert" from the security service names and pictures Christine Ching Kui Lee as an individual who has allegedly “ knowingly engaged in political interference activities on behalf of the United Front Work Department of the Chinese Communist party ”.
Ms Lee has been pictured over the years with former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, talking to David Cameron in 2015 and was given a prize by Theresa May for "promoting engagement, understanding and cooperation between the Chinese community and wider UK society".
"They have always known, and been made fully aware by me, of her engagement with my office and the donations she made to fund researchers in my office in the past," said Mr Gardiner.
the mp said the donations were properly reported with the parliamentary authorities, and that he had not "personally from those donations in any way.
the former labour frontbencher said ms lee stopped funding any workers in my office in june 2020.
Mr Gardiner added that her son had been working for him as a diary manager but he resigned earlier on Thursday and MI5 said they "have no intelligence that shows he was aware of, or complicit in, his mother's illegal activity".
"Why in heaven's name is such an agent allowed in the country ?"
Mr Duncan Smith said his offices may have been targeted for information of people he was helping escape China.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said it was "deeply concerning" that someone "who has knowingly engaged in political interference activities on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party has targeted parliamentarians".
She added : "Proportionate action is always taken to mitigate these threats, thanks to our world-leading intelligence and security agencies".
"All the donations were properly reported in the register of members' interests and their source verified at the time.
The Brent North MP said she had "no role" in who was appointed as his researchers and all donations were "properly reported", adding : "I have been assured by the security services that whilst they have definitively identified improper funding channelled through Christine Lee, this does not relate to any funding received by my office."
ms lee's son was also understood to have volunteered for the labour mp and was later employed as his diary manager – but the member of staff had resigned on thursday morning.
"This has not been about targeting the government in particular," the source said.
MI5 has issued a rare warning to MPs that a Chinese agent has infiltrated Parliament to interfere in UK politics.
It comes after a "significant, long-running" investigation by MI5, Whitehall sources told the BBC.
Labour MP Barry Gardiner has confirmed he had received donations from Ms Lee and said he has been liaising with intelligence "for a number of years" about the solicitor.
the security service said anyone contacted by ms lee should be "may aspire to establish appgs [ parliamentary groups ] to further the ccp's agenda".
Conservative MP and former party leader, Sir Iain Duncan Smith, brought up the alert in the Commons, confirming it had been emailed out to MPs by the Speaker.
He said it was "a matter of grave concern", calling for Ms Lee to be deported and demanding the government make a statement to the House.
"But the fact that it's happened to this Parliament, there must be a sense of urgency from this government."
The UFWD is alleged to be seeking to "cultivate relations" with "influential figures" to ensure the UK political landscape is favourable to the CCP and to challenge those that raise concerns about the party, including over human rights.
The security service said Ms Lee had "extensive engagement with individuals across the UK political spectrum", including the now disbanded All Party Parliamentary Group, called Chinese in Britain.
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