Britain’s intelligence service MI5 has issued an alert to British MPs claiming a ‘Chinese government agent’ has been ‘active’ in parliament
Beijing has strongly denied allegations that Christine Lee was working on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to interfere in British politics by infiltrating the country’s parliament, accusing MI5 of “defamation and intimidation”.
Responding to claims made public on Thursday, the Chinese Embassy in London hit back at MI5 and the UK government, saying it had “it’s not necessary” at “buy influence in any foreign parliament.”
Ridding the allegation, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin suggested to British officials “watched too many 007 movies, leading to unnecessary mental associations,” the sparks “alarmist remarks”.
“We strongly oppose the trick of defamation and intimidation against the Chinese community in the UK,” a statement on the embassy website read, adding that “China has always adhered to the principle of non-interference in [an]internal affairs of another country”.
The firm denial comes after Conservative politician Iain Duncan Smith referenced a letter from UK Speaker of Parliament Lindsay Hoyle to all MPs. In a statement to the House of Commons, Duncan Smith said “Hoyle had been contacted by MI5… to warn of a woman named Christine Lee who had been ‘engaged in political interference activities on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party’.
Lee, who was allegedly involved in the Chinese all-party parliamentary group in Britain, is accused of having “engaging” with the deputies with the aim of “subvert the processes here” on behalf of the CCP.
Following Duncan Smith’s statement, Labor MP Barry Gardiner confirmed that he had received funds from Lee but had been in contact with UK security services over the donations, totaling over £420,000 ( $576,720) over five years. UK Home Secretary Priti Patel said the government finds it “deeply concerning” that an individual was targeting parliamentarians to engage “in political interference activities on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party.”
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