LONDON, 14 January, 2022 (AFP) – Britain’s domestic intelligence service MI5 has warned lawmakers that an alleged Chinese agent “committed political interference activities” in parliament, Westminster officials said on Thursday.
House of Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle’s office confirmed it had emailed lawmakers to inform them of the matter.
A Hoyle spokesman said: “The president takes the security of delegates and the democratic process very seriously, for which he issued this notice in consultation with the security services.”
The Chinese embassy in London has denied the allegations and said it was never required to “buy influence in any foreign parliament”.
“We strongly oppose the use of intimidation and defamation to malign the Chinese community in the UK,” he criticized.
The suspect has been identified in the message as Christine Li, which states that she “committed political interference activities on behalf of the United Front Labor Department of the Communist Party of China,” a body that deals with non-party personalities or groups. Wants to keep in touch with
The London lawyer reportedly donated £200,000 ($275,000, €239,000) to Labor MP Barry Gardiner and hundreds of thousands more to his party.
Former Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May – whose party has been accused of receiving millions of pounds from Russian donors – awarded Lee an award in 2019 for her contribution to Sino-UK relations.
Lee was photographed with May’s predecessor, conservative David Cameron, at an event in 2015 and separately with former Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn.
According to Hoyle’s message, it “facilitated financial donations to deputies and candidates serving on behalf of foreigners based in Hong Kong and China.” “This was done in secret to hide the origin of the payment.”
Following warnings from MI5 about Lee’s activities, former Conservative leader Ian Duncan Smith, who was highly critical of Beijing, called for strong action.
Last year, China imposed sanctions on 10 people and organizations in Britain, including Duncan Smith, for spreading “lies and misinformation” about human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region (northwest China).
Lee was not detained or deported, but he was banned from parliament, she said.