MI5, which is the UK’s domestic intelligence agency, has warned British lawmakers that a woman connected to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been working to interfere in the political process, CNN reported.
MI5 alleges in an alert that Christine Ching Kui Lee has “acted covertly in coordination” with the United Front Work Department (UFWD), of the CCP and is “judged to be involved in political interference activities in the UK”, the report said.
The MI5 “interference alert” said: “We judge that the UFWD is seeking to covertly interfere in UK politics through establishing links with established and aspiring Parliamentarians across the political spectrum.”
The alleged spy was said to have “established ties” on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) with deputies and would-be deputies and according to the BBC, she “facilitated” donations to politicians. Lee is a London-based lawyer.
Former Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May presented Lee with an award in 2019 for her contribution to Sino-British ties. The award was rescinded on Thursday.
Lee has also donated £200,000 ($273,500) to former Labor shadow government member and current MP Barry Gardiner, and hundreds of thousands more to the party. Gardiner said in a statement that all donations received were properly declared and that he was in contact for years with the Kingdom’s security services in relation to the lawyer’s work.
Iain Duncan Smith, a former leader of the UK’s governing Conservative Party, told Parliament on Thursday that the case was a “matter of grave concern”. He called for the woman to be deported and demanded Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government make a statement to the Commons over the case.
Tobias Ellwood, a fellow Conservative lawmaker and former defence minister, also called for a government statement to the Commons. “This is the sort grey-zone interference we now anticipate and expect from China,” he said. “But the fact that it’s happened to this Parliament, there must be a sense of urgency from this government.”
The UK in February 2021 expelled three alleged Chinese spies, who MI5 said were posing as journalists but actually worked for China’s Ministry of State Security.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: SPROUTWIRED.COM