– A suspected spy in the House of Commons helped the boss of the powerful Foreign Affairs Committee get elected.
– Security chiefs are investigating whether the unnamed Brit passed top secret documents to China.
– The suspect was arrested in March while working as a researcher for the China Research Group of MPs.
A suspected spy within the House of Commons is causing a major political scandal in the UK. This individual allegedly helped the boss of the influential Foreign Affairs Committee, Alicia Kearns, get elected and sponsored him for an access-all-areas pass around Parliament. Security chiefs are now investigating whether this individual passed top secret documents to China.
Political Aide Arrested by Spooks
The suspect in question was arrested in March, along with another man, on suspicion of offenses under the Official Secrets Act. The arrest occurred while he was working as a researcher for the China Research Group of MPs, which was set up by Tom Tugendhat and run by Alicia Kearns. The fact that this individual was able to lobby for Kearns' election onto the Foreign Affairs Committee is now causing outrage among her colleagues.
According to allies of Tom Tugendhat, who is now the Security Minister, he has not met the suspect since his appointment last September. The suspect continued to work as a researcher for the China Research Group until June this year. Both individuals have been bailed until October as the investigation continues.
MPs Threaten to Name Suspected Spy
The revelations about the suspected spy's involvement with Kearns and the China Research Group have blindsided other MPs in the group. Some MPs are now threatening to name the suspect under Parliamentary privilege this week, claiming that his arrest had been covered up. However, Kearns has urged caution, stating that everyone has a duty to ensure that the work of the authorities is not jeopardized.
The China Research Group was considered a more moderate group of MPs compared to the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China. However, one senior MP has claimed that the suspect was seeking to sow division and promote a more moderate relationship with China. Critics of China in the UK, such as Sir Iain Duncan Smith, see this as a significant breach in security and argue that the country has deeply penetrated the UK.
Raising Concerns about Chinese Interference
Yesterday, UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak expressed "very strong concerns" about attempts to interfere with British democracy during a meeting with the Chinese Premier Li Qi at the G20 summit. Li Qi responded by acknowledging differences in opinion. Prime Minister Boris Johnson later stated that any interference in the country's parliamentary democracy is unacceptable.