HomeTop StoriesBritish parliamentary researcher arrested on suspicion of spying for China

British parliamentary researcher arrested on suspicion of spying for China

A British parliamentary researcher has been arrested on suspicion of spying for China in a major security breach at Westminster.

The man, in his late 20s, is believed to have links to a number of senior Tory MPs, including some with access to classified or highly sensitive information.

The suspect worked for a number of years with parliamentarians on international policy, including relations with Beijing, and held a parliamentary passport.

They include Tom Tugendhat, the Minister of Security, and Alicia Kearn, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee.

He was arrested on March 13 along with another man on suspicion of espionage-related crimes.

Officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command, which monitors espionage-related crimes, are investigating.

One of the men, in his 30s, was arrested in Oxfordshire on March 13, while the other, in his 20s, was arrested in Edinburgh, Scotland Yard said.

The man in his 20s is believed to have worked on international policy with MPs including Tom Tugendhat – ISABEL INFANTES/AFP/Getty Images

A senior Whitehall source told The Sunday Times: “This is a major escalation by China. We’ve never seen anything like this before.”

See also  Mark Ridley-Thomas bribery co-defendant Marilyn Flynn sentenced to probation, house arrest

Security officials fear he may have been recruited during his stay in China.

Scotland Yard said: “Officers from the Metropolitan Police arrested two men on March 13 on suspicion of offenses under section one of the Official Secrets Act 1911.

“A man in his 30s was arrested at an address in Oxfordshire and a man in his 20s was arrested at an address in Edinburgh.

“Searches were also carried out at both the homes and a third address in east London. Both men were taken to a police station in south London and released on bail until a date in early October.”

The Telegraph has learned that Mr Tugendhat, a former chairman of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, has not spoken to the person since becoming security minister last September.

Ms Kearns declined to comment in a message on Twitter following the report.

Alicia Kearns

The man is also said to have worked with Alicia Kearn, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee – Heathcliff O’Malley

She added: “While I recognize the public interest, we all have a duty to ensure that the work of the authorities is not compromised.”

See also  Don't make it easy for thieves

A source close to Ms Kearns said: “It is no surprise that Alicia and Tom were targeted given their rock-solid record of changing the law on China – pushing the government to take tougher action against the Chinese Communist Party, from the Procurement Bill to Newport Wafer Fab, to Confucius Institutes, closing down illegal Chinese police stations and much more.

“This is what hostile states do: attack and try to undermine those they cannot silence. They have failed again.”

Ken McCallum, the head of MI5, has previously underlined that the Chinese Communist Party poses “the most game-changing strategic challenge” to Britain.

Further concerns have been raised that China is attacking Britain “frequently and aggressively”, according to the Commons intelligence and security committee, which published a report in July.

But the committee warned that government departments did not have the “resources, expertise or knowledge” to tackle the threat.

Broaden your horizons with award-winning British journalism. Try The Telegraph for 1 month for free, then enjoy 1 year for just $9 with our exclusive US offer.

See also  New British defense chief promises more air defense and offensive weapons for Kiev
- Advertisement -


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Recent Comments