Suspected China spies had high-level UK government access – Reports

Lazy eyes listen


According to the Sunday Times, a researcher for the UK House of Commons and another man were arrested in March on suspicion of spying for China.

The researcher allegedly worked on international policy and had contacts to numerous “senior Tory MPs,” some of whom had access to “classified or highly sensitive information,” according to a report in the Sunday Telegraph. The man’s contacts included Tom Tugendhat, Minister of State for Security, and Alicia Kearns, Chairwoman of the legislative Foreign Affairs Committee.

The Metropolitan Police Service stated in a brief statement that in March, a man in his 30s was arrested in Oxfordshire and a guy in his 20s was detained in Edinburgh under the Official Secrets Act. “Searches were also conducted.”

Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, which handles espionage-related crimes, is investigating the case. 

“While I recognize the public interest, we all have a duty to ensure any work of the authorities is not jeopardized,” Kearns said, declining to comment on the matter in detail.

According to a person close to Kearns, if the claims are genuine, it will result in a “serious escalation” with Beijing.

Tensions between China and the West have risen in recent years, with the heads of MI5 and the FBI issuing a joint statement in July 2022, describing Beijing as “the biggest long-term threat.” During his visit to Beijing late last month, UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly struck a more conciliatory tone, emphasizing the importance of a “pragmatic, sensible working relationship with China.” He also criticized efforts to withdraw completely from China.

Beijing has frequently refuted espionage charges, accusing the West of conducting a global slander campaign and asking it to quit “its Cold War mentality.”

“We have always been vehemently opposed to espionage activities.”