MI5 send urgent email to MPs warning about Chinese woman trying to corrupt UK politicians

Every MP in Britain was today warned by MI5 that a Chinese woman linked to the country’s Communist state is trying to improperly influence them.

The woman, named as Christine Lee, has been monitored by the security services for some time but has not been arrested and is not being expelled as it stands.

A warning memo was sent to all MPs and Peers in Westminster by the Speaker’s Parliamentary security team, and no politicians are suspected of any criminality.

An attached alert said she was ‘knowingly engaged in political interference activities on behalf of the United Front Work Department of the Chinese Communist Party’.

Conservative former leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith said this afternoon that he understood MI5 had contacted Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle about the matter. 

The woman, Christine Lee, has been monitored by the security services for some time

An MI5 alert said Christine Lee has been 'knowingly engaged in political interference activities on behalf of the United Front Work Department of the Chinese Communist Party'

An MI5 alert said Christine Lee has been ‘knowingly engaged in political interference activities on behalf of the United Front Work Department of the Chinese Communist Party’

Sir Iain Duncan Smit

Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle

Conservative former leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith (left) said this afternoon that he understood MI5 had contacted Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle (right) about the matter

Raising a point of order in the Commons, Sir Iain said the Speaker has emailed MPs.

He said: ‘They key issue here is I understand that Mr Speaker has been contacted by MI5 and is now warning members of Parliament that there has been an agent of the Chinese government active here in Parliament working with a Member of Parliament, obviously to subvert the processes here.

‘Clearly unacceptable behaviour’: What the email to MPs says 

‘I am writing now to draw your attention to the attached Interference Alert issued by the Security Service, MI5, about the activities of an individual, Christine Lee, who has been engaged in political interference activities on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party, engaging with Members here at Parliament and associated political entities, including the former APPG: Chinese in Britain.

‘I should highlight the fact that Lee has facilitated financial donations to serving and aspiring Parliamentarians on behalf of foreign nationals based in Hong Kong and China. 

‘This facilitation was done covertly to mask the origins of the payments. 

‘This is clearly unacceptable behaviour and steps are being taken to ensure it ceases.’

‘I say, as a Member of Parliament who has been sanctioned by the Chinese government, that this is a matter of grave concern.’

The email, revealed by The Sun, said: ‘I am writing now to draw your attention to the attached Interference Alert issued by the Security Service, MI5, about the activities of an individual, Christine Lee, who has been engaged in political interference activities on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party, engaging with Members here at Parliament and associated political entities, including the former APPG: Chinese in Britain.

‘I should highlight the fact that Lee has facilitated financial donations to serving and aspiring Parliamentarians on behalf of foreign nationals based in Hong Kong and China. This facilitation was done covertly to mask the origins of the payments. This is clearly unacceptable behaviour and steps are being taken to ensure it ceases.’

It comes a week after the head of MI6 thanked China’s state news agency for ‘free publicity’ after it released a mock video ridiculing the UK’s growing interest in Beijing.

In a rare public remark, Richard Moore issued a light-hearted riposte to the James Bond satire posted by China’s Xinhua News.

The video mocked the Western intelligence community’s focus on China, poking fun at its alleged propaganda capabilities and the Huawei technology fall-out.

Mr Moore – codenamed C – responded on Twitter: ‘Thank you for your interest (and the unexpected free publicity!)’

A spoof James Bond video (pictured) made by China's state news agency backfired after the head of MI6 thanked them for the 'free publicity' last week

A spoof James Bond video (pictured) made by China’s state news agency backfired after the head of MI6 thanked them for the ‘free publicity’ last week

MI6 chief Richard Moore issued a light-hearted riposte to the James Bond satire

MI6 chief Richard Moore issued a light-hearted riposte to the James Bond satire

The spy chief also included a link to a speech he made last November in which he accused China of mounting large-scale espionage operations against the UK and its allies.

What are debt traps? How China stands accused of tricking nations out of territory

Cash-strapped borrowers have been pushed to stake sovereign assets such as airports and seaports to access credit.

Western critics claim that this has been done through China’s ‘Belt and Road Initiative’.

First launched in 2013, and written into the Chinese constitution in 2017, it is billed by Beijing officials as a global infrastructure development fund which aims to better connect China to the rest of the world. 

In some nations, such as Montenegro, governments have signed up to deals in which China will be able to seize land if debts can’t be paid.

Similar concerns have been reported for countries including Uganda, Montenegro and Sri Lanka – which had to surrender one of its ports to Beijing.   

In the speech, he said that adapting to a world increasingly dominated by China’s influence was the ‘single greatest priority for MI6’.

Mr Moore also warned about China’s use of ‘debt traps’, in which developing countries accept Beijing’s infrastructure loans only to eventually cede control as they struggle with repayments.

The tongue-in-cheek video posted on Twitter by Xinhua features two Chinese actors playing British spies called ‘James Pond’ and ‘Black Window’.

In the video they poke fun at Mr Moore’s description of China as the UK’s top security threat.

Entitled ‘No Time to Die Laughing’, a reference to last year’s James Bond film No Time to Tie, the clip shows the pair entering a castle where they discuss a dossier on China’s espionage tactics.

Pond, codenamed ‘Agent 0.07’, says: ‘Is there anything China doesn’t watch over?’

Alongside canned laughter, Pond describes the ‘fictional Chinese debt trap and data trap’ as a pathetic excuse to get more funding for British intelligence.

In 2020, the UK infuriated China by banning the technology company from supplying equipment to the 5G phone network.

Xinhua, which was set up by China Communist Party in 1931 as its press outlet, operates under close Government control.

In his recent speech at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, Mr Moore warned China was using social media platforms to ‘facilitate their operations’.

He added: ‘We are concerned by the Chinese government’s attempt to distort public discourse and political decision making across the globe.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

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