Parliamentary researcher ‘who spied for China’ is arrested

Two men have been arrested under the Official Secrets Act on charges that a parliamentary researcher was spying for China.

The researcher had links to several senior Tory MPs, including Security Secretary Tom Stimmehat and Foreign Affairs Committee chair Alicia Kearns.

He was arrested along with another man by officers on March 13 on suspicion of spying for Beijing, the Sunday Times revealed.

Officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command, which monitors espionage offences, 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.

Both were held on suspicion of offenses under Section 1 of the Official Secrets Act 1911, which punishes offenses alleged to be “prejudicial to the security or interests of the State”.

“Both the residential properties and a third address in east London were also searched,” a police statement said.

Both men were held at a police station in south London until they were released on bail in early October.

Mr Tugendhat is said to have had no contact with the researcher since his appointment as security minister in September last year.

Ms Kearns declined to comment, adding: “While I recognize the public interest, we all have a duty to ensure that the work of authorities is not jeopardized.”

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The Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China advocacy group said it was “appalled by reports of the infiltration of the British Parliament by someone allegedly acting on behalf of the People’s Republic of China.”

A source close to Ms Kearns told the PA news agency: “It is inevitable that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will target and seek to undermine the leading voices in Parliament who have proven they are capable Containing the CCP’s ambitions.”

They said the allegations, if true, would represent a “serious escalation” and show that the CCP will do anything to combat thorns in their flesh.

The arrests came just over a week after Secretary of State James Cleverly visited Beijing amid criticism from some senior conservatives who are critics of China.

He insisted Britain would have a “pragmatic” relationship with China to tackle major global issues such as climate change.

Former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith, one of the party’s most prominent China hawks, warned of an “increasing threat” posed by the country under President Xi Jinping.

Sir Iain told PA: “This story belies the Government’s attempt not to view China as a systemic threat.”

“It is time for us to recognize the increasing threat that the CCP under Xi now poses. What was the price of Cleverly’s kowtow visit to Beijing?”

A report by Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee, which oversees the spy watchdog, warned in July that Beijing was targeting the United Kingdom “strongly and aggressively.”

Last year MI5 issued a rare security alert warning MPs that a suspected Chinese spy named Christine Lee had been involved in “political interference activities” on behalf of China’s ruling communist regime.

Labor MP Barry Gardiner, the former chairman of the now-defunct Chinese in Britain APPG, received more than £500,000 in donations from it before the warning.

Downing Street said it would not comment on security issues. The House of Commons has been contacted.

Russell Falcon

Russell Falcon is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Russell Falcon joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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