British PM Rishi Sunak came home from the G20 Summit to find his ‘House’ in disarray, after it surfaced that China had allegedly planted a ‘highly impactful mole’ inside Westminster.
A young parliamentary aide, with established links with officials and lawmakers, including the chairwoman of the influential Foreign Affairs Committee.
The researcher is not being named for legal reasons.
While the following actions by the Police are not known, the scandal has already engulfed the ‘China policy circle’ in Westminster like never before.
“The person, in his 20s and not named by most media outlets, was an active figure in Parliament. He had connections not only with Alicia Kearns MP, the committee chair, but also Tom Tugendhat, who is now security minister in the government.”
The suspect aide had been rubbing shoulders with top officials, and built a network of people interested in China policy.
“The prime minister also said he was ‘appalled’ about the reports, adding that the ‘sanctity of this place must be protected’. ‘We will defend our democracy and our security’, he said.”
On his meeting with Chinese Premier Li Qiang , PM Rishi Sunakpersonally intervened in an ’emphatic’ way. But was that enough?
“Not everyone in Sunak’s government is happy with his refusal to categorize China as a ‘threat’, especially in the wake of this incident. Home Secretary Suella Braverman as well as Tugendhat favor such a [threat] designation, while Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch said that declaring China a threat would ‘escalate things’.”
Others China to the ‘enhanced’ tier of the Foreign ‘Influence Registration Scheme’.
“The suspect in question has denied the allegations via a statement from his legal reps. He said ‘it is vital that it is known that I am completely innocent. I have spent my career to date trying to educate others about the challenge and threats presented by the Chinese Communist party. To do what has been claimed against me in extravagant news reporting would be against everything I stand for’.”
The exposé hurt London’s small-but-growing China policy circle. Everyone who had come into contact with the suspect is angry and feeling exposed.
MPs are enraged that a six-month silence followed the arrest of an aide operating at the heart of parliament on suspicion of allegedly spying for China.
The Guardian reported:
“They voiced concern on Monday that the gap meant they had been unable to take their own security precautions, amid wider concern that individual pro-democracy activists could be put at risk by any security lapse.”
Only a small number of MPs appear to have been warned.
“A handful of senior ministers were aware of the situation, however. Rishi Sunak, the prime minister, told parliament that James Cleverly, the foreign secretary, had raised the matter in private with his counterparts when he visited China at the end of August.”
The alleged spying may represent an escalation of China’s espionage activities.
“’If this is proved to have happened once, it is not likely to be an isolated incident’, one former senior intelligence official said.
China has accused Britain of engaging in ‘nothing but malicious slander’ in its response to the news of the arrests. A spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in the UK complained of ‘anti-China political manipulation’ and urged the British leaders to ‘stop putting on such self-staged political farce’.”
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