politics

MPs told Chinese agent has been 'active in Parliament' in major MI5 alert


Tory Sir Iain Duncan Smith demanded to know why tougher action wasn’t being taken agains ‘an agent of a foreign, despotic and despicable power’

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Iain Duncan Smith: Chinese agent has been ‘active in Parliament’

MPs have been warned by the security services that an agent of the Chinese Government has been active in Parliament.

Former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith told the Commons that MI5 had notified Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle that a woman has been attempting to “subvert the processes here”.

Sir Iain, who was among MPs sanctioned by Beijing for criticising human rights abuses in Xinjiang province, said it was a “matter of grave concern” – and warned lives could be put at risk.

He demanded to know why tougher action wasn’t being taken agains “an agent of a foreign, despotic and despicable power”.

Speaking in the Commons, he said: “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.”







Former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith raised the issue in the Commons
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PA)

Last year, China slapped sanctions on a string of British MPs and institutions who were critical of the treatment of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang province.

It announced travel bans and asset freezes on nine people, including Sir Ian, Tory MP Neil O’Brien, Lord David Alton, Conservative MPs Tim Loughton and Nusrat Ghani, Labour’s Baroness Helena Kennedy, barrister Geoffrey Nice, Joanne Nicola Smith Finley, and chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Tom Tugendhat.

The move came after the UK announced travel bans and asset freezes against Chinese officials and the state-run Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps Public Security Bureau (XPCC PSB) alongside similar moves by the US, Canada and the EU.







Parliament has been notified by MI5 that an agent of the Chinese Government has been active
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Image:

Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Sir Ian told MPs: “I am one of those who has done a lot to try and help fleeing Hong Kong Chinese, fleeing the Communist regime, here in the UK.

“We have names and numbers of people. That leaves me worrying that some of these have been accessed by such an individual.

“These would be their lives and their families at risk and I am deeply concerned about this because my activities may therefore well have been traced – as those as well from my colleagues and friends.”

He said the individual was not being deported, and demanded: “How can it be that an agent of a foreign, despotic and despicable power that is hell-bent on reducing many of those people into penury it seems.

“How can they put somebody in Parliament, this Mother of Parliaments, and then that individual have nothing done to them other than they are not allowed in Parliament. This is surely not good enough.”

Commons Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans said he could not comment on security issues.

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