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UK espionage arrests: Rishi Sunak denounces Beijing’s ‘interference’

The Prime Minister made the comments after it emerged that two men had been arrested on suspicion of spying for China.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has expressed to his Chinese counterpart his “deep concern” about “Chinese interference in British parliamentary democracy”, following the revelation of the arrest of two men accused of espionage.


Police have confirmed that the couple were arrested under the Official Secrets Act as Sunday weather revealed that one of the men, aged in his 20s, was a parliamentary researcher with links to several Conservative MPs.

He and another man in his 30s were arrested in March, the Metropolitan Police confirmed.

On Sunday morning, Downing Street announced that Sunak had raised “significant concerns” about Chinese interference to a senior Chinese official.

A spokesperson said: “The Prime Minister met with Premier Li Qiang and conveyed his significant concerns about Chinese interference in UK parliamentary democracy.”

It is alleged that the arrested man had links to the Minister of Security, Tom Tugendhat, and the president of the foreign affairs committee, Alicia Kearns, among other high-profile figures.

He has been confirmed to be a Briton who has previously worked in international politics, particularly relations with Beijing.

Last year, British intelligence revealed the case of a Chinese government agent, Christine Lee, claiming that she “engaged in political interference activities on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party, through dialogue with members of Parliament.”

Earlier this year, the House of Commons Intelligence and Security Committee claimed China was targeting the UK and said questions should be raised about whether more steps should be taken to mitigate potential risks.

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