MI5 warns of Chinese 'spy' based in Birmingham – who is Christine Lee?

MI5 has warned MPs that a Chinese government agent has been operating in Parliament.

Christine Ching Kui Lee reportedly attempted to “unduly influence” parliamentarians on behalf of the ruling Chinese Communist Party.

It did so by “facilitating financial donations to serving and prospective MPs on behalf of foreigners based in Hong Kong and China… covertly to disguise the origin of the payments.”

She is said to have donated £584,177 to the office of Labor MP and former shadow Cabinet member Barry Gardiner and £5,000 was sent to the office of Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey in 2013.

Lee’s son worked at Gardiner as a diary manager but resigned soon after the disruption became known.

Lee received recognition for her work on the British-Chinese Points of Light project and received an award. in one Personal thank you letter Speaking to Lee, former Prime Minister Theresa May said:

“You should be very proud of the difference The British Chinese Project is making in fostering engagement, understanding and cooperation between the Chinese and British communities in the UK. I also wish you every success in your work to promote the inclusion and participation of British-Chinese people in the British political system.”

Responding to MI5’s interference alert, the Chinese Embassy in London said: “China always adheres to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries.

Who is Christine Lee?

Lee is a 58-year-old Anglo-Chinese lawyer with a Birmingham-based firm called Christine Lee & Co. Her website States to have served the British community for over 30 years.

The law firm claims to be the “first and only” British-Chinese law firm authorized by the Chinese Ministry of Justice to practice in China

She has been active on the UK political scene since 2007, promoting UK-China relations and was pictured with former Prime Minister David Cameron.

Infrastructure projects, including the Hinkley nuclear power plant, were reportedly among the areas where Lee attempted to influence MPs.

MI6 head Richard Moore said in 2021 that China had become the agency’s “biggest single priority” for the first time in its history.

Just two years ago, three suspected Chinese spies were expelled from Britain after posing as journalists. MI5 found that the trio worked for the Chinese Ministry of State Security.

However, Lee is not currently facing criminal charges.

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