A picture is doing the rounds on social media of Chinese foreign agent Christine Ching Kui Lee with David Cameron, allegedly taken in 2014, when Cameron was still prime minister of the UK.
The revelation come after MI5 took the rare step of issuing MPs and peers with a warning about Lee’s cultivating of British politicians to secure a “UK political landscape” that was “favourable” to China.
This morning, Priti Patel warned there will be more Chinese spies that engage in “political interference activities” on behalf of the ruling communist party.
The Home Secretary said the UK had “other adversaries” who would “look to interfere or come into our country in some shape and way” after it was revealed a senior Labour MP received more than £500,000 in donations from Christine Ching Kui Lee before MI5 issued a warning she was a Chinese agent.
Barry Gardiner received the donations – mainly to cover staffing costs in his office – over a period of six years, and employed her son as his diary manager.
Stronger laws needed
While Ms Patel warned stronger laws were needed as the activity was “under the criminal threshold”.
She said: “We are big players internationally, the United Kingdom, our place in the world is very strong. And so we’re naturally a country of interest. I think it’s fair to say in the future, we’ll see more alerts of this nature.”
She added: “And, of course, as I’ve said, we are working to look at what measures we can take to strengthen our laws, our legislations, to effectively lead to the type of prosecutions that we currently cannot deliver.”
Former Conservative Party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith, who has been involved in helping Hong Kong-Chinese people flee the communist regime, expressed concern they could now be at risk as a result of Lee’s activities.
In the Security Service Interference Alert (SSIA) sent to MPs and peers, MI5 said Lee “acted covertly” in co-ordination with the United Front Work Department (UFWD) of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
“The UFWD seeks to cultivate relationships with influential figures in order to ensure the UK political landscape is favourable to the CCP’s agenda and to challenge those that raise concerns about CCP activity, such as human rights,” it said.
“Lee has been engaged in the facilitation of financial donations to political parties, parliamentarians, aspiring parliamentarians, and individuals seeking political office in the UK, including facilitating donations to political entities on behalf of foreign nationals.”