Rishi Sunak grills Beijing on 'significant concerns about Chinese interference' after 'spy' found in Westminster | The Sun
RISHI Sunak has raised "serious concerns about Chinese interference in UK democracy" with Beijing’s PM after a suspected Chinese agent was arrested for spying in Westminster.
In a bombshell revelation, it emerged that a British parliamentary researcher with links to several leading MPs has been arrested by cops in March.
Mr Sunak raised the shocking revelation with the Chinese premier Li Qiang during the G20 summit in New Delhi.
A No10 spokesman said: "The prime minister met premier Li Qiang and conveyed his significant concerns about Chinese interference the UK’s parliamentary democracy."
And Mr Sunak himself said later this morning: "I obviously can't comment on the specifics of an ongoing investigation.
"But with regard to my meeting with Premier Li what I said very specifically is that I raised a range of different concerns that we have in areas of disagreement, and in particular, my very strong concerns about any interference in our parliamentary democracy, which is obviously unacceptable.
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"We discussed a range of things and I raised areas where there are disagreements.
"And this is just part of our strategy to protect ourselves, protect our values and our interests, to align our approach to China with that of our allies like America, Australia, Canada, Japan and others, but also to engage where it makes sense.
"And actually, I think the right thing to do is take the opportunity to engage to raise concerns specifically, rather than just shouting from the sidelines."
The alleged spy was arrested in March.
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He had worked as a parliamentary researcher for the senior Conservative MP Alicia Kearns.
He also had links with cabinet minister Tom Tugendhat and the foreign affairs committee chair Alicia Kearns.
He was arrested along with another man by officers on March 13, it was revealed by the Sunday Times.
Officers from the Metropolitan Police’s counter-terrorism command, which oversees espionage-related offences, are investigating.
One of the men, in his 30s, was detained in Oxfordshire while the other, in his 20s, was arrested in Edinburgh, Scotland Yard said.
"Searches were also carried out at both the residential properties, as well as at a third address in east London," it added in a statement.
Both men were held at a south London police station before being bailed until early October.
The Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China pressure group said it was "appalled at reports of the infiltration of the UK parliament by someone allegedly acting on behalf of the People’s Republic of China".
Mr Tugendhat is said not to have had any contact with the researcher since before he became security minister in September last year.
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Ms Kearns declined to comment only saying: "While I recognise the public interest, we all have a duty to ensure any work of the authorities is not jeopardised."
A source close to her told the PA news agency: "It is inevitable the Chinese Communist Party would target and seek to undermine Parliament’s leading voices who have demonstrated the ability to constrain the CCP’s ambitions."
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