Chinese Spy Operating in UK Parliament Is ‘Tip of the Iceberg’: Senior Conservative

By Alexander Zhang
Alexander Zhang
Alexander Zhang
January 16, 2022Updated: April 22, 2022

Recent revelations of a Chinese communist spy operating in the UK Parliament are “just the tip of the iceberg,” according to a senior Conservative lawmaker.

The UK’s MI5 security agency took the unusual step of sending an alert to Parliament on Jan. 12 warning that an individual named Christine Ching Kui Lee has been “knowingly engaged in political interference activities on behalf of the United Front Work Department (UFWD) of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).”

The alert states that Lee had been facilitating financial donations to UK political parties and politicians and that anyone contacted by her should be “mindful of her affiliation with the Chinese state and remit to advance the CCP’s agenda in UK politics.”

CCP spy
Detail of an MI5 Security Service Interference Alert (SSIA) identifying Christine Ching Kui Lee as “an agent of the Chinese government” operating in the UK Parliament issued by the Office of the Speaker of the House of Commons on Jan. 12, 2022. (House of Commons/PA)

Sir Iain Duncan Smith, former leader of the UK’s ruling Conservative Party who made the MI5 alert public in the House of Commons, said the fact that the CCP is trying to “persuade and infiltrate and subvert people within our political system” is “nothing new at all.”

But Duncan Smith said that “too many governments seem too cautious about calling it out.”

“We seem to want to kowtow to them too often and that’s dangerous, and you have seen the results of that and this is just the tip of the iceberg, I can promise you,” he told “Trevor Phillips On Sunday” on Jan. 16, also describing the CCP as a “brutal, disgusting regime.”

“What they are after is making sure there can be no criticism of them so they can break every rule that they wish.”

He also noted that the Chinese regime also is partly to blame for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whether the virus came from a laboratory, Beijing “refused to let the world know of the scale of the problem they had until very late on,” causing it to spread around the world, according to Duncan Smith.

“We can’t just treat the Chinese government as any other government,” he said. “So when they start infiltrating, when they start subverting Parliament, and when they start paying people off, we have got to be much, much more brutal about it.”

Duncan Smith said Australia has shown the way to do this, “which is to ban involvement with the Chinese authorities and China in critical circumstances.”

Commenting on the MI5 alert on Jan. 13, Home Secretary Priti Patel said the UK needs to strengthen its laws to prosecute foreign agents that are engaged in political interference activities. She said the government is “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.”

Duncan Smith has been a leading voice in the UK Parliament, calling for a tougher diplomatic posture toward the Chinese regime. He founded the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC) in June 2020.

He was one of seven UK lawmakers sanctioned by the Chinese regime in March 2021 over their critical stance on the regime’s abuse of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, China.

PA Media contributed to this report.