An agent of the Chinese government, Christine Ching Kui Lee, has been active in Parliament, working with MPs and associated political entities.
London: Boris Johnson has been scorned over what has become known as “partygate”, however the Prime Minister gave a commendable apology in Parliament and to the disappointment of those who were quick to call for his resignation the PM has the confidence and support of the majority of Tory backbenchers. Douglas Ross, Leader of the Scottish Conservatives would do well to reflect on the quote “The hand that wields the knife shall never wear the crown”. The media headlines and manoeuvres in Westminster beg the reader to think otherwise, but the PM has a rhino’s skin and is resilient, he has rebuilt his image before. Johnson’s next test is going to be how he deals with Thursday’s MI5 alert that a Chinese agent has infiltrated and likely wielded influence in favour of the CCP in Parliament and beyond. A likely step in the right direction would be a comprehensive boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics due to begin on 4 February.
An alternative scenario is that Johnson has lost the trust of the people and the people will persuade their MPs to select a new leader. There have been recurring situations that should never have happened, the recent catalogue of embarrassing shambles could have been anticipated, stage managed and stopped. It has been widely acknowledged that Johnson is not a details man, but where are the experienced managers around the PM who could prevent these careless situations happening, whose is that responsibility and where is the accountability? It seems the stage management team at No10 are lousy.
Returning to the Red Scare 2.0, Iain Duncan Smith MP and former Conservative Leader raised a Point of Order in the House of Commons when an email, from Sir Lindsay Hoyle The Commons Speaker, arrived in MPs’ offices, disclosing a Security Service Interference Alert from MI5 that an agent of the Chinese government, Christine Ching Kui Lee, has been active in Parliament, working with MPs and associated political entities, engaged in political interference activities on behalf of Chinese Communist Party. Ms Lee’s hobnobbing with Jeremy Corbyn and financial donations to Barry Gardiner MP, for whom her son Daniel Wilkes worked, were brought to immediate attention; Gardiner denies any impropriety. In January 2020, Gardiner Barry was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award in India, but it seems he was two-timing India. Christine Lee has donated £675,586.88 to either Barry Gardiner’s office or directly to the Labour Party.
Martin Thorley, Postdoctoral Research Fellow Party-state influence abroad at the University of Exeter, has been keeping tabs on Lee for several years. He revealed that many of these donations are associated with energy projects. Gardiner supported Chinese involvement in the Hinkley Nuclear Plant, and reportedly “strongly opposed internal party criticism of Chinese involvement in the Hinkley Point project”. Thorley found a single donation to the Liberal Democrats, made to Ed Davey’s constituency. The donation was registered in 2013 during the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition when Davey was the Energy Minister. Davey played a central role in securing Hinkley, not least by almost singlehandedly convincing the Liberal Democrats to back nuclear energy.
Lee was propagating China all over Westminster and beyond a founder member of the APPG Chinese in Britain, a curious now defunct organisation called the British Chinese Project that aimed “to bring demands of British Chinese Community to national and local government”, and “to encourage Chinese community in politics and nurture next-generation British-Chinese political leaders”; and Lee established the Chinese Council of Britain with the British Chinese Project as its secretary. Thorley revealed Lee was well connected in China, with various United Front and CPPCC affiliated individuals; and an honorary advisor at the Shenzhen Overseas Exchange Association Conference.
As an aside, in 2019 Sarah Mei Li Owen a British Labour Party politician and trade unionist, was elected MP for Luton North, with a 20% vote share of Pakistani origin. Owen is British Chinese, the first Labour MP of East Asian descent, and the first female MP of Chinese descent. Owen visited Beijing in 2019 as Chair of Chinese for Labour with expenses paid for by the International Department of the CCP and the Chinese Embassy.
Alan Mendoza, Executive Director of the Henry Jackson Society, said to Nigel Farage, his host on GB News, “All this time we’ve been debating ‘is China a friend or foe?’, the answer’s been staring us in the face, they’re a foe.”
This realisation will have serious repercussions for the Newport Water Fab acquisition, which is currently under government review, and future Chinese dreams. At present, the UK does not have a single, comprehensive counter-espionage law. Until now the legislation has developed fragmentarily, relevant criminal offences are currently set out in four key statutes: the Official Secrets Act 1911, the Official Secrets Act 1920, the Official Secrets Act 1939, and the 2014 Lobbying Act. It is time the Tory government came up with a proper Foreign Lobbying Act.