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Police hand over file on parliament researcher accused of ‘spying for China’

Scotland Yard probe into man who worked with MPs – and insists on innocence – handed to prosecutors



January 5, 2024


The Rishi Sunak government has acknowledged more steps are needed to protect UK interests from possible Chinese interference

(PA Wire)


The Metropolitan Police have handed prosecutors a file on their investigation into a parliamentary researcher arrested on suspicion of spying for China.


Scotland Yard officers have passed the file to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for consideration after two men were detained under the Official Secrets Act, the force said.


Rishi Sunak confronted Chinese premier Li Qiang at the G20 summit in India over an “unacceptable” interference in democracy after details of the arrests first emerged in September.


A male researcher in his twenties insisted he was “completely innocent” and he had spent his career highlighting the “challenge and threats presented by the Chinese Communist Party”.

The British man, with connections to senior Tory MPs, has not been named by police or his lawyers – who released the statement disputing the claims.


He was arrested along with the other man on 13 March as officers from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command – which oversees espionage-related offences – investigated.


Rishi Sunak (right) has been under pressure to take tougher stance with Chinese President Xi Jinping

(Getty/PA)


An update from Scotland Yard said: “Officers have been in liaison with CPS in relation to this investigation and a case file has now been passed to them for consideration.


“Both men remain on police bail at this time and inquiries continue.”


The parliamentary researcher who was arrested on suspicion of spying for China met Cabinet Office minister Alex Burghart to discuss a crucial piece of legislation, according to Politico.

The man – who has insisted that he is innocent – met the minister to discuss proposed amendments to the Procurement Bill, aimed at toughening up Britain’s policy toward China.


But a Whitehall official said no sensitive information was discussed and the meeting lasted less than an hour.

Mr Sunak has insisted that protecting the UK from interference from Beijing was an “absolute priority”, after the arrest of a parliamentary researcher on suspicion of spying for the superpower.


The PM vowed to “call out unacceptable behaviour” – but he again rejected Tory calls from Liz Truss, Sir Iain Duncan Smith and other senior Tories to officially designate China a threat.


The Sunak government warned in September that China is trying to “headhunt” top British officials in government, business and the military.


In response to a damning report by MPs, the government said Beijing has attempted to recruit nationals in key positions with “sensitive knowledge and experience”.




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