Alleged ‘Chinese agent’ in parliament named as Christine Lee

Christine Ching Kui Lee is alleged to have engaged with MPs while facilitating financial donations to politicians in Hong Kong and on the Chinese mainland.

Published

MI5 has issued a warning to MPs about a Chinese agent it claims is covertly engaging in “political interference activities” in the UK on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party.

Christine Ching Kui Lee is alleged to have engaged with MPs while facilitating financial donations to politicians in Hong Kong and on the Chinese mainland.

Details are contained in a Security Service Interference Alert (SSIA) circulated to parliamentarians by Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle.

In a covering letter, Sir Lindsay said that among the MPs she had contacted were members of the now disbanded Chinese in Britain All Party Parliamentary Group.

“I should highlight the fact that Lee has facilitated financial donations to serving and aspiring parliamentarians on behalf of foreign nationals based in Hong Kong and China,” he wrote.

“This facilitation was done covertly to mask the origins of the payments. This is clearly unacceptable behaviour and steps are being taken to ensure it ceases.”

Screengrab of an alert issued by the Office of the Speaker of the House of Commons of an MI5 Security Service Interference Alert (SSIA) warning that Christine Ching Kui Lee "an agent of the Chinese government has been active in the British Parliament", and that she has "acted covertly" in co-ordination with the United Front Work Department (UFWD) of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and is "judged to be involved in political interference activities in the UK".
Screengrab of an alert issued by the Office of the Speaker of the House of Commons of an MI5 Security Service Interference Alert (SSIA) warning that Christine Ching Kui Lee "an agent of the Chinese government has been active in the British Parliament", and that she has "acted covertly" in co-ordination with the United Front Work Department (UFWD) of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and is "judged to be involved in political interference activities in the UK".

The SSIA issued by MI5 said Lee had “acted covertly” in co-ordination with the United Front Work Department (UFWD) of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

“We judge that the UFWD is seeking to covertly interfere in UK politics through establishing links with established and aspiring parliamentarians across the political spectrum,” 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.

“Lee has publicly stated that her activities are to represent the UK Chinese community and increase diversity. However the aforementioned activity has been undertaken in covert co-ordination with the UFWD, with funding provided by foreign nationals located in China and Hong Kong.

“Lee has extensive engagement with individuals across the UK political spectrum. including through the now disbanded All-Party Parliamentary Chinese in Britain Group, and may aspire to establish further APPGs to further the CCP’s agenda.”

Brent North Labour MP Barry Gardiner, who has received donations from Lee in the past, said he had been “liaising with our security services” for many years about her.

In a statement he said: “They have always known, and been made fully aware by me, of her engagement with my office and the donations she made to fund researchers in my office in the past.

“Steps were taken to ensure Christine Lee had no role in either the appointment or management of those researchers. They are also aware that I have not benefited personally from those donations in any way. She ceased funding any workers in my office in June 2020.”

He said all the donations were properly reported and “their source verified at the time”, and added: “I have been assured by the Security Services that whilst they have definitively identified improper funding channelled through Christine Lee, this does not relate to any funding received by my office.”