MPs respond to Chinese ‘proxy’ funding — Action News Now

Lawmaker Barry Gardner says he made UK security aware of donations long ago and was not involved in any wrongdoing


Labour MP Barry Gardiner issued a statement saying he was not engaged in any illegal activity when he received funds from a woman named Christine Lee, who was later charged by MI5 as a Chinese “agent”.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives notified MPs that the intelligence agency MI5 had sounded an alert that an alleged foreign agent was trying to intervene on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party, with Westminster in shock over an alleged espionage scandal.


The allegations revolve around Christine Lee, a Chinese woman who worked with British lawmakers and the all-party parliamentary group British Chinese, which has now been disbanded.

Speaker Lindsay Hoyle wrote to MPs after being contacted by MI5.He said in the letter that Lee allegedly “Representing the Chinese Communist Party in political intervention activities and engaging with members of Congress.”


According to British tabloid The Sun, Lee is linked to Labour MP Barry Gardner. Over 17 years, Lee reportedly donated more than £675,000 to Gardner’s office or Labour.

Gardner responded to Lee’s funding report in a statement Wednesday, saying security services had long known about his ties to Lee and worked to ensure he did not personally benefit from her funding.

Gardner said the donations had funded researchers in his office in the past, and Lee had no role in appointing or managing them. “She stopped funding any staff in my office in June 2020,” He added.


The MP also said he had been assured by the UK security services that “While they have clearly identified improper funds through Christine Lee, this is not related to any funds received by my office.”

Lee’s son, who also served as Gardner’s diary manager, resigned Thursday morning, the congressman said. “Security told me that they had no intelligence that he knew or was involved in his mother’s illegal activities,” Gardner added.

The congressman said he was prepared to work with MI5 in any way possible.


The then British Prime Minister Theresa May also awarded Lee Kuan Yew the “Spot of Light” award for her volunteer service.May praises her in letter to Lee “Promoting engagement, understanding and collaboration between British Chinese and the British community.”

When accepting the award, Ms. Li said that the well-being of the Chinese community in the UK will always be very important to her.

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