Local MP employed researcher accused of being Chinese spy
The parliamentary researcher that has been arrested on suspicion of spying for China was employed by the MP for Rutland and Melton, Alicia Kearns. The Westminster employee was arrested in March according to The Sunday Times and allegedly had several connections to senior Tory MPs.
Ms Kearns currently sits at chair of the foreign affairs committee, a group of MPs which scrutinises the government’s policy and spending on overseas issues. The suspect, a man in his 20s, is also understood to have links to the security minister, Tom Tugendhat.
Another man in his 30s was arrested in March by police in relation to the investigation, which officers from the Metropolitan Police's Counter Terrorism Command are leading. In a statement, Scotland Yard said: "Searches were also carried out at both the residential properties, as well as at a third address in east London."
The Tory Leicestershire MP said online she is aware of the Sunday Times report and will not be commenting. She added: "While I recognise the public interest, we all have a duty to ensure any work of the authorities is not jeopardised."
But a source close to Kearns told the PA news agency: “It is inevitable the Chinese Communist party (CCP) would target and seek to undermine parliament’s leading voices who have demonstrated the ability to constrain the CCP’s ambitions.”
China have responded to the investigation, describing the arrest as a "political farce". The Chinese embassy in London said in a statement yesterday: “The claim that China is suspected of ‘stealing British intelligence’ is completely fabricated and nothing but malicious slander.
"We firmly oppose it and urge relevant parties in the UK to stop their anti-China political manipulation and stop putting on such self-staged political farce.”
- ^ MP for Rutland and Melton, (www.leicestermercury.co.uk)
- ^ Ms Kearns currently sits (www.leicestermercury.co.uk)
- ^ by police in relation to the (www.leicestermercury.co.uk)
- ^ Historic Leicester building The Rowans to be put up for auction by city council (www.leicestermercury.co.uk)
- ^ Tory Leicestershire MP (www.leicestermercury.co.uk)