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‘Spy’ in House of Commons helped boss of powerful Foreign Affairs Committee get elected

A SUSPECTED spy in the House of ­Commons helped the boss of the powerful ­Foreign Affairs Committee get elected.

The political aide lobbied for Alicia Kearns who is now facing humiliation after sponsoring the suspect for an access-all-areas pass around Parliament — to the fury of her colleagues.

Security chiefs are investigating whether an unnamed Brit passed top secret documents to China
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Times Media Ltd

The suspected spy lobbied for Alicia Kearns to get elected onto the Foreign Affairs Committee[/caption]

Security chiefs are investigating whether the unnamed 20-something passed top secret documents to Beijing.

He was arrested by spooks in March while working as a researcher for the China Research Group of MPs, which was set up by Tom Tugendhat and run by Ms Kearns.

Allies of Mr Tugendhat insist he has not met the suspect since he was made Security Minister last September.

The aide was detained in Edinburgh at the same time that another man was arrested in Oxford.

Both were held on suspicion of offences under the Official Secrets Act.

They have been bailed to October — with news of their arrest causing a major political fallout.

When Mr Tugendhat stood down as Foreign Affairs Committee boss last year after his ministerial promotion, Ms Kearns was unexpectedly ­appointed his successor.

The suspect helped her land the victory, tweeting: “Still grinning from ear to ear this morning, couldn’t be prouder of how Alicia Kearns conducted herself.”

He continued to work as a researcher to the CRG until June this year.

Last night other MPs in the group said they were blindsided by the revelations reported by the Sunday Times yesterday.

Some are threatening to name him under Parliamentary privilege this week, claiming his arrest had been covered up.

However, Ms Kearns said: “While I recognise the public interest, we all have a duty to ensure any work of the authorities is not jeopardised.”

The CRG was seen as a less outspoken group of MPs compared with the rival Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China.

One senior MP said of the suspect: “X was well known for attacking the most outspoken critics of China and was seeking a more moderate relationship. It looks like he was there to sow division in a classic divide and rule.”

China critic Sir Iain Duncan Smith told Times Radio yesterday: “It is a significant breach in security.”

He said questions need to be asked, adding: “I think we are deeply penetrated by the Chinese.”

Yesterday Rishi Sunak raised “very strong concerns” about attempts to interfere with British democracy at a meeting with the Chinese premier Li Qi.

He responded by saying they obviously have “differences in opinion” at the G20 in India.

The Prime Minister later told reporters that “any interference in our parliamentary democracy is obviously unacceptable”.

PA

The aide worked for the China Research Group of MPs which was set up by Tom Tugendhat[/caption]

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