Embarrassing one for Labour! Thornberry squirms over £600k donation from suspected spy

Emily Thornberry reacts to Labour's alleged Chinese agent links

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Ms Thornberry sat down with Nick Ferrari on LBC to answer questions about the money Labour have received from the suspected spy, Christina Lee. The shadow Attorney-General stated the allegations of breaches showed how bad Westminster security is, and how easy it is “to wheedle your way into” the seat of British power. The Labour Party MP explained how the accused spy had managed to get close to former Ministers and cosy up for photos with the likes of David Cameron and Theresa May, as she was left squirming over a £600,000 donation her own party accepted.

Mr Ferrari said: “On the subject of what would you say about certain things, how do you react to the news of a so-called Chinese spy, Christine Lee.

“The MI5 putting out a warning ‘it is reported that Labour politicians have been in receipt of more than £600,000 one of whom Barry Gardiner somewhere in the region of around £400,000.’

“That’s an embarrassing one for Labour isn’t it?”

Ms Thornberry said: “I think what it shows us is how easy it is to wheedle your way into Westminster.

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“I mean, I think there are also photographs of her with David Cameron, I think she got an award from Theresa May.”

Mr Farage said: “But not cash.”

Ms Thornberry said: “No,  but I mean she seems to be some sort of Zelig figure who kind of seems to have got everywhere.

“And I think that what it teaches us, is that you should not take people at face value, you should not assume that other people have done the checks.

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“Just because she’s close to or seems to be close to Prime Ministers and former Prime Ministers, does not mean that she’s not a Chinese asset.

“And we all have to be very careful about being manipulated.”

Mr Ferrari said: “But what about the hundreds of thousands of pounds that your colleague Mr Gardiner is receipt of? What does that say about his judgment?”

Ms Thornberry said: “Well as I say I think that, I mean obviously it’s for him to say what was going on there.

“But from what I understand, he did get advice from the security services.

“And when he was told that it was inappropriate to be employing the Son of this asset, the guy resigned immediately.

“And I think that it’s important that if the security services have concerns that they are clear with us about it and we get clear advice and obviously that advice must be adhered to.


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The MI5 first alerted Sir Lindsay Hoyle via email after months of investigating potential attempts to breach the Parliamentary security.

The email read: “I am writing now to draw your attention to the attached Interference Alert issued by the Security Services, MI5, about the activities of an individual, Christine Lee, who has been engaged in political interference activities on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party, engaging with Members here at Parliament and associated political entities, including the former APPG: Chinese in Britain.

“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.

“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.”

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