After British intelligence agency MI5’s sensational revelation about a female Chinese agent’s “interference” in the country’s political process, it has now come to light that a Labour Party MP, Barry Gardiner, who was awarded the Padma Shri by the Indian government in 2020 had received funds from the alleged Chinese agent. Barry Gardiner has been elected MP from Brent North a constituency that has a significant Indian diaspora, since 1997.

In an interview with Sky News, Gardiner admitted receiving funds from Ching Kui Lee. He also revealed that his office employed Lee’s son as a diary manager. However, according to Gardiner, Ching Kui Lee’s son was asked to resign the same day Gardiner received information about her alleged involvement in political subversion in the UK.

MI5 had issued an alert that Christine Ching Kui Lee has “acted covertly in coordination” 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.”

Ian Duncan Smith, a senior British lawmaker and former leader of the ruling Conservative Party, raised the alarm in Parliament on Thursday, saying that MI5 had warned House Speaker Lindsay Hoyle that an “agent of the Chinese government” has been actively working to “subvert” the processes of Parliament. “This is a matter of grave concern,” Duncan Smith said.

“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,” CNN quoted MI5 alert as saying. The agency also highlighted that Lee has been facilitating “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.”