As the news of the arrest of a parliamentary researcher accused of being a spy for China continues to rock Westminster, it has now been revealed that the Conservative Party dropped two Parliamentary election candidates after MI5 told them they were also spies.
The security service contacted the Tories last year and also in 2021, advising that the two so-far unnamed individuals should not be included on the central list of candidates, according to The Times.
The pair are understood to be linked to the United Front Work Department (UFWD) – China’s main agency for shaping public opinion.
It cited an unnamed source as saying: “It was made very clear that they posed a risk.
“They were subsequently blocked from the candidates list. They weren’t told why.”
A Conservative Party spokesman said: “When we receive credible information regarding security concerns over potential candidates we act upon them.”
The news comes after it was revealed that two individuals, including Parliamentary aide and researcher Chris Cash, were arrested in March by counterterrorism police on suspicion of being spies.
Cash, 28, held a parliamentary pass and was connected to senior Conservative MPs including Tom Tugendhat and Alicia Kearns, chairman of the Commons foreign affairs committee.
It is understood that he previously worked in China where he is likely to have been recruited as a ‘sleeper agent’ to infiltrate the heart of British politics.
It appears that the incident has been ‘hidden’ by officials until now, with the arrests taking place in March of this year.
Cash was arrested in Edinburgh, with his home in London searched by police.
A second suspect was arrested in Oxfordshire.
Scotland Yard said in a statement: “Officers from the Metropolitan Police arrested two men on March 13 on suspicion of offences under section one of the Official Secrets Act 1911.
“A man in his thirties was arrested at an address in Oxfordshire and a man in his twenties was arrested at an address in Edinburgh. Searches were also carried out at both the residential properties, as well as at a third address in east London. Both men were taken to a south London police station and were released on police bail until a date in early October.”
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