By Chris King • 09 September 2023 • 23:56
Image of Westminster, London.
Credit: Thomas Dahlstrøm Nielsen/Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0
In what is thought to be one of the biggest-ever spying breaches suffered by the British government, two men have been arrested on suspicion of spying.
According to The Sun, this Saturday, September 9, one of the suspects, believed to be a British national in his late twenties, was working as a parliamentary researcher in close proximity to MPs.
He is thought to have had access to classified or even highly sensitive information at the heart of Westminster after befriending various members of parliament. The paper said the detainee had been working on Chinese policies and was probably in possession of a parliamentary pass.
It is understood by the news outlet that the man had links to Alicia Kearns, the Commons foreign affairs committee chair, along with Tom Tugenhat, the security minister.
Another man in his thirties was detained in Oxfordshire on March 13, the same day that counter-terror cops arrested the researcher in the Scottish city of Edinburgh.
‘Officers from the Metropolitan Police Service arrested two men on 13 March on suspicion of offences under Section 1 of the Official Secrets Act, 1911’, a spokesperson for the Met Police told The Sun.
They continued: ‘A man in his 30s was arrested at an address in Oxfordshire and a man in his 20s 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 subsequently released on police bail until a date in early October’, they added.
‘The investigation is being carried out by officers from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, which has responsibility for investigations relating to allegations of Official Secrets Act and espionage-related offences. Enquiries continue’, they concluded.
The aforementioned Section 1 considers a person to have committed an offence if they are found guilty of passing on information that could be: ‘prejudicial to the safety or interests of the state, or if it is: ‘intended to be directly or indirectly useful to an enemy’.
‘This is a major escalation by China. We have never seen anything like this before’, a Whitehall source told The Sunday Times.
‘I am aware of the Sunday Times report. I will not be commenting. While I recognise the public interest, we all have a duty to ensure any work of the Authorities is not jeopardised’, commented Alicia Kearns MP.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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