Christine Lee’s penetration into the heart of the British political establishment was incredibly successful.
The Chinese lawyer was in direct contact with prime ministers, colleagues and senior deputies and pumped hundreds of thousands of pounds into the Labor and Conservative treasury as she tried to expand Beijing’s influence, according to MI5.
Her law firm, with offices in London, Birmingham, China and Hong Kong, has funded the office of former Labor and Corbyn’s ally Barry Gardiner for more than £ 500,000 over five years, and her son Daniel Wilkes worked in the same office. several years as its secretary, a newspaper with his own parliamentary ID – at least until today’s sudden resignation.
A number of politicians from all over the House were also pleased to be associated with Mrs. Lee until MI5 demonstrated that her “interference” – secretly seeking influence – had been issued in a bomb alarm.
In 2005, she donated £ 5,000 to the Liberal Democrats and another £ 5,000 to current party leader Edu Davey in 2013, when he was energy minister in a coalition government.
She was so popular in Westminster that just two years ago, Lee received rave reviews from Theresa May when she was awarded the Points of Light for change in her community.
Christine Lee’s political influence in both Britain and China is clear when you consider that Lee, a twice-married mother of two, was portrayed with David Cameron (pictured together at the 2015 GG2 Leadership Awards) and Chinese President Xi Jinpin.
Her law firm, with offices in London, Birmingham, China and Hong Kong, has funded the office of former Labor and Corbyn’s ally Barry Gardiner over £ 500,000 over five years. Pictured: Lee with Gardiner in front of the Parliament Building in 2013
In a statement issued by Downing Street, Ms May told her: “You should be very proud of the difference that the ‘British Chinese Project’ makes in promoting engagement, understanding and cooperation between the Chinese and British communities in the United Kingdom.
“I also wish you every success in your work in promoting the inclusion and participation of the British-Chinese people in the UK political system.”
Her political influence in both Britain and China is clear when you consider that Lee, a twice-married mother of two, was portrayed with David Cameron and Chinese President Xi Jinpin.
And her company was described by China Daily as “the only British law firm owned by China that the Chinese government has approved to establish offices in China.”
Lee’s influence in Westminster and her friendship with Gardiner dates back to 2004, when she founded the British Chinese Poroject, which claimed to be “an impartial, voluntary organization seeking to increase the Chinese community’s presence in the British political arena.” The group was once chaired by Gardiner.
She led the group alongside her other son, Michael Wilkes. The research revealed that both Lee and Wilkes had previously congratulated Tory MP Alan Mak on his election victory in 2015, and the BCP spoke of “our Chinese candidates.”
Ms. Lee, a London-based lawyer and former chief legal counsel at the Chinese Embassy in London, spoke to former Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn in 2016. She is also the secretary of the Inter-Party China Group in Westminster.
The speaker’s security team today sent a warning message to all members of parliament and peers in Westminster, and no politicians are suspected of any crime.
MEPs were told that Christine Lee had been under surveillance by the security services for some time, but had not been arrested and was not currently deported.
Mr Gardiner also set up a 2011 group-wide group representing Chinese citizens in Britain, which has since fallen apart.
His closeness to Lee was such that Mr. Gardiner decided to keep her David two years ago when the Daily Mail published a groundbreaking book on so-called “tiger women,” such as Mrs. Lee, who was accused of advancing Beijing’s interests in Britain. .
One of these interests was undoubtedly energy, and Mr Gardiner is a former shadow secretary for energy. And current Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey MP was energy minister during the coalition government, when he also received a £ 5,000 donation for his office and the same amount for his party in 2013.
Mr Gardiner supports China’s efforts to become more involved in the British nuclear industry, including Hinkley Point.
Christine Lee pictured with Keith Vaz at the 2016 Chinese for Labor event
Christine Lee pictured with Tom Watson at the 2016 Chinese for Labor event
In 2017, The Times reported that Mr Gardiner, a minister in Tony Blair’s government, had “generally taken a pro-Beijing stance.” It states that in his former role as shadow energy minister, he supported China’s involvement in the British nuclear industry.
In the past, Gardiner was asked for his financial support from Miss Lee’s firm and reportedly said that he had never been “unduly requested or influenced” by a law firm “in relation to his conduct as an MP or Labor spokesman.” There is no indication of inappropriateness.
The book, The Hidden Hand by Professor Clive Hamilton and Mareike Ohlberg, has described the policies of Mrs. Lee and others like her as “useful idiots.”
Mr Gardiner’s secretary said yesterday that he had been in contact with MI5 for several years regarding Ms. Lee and his involvement in her company and political donations. However, he did not say what the leaders of the spies were about this arrangement.
Today’s MI5 warning explained this all too clearly.
Christine Lee donated £ 5,000 to the Liberal Democrats in 2005 and another £ 5,000 to current party leader Edu Davey in 2013, when he was energy minister in a coalition government.
Christine Lee and Co.’s Twitter account, which bears the phrase “serves the Chinese community for 20 years,” is used to blow his trumpet from Beijing.
In 2017, they tweeted: “Congratulations! Madam Christine Lee has been appointed Chinese Legal Adviser for the Overseas City of Beijing. ‘
In 2006, Lee founded the British Chinese Project (BCP), which has the stated aim of “strengthening the position of the Chinese community in the United Kingdom, drawing its democratic rights and responsibilities, while ensuring that the community’s needs and interests are heard at the political level.”
It sounded like a very valuable multicultural enterprise, but its Chinese name has different echoes. Translated as “British participation in politics”, it combines the CCP’s huaren canzheng infiltration policy to maximize political influence in democracies by promoting credible people with Chinese heritage.
Lee’s married a man named John Shing in Birmingham in 1985, then married British lawyer Martin Wilkes in 1990 to Solihull in the West Midlands.
Their older son Michael, 30, now a lawyer, was born in 1991 and his brother Daniel, 27, in 1994, and the family lived in the leafy Birmingham suburb of Coleshill. Both sons were born in Birmingham.
Martin Wilkes is listed with Ms. Lee as Director of Christine Lee & Co. (Solicitors) Ltd. The other attorneys listed in the Companies House documents are David Tat Wai Ho and Jennifer Ho.
Political website Guido Fawkes said yesterday that Lee led the BCP with his son Michael, and in 2015 the couple congratulated Conservative MP Alan Mak on winning the general election, citing “our Chinese candidates.”
Mr Mak – now a government whip – told Guido he had “never met”. [and] never talked to [Lee]He added that the BCP was a “bad bunch” from which he “always stayed away.”