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UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaks to the media at the G20 Leaders Summit on September 9, 2023 in New Delhi, Delhi. The 18th G20 summit between 19 countries and the European Union, and now the African Union, is the first to be held in India and South Asia. India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, is the current G20 president and chairs the summit.
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Rishi Sunak He said he had raised his “strong concerns” to the Chinese Prime Minister regarding potential Chinese interference in British democracy after a parliamentary staffer was arrested on suspicion of spying for China.
Speaking to reporters at G20 summit in New Delhi Sunak said on Sunday that he used a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Qiang to raise several concerns, including about “any interference in our parliamentary democracy.”
It comes after two men were arrested under the UK’s Official Secrets Act amid reports that a parliamentary researcher with alleged links to senior Conservative politicians including Security Minister Tom Tugendhat, has been arrested on suspicion of spying for Beijing.
The British newspaper The Sunday Times revealed the story on Sunday, reporting that the researcher was arrested along with another man on March 13.
According to a statement issued by the London Metropolitan Police, the police arrested a man in his thirties in Oxfordshire, southern England, and a man in his twenties in Edinburgh, Scotland.
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Chinese Premier Li Qiang attends the ASEAN Summit in Jakarta on September 7, 2023.
The statement read: “The investigation is being conducted by officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command, which is responsible for investigations into Official Secrets Act allegations and espionage-related offences.”
After being brought to a police station in south London, the two men were released on police bail until an appointment in early October, according to the statement.
According to the Sunday Times, the detained parliamentary researcher was also linked to the chair of the British government’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Alicia Cairns.
Cairns declined to comment on the alleged ties on Saturday on X, formerly known as Twitter, saying: “While I recognize the public interest, it is incumbent on all of us to ensure that no action jeopardizes the authorities.”
The Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC), a cross-party group focused on relations with China, said in a statement Saturday on . of the People’s Republic of China.”
The coalition continued: “It is up to the authorities to reveal the name of the accused person, and AIPAC is united in the hope that justice will be achieved quickly.”
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