London, by Thanasis Gavou

In the arrest of an associate of leading politicians of the British Conservative Party, who worked as a researcher in the British Parliamentthe counter-terrorist agency in Edinburgh proceeded with accusations of espionage on behalf of China.

The arrest of 28-year-old Chris Cash, which took place last March, was revealed by the Sunday Times. Another man aged about 30 was arrested with him on the same charges.

The 28-year-old was a close associate of Tom Tugendhat, now under-secretary for security, former head of the House of Commons foreign affairs committee and contender for the Tory leadership and prime ministership after Johnson resigned.

Mr. Cash most recently worked as director of an organization dealing with Chinese politics, which Mr. Tugendhat co-funded.

He was also hired as an investigator for the current head of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Alicia Kearns.

Concealing the arrest for so many months has drawn backlash from MPs, notably those who occasionally warn of increased Chinese influence in Westminster.

One of them, Sir Ian Duncan Smith, spoke of an “extremely dangerous situation”.

And Prime Minister Rishi Sunak raised the issue in the meeting he had on Sunday with his Chinese counterpart Li Chiang in the framework of the G20 summit.

According to a Downing Street spokesman, the British leader “conveyed the significant concerns about Chinese interference in the UK’s parliamentary democracy”.

China’s embassy in London called the arrest and charges a “political farce” and “malicious defamation”.

Cash had secured an access pass to all areas of parliament, although it is believed no classified information came into his possession.

Both arrested have been released on bail and will appear in court next month.

Last year the security intelligence agency MI5 issued a rare alert about the action of another Westminster investigator, Christine Lee, on China’s behalf. She denies the accusations.