Former Labour shadow minister Barry Gardiner has defended his decision to accept more than £500,000 in donations from Chinese Spy, Christine Lee.
Barry Gardiner received the donations from the Chinese Spy, mainly to cover staffing costs in his office, over a period of six years, and employed her son as his diary manager.
The Labour MP said she appeared to be “operating as a legitimate person in the UK”. He told Sky News: “From my point of view, that money was there to improve the work I was able to do in Parliament, and to improve the work I was able to do for my constituents – it paid for those researchers and it paid for them directly, none of it was for my personal benefit.”
He said: “The first I knew about Christine Lee being a spy was this morning when I had a meeting with the director of parliamentary security and two Security Service agents, and they made me aware that they now had information which showed that Christine Lee had been engaged in illegal activity.’’
Asked when he last had a conversation with Lee, he said: “Earlier this week.”
Mr Gardiner said he asked Lee’s son to offer his resignation as soon as he received the security warning on Thursday.