Alleged ‘Chinese agent’ in UK established two companies in Dublin

Anglo-Chinese solicitor Christine Lee set up recruitment and legal firms over nine years

MI5 issued a warning last week, alleging that Christine Lee had, as a Chinese government agent, infiltrated the British parliament to interfere in UK politics.

MI5 issued a warning last week, alleging that Christine Lee had, as a Chinese government agent, infiltrated the British parliament to interfere in UK politics.

 

An Anglo-Chinese solicitor, who is alleged by British intelligence agency MI5 to be working covertly for the Chinese government in England, set up two Irish companies over nine years.

Christine Lee (58) established an Irish company called Christine Lee Legal Consultancy in January 2008. Ms Lee was a director and the firm’s sole shareholder. It was in existence for three years.

Nine years earlier, she set up another company in Dublin called Christine Lee & Co. She was listed on the public records of that company as a “recruitment director”.

In a rare public statement last week, British security service MI5 said that Ms Lee, who moved to Northern Ireland with her parents in the 1970s before relocating to the English midlands, has been working covertly for the Chinese Community Party to further its interests in Britain.

Accountancy firm

The registered office for her Irish company, Christine Lee Legal Consultancy, was at the address of an accountancy firm in Dublin city centre used by the company as an authorised agent for filing company records.

Christine Lee & Co, which was based in offices on Harcourt Road, was dissolved in 2002.

David Ho, a solicitor at Ms Lee’s legal practice in Birmingham, Christine Lee & Co (Solicitors) Limited, was listed as a director of both companies. The third director of Christine Lee Legal Consultancy was a Chinese national with a residential address in Sligo.

Ms Lee’s address on the Irish company records is the same residential address in Birmingham given for her English legal practice on publicly available UK company records.

Accounts were filed for Christine Lee Legal Consultancy at the Companies Registration Office in Dublin for two years, but records suggest that the company did not trade.

M15 warning

The company made a voluntary request to be struck off the companies register in October 2010. No accounts were ever filed for Dublin firm Christine Lee & Co.

MI5 took the unusual step of issuing a warning last week, alleging that Ms Lee had, as a Chinese government agent, infiltrated the British parliament to interfere in UK politics.

The alert from the British security service said Ms Lee had “established links” for the Chinese Communist Party with current and aspiring MPs.

Ms Lee made donations to British politicians with funds coming from foreign nationals in China and Hong Kong, according to MI5.

Labour MP Barry Gardiner received more than £420,000 (€505,000) from Ms Lee over a five-year period. Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey received a £5,000 donation from her when he was British energy secretary.

UK home secretary Priti Patel said it was “deeply concerning” that someone “who has knowingly engaged in political interference activities on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party has targeted parliamentarians”.

The Chinese embassy in London has accused MI5 of “smearing and intimidation” of the UK’s Chinese community.