THE UK’s domestic security agency has issued a warning to MPs about Chinese spies attempting to influence them.

MI5 sent a security alert to parliamentarians this afternoon about Christine Lee, a solicitor who they believe is an agent of the Chinese state.

Ms Lee is known to have already given thousands of pounds in donations to a Labour MP, Barry Gardiner, and her son works for the politician.

However the security services say she has also tried to influence other serving, and hopeful, Westminster politicians as well as influence All-Party Parliamentary Groups including the now defunct Chinese in Britain group.

Commons speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle also issued a warning to MPs and said they must contact security if they are approached by Ms Lee.

In an intelligence notice, MI5 wrote that Ms Lee is “knowingly engaged in political interference activities on behalf of the United Front Work Department (UFWD) of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).”

They warned: “Lee has acted covertly in coordination with the UFWD and is judged to be involved in political interference activities in the UK.

“We judge that the UFWD is seeking to covertly interfere in UK politics through establishing links with established and aspiring Parliamentarians across the political spectrum. The UFWD seeks to cultivate relationships with influential figures in order to ensure the UK political landscape is favourable to the CCP’s agenda and to challenge those that raise concerns about CCP activity, such as human rights.”

The security agency said Ms Lee had given donations to “political parties, aspiring Parliamentarians and individuals seeking political office in the UK, including facilitating donations to political entities on behalf of foreign nationals.”

They also said that despite Ms Lee saying her activities represent the UK Chinese community, it is being done in coordination with the UFWD secretly .

It has already been reported that Labour MP Barry Gardiner accepted donations from Ms Lee’s legal firm, and her son Daniel Wilkes is still registered as working for Mr Gardiner as of December 2021.

Alyn Smith, the SNP’s Foreign Affairs spokesman, said the warning should be reminder that foreign actors are constantly seeking to influence UK, and Scottish politics and debate.

He said: “The fact that there are dodgy people around Westminster will surprise nobody, especially not after this week, but the fact that one is actually a proper spy is a reminder that we all need to be vigilant, and Scotland is not immune from attempts to influence our politicians and our debate too.”

He said that he has long been concerned about the state of UK politics, explaining: “UK politics will matter to Scotland even when we are independent but it clearly matters to us now.

“I have long voiced my concerns that UK politics is awash with dirty money and too many politicians, especially in the Conservative and Labour parties, are too vulnerable to influence from less-than-transparent sources.”

Mr Smith, the MP for Stirling, called for a “wholesale review” of election and funding laws in UK politics, saying: “We need a wholesale review of electoral law, the laws on funding of political parties and elections, online disinformation and data protection.

“Sadly I doubt this hapless UK government will take this forward, but I will continue to press for reform and transparency.”