Christine Lee’s breakthrough into the heart of the British political establishment was astonishingly successful.
The Chinese lawyer has spent time in a prominent position with prime ministers, colleagues and senior lawmakers, investing hundreds of thousands of pounds in both Labor and Tories the coffers, as MI5 reportedly wanted to expand Beijingimpact.
Her law firm with offices in London, Birmingham in China and Hong Kong, which funded former Labor leader and Corbyn ally Barry Gardiner for more than £ 500,000 over five years, and her son Daniel Wilkes worked for several years in the same office as his diary secretary with his parliamentary card. – at least until his sudden resignation today.
A long line of politicians from all sides of Parliament were also happy to be associated with Ms Lee until MI5 damnly assessed her ‘interference’ – covertly trying to gain influence – in the bomb alarm.
In 2005, she donated £ 5,000 to the Liberal Democrats and another £ 5,000 to current party leader Ed Davey in 2013, when he was energy minister in the coalition government.
She was so popular in Westminster that Lee received a brilliant compliment from Therese May just two years ago when she received the Points of Light Award for changing her community.
Christine Lee’s political influence in both the UK and China is clear when you consider that Lee, a twice-married mother of two, is portrayed by both David Cameron (pictured together at the 2015 British GG2 Leadership Awards) and the Chinese President Xi Jinpinom.
Her law firm, with offices in London, Birmingham and China and Hong Kong, has funded former Labor leader and Corbyn ally Barry Gardiner for more than £ 500,000 over five years. Pictured: Lee with Gardiner in front of the Houses of Parliament in 2013
In a statement issued by Downing Street, Ms May told her: “We should be very proud of the difference made by the ‘British Chinese Project’ in promoting cooperation, understanding and cooperation between the Chinese and British communities in the UK.
“I also wish you well in your work on the continued involvement and participation of the British and Chinese in the UK political system.”
Her political influence in both the UK and China is clear when we consider that Lee, a twice-married mother of two, is portrayed by both David Cameron and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Her company described China Daily as “the only British Chinese-owned law firm approved by the Chinese government to set up offices in China.”
Lee’s influence on Westminster and her friendship with Gardiner dates back to 2004, when she founded the British China Poroject, which claimed to be “a non-partisan, voluntary organization seeking to increase the Chinese community’s presence in the British political arena.” The group was once chaired by Gardiner.
She led the group along with her second son, Michael Wilkes. Research has shown that both Lee and Wilkes have previously congratulated Tory MP Alan Mak for his election victory in 2015, and the BCP has referred to “our Chinese candidates”.
Ms Lee, a London-based lawyer and former chief legal adviser to the Chinese Embassy in London, spoke in 2016 with former Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn. She is also the secretary of the China Inter-Party Group in Westminster.
The Security Group of the Speaker of Parliament sent a warning to all Members and peers in Westminster today and no politician is suspected of the crime.
Parliamentarians said Christine Lee had been monitored by the security services for some time, but had not been arrested and was not excluded, as is currently the case.
Mr Gardiner also set up an all-party group to represent Chinese citizens in the UK in 2011, which has since disbanded.
His closeness to Lee was such that Mr Gardiner decided to keep her David two years ago when the Daily Mail published a groundbreaking book on so-called ‘Tigers’ like Mrs Lee who were accused of promoting Beijing’s interests in the UK. .
One of these interests was undoubtedly energy, and Mr Gardiner is a former shadow energy secretary. The current leader of the Democrats, Sir Ed Davey, an MP, was the Minister of Energy during the coalition government when he also received a donation of £ 5,000 for his office and the same amount to his party in 2013.
Mr Gardiner supports China’s attempts to become more involved in the British nuclear industry, including the Hinkley Point power plant.
Christine Lee pictured with Keith Vaz at the 2016 Chinese for Labor event
Christine Lee pictured with Tom Watson at the 2016 Chinese for Labor event
In 2017, The Times reported that Gardiner, a minister in Tony Blair’s government, “generally took a pro-Beijing stance”. He is said to have supported China’s involvement in the UK’s nuclear industry in his previous role as shadow energy minister.
When asked in the past about his financial support for Miss Lee’s company, Mr Gardiner reportedly said that the law firm had never “improperly requested or influenced him in relation to his conduct as a Member of Parliament or a Labor spokesman”. There is no hint of inadequacy.
In a book by Professor Clive Hamilton and Mareika Ohlberg called Hidden Hand, those politicians courted by Mrs. Lee and others like her were labeled ‘useful idiots’.
Mr Gardiner’s secretary said yesterday that he had been in contact with MI5 for many years about Mrs Lee and his cooperation with her firm and political donations. He did not say what the spy bosses’ view of the deal was.
Today’s warning of MI5 made this all too clear.
Christine Lee donated £ 5,000 to the Liberal Democrats in 2005 and another £ 5,000 to current party leader Ed Davey in 2013 when he was energy minister in the coalition government.
Christine Lee and Co.’s Twitter account, which carries the line “has been serving the Chinese community for 20 years,” is accustomed to trumpeting with accolades burying her Beijing boss.
In 2017, they tweeted, ‘Congratulations! Ms. Christine Lee has been appointed Chinese Legal Adviser for the Overseas Countries of Beijing.
In 2006, Lee founded the British China Project (BCP), which aims to “empower the Chinese community in the UK, make them aware of their democratic rights and responsibilities, while ensuring that the needs and interests of the community are heard at the political level”. .
It sounded like a very valuable multicultural company. But his Chinese name has a different echo. It translates as ‘British Chinese participation in politics’, linking it to the CCP’s huaren canzheng infiltration policy to increase political influence in democracies by promoting trustworthy people of Chinese heritage.
Lee was married in Birmingham in 1985 to a man named John Shing, and then married British lawyer Martin Wilkes in Solihull, West Midlands in 1990.
Their eldest son Michael, 30, – now also a lawyer – was born in 1991, his brother Daniel, 27, in 1994, and the family lived in the green suburb of Birmingham Coleshill. Both sons were born in Birmingham.
Martin Wilkes, along with Ms. Lee, is listed as the director of Christine Lee & Co (Solicitors) Ltd. Other directors of attorneys named in the Companies House documents are David Tat Wai Ho and Jennifer Ho.
Political website Guido Fawkes reported yesterday that Lee co-led the BCP with her son Michael, and in 2015 the couple congratulated Tory MP Alan Mak for winning the general election, citing “our Chinese candidates”.
Mr Mak – now a government whip – told Guido he had “never met”. [and] never talked to [Lee]“And added that the BCPs were a‘ bad group ’from which he‘ always stayed away ’.