Two men charged with spying for China, the Crown Prosecution Service says

Credit: PA

Two men have been charged with spying for China, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said on Monday.

Christopher Berry, 32 of Newland Mill, Witney, Oxfordshire and Christopher Cash, 29, of Hemming Street, London will both appear in court, over the espionage charges.

It is alleged that between January 2022 and February 2023 Cash “for a purpose prejudicial to the safety or interests of the State, obtained, collected, recorded, published or communicated to any other person articles, notes, documents or information which were calculated to be, might be, or were intended to be, directly or indirectly, useful to an enemy," the Met Police said.

Berry is accused of the same offence between December 2021 and February 2023.

Cash worked as a parliamentary researcher and was reportedly closely linked to senior Tories including Tom Tugendhat - now security minister - and Alicia Kearns, who serves as chairwoman of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee.

The 29-year-old was director of the China Research Group, which was initially chaired by Mr Tugendhat and then Ms Kearns, and had a sceptical view of the UK’s relationship with Beijing.

Ms Kearns said on X: “As this matter is now sub judice it is essential that neither I, nor anyone else, say anything that might prejudice a criminal trial relating to a matter of national security. I will not be commenting further.”

China dismissed the charges as “self-staged political farce”.

An embassy spokesman said: “The Chinese Embassy made (a) relevant response on September 10, 2023.

“I would like to reaffirm that the claim that China is suspected of “stealing British intelligence” is completely fabricated and nothing but malicious slander.

“We firmly oppose it and urge the UK side to stop anti-China political manipulation and stop putting on such self-staged political farce.”

Head of the Counter Terrorism, Commander Dominic Murphy, described the case as an "extremely complex investigation into what are very serious allegations".

The two men will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle told MPs that two people had been charged on a matter “relating to national security”, one of whom was a parliamentary pass holder.

He told the Commons: “This morning two people were charged with offences under the Official Secrets Act of 1911. One of those individuals was a parliamentary pass holder at the time of the alleged offences.

“This matter is now sub judice. Under the terms of the House’s resolution on matters of sub judice members should not refer to it in the chamber.

“I know that honourable and right honourable members will understand how important it is that we do not say anything in this place that might prejudice a criminal trial relating to a matter of national security.”

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