In retrospect, her website was a bit suspicious.
MI5 has warned that an award-winning lawyer is in fact a Chinese agent who has infiltrated parliament.
Christine Lee used her firm, Christine Lee & Co, to donate money to politicians in order to create “established links" for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) with current and prospective MPs, the securely service warned.
The alert followed a "significant, long-running" investigation by MI5, the BBC reported.
In one instance, Lee’s law firm donated £420,000 over six years to Labour MP Barry Gardiner, who also employed her son as his diary manager.
Gardiner said he had been "liaising with our security services for a number of years" about Lee and that they assured him “that whilst they have definitively identified improper funding channelled through Christine Lee, this does not relate to any funding received by my office”.
Nonetheless, her son resigned from Gardiner’s office on Thursday.
Despite being a front for Chinese spies, Christine Lee & Co was crowned Law Firm of the Year by the Birmingham Law Society in 2014. Coincidentally, 2014 was the first year Lee’s firm funnelled cash to Gardiner.
Christine Lee & Co’s bare bones website is still active, but reads very differently now. Its claim that “we have been able to overcome cultural differences & obstacles and have developed strong affiliations between the UK and China” looks less cuddly following MI5’s discovery that one of those obstacles was parliamentary democracy.
With hindsight, the firm’s boast that “We are the first and only UK Chinese law firm authorised by the Chinese Ministry of Justice as a foreign law firm to operate in China” was a clue that Lee enjoyed a uniquely favourable relationship with the CCP.
Christine Lee & Co’s Google reviews have taken a predictable dive since Lee’s status was revealed, but one user was on to her years ago. “Scam”, wrote ‘poszeudes’ in 2020, giving the Xi Jinping influence shop one star.