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Former MI5 Chief Cautions Parliament about China’s Donation Loopholes Poses Great Risk

Former MI5 chief Lord Evans has warned that vulnerabilities in Britain’s election donation laws have left the government open to targeting by hostile foreign states. He specifically mentioned China and Russia as potential threats to the country’s democratic processes. Lord Evans called for reforms to address these vulnerabilities and tighten the electoral finance system. He emphasized the need to make it difficult for hostile states to misuse the electoral finance system. Lord Evans also highlighted the arrest of a parliamentary researcher on allegations of spying for Beijing, causing uproar in Parliament. The government has been urged to officially designate China as a threat to the UK. Last year, MI5 advised the Tory party to remove two people from its prospective candidates list due to ties with China. Lord Evans has previously recommended strengthening requirements to identify the “true source” of political donations and reduce the potential for foreign money to influence UK elections. However, the government has insisted that the rules are strong enough despite concerns about donors with links to Russia. Foreign donations are banned in the UK, and only those with a genuine interest in UK elections are allowed to make political donations.

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