China ‘targets senior UK politicians with cyberattacks’

China is believed to have targeted a group of senior MPs and peers with a fresh series of cyberattacks aimed at undermining UK democracy.

Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden is expected to tell Parliament on Monday that Beijing is behind a wave of state-backed interference, the Sunday Times reported.

A small group of China hawks are said to have been called to a briefing by Parliament’s director of security Alison Giles in relation to the activity.

They include former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith, former minister Tim Loughton, crossbench peer Lord Alton and SNP MP Stewart McDonald, according to the paper.

The four are members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC) pressure group which focuses on issues involving the increasingly assertive Asian power.

Sir Iain, Mr Loughton and Lord Alton were also subjected in 2021 to sanctions by Beijing in a retaliatory move after they highlighted China’s “gross human rights violations”.

A Government spokeswoman declined to comment.