Parliamentary researcher charged with spying for China

Two men, one of whom is a parliamentary researcher, have been charged with spying for China after allegedly supplying information which could be "useful to an enemy".

Former parliamentary researcher Christopher Cash, 29, of Whitechapel, London, was charged under the Official Secrets Act after a counterterrorism investigation.

Christopher Berry, 32, of Witney, Oxfordshire, was also charged under the same act.

It is alleged that between December 2021 and February 2023, the men obtained, recorded and published information "for a purpose prejudicial to the safety or interests of the state" and which could be "directly or indirectly, useful to an enemy".

Cash worked in parliament for the China Research Group, and has links to senior Conservative MPs, including Alicia Kearns, chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and now security minister, Tom Tugendhat.

Ms Kearns said: "Regarding the Crown Prosecution's announcement this afternoon that two men will be charged on espionage offences on behalf of China: 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."

Both men were arrested in March last year and have since been on police bail while the investigation continued.

They will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Friday.

Commander Dominic Murphy, head of the Met's counterterrorism command, said: "This has been an extremely complex investigation into what are very serious allegations.

"We've worked closely with the Crown Prosecution Service as our investigation has progressed and this has led to the two men being charged today.

"We're aware there has been a degree of public and media interest in this case, but we would ask others to refrain from any further comment or speculation, so that the criminal justice process can now run its course."

Nick Price, head of the Crown Prosecution Service Special Crime and counterterrorism division, said: "Christopher Berry, 32, and Christopher Cash, 29, will be charged with providing prejudicial information to a foreign state, China, and will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Friday 26 April."