Two years in the past, Christine Lee acquired a particular award from then prime minister Theresa Could in recognition of her pioneering work in fostering shut relations between China and Britain.

It was a landmark second within the lifetime of the 58-year-old entrepreneur, who arrived in Britain from Hong Kong as a toddler.

She duly posed for photos outdoors No 10 Downing Avenue, the long-lasting black door draped with crimson banners celebrating a ‘Golden Period’ in relations between the 2 nations.

The symbolism of the picture was inconceivable to overlook: Lee had reached the guts of Britain’s Institution and was being embraced by it.

In a private letter, Mrs Could stated – in phrases that now appear hopelessly naïve – ‘I want you nicely in your work to additional the participation of British-Chinese language individuals within the UK political system.’

For yesterday the neatly dressed, dark-haired Lee was unmasked by our home safety service MI5 as a Chinese language Communist Social gathering agent ‘engaged in political interference’ of MPs on each the Left and Proper of the political spectrum.

Christine Lee poses outside No 10 Downing Street

Christine Lee poses outdoors No 10 Downing Avenue

And Mrs Could was not the one individual in excessive locations to be taken in by the founding father of what was referred to as the British Chinese language Venture, a non-profit organisation aiming to advertise engagement, understanding and cooperation between the Chinese language group and wider UK society.

She has been photographed whispering in David Cameron’s ear on the GG2 Management Awards, and her hyperlinks with Labour Social gathering politicians date again to Tony Blair’s premiership.

Aside from her involvement with the British Chinese language Venture, Lee – a persuasive character, with appreciable attraction – is a lawyer with places of work in London and Birmingham who has cultivated high enterprise individuals as simply as she has senior politicians. Few seem to have realised the closeness of her affiliation with Beijing’s elite however proof of it has lengthy been there for many who selected to look.

As a consultant of the ‘entire Chinese language group within the UK’, Lee informed a parliamentary dwelling affairs committee some years in the past that her enterprise advising Chinese language entrepreneurs on the right way to put money into Britain had an workplace with 5 employees inside China’s British Embassy.

At a committee session on the 2006 Nationality Invoice, Lee stated: ‘They (China’s embassy employees) are on the second ground, we’re on the seventeenth ground. So each time the British Embassy has an issue, they ship the individuals as much as us, and we will clarify to them in Chinese language what’s going on.’

Christine Lee and David Cameron at the ceremony of the British GG2 leadership awards in 2015

Christine Lee and David Cameron on the ceremony of the British GG2 management awards in 2015 

There may be even an image on social media of a beaming Lee shaking arms with Xi Jinping, the autocratic Chinese language president.

In response to the authors of Hidden Arms, a extremely revered e book on China’s affect in Britain: ‘Her hyperlinks with the CCP go deep. She has been chief authorized adviser to the Chinese language Embassy in London… an unmistakable signal of her significance to the CCP.’

The e book added that Chinese language networks, together with these run by Lee as so-called friendship and fundraising teams, have turn out to be so deeply entrenched amongst British elites that they’ve ‘gone previous the purpose of no return’.

Her elevation into excessive locations with all of the affect that brings is a far cry from Miss Lee’s troublesome previous. Her household emigrated to Northern Eire within the Nineteen Seventies when she was 12 and she or he attended a boarding faculty in Belfast, the place she was the one Chinese language lady amongst ‘66 Irish women’.

Christine Lee pictured with former London mayor Ken Livingstone in 2012

Christine Lee pictured with former London mayor Ken Livingstone in 2012

An interview she gave a number of years in the past to the China Day by day – an English-language newspaper owned by the ruling Communist Social gathering – provides an intriguing perception into her background. ‘It is vitally troublesome for a younger lady to depart her dwelling and her beloved grandparents and are available to reside in a chilly place,’ she informed the newspaper.

‘My English was poor and I couldn’t actually talk with the opposite pupils which put me in a weaker place than them. There was not lots of bodily bullying, however lots of verbal bullying.’

She developed a behavior of placing seven teaspoons of sugar into her espresso to neutralise the bitter style however when she requested an ‘Irish lady’ in the future to assist her with the sugar, the lady – in an act of malice – substituted salt for sugar.

But when they thought the redoubtable Lee would recoil in shock and dissolve into tears, they have been in for a shock: ‘The women who have been watching thought I might not drink it, however I informed myself to drink the complete cup, and present them I’m not weak.’ Lee is definitely not that. She teamed up with different victims of the bullies on the faculty to practise karate so they may defend themselves.

In response to the article, it was the unfairness she skilled in her childhood that propelled her in direction of a authorized profession.

As a younger lawyer, she specialised in immigration instances, serving to migrants from Hong Kong settle within the UK. Over time she received concerned within the profitable world of training, advising Chinese language mother and father the right way to ‘put money into their youngsters’s training and work expertise’ within the UK.

Dad and mom with the capability to take a position £1 million on this nation certified for a visa programme that gave their youngsters the appropriate to not solely research over right here however discover jobs too.

At the moment Lee lives along with her husband, a 71-year-old British businessman referred to as Martin Wilkes, in a £1 million home in an upmarket gated property within the good market city of Solihull, West Midlands, the place neighbours have seen her coming and getting into a Mercedes.

The couple are companions in a Midlands-based property firm that rents out housing affiliation and council properties.

However Lee’s actual declare to fame, as we’ve got seen, is the British Chinese language Venture. The charity she based in 2006 not solely goals to make politicians extra conscious of the wants of their Chinese language constituents however campaigns for British-Chinese language individuals to vote normally elections.

It was her success in selling this ostensibly worthy trigger that earned Lee that ‘Factors of Mild’ award from Mrs Could in January 2019. ‘I’m humbled that it pertains to our work for the well-being of the British-Chinese language group,’ she stated on the time.

Now we all know that this was not the complete fact. Her good works offered her with a passport to the higher echelons of British society and enabled her to spy on them for an more and more sinister overseas energy.