China spy suspect is parliamentary aide Chris Cash

A Tory parliamentary researcher arrested on suspicion of spying for China was the director of an influential policy group on Beijing co-founded by the security minister.

Chris Cash, 28, was closely linked with Tom Tugendhat and was employed as a researcher by Alicia Kearns, chairwoman of the Commons foreign affairs committee.

The suspect is the son of a GP and grew up in a wealthy suburb of Edinburgh. He went to the fee-paying George Watson’s College, where he was a head of house, and later studied history at the University of St Andrews. He became active on Westminster’s social scene and used a dating website, making several attempts last year to arrange a date with a political journalist.

Cash, who was arrested in March, has

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