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Party removed two people from candidates list after MI5 warned in 2021 they could be Chinese spies

The Conservative party “acted swiftly” to block two potential parliamentary candidates from standing, after warnings from MI5 that they could be spying for China, a government minister has said.

The health minister Maria Caulfield was speaking after it was revealed that the Tories dropped two potential candidates to become MPs after MI5 warned they had links to China’s United Front Work Department, a body charged with influencing global policy and opinion.

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