China linked to UK electoral roll cyber-attacks, Dowden to say

China linked to UK electoral roll cyber-attacks, Dowden to say
Deputy Prime Minister Oliver DowdenReuters

The UK state is expected to reference cyber- attacks on the government’s elections regulator to China.

The attacks on the Electoral Commission, which apparently saw specific details of millions of voters accessed, happened in August 2021 but were only revealed next month.

Some MPs and classmates who have been critical of Beijing are thought to have also been targeted in digital- problems.

Deputy PM Oliver Dowden may target Parliament on Monday about the risk.

The BBC understands other European countries may set out related issues.

Acknowledging the episodes last August, the Electoral Commissionsaid unspecified “hostile players” had gained access to files of the electoral files and broken into its e-mail and” control systems”, but added that it had neither had any effect on any elections nor anyone’s membership status.

It is now thought that Mr Dowden did suggest those behind the assault had references to Beijing, as well as laying out how the UK may listen to the risk posed.

The Chinese Embassy has been approached for comment by the BBC.

The government is willing to stress it has already rejected or wound over Chinese investment in infrastructure in recent years on national security grounds.

Three MPs who are among those thought to have been targeted- past Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith, past minister Tim Laughton and the SNP’s Stewart McDonald- may receive a briefing from the head of political security.

They are people of the Inter- Parliamentary Alliance on China which scrutinises, and generally criticises, the actions of Beijing.

British government priority over Chinese spy and political interference has been growing.

In September 2023, a political scholar was arrested under the Official Secrets Act accused of spying for China.
And a yr before, an unexpected political interference alert was issued regarding the actions of UK- based attorney Christine Lee.

MI5 alleged she had been carrying out political interference activities including donating funds to support the function of MPs. This was all said to be on behalf of China.

China has persistently denied charges of espionage and incorrect- doing.