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Dublin: 19°C Friday 24 September 2021

British MP denies his assistant is a Russian spy

MI5 briefing led to the British home secretary approving deportation order for MP’s Russian aide.

File photo of the MI5 building in London.
File photo of the MI5 building in London.
Image: Myung Jung Kim/PA Wire/Press Association Images

A BRITISH MP HAS denied his 25-year-old aide is a spy, after she was taken into custody to face deportation proceedings.

The Sunday Times reports that Katia Zatuliveter was arrested on the orders of MI5.

It says she’s the first person from inside the House of Commons to have been accused of spying since the end of the Cold War, according to the paper.

Mike Hancock, a Liberal Democrats MP for Portsmouth South, said Zatuliveter had done nothing wrong. Hancock sits on the House of Commons Defence Select Committee and Portsmouth is home to a large naval base, the BBC reports.

According to the BBC, Hancock said his assistant would appeal a deportation order. Home Secretary Theresa May approved the deportation after being briefed by MI5, according to the PA.

The Sunday Times reported that Zatuliveter is suspected of working for the Russian secret service, but Hancock told the PA that “she is not a spy” and she “feels – quite rightly – that she has done nothing wrong”.

The Home Office told the PA that it does not comment on individual cases. Shadow Foreign Secretary Yvette Cooper said vetting procedures for people working at the parliament might have to be reviewed.

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