Ex-Parliamentary researcher accused of spying for China appears in court

Former parliamentary researcher Christopher Cash  (Jeff Moore/PA) (PA Wire)
Former parliamentary researcher Christopher Cash (Jeff Moore/PA) (PA Wire)

A former parliamentary researcher and a teacher have appeared in court charged with spying for China.

Christopher Cash, 29, a former researcher for Conservative MP Alicia Kearns, is among two British men accused of an offence under the Official Secrets Act.

He and former teacher Christopher Berry, 32, appeared at London’s Old Bailey on Friday. Berry, from Witney in Oxfordshire, worked in various teaching posts in China since September 2015.

Wearing a suit and tie, each defendant spoke only to confirm their names and dates of birth at the brief hearing.

The charge alleges that between January 2022 and February 2023 Mr Cash, from Whitechapel in east London, “for a purpose prejudicial to the safety or interests of the State, obtained, collected, recorded, published, or communicated to any other person articles, notes, documents or information, which were calculated to be, might be, or were intended to be, directly or indirectly, useful to an enemy”.

Mr Berry is accused of the same offence between December 2021 and February 2023.

Mr Cash worked as a parliamentary researcher for Ms Kearns, who serves as chair of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee.

He was formerly the director of a China Research Group, which was initially chaired by senior Tory Tom Tugendhat and then Ms Kearns.

The pair were granted conditional bail at a previous hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court last month.

Mr Justice Jeremy Baker adjourned the case until 4 October.