THE Scot arrested on suspicion of spying for China has insisted he is “completely innocent”.

The man in his 20s was arrested in Edinburgh amid allegations of spying on behalf of Beijing while working at the House of Commons as a parliamentary researcher.

Another man, in his 30s, was detained in Oxfordshire on March 13.

First revealed by The Sunday Times, both men were held on suspicion of offences under section one of the Official Secrets Act 1911, which punishes offences that are said to be “prejudicial to the safety or interests of the state”. 

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Now, the Scot – a rugby fan who was educated at a private school in Edinburgh and at a university in Scotland – has said he is “innocent” and that he had spent his career highlighting the “challenge and threats presented by the Chinese Communist Party”.

The arrest of the two men led to the Prime Minister confronting Chinese premier Li Qiang at the G20 summit in India on Sunday over “unacceptable” interference in democracy.

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In a statement released through the Scot’s lawyers, the researcher – who has not been officially named by police – said: “I feel forced to respond to the media accusations that I am a ‘Chinese spy’.

“It is wrong that I should be obliged to make any form of public comment on the misreporting that has taken place.

“However, given what has been reported, it is vital that it is known that I am completely innocent.

“I have spent my career to date trying to educate others about the challenge and threats presented by the Chinese Communist Party.

“To do what has been claimed against me is extravagant news reporting would be against everything I stand for.”

Officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command, which oversees espionage-related offences, are investigating.