The impending deportation of an MP’s assistant as a suspected Russian spy has raised fears of a return to Cold War politics between the west and Russia.
Liberal Democrat MP Mike Hancock’s 25 year old assistant Katia Zatuliveter was was issued a deportation order over her alleged links to Russian intelligence services.
Zatuliveter was picked up by the UK Border Agency on Thursday morning.
This is believed to be the first case of a Russian agent being removed from the Houses of Parliament since the Cold War.
Her discovery follows the recent case of of 28-year-old Russian glamour girl Anna Chapman, a spy, who was arrested by the FBI earlier this year and was sent back to Russia.
Hancock gave a Zatuliveter a job after meeting her at a Council of Europe meeting in Strasbourg ultimately giving her access to official documents on defence policy.
Experts say Russia has continued a Cold War-style espionage operation in the UK.
Hancock defended his assistant who is now being held at a secure facility awaiting deportation, telling the BBC that he had seen no evidence against her.
“Nobody has shown me any evidence to support the view that she is any way a threat to the UK,” he said. “If she was a threat, when they stopped her in August, they could have removed her then.”