'Traitor' Australian politician recruited by foreign spies that made country 'top priority'

'Traitor' Australian politician recruited by foreign spies that made country 'top priority'

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GB News
Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop

Published: 29/02/2024

- 23:01

The former MP's identity has not yet been revealed

An Australian politician “sold out” his country after being recruited by foreign spies, the nation's intelligence chief has alleged in a speech.

The politician, whose identity was not disclosed, sought information on the Aukus partnership with the US and UK after being enlisted by an unidentified country.

Mike Burgess, Australia’s director-general of security, said: “This politician sold out their country, party and former colleagues to advance the interests of the foreign regime.”

He dubbed the group the “A-Team” and said the MP had offered them access to the then-Prime Minister’s family.

Spy/Mike Burgess/Melbourne

An Australian politician was recruited by foreign spies that made the country a 'top priority', the nation's intelligence chief has alleged in a speech


Alex Turnbull, the son of former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, claimed that he was one of the targets of suspected Chinese agents, according to news.com.au.

“It was just so brazen,” Turnbull told the publication. “My reaction was to express no interest and forward the details immediately to the authorities.”

Delivering his annual threat assessment in Canberra, the Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) chief said the group, which had now disbanded, had identified the nation as a “priority target”.

“The spies pose as consultants, head-hunters, local government officials, academics and think tank researchers, claiming to be from fictional companies,” he said.


Mike Burgess

Mike Burgess made the revelation in a speech in Canberra


The retired Australian politician has not been charged and is no longer working with the group, he said.

His remarks called for demands for the former MP to be revealed.

“The trouble is, if he does not indicate the name then there is a cloud hanging over everybody else,” Peter Dutton, the conservative opposition leader, told Sydney radio station 2GB.

“If you are putting that detail out there as Burgess has done, I think it is incumbent to either give a little bit more criteria or a little bit more of a hint as to who the person might be.”

A laptop user with their hood up

Burgess said the MP had offered the group access to the then-prime minister’s family


Former Australian conservative treasurer Joe Hockey said that the revelation has tainted all lawmakers in the country.

“The former politician is a traitor,” he told national broadcaster ABC.

However, some major government ministers have backed Burgess' decision not to identify the individual.

“He wouldn't have done it this way if he didn't think it was necessary to do it this way,” treasurer Jim Chalmers said.

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