The researcher at the centre of the row, who had links with senior Tories including security minister Tom Tugendhat and Foreign Affairs Committee chair Alicia Kearns, was arrested back in March – but this went undisclosed until Saturday.
The arrest under the Official Secrets Act led to Rishi Sunak confronting Chinese premier Li Qiang at the G20 summit in India on Sunday over what he alleged was “unacceptable” interference in democracy.
In a statement released by his lawyers, Birnberg Peirce, the man – who they did not name – 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 in extravagant news reporting would be against everything I stand for.”