UK

Geoffrey Robinson: Labour MP denies claims he was 'Czech spy'

Geoffrey Robinson Image copyright UK Parliament
Image caption Geoffrey Robinson, Labour MP for Coventry, said the allegations "are a lie"

Labour MP Geoffrey Robinson has denied claims that he was a Cold War spy who passed confidential government files to communist Czechoslovakia in the 1960s.

The Mail on Sunday says the allegations are contained in files archived by the current Czech government.

They centre on information about Britain's nuclear deterrent, including its Polaris missile programme, and details about Nato.

Mr Robinson said the allegations are a "complete fabrication".

A spokesperson for Mr Robinson told the BBC in a statement: "The allegations allegedly made by the Czech authorities are a lie.

"At no time did Mr Robinson ever pass confidential government documents or information to any foreign agent and he did not have access to such material."

Labour denies ex-Czech agent's claims

The Mail on Sunday says the claims are contained in 390 pages of files compiled by the StB security service in Cold War Czechoslovakia and now administered by the Czech Republic's state security archives.

The files allege scores of meetings with a Czech "handler" between 1966 and 1969.

The BBC has not independently verified the claims.

In a further statement given to the BBC, Mr Robinson's spokesperson said: "The Mail on Sunday have sent Mr Robinson a one page document written by the Czech authorities but every key fact in this document about Mr Robinson is wrong.

"It is wrong about his then job (he was never secretary to Mr Denis Healey) and about his date of birth - and when it refers to the activities of Mr Robinson the document itself states 'these moments were neither proven nor clarified'."

Last year in a separate development, the Labour Party denied claims that Jeremy Corbyn had either been a collaborator or an agent of the communist regime in Czechoslovakia in the 1980s.

The party said the claims had come from a single source and were "absurd and hallucinogenic".

Image copyright Mirrorpix
Image caption Mr Robinson, a former chairman of Jaguar Cars, was paymaster general in the late 1990s

Mr Robinson has been the MP for Coventry North West since 1976, and was paymaster general in 1997-1998 when Tony Blair was prime minister. He is also ex-chairman of Jaguar and Coventry City FC.

Communist rule lasted in Czechoslovakia from 1948 until the "Velvet Revolution" in 1989.

Less than four years later, the "Velvet Divorce" saw the country divide into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

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