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Police Search Premises After Man Bailed Over Alleged F-35 Secret Plot

The man was arrested amid fears that classified information about Britain's new multimillion-pound F-35 stealth fighter jets may have been...

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Cover picture: MoD Crown Copyright/Cpl Paul Oldfield

Counter-terrorism police investigating an alleged plot to pass military secrets to the Chinese are continuing to search a premises after arresting a man on suspicion of breaching the Official Secrets Act.

Scotland Yard confirmed a man was arrested on Tuesday afternoon and taken to a police station in Derbyshire before being released under investigation.

Scotland Yard said a search warrant was executed at an address in the West Midlands and that a further search at an address in Derbyshire is ongoing.

The man, understood to be former Rolls-Royce employee Bryn Jones, was arrested amid fears that classified information about Britain's new multimillion-pound F-35 stealth fighter jets may have been passed to Beijing, according to The Sun newspaper.

Mr Jones declined to comment when contacted by the Press Association at his home address on Thursday morning.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Mr Jones has "40 years' experience in the development of new combustion technology for aero gas turbines and aero-derivative engines (Land-based and naval)" and has spent 35 years lecturing in gas turbine combustion.

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According to The Sun newspaper, the man, said to be former Rolls-Royce employee Bryn Jones, was arrested amid fears that classified information about Britain's new multimillion-pound F-35 stealth fighter jets may have been passed to Beijing.

The profile describes him as a consultant "specialising in gas turbine combustion" who worked for Rolls-Royce from 1968 to 2003.

Neighbour John O'Melia confirmed there had been police activity at Mr Jones's house on Tuesday.

He said: "There was a marked police van and some specialist plain-clothed officers at the address.

"He was a nice chap. He mainly spoke of Japanese customers rather than Chinese - but that must have been 10 years ago."

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "At approximately 2.40pm on Tuesday, officers from the Metropolitan Police Service arrested a man in Derbyshire as part of an investigation under the Official Secrets Act.

"The man, who is in his 70s and worked within private industry, was taken to a police station in Derbyshire.

"He was released under investigation later that evening.

"Police officers executed a search warrant at an address in the West Midlands, which is now complete. A search at an address in Derbyshire is ongoing.

"We are not prepared to discuss further at this stage given the nature of the investigation."

Rolls-Royce was one of several UK companies with contracts to produce parts of the jet, which touched down at RAF Marham in Norfolk for the first time last week.

At the time, the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier, described the plane as "the future of our air power for decades to come".

When asked about the investigation during a media call on the company's restructuring, Rolls-Royce chief executive Warren East said:

"That's an ongoing investigation and therefore I can't comment."

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