Man, 64, charged with ‘spying for Russia’: Suspect to look in courtroom

A man from Essex was today charged with assisting Russia‘s intelligence service.

Howard Michael Phillips, 64, of Harlow, has been charged with an offence contrary to section three of the National Security Act – assisting a foreign intelligence service.

The Metropolitan Police, whose Counter Terrorism Command team are leading the investigation, said the country to which the charge relates is Russia.

Phillips was remanded in police custody and is expected to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court later this afternoon.

The Metropolitan Police's Counter Terrorism Policing team are leading the probe (file image)

The Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Policing team are leading the probe (file image)

Detectives added that officers have also searched one property in the Hertfordshire area and another in the Essex area, with both searches now complete.

The Met added: ‘The arrest is not connected to any other recent charges or investigations linked to NSA offences, and there is not believed to be any threat to the wider public in connection with this matter.’

More to follow