Robert Courts, the MP for Witney, is one of several MPS who have written to the deputy prime minister urging him to review the potential sale of the Daily Telegraph.

Ministers are being asked to intervene after RedBird IMI, an investment fund owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, vice-president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), reached a deal to purchase the broadsheet newspaper and The Spectator magazine.

In a letter co-ordinated by Neil O’Brien, who was a health minister until the reshuffle a fortnight ago, Mr Courts and 17 other MPs said they believed that the proposed transaction “presents a very real potential national security threat”.

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They said ministers should not be “railroaded into clearing” the change of ownership and should instead “pause the deal” to review its impact on Britain’s security and press freedom.

They urged Oliver Dowden, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s deputy, to conduct a review of the transaction linked to Sheik Mansour, who owns Manchester City football club, by using powers under the National Security and Investment Act (NSI).

RedBird IMI, a joint venture between US firm RedBird Capital and International Media Investments (IMI) of Abu Dhabi, said this month that it had reached a deal with previous owners the Barclay family.

The deal would see debts the Barclays owed to Lloyds repaid, the fund said.

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said last week she was “minded” to open an investigation into whether the deal was against the public interest and the effect it may have on the ability to report freely.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport said she was still considering whether to issue a Public Interest Intervention Notice (PIIN).

The letter, whose signatories also include Foreign Affairs Select Committee chairwoman Alicia Kearns and former Tory Party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith, says that UAE funding deals have come under scrutiny in the United States recently, due to the country’s “increasingly close relations with China”.

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The MPs said the “influence” that the Telegraph sale would give to a “foreign government that is strengthening its relationship with Beijing at a time of growing tensions is even more troubling”.

The MPs, highlighting human rights charity Amnesty International’s concerns over the “serious implications” for media freedom if the deal goes ahead, said the sale could “imperil these publications’ ability to report freely, which clearly poses a national security risk”.

When asked for a reply to the MPs’ letter, RedBird pointed to recent remarks made by head of the fund, Jeff Zucker. The former head of US broadcaster CNN told The Telegraph on Tuesday that concerns over the takeover were “misplaced”.