Report: Neil Heywood Worked as British Intelligence ‘Volunteer’
The British national, whose death in 2011 caused the downfall of popular Chinese politician Bo Xilai, was tagged as a willing informant of the UK government and appeared to have played the role two years before his demise, reports said. REUTERS

New claims indicate that the British businessman found dead in China last November was forced to drink poison.

The London Evening Standard reported that Neil Heywood, 41, was allegedly forced to drink deadly cyanide after he threatened to reveal a senior Communist, Bo Xilai, and his wife, Gu Kailai, held over £800 million of state assets.

A senior Communist party official is quoted in a new report saying: "They tried to poison Heywood with a drink, but he spat it out. The two people then forcibly held Heywood down, and poured the poison into his mouth."

A local coroner said at the time that the businessman had died from "excessive alcohol".

However, questions were raised when police chief Wang Lijun changed the story and told his family he had had a heart attack.

Now, the new report suggests that that Wang retrieved the fluid that was spat out and preserved it as evidence.

"The item Heywood spat out was retrieved and stored by the deputy chief of the Chongqing Public Security Bureau, and that has become a decisive piece of evidence," said the Communist official in the report.

"Wang Lijun has been applauded for co-operating in helping to unravel the truth in this incident," he continued.

The Daily Yomiuri, Japan's biggest selling English-speaking newspaper quoted a senior Chinese government source.

It said: "A senior party official assembled his subordinates in a small conference room on April 10.

"In an unusual move, attendees were ordered to turn off their cell phones and prohibited from taking notes."

The official then describes Bo as the "gangster of all gangsters".

According to the report, Wang clashed with Bo over the handling of the situation which led to the Communist official punching the police chief and screaming "stop being an idiot".

A city official has been arrested after allegedly confession to preparing the poison and giving it to an employee of Bo.