Gu Kailai (left) is accused of murdering businessman Neil Heywood (Reuters)
Gu Kailai (left) is accused of murdering businessman Neil Heywood (Reuters)

David Cameron is expected to discuss the death of British businessman Neil Heywood when he meets a senior Chinese Communist Party official in Downing Street.

The Prime Minister is likely to discuss the death of Heywood with Beijing's visiting propaganda chief Li Changchun. Pressure has mounted on the Foreign Office to explain what it knew about the businessman's death.

The 41-year-old was allegedly killed because he threatened to expose the offshore dealings of the wife of one of China's most powerful politicians, Bo Xilai.

Heywood died after being poisoned with cyanide in Chongqing city in central China on 14 November.

Heywood is also alleged to have been having an affair with Bu's wife, Gu Kailai. Reuters reported it was she who hatched the plan to have Heywood killed.

Gu was arrested on suspicion of murder last week while Bo has been suspended from all duties, effectively ending his chance of becoming China's next leader.

There have been suspicions in China that information on Heywood's death may have been released to discredit Bo. Li would have been ultimately responsible for any leaks.

Cameron is due to discuss trade, cultural and educational links with politburo member L, but a Downing Street spokesperson said the Heywood case was "likely to come up".

"The purpose of the meeting is to strengthen Britain's relationship with China in a range of areas including trade and people-to-people contacts, including such things as education and culture," she said.

"I think [Mr Cameron] will echo what the foreign secretary has said - that we welcome the investigation and look forward to seeing the outcome."

It was first reported by local media that Heywood died because of excessive alcohol assumption. This raised suspicions as friend's said the businessman was not a heavy drinker.

Foreign secretary William Hague has defended his department's handling of the case. He said a post-mortem examination in China was not requested by Heywood's family and it was not the role of the Foreign Office to do so.

Hague told BBC's World At One: "It's very important to remember that we have asked the Chinese to investigate, we have demanded an investigation into what happened and China is now conducting an investigation so the very important thing now is what happens in that investigation and we want to see that run its course."

Prime Minister David Cameron said during his recent Far East tour he was pleased the Chinese authorities were taking action over the murder.