15 Apr 2012

Briton killed with cyanide, media report claims

1:25 pm on 15 April 2012

A British newspaper is reporting that a British businessman linked to one of China's most powerful politicians was poisoned.

The Mail on Sunday quotes Chinese-language websites as saying Neil Heywood died from cyanide poisoning in November last year in the city of Chongqing.

He was allegedly having an affair with lawyer Gu Kailai, wife of Bo Xilai, seen until recently as a future leader of China.

The newspaper says it is alleged Mr Heywood was murdered after becoming involved in an effort by Ms Gu to siphon nearly $US1.4 billion worth of assets out of China.

State media say Ms Gu is under arrest along with an orderly at Mr Bo's house.

Mr Bo has been stripped of all his Communist Party roles for "serious discipline violations".