‘No evidence ‘that murdered UK businessman was a spy

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A SENIOR Communist Party leader said that there is no evidence the British businessman Neil Heywood, whose murder became part of a major political scandal, was a spy.

Vice premier Zhang Dejiang, who was put in charge of the mega-city of Chongqing in the scandal’s wake, also rejected the notion that his predecessor, the now-purged leader Bo Xilai, had left any positive legacy in his administration of the city.

Mr Zhang yesterday belittled what was once heralded by the Chinese media as the “Chongqing model” – a code phrase for the populist crime-fighting and social policies that made Bo beloved with his region’s poor.

“I believe that this Chongqing model does not exist at all,” Mr Zhang said at a meeting of Chongqing delegates to the Communist Party conclave.

Bo has been accused of violations ranging from corruption to involvement in covering up his wife’s murder of Mr Heywood in a dispute.