William Hague welcomes Neil Heywood death investigation


Foreign Secretary William Hague today said he welcomed an investigation into the murder of a British businessman in China.

Neil Heywood died in November in Chongqing in central China.

Mr Hague said he had "taken a personal interest" in the case.

He told Sky News: "I decided a few weeks ago that we should ask the Chinese authorities to investigate the death of Mr Heywood, so of course I welcome the announcement.

"The Chinese are doing as we asked them to do and we now look forward to seeing those investigations take place and in due course hearing the outcome of those investigations."

The wife of senior Communist Party official Bo Xilai has been named as a suspect in the case.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: "We welcome the fact that the Chinese are investigating this case, indeed we had called for this to happen. We will await the conclusion of their investigations."

Mr Bo's wife Gu Kailai is being investigated for the "intentional homicide" of Mr Heywood, Chinese state television said.

The station said both she and an orderly at Mr Bo's home have been turned over to judicial authorities.

Mr Bo has been suspended from the party's 25-member Politburo on suspicion of involvement in "serious discipline violations", state television added.

At the time of Mr Heywood's death, the official notification said he was killed by "over-consumption of alcohol", a Foreign Office spokesman said.

"We provided consular assistance to the family and we continue to give it," he said.