Bo scandal: Son denies life of fast cars and parties

 

The son of Bo Xilai, the disgraced Chinese politician brought down by the scandal surrounding the murder of the British businessman Neil Heywood, has denied reports that he has led a life of extravagance as a student at Harrow and Oxford, and now at Harvard.

Bo Guagua, 24, who is enrolled at the Harvard Kennedy School, responded to a series of media articles questioning the source of the money that allowed him to attend such elite institutions in Britain and America and, according to some reports, lead a playboy lifestyle of fast cars and parties.

"Recently, there has been increasing attention from the press on my private life," Mr Bo wrote in a letter to Harvard Crimson, the university's student newspaper. "As a result of these speculations, I feel responsible to the public to provide an account of the facts."

He denied ever driving a Ferrari, as has been claimed, and said his education was funded through scholarships and his mother's savings. He said he was "deeply concerned" about his family. His father, the former Chongqing Communist Party chief and member of China's powerful Politburo, is under investigation, and his mother, Gu Kilai, is in custody in connection with the mysterious death of Mr Heywood.

The Old Harrovian was found dead in a hotel room in Chongqing, southwest China, a municipality formerly run by Mr Bo Snr. He and his wife are known to have had business dealings with Mr Heywood. Recent media reports have said he was poisoned.

The Bo affair has ignited suspicions of corruption at the highest levels of the Communist Party. It is partly for this reason that questions have arisen about where the money for Bo Guagua's top-flight education came from.

The unexpected pleading from Bo Guagua came as the Chinese government cracked down on social media inside China, in response to online rumours which have mounted since the arrest of his father. The Chinese government is ensuring that online and traditional media services make no mention of the ongoing investigation into the Bo family scandal, which has become China's most unsettling political upheaval in decades. The official news service, Xinhua, is not included in the blackout.

Sina.com, the operator of Weibo, China's leading social network, shut four user accounts for spreading rumours concerning the scandal.

"Recently, some lawbreakers have made use of Weibo to without reason fabricate and spread malicious political rumours, producing a bad influence on society," Sina said in an announcement to its more than 300 million users.

One of the four accounts belonged to Li Delin, a writer for the business magazine Capital Week, whose postings about military vehicles in Beijing sparked rumours of a coup. A friend of his posted a message online yesterday alleging that Mr Li had disappeared.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive or Senior Sales Executive - B2B Exhibitions

£18000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive or Senior Sal...

Recruitment Genius: Head of Support Services

£40000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Team Leader

£22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This industry leading company produces h...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £40,000

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT provider for the educat...

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future