Cameron 'to raise concerns' about businessman's death

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Li Changchun is described as the 'propaganda chief' of the Communist Party of China.

He will need all his skills when he sees the Prime Minister today, for what had been a routine meeting to discuss trade.

Li Changchun waves to the press at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing
Li Changchun waves to the press at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Credit: Reuters

Instead, Downing Street now says the death of the British businessman Neil Heywood is likely to come up at the meeting.

You can imagine what might be said, given what is now emerging.

In a blog 3 weeks ago my colleague Angus Walker described the mysterious silence surrounding what happened to Neil Heywood in the Chinese city of Chongqing last November.

Police initially said Neil Heywood died from drinking too much alcohol
Police initially said Neil Heywood died from drinking too much alcohol Credit: Reuters

But Mr Heywood's death, Angus said, has been, dragged into the biggest political scandal to grip China for decades.

Now there are unconfirmed reports claiming that he may have died from cyanide poisoning.

Being British, the government here will be taking a softly, softly approach. Trying to prevent any damage to relations with China - in that sense todays meeting is still about trade.](http://www.itv.com/news/2012-03-29/was-neil-heywood-a-spy/)

[In another blog, Angus raised the question of whether Neil Heywood was a British spy.

So you can imagine that the Prime Minister will hardly be rushing to confront his Chinese guest, demanding answers today.

But outside Downing Street more and more questions are being asked.

Conservative MP, Mark Pritchard
Conservative MP, Mark Pritchard Credit: Flying Colours

The MP Mark Pritchard has submitted a series of questions in parliament asking whether enough is being done to look after the family of a British national who has died overseas.

A question he is set to submit asks, for example, which British official saw Neil Heywood's body.

The answers may not come easily but it is becoming increasingly difficult even for a secretive country like China to keep what happened to Neil Heywood a secret.