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The British businessman whose death sparked one of China's biggest political scandals had links to UK secret intelligence services, the Wall Street Journal (£) is reporting.
An investigation by the paper claimed that Neil Heywood, who was killed in November last year, provided information to MI6 about the family of ousted Communist Party leader Bo Xilai.
Bo's wife, Gu Kailai, was convicted in August of Heywood's murder.
The National People's Congress Standing Committee confirmed it had approved a decision to remove Bo as a deputy - but gave no further details. Communist Party leaders are trying to resolve the country's political scandal as they prepare for the transition of power to the next generation of leaders.
- Bo had been a rising political star and his toppling exposed sharp infighting in the party's uppermost ranks
- Bo's downfall has been spectacular: His wife, Gu Kailai, was convicted of murdering British businessman Neil Heywood
- His former right-hand man was accused of taking bribes, abusing power and trying to defect to the United States, among other crimes
China has stripped disgraced politician Bo Xilai of his last official position - formally expelling him from parliament. The move paves the way for formal criminal charges to be laid against him because it removes his immunity from prosecution.
Latest ITV News reports
The decision to strip Bo Xilai of immunity from prosecution to face charges related to Neil Heywwod's murder could have major consequences.