Was Neil Heywood a spy?

Angus Walker

Former ITV News Correspondent

There has been a lot of speculation about Neil Heywood's death in China last November

I now know that two people who knew Neil Heywood thought that he was involved in something "rather mysterious".

That's according to a source working in the same industry as Mr Heywood.

The source says there were "nods and winks" that he must be "one of those".

Why? Because he "didn't reveal much about his background" and in the small world of due diligence/forensic accounting in China even experienced operators "didn't know him from Adam".

Added to that "he'd been in China a long time and yet he wasn't someone you ran into in the usual way".

The fact that he worked for a corporate intelligence firm set up by former MI6 officers is also seen by some as a clue.

The source, who asked not to be named, also told me today that Neil Heywood wasn't teetotal, as was reported earlier this week, he did drink, but not much they say.

According to the British Embassy, the official police report on his death said he died from excess alcohol consumption.

So there are questions about the exact line of work he was in and doubts raised about the cause of his death.

On the other hand there's no doubt that the people investigating Chinese firms on behalf of Western clients prefer to keep a low profile.They need to avoid alerting those who fear their investigations.

The suspicions about Neil Heywood's work and death are, for now, just speculation but it's speculation not from the media, it's from those who know the work he was doing and who know China very well.