Neil Heywood Murder
Published: April 29, 2012
Neil Heywood Murder, Neil Heywood, the Briton whose death is at the heart of China’s extraordinary political scandal, was not employed as an MI6 spy, William Hague has told MPs.
Rumours triggered by the 41-year-old’s work for Hakluyt – a business intelligence firm founded by former MI6 officers – had prompted the foreign affairs committee to ask whether he was supplying information to the government.
“It is long established government policy neither to confirm nor deny speculation of this sort. However, given the intense interest in this case it is, exceptionally, appropriate for me to confirm that Mr Heywood was not an employee of the British government in any capacity,” the foreign secretary wrote in his reply.
While that response did not fully answer the committee’s question – whether the businessman supplied information to diplomats either formally or informally – Hague added: “Mr Heywood was only an occasional contact of the embassy, attending some meetings in connection with his business. He was not known to the consulate-general [in Chongqing].”
Friends had already cast doubt on the idea that Heywood was a spy, suggesting his fascination with James Bond movies and the 007 number plate on his Jaguar would be unlikely if he was actually working for MI6.
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