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Newsnight's London mayoral debate

  • Newsnight
  • 8 Apr 08, 12:14 PM

mayor_debate203x100.jpgNewsnight is holding the first live televised debate between the leading London mayoral contenders.
The race is incredibly tight, with each candidate accusing the others of negative campaigning and even dirty tricks.

With the characters involved we expect a colourful - even stormy - encounter.

So what would you like us to ask Ken Livingstone, Brian Paddick and Boris Johnson?

Click here to send us your questions...



The debate's over - watch it here - and let us know what you made of the candidates' performances.

The Trial of Chen Liangyu

  • Paul Mason
  • 8 Apr 08, 11:27 AM

"Before, you used to have to pay a one billion dollar bribe to get a personal audience with a major Chinese politician," one foreign businessperson in Beijing told me; "now you only have to invest a billion". That was five years ago and it may have been exaggeration but, as the ongoing trial of Chen Liangyu shows - or would show if it were not being held in secret - corruption went to the top of the tree under former president Jiang Zemin.

Chen was the party secretary in Shanghai, a member of the CPC Politbureau and at the centre of a grouping known as the Shanghai clique. He was disgraced in September 2006 and went on trial on 25 March 2008 in TIanjin, accused of diverting 25 billion RMB into the pockets of himself and associates in the Shanghai Communist Party elite. Yesterday another key figure in the scandal, Zhang Rongkun, was sentenced to 19 years in prison. Zhang's case is worth lookiing at because it illustrates the proven extent of the network of bribery and corruption discovered in Shanghai's business elite - not in the bad old early 90s but as late as two years ago.

According to China Daily Zhang: a) embezzled money from the part-privatised company Shanghai Electric b) paid out 29 billion RMB in bribes c) illegally issued bonds in his own companies and d) manipulated the stock price of Haixin Group. One sentence stands out from the webpage on the state news agency's report on Zhang's sentencing. "It has not been revealed to whom he gave the money."....

Continue reading "The Trial of Chen Liangyu"

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