Lew Mon-hung said yesterday that he had no regrets about pointing fingers at former ally Leung Chun-ying, after it was confirmed he had been stripped of his seat on the nation's top political advisory body.
While the move was largely expected after he blasted the chief executive in an interview published last week, some delegates said they believed an investigation by the Independent Commission Against Corruption was the nail in his coffin.
Lew's name did not appear on the final list of delegates to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, which was unveiled in Beijing yesterday, and the outspoken member said he "would take it calmly".
"I speak for the nation and the people," Lew said. "I see responsibility as more important than honour."
He said officials from the central government's liaison office in Hong Kong contacted him on Friday "with congratulations" on the renewal of his tenure, so he believed his name had been removed from the list at the last minute.
"Everyone knows the reason but I am not disappointed, and I have no regrets," Lew said.
A CPPCC delegate who declined to be named believed the action against Lew was related to his arrest by the ICAC in an investigation of his company, Pearl Oriental Oil, and his accusations against Leung.
"If Lew's allegations are fabricated, he is making false accusations against the chief executive," the delegate said. "If what he said is true, Lew has colluded with Leung to engage in election bribery. In either case, he is not qualified to be a CPPCC delegate."
CPPCC Standing Committee member Chan Wing-kee said the central authorities had "carefully considered" the list and Lew's name was not mentioned during yesterday's meeting in Beijing.
Once a staunch supporter of Leung, Lew told iSun Affairs magazine that the chief executive had lied about his handling of illegal structures at his home on The Peak. He also alleged Leung reneged on a promise to appoint him an executive councillor in return for his election support.
Lew's interview prompted bribery complaints from the League of Social Democrats and the Neo-Democrats. The ICAC has opened an investigation.
A Department of Justice spokesman said there was a mechanism to ensure prosecutions involving people in sensitive positions were handled "fairly, impartially and strictly".