Chris Patten has split with his publisher after allegations that the company's owner, media magnate Rupert Murdoch, tried to censor a book by the former Governor which criticises China. Mr Murdoch is believed to have told HarperCollins to ensure Mr Patten's comments on China in his forthcoming book, East and West, were toned down. It will now be published by another British firm, Macmillan, it was announced yesterday. The editor in charge of Mr Patten's book at his former publisher HarperCollins has abruptly left the firm, colleagues said. Reports in the British media yesterday said executives at HarperCollins had instructed editor Stuart Proffitt to alter sections of the book. Staff confirmed Mr Proffitt had left, but would not say whether he had quit or been sacked. Senior management were not available for comment. Mr Patten was last night waiting at his home in France for lawyers to complete the switch. He described Mr Proffitt as 'the best non-fiction editor in the business . . . I am adamant that my book will be read the way I intended it to be read. It is going to be quite a story,' he told The Independent newspaper. Sources said problems had arisen because Mr Patten's original scheme for the book had changed. Instead of being an intellectual and economic analysis of the rise of the Asian 'miracle' economies, the book will dwell, in some detail, on Mr Patten's time in Hong Kong. Clare Alexander of Macmillan said Mr Patten had an initial agreement with HarperCollins, but then was told that 'management didn't accept his book'. She added: 'He was determined to publish it in the form that it took and that's fine by us.' Mr Patten criticised media tycoons in 1994, shortly after Mr Murdoch decided to drop BBC World from STAR TV. Mr Patten talked of the 'most seedy of betrayals' by those who reaped profits from free speech in one country while censoring in another. Mr Patten's executive council blocked an attempt by Mr Murdoch to take a 22 per cent stake in broadcaster TVB in 1993.