Former Chonqing police chief Wang Lijun, whose attempted defection led to the downfall of the municipality's Communist Party secretary, Bo Xilai, sought a meeting with British officials hours before he fled to a nearby US mission, the BBC reported yesterday, quoting a British government source. The report came as the British embassy in Beijing confirmed it had formally asked the Chinese government to review the death of Neil Heywood, a British citizen who was said to have close ties with Bo's family, in Chongqing last year. Wang had failed to show up at a meeting arranged with the local British consulate, the report added. A source citing unnamed diplomatic personnel told the South China Morning Post in early February that Wang looked for help from an unspecified foreign embassy but was rejected, before turning to the US consulate in Chengdu , Sichuan province. Meanwhile, there was intense online speculation yesterday that government publicity organs had ordered the suspension of the website of Beijing-based Economic Observer after it carried a report on what one source said was the downfall of a district chief in Chongqing. Eeo.com.cn could not be accessed yesterday. When asked to comment on the case, Wang Lei, a senior editorial staff member at the newspaper, said: 'The suspension of the website is simply a technical problem, which has nothing to do with the report.' But a source close to the matter said it was due to a report on the sacking of Xia Zeliang, the ex-party chief of Nanan district, who was dismissed after Vice-Premier Zhang Dejiang succeeded Bo on March 15.