China: Lei Zhengfu, Communist Party official, sacked over sex tape


Lei Zhengfu was sacked after a video appeared online that purportedly showed him having sex with his teenage mistress.


Tom Hancock

A regional official in China's Communist Party, Lei Zhengfu, has been sacked after a video purportedly showing him having sex with his mistress appeared online.

A disciplinary committee in Chongqing, southwest China, has verified that it is indeed Lei in the sex tape and removed him from his post as a district secretary, Xinhua reported.

Lei previously denied the footage was genuine and insisted it must have been Photoshopped, the netizen who first posted it claimed.

Stills from the video were uploaded on China's version of Twitter, Sina Weibo, on Tuesday by a user called Ji Xuguang, who identified himself as an investigative journalist.

They apparently show an older man having sex with a younger woman, who Ji said was Lei's 18-year-old mistress.

The video was apparently filmed in 2007, when Lei was a district vice-secretary.

According to the Wall Street Journal's China Real Time blog, sexual impropriety can be grounds for dismissal from the Communist Party, which requires its members to uphold "a certain moral standard."

The Guardian cited the scandal as an example of the growing role of China's millions of internet users in exposing philandering and corruption among the previously untouchable elite. (According to China's Global Times, it's now reached the point where several officials have been blackmailed with the threat that fake sex photos will be posted online.)

State-run Xinhua spun the Lei story as an example of government listening to its citizens, quoting a string of online comments that praised the Communist Party for its quick response.

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