Sun Zhengcai is one of the most powerful officials to be toppled under President Xi Jinping’s anti-graft campaign

A top Chinese official once seen as a potential successor to president Xi Jinping has been sentenced to life in prison for taking more than $26m in bribes, according to state media.

Sun Zhengcai, a former politburo member and party boss of the southwestern city of Chongqing, is one of the highest officials to be toppled by an anti-graft campaign that critics say is Xi’s way to root out rivals rather than corruption.

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