China ruling party expels official for graft as results of 15-month austerity drive announced

China's ruling communists say they have expelled the former party head of the southern city of Guangzhou over graft allegations amid a wide-ranging campaign to reduce waste and rehabilitate the party's reputation as corrupt and out of touch.

Wan Qinglian's expulsion and referral for criminal prosecution came Thursday as state media announced the results of a 15-month anti-graft austerity drive that has sent shockwaves through the 86.7 million-member ruling party.

The official Xinhua News Agency says Wan is alleged to have abused his office, accepted huge bribes and frequented expensive private clubs in violation of party rules against corruption and extravagance.

More than 74,000 party members have been punished for extravagance during the campaign that has radically reduced outward signs of reckless spending on entertaining, buildings and pricey vehicles.