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Hong Kong leader-elect sorry for illegal structure

HONG KONG – Hong Kong’s leader-elect on Thursday publicly apologised for an illegal glass canopy at his home, months after his election rival admitted to building an unauthorised basement.

In a city where people are regularly prosecuted over illegal additions to their homes, Leung Chun-ying said the canopy had been demolished as soon as he realised it had been built without the necessary approvals.

“I tender my apologies to the public for this oversight. It was not intended,” he told reporters.

“I never tried to hide this from the public,” he said, noting that he had hosted many journalists in his home and showed them around his cherished vegetable patch in his back yard.

The glass canopy measured 110 square feet (10 square metres) and hung over the back door leading into the garden.

“I want to stress this was a glass canopy, not a glass house,” the incoming chief executive, or de facto mayor of the southern Chinese city, said.

Leung was chosen to replace outgoing chief Donald Tsang by a pro-Beijing committee in March, promising to improve governance and uphold the rule of law in the former British colony of seven million people.

His main rival in the election race, Henry Tang, was engulfed in scandal during the campaign when he admitted to having built an elaborate entertainment den below his luxury home without construction permits.

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