Tom DeLay, the Republican majority leader in the US House of Representatives, has been charged with criminal conspiracy by a grand jury in Texas. Mr DeLay has relinquished his post but not his seat in Congress.

The second-ranking, and most assertive Republican leader, was accused of a criminal conspiracy with two associates, John Colyandro, a former executive director of a Texas political action committee formed by Mr DeLay, and Jim Ellis, who heads Mr DeLay’s national political committee.