A BBC Panorama programme investigating overseas property Sipp investments has been pulled due to allegations of bribery by a BBC producer.
The Great Savings Wipe Out was due to air at 8.30pm on Monday but was withdrawn from the schedule last Thursday.
The Times reports that a BBC producer emailed Harlequin consultant Sean Ghent offering future work with Panorama. He has now been suspended and a disciplinary procedure is under way.
The e-mail said: “Panorama and the BBC is [sic] always using security and protection officers and although I cannot guarantee anything we may be able to put things your way. Or we could work together on stories. It’s always good to keep one eye on the future! How would you feel helping me out in a totally confidential way.”
The Times reports that Harlequin wrote to the BBC litigation department branding the email “simply staggering”.
The letter said: “It appears to constitute a flagrant and in our view highly improper attempt by [the journalist] to induce Mr Ghent into disclosing information about Harlequin in return for the pot
The BBC said: “In light of information received late in the production process of this film the BBC decided to postpone broadcast. We are currently reviewing the facts. As a result a member of the team has been suspended and a disciplinary procedure is under way.”