Panorama producer suspended over 'bribe' allegation

BBC New Broadcasting House
Image caption The allegation is in relation to an episode of Panorama due to have been broadcast last Monday

The BBC has postponed an episode of Panorama and suspended one of its producers over allegations a security consultant was bribed for information.

The programme was said to be an investigation into a company developing luxury homes in the Caribbean.

The Times said a producer from the current affairs show emailed a security consultant and apparently suggested the BBC may offer him work for information.

The BBC said disciplinary procedures were under way.

The Panorama documentary, due to be broadcast last Monday, was described in the Radio Times as "an investigation into financial scandals that could wipe out people's life savings".

'Reviewing the facts'

The Times newspaper said one of the current affairs programme's producers emailed a security consultant at a firm allegedly involved, Harlequin, via the professional networking website Linked In and apparently suggested that in return for confidential information about the company the BBC may offer him work.

According to its own guidelines, the BBC has a "zero-tolerance" approach to bribery and a commitment to acting professionally and with integrity in all its business dealings.

The BBC said in a statement: "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."