The BBC has apologised to military charity Help for Heroes over a “flawed report” on its Newsnight programme which it has now admitted was “misleading” and “unfair”.

The report was screened last August and accused the charity of mishandling some of the £150 million it has raised by being “too cosy” with the Ministry of Defence. Complaints by the charity got nowhere until, three months later, the same team on Newsnight accused Lord McAlpine of being a paedophile, without proof, and was forced by a court to pay £185,000 in damages.

This, along with the criticism that Newsnight was getting for dropping their report into Jimmy Savile, persuaded Help for Heroes to ask the BBC to examine their complaint more seriously.

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