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The BBC and the Radio Times trade magazine have been criticised for quoting a former consultant’s allegations of professional misconduct by the British Broadcasting Corporation.

Prof John Cook, a paediatric and communicable disease specialist, resigned from his BBC post after initially penning an e-mail to BBC News Director James Harding for publication in the Radio Times.

The article alleged Prof Cook was “banned from discussing the BBC’s use of antibiotics” after telling the BBC the public broadcaster had repeatedly failed to report, properly evaluate or check the use of antibiotics by charities, public bodies and individuals.

In its response on Sunday, the AHDB (Association of Chief Police Officers), which hosts its own beef advisory services centre for sale in partnership with the BBC, hit back at the BBC and the trade magazine.

The statement said: “Contrary to the speculation generated by the BBC and Radio Times, the AHDB has not been informed that they have been forced to take disciplinary action against an NHS consultant. We have cooperated fully with the BBC to identify a number of academics who do not engage in research for commercial gain and who have access to research being carried out on behalf of the NHS. We have no reason to believe this cannot be a reference to Mr Cook.”