James Harding, the corporation’s director of news and current affairs, told the Society of Editors earlier today that it “is a seriously good piece of work, extremely revealing and squarely in the public interest.
“But, he explained, “the worst of all worlds is when you get the big picture right, and trip up over a detail.”So when some information we’d been asking to see for many days was sent to us by Mazher Mahmood’s lawyers at 7 o’clock last night, we, as a responsible broadcaster, had to consider it. We’re looking at it, and we’ll make sense of it as quickly as we can, and then we’ll broadcast it.”
My understanding is that the information concerns just one specific allegation in Fake Sheikh: Exposed. The implications of that new matter provided by Mahmood’s lawyers, Kingsley Napley, are under consideration now.
Whatever the outcome, it is too minor a detail to affect the eventual screening of the documentary in which Panorama’s reporter, John Sweeney, interviews some of Mahmood’s former assistants. They cast light on Mahmood’s journalistic methods during his investigations.