At the Open Day meetings in April, Dave Ames assured agents and investors that Harlequin would be as transparent and open as possible with you all. In line with this, we want to make you aware of very recent developments with the BBC Panorama programme and Harlequin.
As you are aware, Harlequin was to be included in an episode of the BBC’s Panorama programme in April this year. That episode was pulled after the programme’s producer resigned following suspension for attempting to bribe individuals associated with Harlequin. You can find out more at the links below:
We also understand that an independent review commissioned by the BBC found that the programme makers had become too close to individuals who are intent on bringing down Harlequin. This supports what Harlequin already knew, not just from the nature of the accusations and questions, but because Padraig O’Halloran actually mockingly quoted private emails Harlequin had sent to the BBC whilst we were suing him in the Irish High Court.
Despite the shameful and shocking behaviour of the programme just weeks ago, BBC Panorama is back and this time they apparently have a friend in Gareth Fatchett of Regulatory Legal. Whilst attempting to appear as if he is representing investors’ best interests and claiming he is working with Harlequin, he is in fact briefing journalists against Harlequin and providing Panorama with misinformation. After all, the greater amount of concern and alarm that exists, the greater amount of custom can be attracted to his firm.
This has been made plain this week as, most curiously, the new producer of the BBC Panorama episode presented Harlequin with the very same misinformation that Mr Fatchett provided to IFA Online this week regarding commissions paid by HMSSE. The resulting article, which featured quotes from Mr Fatchett and was published despite Harlequin informing the publication’s News Editor that the figures were inaccurate and inflated, is now the subject of a complaint to the PCC.
Shortly we will provide more information on Panorama’s requests and Harlequin’s responses.