The BBC Urdu website has apologised for publishing “serious defamatory allegations” about a London man.

The news piece in question ran BBCUrdu.com on 14th September last year. It made allegations about the marriage of Shakeel Saleem under the headline “Husband used to beat me up”.

Shakeel had only noticed the story several weeks later it had been uploaded.

The BBC subsequently admitted it did not take steps to verify the allegations made by the man’s estranged wife and accepted the piece should not have been published.

It posted an apology in Urdu on its website and agreed to pay him damages, although a spokesman refused to comment on the size of the payout.