Then director of television Jana Bennett opened the seminar by telling the executives to ask themselves: ‘How do you plan and run a city that is going to be submerged?
’ And she asked them to consider if climate change laboratories might offer material for a thriller.
Mr Harrabin and Mr Smith did not derive personal financial benefit from the seminar.
But by teaming up with the IBT, an avowed lobby group trying to influence coverage, and accepting government funds when Labour was advocating radical policies to combat global warming, Mr Harrabin exposed himself to the charge he could be compromising the Corporation’s impartiality.
The BBC’s resistance to revealing anything about its funding and the names of those present led to a protracted struggle in the Information Tribunal.