Lord Browne has been accused of lying about his four-year relationship with Jeff Chevalier and of allowing his former partner to use BP’s facilities. In a press release, BP said that Lord Browne had decided to resign in order to save BP from embarrassment and to prevent media attention from damaging the company’s operations.

In a personal statement, Lord Browne confirmed that his initial witness statement about his relationship contained an untruthful account of how he met Mr Chevalier. The BBC has reported that, as a result, Lord Browne could now face charges of perjury for lying in court.

Nevertheless, Lord Browne has staunchly denied misusing BP resources. He said: The allegations are full of misleading and erroneous claims. I deny categorically any allegations of improper conduct relating to BP. The company has confirmed today that it has found no such wrongdoing.

BP said that, as a result of Lord Browne’s decision to resign, he would lose his agreed entitlement to a year’s notice, including a bonus of over GBP3.5 million. Lord Browne will also forego inclusion in the long-term performance share plan for 2007 to 2009, with a maximum potential value of approximately GBP12 million.