The chairman of an animal charity based in Burford has criticised as “inappropriate” allegations in the media surrounding the death of an employee.

According to the Sunday Telegraph, Kim Hamilton, the chief executive of Blue Cross, was in a relationship with Melanie Brown in 2012, when Miss Brown worked there as an administration assistant.

The 27-year-old was found hanged in her flat in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, in August, but there is no suggestion Miss Hamilton’s relationship with Miss Brown led to her death.

Zair Berry, chairman of the board of trustees, said yesterday the death of Miss Brown was still the subject of a coroner’s investigation.

He added: “Our thoughts continue to be with Melanie’s family and all her friends and colleagues who miss her very much.”