A Christmas tree that was chopped down outside the BBC’s Broadcasting House this weekend “will be replaced soon”, the corporation has said.
The 7m (20ft) tree was put up outside the building in central London on 30 November.
However, staff pictured the tree being destroyed by maintenance workers on Saturday.
A BBC spokesman said the tree had been removed “due to activity on the piazza” in the week of the general election.
The exit poll and the election result will be projected on to Broadcasting House after polls close on Thursday.
Live music performances for the weekday programme, The One Show, are also filmed in the piazza.
Alice Bortolotto, 31, who manages nearby coffee house Caffè Nero said it was “sad” the tree had gone.
“We love to see the tree every year when they put it up,” she said.
“On Saturday, when I came in and didn’t see it, I felt a bit like, ‘Where’s Christmas gone?'”
BBC Africa editor Will Ross posted a picture of the tree being chopped up, suggesting the tree “has had a traumatic day at the barbers”.
An artificial tree remains inside the building’s main foyer.