A ninth person has been suspended as the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigation continues into the £263m black hole in Tesco’s accounts.

The retailer confirmed today that another employee had been “asked to step aside,” with eight senior executives having already been suspended by Tesco following the scandal.

A Tesco spokesman said: “We can confirm an individual has been asked to step aside to support the ongoing investigation.”

Earlier this month sources at Tesco confirmed that of the original eight: UK MD Chris Bush, food commercial director John Scouler , UK finance director Carl Rogberg and group commercial director Kevin Grace had now left the company.

They said they also did not expect to see a return for suspended execs Dan Jago, head of beer wine and spirits, director of convenience, Sean McCurley and impulse category director, William Linnane. However, head of food sourcing Matt Simister, has returned to his old role, having been cleared by the investigation.

Last week Tesco CEO Dave Lewis said that Tesco had finished its internal investigation, adding it would “now just co-operate fully with the SFO.”

“From an employee point of view, we’ve done our review from a Tesco point of view that’s finished and now concluding,” he added, We’ve reset anything for the future in terms of accounting so yes, it’s behind us.”

This week a report by analysts at JP Morgan Cazenove claimed that the final gap in Tesco’s profits could be even worse than has been currently reported, although it’s analysis, showing a potential £174million gap based on analysis of in the grocer’s profit, has been disputed by Tesco.

A spokesman for the SFO said: “A criminal investigation into allegations of business practices at Tesco is continuing.”