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EastEnders fans FUMING as THIS soap favourite is BLACKMAILED out of Walford

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Ian Beale tried to persuade Karen Taylor to leave Walford by offering her cash...

EastEnders fans were left shocked during last night's episode when iconic Walford resident Ian Beale tried to blackmail Karen Taylor into leaving Albert Square with Sharon Mitchell's new baby, Kayden.

The controversial scene came after grieving mum Sharon (played by Letitia Dean) gave up her newborn to Karen, feeling as though she couldn't care for him.

Sharon has been struggling with heartbreak after the tragic death of her teenage son Denny, who died in a huge boat accident on the Thames last month.

Sharon Mitchell lets Karen look after Kayden in EastEnders.

Sharon recently gave up baby Kayden (Picture: BBC)

As Sharon met up with Ian out on the market place during last night's episode, he urged her to take her baby back but the distraught character insisted that she's only mother to one son, who is no longer alive.

Later in the episode, Ian approached baby Kayden's grandmother Karen to offer her financial support with raising the tot.

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Holding out a wad of cash and telling her he could set up a direct debit, cash-strapped Karen naturally stepped forward to accept.

Karen and Ian in EastEnders BBC

Karen was grateful for Ian's money, until she realised he was blackmailing her (Picture: BBC)

But Ian quickly interjected to tell her he would only give her the money if she took baby Kayden and left Walford, threatening to call social services and have him taken into care if she didn't.

This comes amid Ian's huge struggle with guilt as he continues to hide the fact he was partly responsible for Denny's death from Sharon.

Karen and Ian in EastEnders BBC

Will Karen really uproot her whole life for Ian's money? (Picture: BBC)

Over on social media, lots of viewers were slating Ian for his shocking plan...

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Whether Karen accepts Ian's offer remains to be seen. But more importantly, how will Sharon feel when she finds out Ian has offered Karen cash to take Kayden away?

EastEnders will temporarily air a reduced schedule of two episodes a week. Watch on Mondays at 8pm and Tuesdays at 7:30pm on BBC One.