- By Ian Young
- Entertainment & arts reporter
The BBC was under “huge pressure” to reveal that Huw Edwards was the presenter facing media allegations last week, the BBC’s acting chairman said.
Sun’s story about an unnamed presenter who allegedly paid a teenager to take erotic pictures caused a media storm.
Acting chairwoman Dame Elan Closs Stephens said the BBC’s board had held two emergency meetings over the next two days.
“We have a duty to act with some composure and rationality in the face of irrationality and lack of composure.”
The claims began when the Sun reported that a mother had accused the News at Ten host of paying their teenage child tens of thousands of pounds for sexually explicit pictures they allege the young man This was spent on drugs.
“There are a lot of questions that cannot be answered,” Dame Elan told a House of Lords committee on Tuesday.
“There’s a lot of pressure to reveal the name of someone we have an obligation to care for and a duty of privacy to, outside of family and young people. [person] which was interested in this maelstrom.
“So, on the one hand, I’m looking to establish the board’s authority to monitor what’s going on. But at the same time, I’m trying my best to create a calm and rational discussion about what’s going on. this problem before we all get swept up in what could be very wrong directions.”
After five days, Edwards’ wife, Vicky Flind, revealed on Wednesday that he was the central presenter of the allegations.
She also revealed that he was hospitalized after the situation turned severe for his mental health and said he would address the charges when he was well enough to do so.
As originally reported by Sun, the young man later denied the claims through their attorney, and police said they found no evidence of criminal activity.
Meanwhile, others have made statements about inappropriate behavior.
The BBC has now resumed its own internal investigation.
Superintendent Tim Davie told the House of Lords digital and media committee: “We are in the process of looking at those facts and we would love to receive any information, because we just want to understand anything out there.”
The BBC has tried to balance “difficult concerns around the allegations themselves, the duty of care, privacy and the legitimate interests of the public”, he said, adding that it was “a problem”. hard.”
Mr Davie also said BBC executives have been in contact with the complainant since the allegations were first reported.
“Obviously we want to engage, listen and understand appropriately [their] concerns,” he said.
The family initially contacted the organization in May and the BBC was criticized for the speed at which it responded to complaints.
Both Mr Davie and Ms Elan learned of the allegations seven weeks later, a day before the Sun first published the story.
The director general said the BBC’s “protocols and procedures” were currently under review and he had “immediately” asked for a “fast review” of how the “red flags” were being raised when the charges were brought. go out.
In addition to Edwards’ situation, the general manager was asked if all well-known and well-paid presenters were responsible for maintaining the BBC’s reputation.
“Of course,” he replied. “The history of this industry is that we should all be appropriately concerned and cautious around abusers in positions of power.
“Certainly you’re motivated when you have speakers or people in power… you need to make sure you’re very clear about your expectations in terms of culture as well as policy.”
He added the BBC did a “very good job” of having a “really clear code of conduct” and reminding staff of the organisation’s values.