BBC Issues Apology Over Handling Of Huw Edwards Complaint

"The initial complaint in this case was not escalated quickly enough to senior management..."
Huw Edwards
Huw Edwards
CHRIS JACKSON via Getty Images

The BBC has issued an apology over the way a complaint about news anchor Huw Edwards was handled last year.

In July 2023, The Sun was first to report that an undisclosed member of the BBC’s on-air presenting team had been accused of paying a then-17-year-old to pose for sexually explicit photos on Friday.

According to the newspaper, the family complained to the broadcaster in May, but Edwards was not immediately taken off air. The presenter was later confirmed to have been suspended by the BBC due to the allegation.

The BBC subsequently commissioned a review of “the effectiveness of its non-editorial complaints policies and processes”, the findings of which were made public on Tuesday afternoon.

In a statement, Leigh Tavaziva, the BBC’s Group Chief Operating Officer said: “Although our existing processes and systems are, on the whole, working effectively, this review shows that we need to join them up better to ensure no matter how a non-editorial complaint comes into the BBC it is escalated swiftly, when needed, and dealt with by the right people.

“Where the review identifies process improvements we accept those in full, and we are delivering on an action plan with a number of enhancements already in place.

“The report identifies specific process shortcomings in the presenter case. The initial complaint in this case was not escalated quickly enough to senior management and we have apologised to the complainant for this.”

The BBC HQ in central London
The BBC HQ in central London
James Manning - PA Images via Getty Images

Huw Edwards’ wife Vicky Flind issued a statement on his behalf in July 2023 “out of concern for his mental well-being and to protect our children”,confirming he was the BBC staff member at the centre of the scandal.

“Huw is suffering from serious mental health issues. As is well documented, he has been treated for severe depression in recent years,” she said at the time.

“The events of the last few days have greatly worsened matters, he has suffered another serious episode and is now receiving in-patient hospital care where he’ll stay for the foreseeable future.

“Once well enough to do so, he intends to respond to the stories that have been published.”

The statement concluded: “I know that Huw is deeply sorry that so many colleagues have been impacted by the recent media speculation. We hope this statement will bring that to an end.”

Prior to his suspension, Edwards had been the highest-earning member of the on-air BBC News team.

He was considered by many as the “face” of the broadcaster, having announced the death of Queen Elizabeth II to the nation and led coverage of the biggest events in Britain since the turn of the century, including elections, royal weddings and major sporting events.


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