The BBC has reportedly stepped up its investigation into senior anchor Huw Edwards. The news comes after Edwards received an “all clear” from the Met Police, and despite his wife pleading for privacy while the star was hospitalized with “serious mental issues.”
This should all be read in the context of the BBC which is haunted by the ghost of the Jimmy Savile scandal.
“Edwards received a lot of support after the police concluded that ‘no information indicating a criminal act’ had occurred.
However sources have told the Guardian that BBC journalists are continuing to work on further stories involving the presenter.
The news establishment tried to lock guns aside from Edwards, but Newsnight host Victoria Derbyshire has started to escalate the investigation again, with further claims that she was “going after younger staffers with flirtatious messages” and “abusing her position” as one of broadcaster’s biggest stars.
“Huw Edwards was described by his former partner Jon Sopel as ‘very angry’ with the handling of the various allegations brought against him, and ‘not overly impressed with the BBC coverage’.”[…] BBC executives are now weighing whether to support the complaints of disgruntled coworkers of BBC presenters or support BBC journalists investigating the BBC presenter and the BBC’s handling of the complaint.
Huw Edwards’ outing by his wife came after a week of guessing games over ‘who is the mysterious BBC broadcaster who is reported to have paid a young boy in exchange for sexual pictures’.
“‘The idea of a major public figure having a double life would generate great interest, but we don’t know the facts yet’, says a former senior BBC news chief. ‘The BBC has to work if its reputation is tarnished. The claim could of course be construed as grossly belittling Edwards’ role as the face of BBC coverage of state events. He has a special relationship of trust with the public’.
In an alternate world, Edwards, the BBC’s best-paid journalist, was probably quickly alerted to the complaint about his private life, which was originally made on 19 May. He may then easily counter it, or instead be reprimanded for secretly playing fast and loose with the company’s reputation.
Now, many are also starting to question the editorial decisions taken in the Sun newsroom – calling them ‘confusing’.
“The main problem remains why [the Sun’s] editor Victoria Newton did not print the youth’s denial at the heart of her story that there had been damage. The result is a lurid, front-page publication, citing only the young boy’s mother, which has put the BBC in dock.
The Sun’s story was disputed by lawyers for the suspects, Met police later said there was “no information to suggest that a crime had been committed”.
But many journalists work on the story – including at the BBC itself.
“BBC bosses have told staff via email that ‘gossip will not be tolerated’ amid speculation over the Huw Edwards scandal, it has been reported.
Staff at the BBC were warned that speculating about what had happened would be detrimental to the corporation.
“The goal of the email was very clear to address the situation and stop BBC staff from fueling the fire that has been raging since the news broke,” said a source.
A Survation newspaper poll revealed that 53% of readers would want Edwards to return to TV ‘if he is cleared of serious wrongdoing’. Only 32% felt he should not continue in the role.