BBC presenter scandal timeline as Huw Edwards revealed as suspended star

Four claims have now been made against the BBC presenter

Tara Cobham,Holly Evans
Saturday 15 July 2023 12:09 BST
Huw Edwards named by wife as BBC star at centre of scandal

The wife of newsreader Huw Edwards has revealed he is the presenter in the middle of the BBC scandal.

Vicky Flind said her husband was in hospital “suffering from serious mental health issues” after facing allegations over payments for sexually explicit images.

The BBC is facing increased pressure after fresh claims emerged about the presenter, with The Sun reporting a 23-year-old has claimed Mr Edwards broke lockdown rules to meet them during the pandemic in February 2021.

Follow The Independent’s live coverage for the latest updates

Separately, BBC News reported on Tuesday that a person in their early 20s has alleged that they were sent threatening messages by the unnamed man.

They appear to be separate to a young person who The Sun claims was paid around £35,000 over three years, from the age of 17, for sexually explicit images by the presenter, who has been suspended by the BBC.

Below we set out a timeline of how the story has developed over the last week.

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May 19

The family of a young person, who was 17 when the presenter allegedly started payments back in 2020, complained to the BBC and became frustrated when the presenter stayed on air. They reportedly asked the broadcaster to stop the man “sending the cash”.

July 6

The BBC said it became aware of new allegations against the male presenter.

A statement said: “New allegations were put to us on Thursday of a different nature and in addition to our own inquiries we have also been in touch with external authorities, in line with our protocols.”

July 7

The Sun publishes an exclusive which revealed a BBC presenter is facing allegations he paid a total of £35,000 for sexual content. A legal representative of the young person told the Sun that evening there was “no truth to it”.

The BBC responded to the article with a statement saying: “We treat any allegations very seriously and we have processes in place to proactively deal with them.”

July 8

BBC presenters choose to publicly clear their names – including Gary Lineker, Jeremy Vine, Rylan Clark and Nicky Campbell.

July 9

The BBC says in a statement that it has suspended a male presenter from all duties and contacted the Metropolitan Police over the allegations. The Sun reported the presenter allegedly made two calls to the young person and asked them to call their mother to “stop the investigation” after the exclusive was published.

July 10

The Metropolitan Police said it is carrying out further inquiries to establish whether any crime has been committed after BBC representatives met with detectives virtually in the morning.

The force requested the BBC pause its investigations into the allegations while they scoped future work. A lawyer representing the young person said the claims in the “inappropriate article” are “rubbish”.

In a letter reported by BBC News At Six, the young person said via the lawyer: “For the avoidance of doubt, nothing inappropriate or unlawful has taken place between our client and the BBC personality and the allegations reported in The Sun newspaper are ‘rubbish’.”

July 11

The BBC reported a second person felt threatened by messages they had allegedly received from the presenter. According to the BBC, the person – aged in their early 20s – met the presenter on a dating app before their conversations moved to other platforms.

The presenter then revealed his identity and asked the young person not to tell anyone. The young person later posted online alluding to having had contact with a BBC presenter and hinting they might name him.

The presenter then sent a number of “threatening messages” which the BBC said it had seen, it is claimed, and confirmed came from a phone number belonging to the presenter. The BBC said the young person felt “threatened” by the messages and “remain scared”.

BBC News said it had contacted the presenter via his lawyer but had received no response to the allegations.

Separately, The Sun reported on Tuesday that a 17-year-old has alleged they were following the star on Instagram when he messaged them, using love hearts and kisses.

The teenager told the newspaper: “Looking back now it does seem creepy because he was messaging me when I was still at school.“In light of everything now, I feel shocked because as a broadcaster it is a name everyone would trust.

“I had no reason to think it was anything beyond that at that time.”

The Sun reported it is handing its dossier to BBC investigators.

July 12

Vicky Flind, the wife of Mr Edwards, issues a statement naming her husband as the individual involved.

She said that he “was suffering from serious mental health issues” and is now “receiving in-patient hospital care where he will stay for the foreseeable future” as she asked for privacy for her family.

Earlier, The Sun’s new report claimed messages seen by the paper suggested the presenter travelled from London to a different county to meet a 23-year-old at their flat in February 2021, when strict coronavirus lockdown rules were in place including a stay at home order and mixing only between household bubbles.

The young person, who claims to have met the presenter on a dating website, said the man also gave them more than £600 in three payments, which the newspaper said messages also suggest.

They told The Sun: “The BBC were briefing the nation on the rules — when their star who was part of the institution was quite happy to break them.”The Sun said it had approached the BBC and the presenter for comment and would hand over evidence to the BBC’s investigation team.

Broadcaster Jeremy Vine called on Mr Edwards to name himself publicly to prevent damage to the “BBC, his friends and those falsely-accused”.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that he “personally was concerned” by the “serious” allegations.

The Metropolitan Police and South Wales Police say that no criminal offence has been committed by Mr Edwards and neither force would currently be taking any further action in relation to the allegations.

The BBC announces it will resume its “fact-finding investigations” to ensure “due process and a thorough assessment of the facts, whilst continuing to be mindful of our duty of care to all involved”.

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