A BBC boss has said that the broadcaster needs to act to ‘change the culture’ in the wake of the allegations made against Huw Edwards.
Last month long-time BBC presenter Edwards, 61, was suspended after claims emerged that he had paid a young person more than £35,000 for sexually explicit images.
The Met police later confirmed there was no evidence of a crime being committed, with Edwards’s wife shortly afterwards releasing a statement on his behalf and sharing he’d been ‘suffering from serious mental health issues’ and was receiving in-patient hospital care where he would stay for the ‘foreseeable future’.
Now BBC executive Charlotte Moore has said the national broadcaster is keen to have the internal investigation into the suspended News at Ten presenter released ‘as quickly as possible’ as the uncertainty was ‘very uncomfortable’.
While she said she was not involved in the investigation, Moore did add that BBC took its duty of care ‘incredibly seriously’ and said bosses had to ‘change the culture’ and could not only rely on procedures and guidelines.
Addressing the issue of duty of care at the Edinburgh TV Festival, Moore said that after the Serota Review in 2021, the BBC had revaluated its whistleblowing and safety procedures.
She added that anyone with anything to talk about ‘must come forward’ and it was ‘incredibly important that people feel that they can speak out’.
Moore also said this needed to be the culture on ‘every production’ and across all positions of seniority.
‘We have to change the culture. The procedures and guidelines can only get you so far,’ she added.
Last month a spokesperson for the BBC said it would focus on ‘fact finding’, with the corporation also likely to consider separate allegations of potential workplace misconduct that were not of a criminal nature.
They added it would look on ensuring due process and a thorough assessment of the facts while ‘continuing to be mindful of our duty of care to all involved’.
Director general Tim Davie also said that he had asked for a separate review into whether the BBC’s complaints protocols and procedures were appropriate, after it was revealed the corporation contacted the family who made the allegations about Edwards just twice – despite deeming them ‘very serious’.
After Edwards was named as the presenter at the centre of the allegations, several others spoke out and expressed their concern for him, including Dan Walker, Alistair Campbell and Jon Sopel.
Channel 5 presenter Walker said it was ‘an awful situation and will come as a big shock to many’.
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