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Huw Edwards faces fresh allegations of inappropriate behaviour from BBC colleagues
12 July 2023, 21:12 | Updated: 12 July 2023, 23:19
Fresh allegations have emerged against Huw Edwards, the BBC presenter accused of paying a vulnerable teenager for explicit photos, after his wife named him on Wednesday evening.
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Just hours after Vicky Flind identified Mr Edwards as the corporation star at the centre of the scandal, and said he was being treated in hospital for poor mental health, three current and former staff members said they had received discomforting messages from him, the BBC reported.
But all three said they had not previously complained to the corporation about the alleged conduct of Mr Edwards, 61.
Police have said that the star BBC presenter and newsreader does not have a criminal case to answer for his alleged actions.
Revealing the latest claims, a correspondent for the corporation said on Wednesday evening: "A current BBC employee said this year they had received suggestive messages on social media from the presenter.
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"They believe the messages were inappropriate especially as the presenter was a much more senior colleague. BBC News has seen the messages which refer to the BBC staff member’s appearance and they are flirtatious.
"The BBC employee wants managers to be more proactive specifically towards younger staff who work with the presenter and to address who senior and junior members of staff interact."
"They haven’t yet put in a formal complaint because of a desire to remain anonymous but might consider it.
The correspondent added that "another BBC worker and a former one have also told Newsnight they received what they perceived to be more inappropriate social media messages from the presenter that made them feel uncomfortable".
Mr Edwards is accused of paying £35,000 to a young person in exchange for explicit photos, in a story originally reported by the Sun. The young person's mother told the newspaper that they were using the money from the then-anonymous presenter to buy crack cocaine. A lawyer for the young person said the claims were "rubbish".
More allegations of inappropriate behaviour emerged against the presenter in the days that followed. He has not responded to the claims yet.
After police said Mr Edwards had no case to answer, Ms Flind said her husband was "suffering from serious mental health issues" and receiving "in-patient hospital care" amid the claims.
"In light of the recent reporting regarding the 'BBC Presenter' I am making this statement on behalf of my husband Huw Edwards, after what have been five extremely difficult days for our family," Ms Flind said.
"I am doing this primarily out of concern for his mental well-being and to protect our children.""Huw is suffering from serious mental health issues. As is well documented, he has been treated for severe depression in recent years," his wife continued.
"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.
"To be clear Huw was first told that there were allegations being made against him last Thursday.
"In the circumstances and given Huw's condition I would like to ask that the privacy of my family and everyone else caught up in these upsetting events is respected.
"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."
Meanwhile BBC boss Tim Davie told staff on Wednesday that the corporation would relaunch its own investigation, after the police shut theirs down.
He said in an internal memo: "Many of you will have read the words of Vicky Flind, Huw's wife. It is a reminder that the last few days have seen personal lives played out in public. At the heart of this are people and their families.
"This will no doubt be a difficult time for many after a challenging few days. I want to reassure you that our immediate concern is our duty of care to all involved.
"Also this afternoon, the Metropolitan Police and South Wales Police confirmed they would be taking no further action following an assessment of information provided to them.
"As you know, we were asked to pause our fact finding investigations until that assessment had been concluded. It is important we now continue with this work. I want to be clear that in doing so we will follow due process.
"This remains a very complex set of circumstances. As we have done throughout, our aim must be to navigate through this with care and consideration, in line with the BBC values."