BBC plunged into more turmoil as senior bosses forced to step back from Huw Edwards coverage

BBC Broadcasting house, in central London

BBC Broadcasting house, in central London

Jack Walters

By Jack Walters

Published: 14/07/2023

- 08:11

Updated: 14/07/2023

- 08:18

The 61-year-old Welsh journalist was named as the broadcaster’s suspended presenter on Wednesday

The BBC has been plunged into further turmoil after the broadcaster’s senior bosses announced they would step back from editorial decision-making on the coverage of suspended presenter Huw Edwards.

Chief executive Deborah Turness and deputy news director Jonathan Munro will play no part in stories about Edwards to ensure they provide a duty-of-care to the veteran journalist while not interfering with the BBC’s output.

News content director Richard Burgess and news programmes director John McAndrew will step in on a temporary basis.

The broadcaster resumed its internal investigation into allegations made against Edwards on Wednesday after the Metropolitan Police announced it had no grounds to suspect criminal activity.

Presenter and newsreader Huw Edwards arrives for his guest appearance at Sandringham Women's Institute

Huw Edwards was named as the BBC's suspended presenter


“When the BBC does stories about itself, it isn’t unusual to have managers rescue themselves,” an individual familiar with the process told The Times.

“It is needed due to the scale and size of this story, the speed with which it has moved and its serious nature.

“Otherwise managers can end up chairing editorial meetings when they know more than the people working on the story.”

But some ex-BBC staff have criticised the broadcaster over its handling of the Edwards’ debacle.

BBCBBC Broadcasting HousePA

Former chief political correspondent Jon Sopel said: “I have been struck by home many of my former BBC colleagues - some very senior - have been in touch to express their anger and dismay at their own coverage of this.”

He added: “A BBC news presenter using BBC resources to investigate another BBC presenter. Does it get any weirder or madder?”

Director-general Tim Davie told BBC staff it was important for the broadcaster to continue its internal probe into the Edwards scandal.

The 56-year-old said in a note to staff: “I want to be clear that in doing so we will follow due process.

“This remains a very complex set of circumstances.

Tim Davie photographed outside the BBC ScotlandBBC director-general Tim DaviePA

“As we have done throughout, our aim must be to navigate through this with care and consideration, in line with the BBC values.”

Davie also stressed the BBC’s “immediate concern is our duty of care to all involved”.

Edwards was named as the broadcaster’s suspended presenter on Wednesday after wife Vicky Flind released a statement.

He was accused of paying £35,000 for sexually explicit images from a young person and sending inappropriate messages to BBC colleagues.

Flind also revealed her husband was “suffering from serious mental health issues” and is “now receiving in-patient hospital care where he’ll stay for the foreseeable future”.

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