Huw Edwards resigns from BBC

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Huw Edwards, the BBC presenter who was embroiled in allegations over payments for sexually explicit images, has resigned from the UK national broadcaster.

Edwards, the broadcaster’s best-paid news reader, told the BBC that the decision was made on the basis of medical advice from his doctors. He had spent some time in hospital after the allegations emerged last summer.

The broadcaster said: “The BBC has accepted his resignation, which it believes will allow all parties to move forward. We don’t believe it appropriate to comment further.”

Edwards was at the centre of a media frenzy last summer after reports emerged of an initially unnamed BBC presenter’s alleged relationships with a series of young people.

His wife Vicky Flind, who confirmed his identity as the person at the centre of the allegations after weeks of speculation, said that Edwards had as a result suffered serious mental health issues. The 61-year-old father of five, who lives in London, has in the past talked about his depression. 

The police concluded that the presenter had not broken any laws.

Edwards is one of the best known TV presenters in the UK and presented the BBC’s flagship News at Ten evening news programme for two decades. He also led the broadcaster’s coverage for national events such as Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral and King Charles III’s coronation.

His resignation will be a relief for BBC executives, not least because he has remained one of its best paid employees despite not working for almost 12 months. The Welsh journalist earned more than £430,000 last year.

The BBC faced questions over its handling of the affair, and whether it should have done more to investigate the allegations earlier. The BBC has in the past been criticised over its handling of scandals, including the investigation into former presenter and serial sexual abuser and rapist Jimmy Savile, who died in 2011.

The BBC apologised to the family of the young person at the centre of the allegations after a review into the effectiveness of its non-editorial complaints policies and processes. The review by Deloitte showed the need for greater consistency across the BBC in how complaints are processed.

The decision by Edwards also means that the BBC can draw up plans for coverage of the UK general election expected later this year without having to explicitly sideline one of its main presenters.

Some BBC executives said that Clive Myrie, the 59-year-old BBC news reader, is seen as a favourite to succeed Edwards as both lead presenter of the News at Ten as well as its election coverage, although well-known BBC journalists Laura Kuenssberg and Sophie Raworth have also been rumoured.

Several allegations were made against Edwards by The Sun as well as the BBC’s own programmes. The Sun first reported a family’s claims that their child was paid tens of thousands of pounds for explicit photos over three years. A lawyer for the person last year disputed The Sun’s reporting.

BBC News also reported claims by BBC staff of “inappropriate behaviour” against the presenter. Edwards has not commented on the claims.


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