Huw Edwards – latest: 'Complicated' Edwards 'not impressed' by … – Sky News

The latest reaction as Huw Edwards is named as the presenter at the centre of allegations published by The Sun and BBC – with hard questions now facing both organisations as the Metropolitan Police says no criminal offence was committed.
Thursday 13 July 2023 16:21, UK
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That’s all our coverage on the allegations against Huw Edwards for now – thank you for following along. 

We’ll be back if there are any other major developments. 
To read all the updates as the story unfolded scroll down, or for a round-up click the link below.
For days the media were reporting about a household name BBC presenter who was facing allegations. 
But last night that all changed when Huw Edwards’s wife named him.
In a statement, Vicky Flind also said he was receiving in-patient hospital care and suffering from “serious mental health issues”.
Now in a TikTok video, columnist Katie Hopkins has praised her coming forward. 
“Thank god for strong women,” she said, also mentioning the wife of Phillip Schofield. 
“Not there for any of the plaudits, not there getting the applause, not getting the ‘oh isn’t Huw magnificent’, none of that,” she added. 
“Yet they are still the ones who are right there picking up the pieces of the massive s*** show their husbands have delivered onto them, onto their children and onto their families.” 
Around 80 complaints have been made about the Huw Edwards story to the press regulator. 
“This is a complex, fast-moving and very serious story,” an IPSO spokesperson said in a statement. 
“At this time, we have received around 80 complaints about this and we are watching the developments carefully.” 
In all reporting, IPSO-regulated publications must take into account the Editors’ Code of Practice.
The code sets the framework for the highest professional standards that members of the press subscribing to IPSO have agreed to follow.  
The Sun told a story of “massive public interest” and handled it with “discretion, a former deputy editor of the paper has said. 
Speaking to Sky News, Neil Wallis defended the tabloid’s coverage after many people took aim at its reporting over the Huw Edwards allegations. 
“They broke a story of massive public interest. They handled it with, as far as I can see, discretion,” he said. 
“They gave desperate parents an opportunity to stop what they saw as a terrible thing.” 
The Sun first published allegations made by the parents of a young person that a BBC presenter, who was later named as Edwards, had paid their child around £35,000 for sexually explicit photos. 
“They went to the police and got no help there. They went to the BBC and begged them to stop this man from giving his money to their son. They got nowhere there either,” Mr Wallis said. 
After The Sun’s story was released, a lawyer representing the young person involved said the claims made by their parents were “rubbish” and nothing “inappropriate or unlawful” took place. 
The police have since said there was no evidence of a crime being committed. 
“Criminality is a fine line, very often. I don’t think anyone is suggesting there was no wrongdoing done,” Mr Wallis added. 
There had been days of widespread speculation and increasing pressure on the suspended BBC presenter to reveal his identity but now, Huw Edwards’s wife has issued a statement on his behalf.
Vicky Flind said her husband is “suffering from serious mental health issues” and is currently receiving in-patient care in hospital.
Shortly before the revelation, the Met Police said there was “no information” to suggest a criminal offence had taken place following claims surrounding the star. 
On this edition of the Sky News Daily, Kimberley Leonard is joined by Jake Kanter – Deadline’s investigations editor and former media editor at The Times.
Click to subscribe to the Sky News Daily wherever you get your podcasts
An MP has called for a debate in the House of Commons on the BBC and whether its culture has “really changed”. 

“Once again the BBC finds itself mired in scandal, sleaze and cover-up. So can we have a debate on the BBC?” Reclaim Party MP Andrew Bridgen said. 
He said the broadcaster “promised some years ago” its culture had changed, but a discussion should be had on whether it is “actually fit to be the nation’s self-appointed arbiter of truth and transparency”. 
“We can debate whether the public should still be forced to buy a television licence to view live television, even if they don’t wish to watch the BBC output,” he added. 

Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt said there are “many matters related to the BBC of concern to members” across the Commons.
“I am sure it will be a well-attended debate,” she added. 
By Henry Vaughan, home affairs reporter
With Huw Edwards in hospital with “serious mental health issues” and facing no further action by police, the newspaper that broke the story is now under the spotlight.
The Sun is facing questions over its coverage of allegations against the 61-year-old newsreader- with some asking whether the claims should have been reported at all.
After Edwards’s wife Vicky Flind publicly named him and police said there was no evidence of criminal offences on Wednesday evening, the paper released its own statement, stating it had “no plans to publish further allegations”.
Described as a “very carefully crafted legal statement” by former Mirror editor Paul Connew, it said: “The Sun at no point in our original story alleged criminality and also took the decision neither to name Mr Edwards nor the young person involved in the allegations.”
The words are strictly true as there was no reference to any police involvement or allegations that a specific crime was committed when the story was broken in Saturday’s paper.
However, it did originally report that a “top BBC star is off air while allegations he paid a teenager for sexual pictures are being investigated”, “the well-known presenter is accused of giving the teen more than £35,000 since they were 17 in return for sordid images” and “sleazy messages are alleged to have started in 2020, when the youngster was 17”.
While the legal age of consent in the UK is 16, it is a crime to make or possess indecent images of anyone under 18, and the details prompted speculation from other news organisations about whether the allegations could amount to a potential crime.
A story on the paper’s website published the same day was headlined “BBC SEX PROBE: Top BBC star who ‘paid child for sex pictures’ could be charged by cops and face years in prison, expert says”.
The piece reported comments made by former chief crown prosecutor Nazir Afzal to the Times – which is owned by the same company as The Sun – that the presenter could potentially be charged with sexual exploitation under the Sexual Offences Act 2003.
By Monday, when the Metropolitan Police said it was “assessing information” supplied by the BBC, the headline on the paper’s spread read “At Last, BBC Calls in the Cops – Politicians furious over delay”.
The story in the next day’s Sun repeated the claim that the young person’s mother had said “the household name star paid her child more than £35,000 for sordid images, starting when they were 17”.
This time it was followed by: “Under the Protection of Children Act it is a criminal offence to make, distribute or possess an indecent image of anyone under 18.
“The Met Police were last night assessing the allegations.”
Wednesday’s paper carried fresh allegations that Edwards – who was still not named – sent “creepy” messages to a different 17-year-old and broke lockdown rules to meet them, while Thursday’s splash, with Edwards now named by his wife, made clear: “Cops said they had found no evidence her husband had committed any crime.”
Mr Connew told Sky News that Edwards could potentially take legal action because The Sun’s original story “did suggest” an offence might have taken place, even though he wasn’t identified.
David Yelland, who was editor of the paper from 1998 to 2003, tweeted: “The Sun inflicted terror on Huw despite no evidence of any criminal offence.
“This is no longer a BBC crisis, it is a crisis for the paper.”
Still reading? Check out the full article here…
Mental health charity Mind has called for Huw Edwards to be given “space to receive treatment” while he experiences “serious mental health problems”.

The 61-year-old presenter is a patron of a branch of the charity in Llanelli.
“As is well documented, Huw has been treated for severe depression in recent years. He has been very eloquent in talking about his mental health issues,” said the director of Mind Cymru, Susan O’Leary. 
“Given these very challenging circumstances, he has asked that he and his family’s privacy be respected.
“We would like to stress that it is important that anybody experiencing serious mental health problems is given the appropriate space to receive the treatment they need.”
Before the presenter was identified as Huw Edwards, several members of BBC staff were being thrown into the firing line on social media. 
Some, including Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine, BBC Radio 5 Live’s Nicky Campbell and Match Of The Day host Gary Lineker, were forced to publicly deny they were the accused star. 
Search recommendations on some social media sites, such as TikTok, were suggesting phrases including the names of presenters and the phrase “bbc scandal”. 
The search terms are AI-powered and informed by what people have been searching, as well as keywords in comments. 
So do those stars who were named in the suggestions have a legal case? 
Media lawyer Matthew Gill said social media platforms are not “generally liable for defamatory content posted on their website”. 
But they are required by law to deal with complaints about specific posts within a “reasonable period”. 
“If they fail to do so, liability for those posts can shift to the social media platform,” he explained. 
“The law is more difficult when it comes to social media platforms making recommendations.” 
Courts have previously decided YouTube was not liable for recommending certain videos, he added, but judges have not “had a chance to grapple with the issue of search term suggestions”. 
“In Italy, though, Google was found to be liable for defamatory search suggestions. The UK courts could follow the same path in future,” Mr Gill said. 
The Huw Edwards situation is “desperately sad” for everybody involved, the first minister of Wales has said. 
Mark Drakeford told Radio Wales the lives of not just his countryman but all the people involved in the story have been “adversely affected”. 
“My main reaction to it is that it’s a desperately sad matter for everybody involved,” he said. 
“In some ways, their lives have been adversely affected. 
“I think it’s the human story that we should be thinking of, the damage that has been done to the lives of people caught up in everything that we’ve heard about.”
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