Yesterday the BBC resumed its investigation into Huw Edwards, which had been suspended while police determined whether there was any evidence of criminal wrongdoing.
Here we detail the troubling allegations that the inquiry must consider – and the questions and concerns about the BBC’s failings that it cannot ignore.
1. The payments to the youngster who sent explicit pictures
The Sun story that sparked the scandal detailed a relationship between a man in a position of great trust and a then-teen who allegedly used the star’s money to fund a serious drug addiction.
His mother even feared that the child might die.
The BBC has hitherto put a lot of emphasis on the fact that the police said it was not a crime.
Now what will she do about what appears to be a blatant and reckless abuse of power and influence?
2. The “terrifying” news
The second allegation against Mr Edwards came from the BBC itself, with one person in his early 20s saying she felt threatened by “swear word-filled messages” from the “bullying” channel.
The person said they “were pressured to meet but never did.”
They said the threats on the news scared them — and they still are.
Is this behavior acceptable under the BBC Code of Conduct?
3. Breaking the lockdown to meet a young person through a dating app
As the BBC’s newsreader, Mr Edwards regularly announced the Covid rules to the nation.
On Wednesday, The Sun revealed he traveled to the home of a 23-year-old in February 2021 – amid restrictions barring people from meeting anyone outside of their household or bubble.
He also made three separate payments to the teen, who sent him a half-naked picture.
Is it acceptable for the BBC for its staff to break the Covid law?
4. Unsolicited heart emojis sent to a school kid
A fourth teenager claimed in The Sun the presenter sent him “scary” messages with kisses and love heart emojis when he was just 17.
The youngster only followed the news anchor on his Instagram account because he was interested in current events.
The teenager, now 22, told The Sun: “Looking back it actually seems scary because he texted me when I was at school.”
Doesn’t the BBC consider this a serious abuse of office, against their rules?
5. The “suggestive” messages
On Wednesday evening, the BBC announced that “salacious” messages had been sent to BBC staff.
One staffer said he believed the messages – “which gave them chills” – were inappropriate, particularly as the presenter was a much older colleague.
BBC News said the messages “refer to the BBC staffer’s appearance and are flirtatious”.
In other organizations, executives who made or sent inappropriate comments about their appearance have resulted in swift disciplinary action.
What signal does the BBC want to send to its own staff about behavior in the workplace?
6. The nightly “kisses”
In the same report, a former colleague of Mr Edwards, 61, told the broadcaster that he had sent them social media messages featuring kisses, which she said was an “abuse of power”.
Given the power imbalance, does the BBC find this behavior acceptable in the workplace, which other employees may not appreciate?
7. The rumors in the newsroom
Yesterday website Deadline revealed that PRIOR to The Sun’s first story, the BBC was working on clues about Mr Edwards and his behaviour.
If journalists had heard rumors about the moderator and were working on these “clues” to possible news reports, had anyone else in the company heard anything similar?
Have complaints been made to managers that have not been acted upon?
8. The complaints system still does not serve its purpose
The teenager’s parents in the first The Sun revelations first complained to the BBC on May 18.
On May 19, they told BBC staff they had seen bank statements showing payments from Mr Edwards and had copies of messages between their child and the presenter.
But director-general Tim Davie was only told on July 6 – when The Sun called the BBC’s press office.
Mr Davie accepts that there are lessons to be learned from this.
But many will wonder: the BBC has made similar assurances after being implicated in previous scandals – what lessons do they take from it?
9. The staff is too afraid to speak up
In the new cases, which emerged via BBC News on Wednesday night, two of the three complainants claimed they felt unable to report their allegations of improper conduct to BBC managers for fear of harming their careers.
That’s shocking considering that – following Jimmy Savile and other scandals – the BBC is said to have a culture where staff feel free to voice their concerns without fear or favour.
How does Mr Davie intend to fix this?
10. The unpublished allegations
The Sun has stopped publishing further allegations against the presenter and BBC News is expected to do the same.
However, we have committed to forwarding a number of other complaints to BBC investigators, including affidavits, messages and other materials.
Will the BBC guarantee that no whistleblower or complainant will be ignored – and commit to transparently proving that NOTHING has been swept under the rug?