The Sun published the testimony of this mother on Friday evening, accusing a star BBC presenter, without naming him, of having given, in exchange for pornographic photos, several tens of thousands of pounds to her then aged child. 17 years old, without specifying whether it is a girl or a boy.
Pressed by the government, the BBC said on Sunday it was investigating and suspending one of its presenters, accused in the press by a mother of having paid her child to send him pornographic photos.
The tabloid The Sun published the testimony of this mother of a family on Friday evening, accusing a star presenter of the BBC, without naming him, of having given, in exchange for pornographic photos, several tens of thousands of pounds to her then 17-year-old child , without specifying whether it is a girl or a boy.
According to the daily, the family contacted the BBC on May 19 to inform them of the situation, but the presenter remained on the air for several more weeks.
Shortly after an emergency telephone call between Culture Minister Lucy Frazer and the chief executive of the public broadcaster Tim Davie, the BBC said in a statement “that a male member of its staff has been suspended”. and that the group “strives to establish the facts as quickly as possible”.
“This is a complex and rapidly changing set of circumstances” and “it is important that these topics are handled fairly and carefully,” the group added.
These allegations, which are making headlines in the British media, have sparked strong reactions in the political class, and the Ministry of Culture has called on the BBC to investigate “urgently and with sensitivity”.
“Given the nature of the accusations, it is important to give the BBC time to carry out this investigation, establish the facts and take the appropriate measures”, also indicated the Minister of Culture on Twitter.
In its press release, the group confirms that it was informed “in May” of a complaint, and that “new allegations” reached it on Thursday.
Embarrassing new case
“The team of BBC investigators has been examining (this case) since it was reported and the file is being actively followed up,” said Tim Davie in an internal memo quoted by the PA agency.
The BBC had already indicated on Friday “to treat all accusations very seriously” and to have “a procedure in place to deal with them proactively”.
This is an embarrassing new affair for the public audiovisual group, whose impartiality is regularly questioned and whose president had to resign in April in a conflict of interest case for having helped, before his appointment to the head of the BBC, former Prime Minister Boris Johnson to obtain a loan.
Former Home Secretary and Tory MP Priti Patel on Twitter called the BBC’s response to the new case “paltry”.
“The BBC, but the other channels too, have to pull themselves together because we seem to be going from scandal to scandal,” Labor opposition MP Rachel Reeves also reacted on Sky News on Sunday.
Last May, the star host of the private channel ITV Phillip Schofield resigned after admitting an intimate relationship with a young colleague he had helped to hire.
The management of the chain had been implicated for its management of the affair, even within Parliament.
Source: BFM TV