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BBC presenter allegations: Urgent talks held with government

BBC presenter allegations

Urgent talks have been held with the government after the BBC presenter allegations

BBC presenter allegations: After a broadcaster was accused of bribing a child for sexually graphic images, Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer urgently met with the BBC’s chief executive.

The minister quoted Tim Davie as saying that the company was looking into the concerns “swiftly and sensitively.”

The young person’s family reportedly protested to the BBC in May, according to the claims, which were initially published by the Sun.

For legal reasons, the paper claims that it cannot identify the presenter.

The broadcaster has not been given a name by the BBC, which also notes that he is not scheduled to be on television anytime soon. If there has been a formal suspension, it is yet unknown.

“Given the nature of the allegations it is important that the BBC is now given the space to conduct its investigation, establish the facts and take appropriate action,” Ms Frazer said on Twitter, adding she would be kept updated.

In the Sun on Sunday, the mother of the young person – who the Sun claims was 17 when payments from the presenter began – said her child had used the money to fund a crack cocaine habit.

She said if the alleged payments continued, her child – now aged 20 – would “wind up dead”. A sum of £35,000 is reported to have been paid.

She also claimed that an image of the presenter in his underwear, which the Sun reported on Saturday, had been taken as part of a video call with her child.

Having reportedly made the BBC aware of their concerns on 19 May, the family said they became frustrated when the presenter remained on air and they then decided to approach the Sun.

They made clear they wanted no payment for the story, the paper reported.

READ ALSO: BBC presenter faces new allegations over explicit photos

Following the first Sun report, some BBC presenters took to social media to deny they were the star in question, including Rylan Clark, Jeremy Vine, Nicky Campbell and Gary Lineker.

Mr Campbell, of Radio 5 Live, tweeted that he had reported an anonymous Twitter account to the police over a post claiming he was the presenter.

Concerns have been raised about the BBC’s complaints process – primarily, what steps were taken to question the unnamed presenter and to investigate further.

There are already accusations that since the family made their complaint, the broadcaster has not handled the investigation into the presenter properly, BBC News’ special correspondent Lucy Manning said.

Earlier on Sunday, a number of politicians said the BBC – which says it takes any allegations “very seriously” – had questions to answer.

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves told the corporation to “get its house in order”, while Tory minister Victoria Atkins called for swift action.

Ms Reeves told the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg programme that if reports were true and the presenter had remained on air for weeks after the complaint was made, “that’s not good enough”.

“The BBC need to speed up their processes,” she said, while calling for the BBC to give “greater clarity now to what on Earth has gone on in this case, and what they’re doing to try and put it right”.


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