BBC Statement on BBC Presenter Allegations
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE
NEWS PROVIDED BY
Yesterday, 10 July, the BBC’s Corporate Investigations Team had a meeting with the Metropolitan Police in relation to information provided to the BBC by The Sun newspaper on Thursday 6 July.
As a result of this meeting, the BBC has been asked to pause its investigations into the allegations while the Police scope future work.
We know that questions have been asked about how the complaint was initially managed, so today we have published an update that sets out key dates and some additional information that we are currently able to share.
The BBC has processes and protocols for receiving information and managing complaints when they are first made. We always take these matters extremely seriously and seek to manage them with the appropriate duty of care.
The events of recent days have shown how complex and challenging these kinds of cases can be and how vital it is that they are handled with the utmost diligence and care.
There will, of course, be lessons to be learned following this exercise. Although the current issues has not yet been fully resolved, the Director-General has asked Leigh Tavaziva, the BBC’s Group Chief Operating Officer, to assess whether our protocols and procedures are appropriate in light of this case, and report to the BBC Board on this in due course.
BBC Presenter Allegations: Key Dates Update
By law, individuals are entitled to a reasonable expectation of privacy, which somewhat restricts the information available to be shared by the BBC at this time.
The BBC may add to the information below as appropriate.
• On 18 May, the complainant (a family member) attended a BBC building, where they sought to make a complaint about the behaviour of a BBC presenter.
• On 19 May, the complainant contacted BBC Audience Services; the details of this contact were referred to the BBC’s Corporate Investigations Team.
• On 19 May, the BBC’s Corporate Investigations Team assessed the information contained in the complaint provided from Audience Services. The assessment made was that on the basis of the information provided it did not include an allegation of criminality, but nonetheless merited further investigation.
• On 19 May, the BBC’s Corporate Investigations Team emailed the complainant stating how seriously the BBC takes the issue and seeking additional information to verify the claims being made; there was no response to this contact.
• On 19 May, checks were also made to verify the identity of the complainant. This is a standard procedure to confirm that the complainant is the person they say they are.
• On 6 June, having received no response to the email referenced above, a phone call was made to the mobile number provided by the complainant by the BBC’s Corporate Investigations Team; this call did not connect.
• Following these attempts to make contact with the complainant, the Corporate Investigations Team were due to return to the matter in the coming weeks. No additional attempts to contact the complainant were made after 6 June, however the case remained open throughout.
• On 6 July, The Sun newspaper informed the BBC via the Corporate Press Office of allegations concerning a BBC presenter; it became clear that the source of the claims was from the same family as approached the BBC on 18 and 19 May. This was the first time that the Director-General or any executive directors at the BBC were aware of the case.
• The claims made by The Sun contained new allegations, that were different to the matters being considered by BBC Corporate Investigations.
• On 6 July, the BBC initiated an incident management group to lead the response to this case, involving senior BBC executives including the Director-General. The Acting Chairman was updated, and the Board was regularly updated in the coming days.
• On 6 July, a senior manager held the first conversation on this matter with the presenter concerned, to make him aware of the claims being outlined by The Sun. It was agreed that the presenter would not be on air while this matter was being considered.
• On 7 July, following The Sun’s contact, the BBC’s Corporate Investigations team contacted the complainant again, who was in touch with the BBC’s investigators.
• On 7 July, the BBC’s Serious Case Management Framework (SCMF) was initiated and the investigation being undertaken by the Corporate Investigations Team was brought into the SCMF, which is chaired by a Human Resources Director.
• On 7 July the BBC also made contact with the Police with regard to this matter.
• On 8 July and on 9 July the complainant sent the BBC some materials related to the complaint.
• On 9 July the BBC issued an update to staff and the media; the BBC also confirmed that it had suspended the presenter.
• On 10 July the BBC met with the Police, to report the matter and discuss how to progress the investigation. The Police have requested that the BBC pause its investigations into the allegations while they scope future work.
Source BBC One
July 11, 2023 5:00am ET by Pressparty