A MALE presenter at the BBC has been suspended amid allegations that he paid a teenager for sexual images.
The broadcaster also revealed it first received a complaint about the unnamed presented in May but has now acted after being made aware of new allegations on Thursday.
Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer has called for the corporation to be allowed to ‘establish the facts and take appropriate action’.
The allegations were first made in the Sun on Friday, which claimed that since 2020, the young person had received payments from the presenter totalling more than £35,000.
It added that the young person was aged 17 when the payments began.
In the Sun on Sunday, the family said they approached the paper this week after becoming frustrated that the presenter had remained on air after they complained in May.
‘Complex and fast-moving’
Following Friday’s revelations, the BBC said it took any allegations ‘very seriously’, adding that part of its complaints procedure was to speak to the person who had contacted them.
“If we get no reply to our attempts or receive no further contact that can limit our ability to progress things but it does not mean our enquiries stop,” added Friday’s statement.
“If, at any point, new information comes to light or is provided — including via newspapers — this will be acted upon appropriately, in line with internal processes.”
However, the broadcaster released a new statement on Sunday to say the presenter had now been suspended.
“The BBC takes any allegations seriously and we have robust internal processes in place to proactively deal with such allegations,” read the statement.
“This is a complex and fast-moving set of circumstances and the BBC is working as quickly as possible to establish the facts in order to properly inform appropriate next steps.
“It is important that these matters are handled fairly and with care.
“We have been clear that if — at any point — new information comes to light or is provided to us, this will be acted upon appropriately and actively followed up.
“The BBC first became aware of a complaint in May.
“New allegations were put to us on Thursday of a different nature and in addition to our own enquiries we have also been in touch with external authorities, in line with our protocols.
“We can also confirm a male member of staff has been suspended.
“We expect to be in a position to provide a further update in the coming days as the process continues.
“The BBC Board will continue to be kept up to date.”
Taking to Twitter, South East Cambridgeshire MP Ms Frazer said she had spoken to BBC bosses, who assured her the matter was being dealt with ‘swiftly and sensitively’.
“I have spoken to BBC Director General Tim Davie about the deeply concerning allegations involving one of its presenters,” she wrote.
“He has assured me the BBC are investigating swiftly and sensitively.
“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.
“I will be kept updated.”
Several BBC presenters have distanced themselves from the allegations, including Nicky Campbell, who revealed he had contacted police about a Twitter account that claimed he was the presenter involved.
“I think it’s important to take a stand. There’s just too many of these people on social media,” he tweeted.