THE METROPOLITAN POLICE has said it has found no evidence of any offence after investigating allegations that a BBC presenter paid a young person for sexual images.
It comes as the presenter at the centre of the allegations was named as newsreader Huw Edwards.
In a statement on his behalf, Mr Edwards’ wife said the presenter — who has suffered with depression since 2002 — was being treated in hospital for ‘serious mental health issues’.
“The events of the last few days have greatly worsened matters,” added Vicky Flind.
‘No further police action’
The allegations were published last week by the Sun newspaper, which claimed that a young person had received money in exchange for sexually explicit images, beginning when they were 17.
The claims were made by the young person’s mother, however, a lawyer for the person involved issued a statement to the BBC on Monday denying the claims.
The BBC revealed at the weekend that it had suspended the presenter involved but halted its internal investigation this week while the Met looked into the claims.
Detectives from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command have now concluded that ‘there is no information to indicate that a criminal offence has been committed’.
“In reaching this decision, they have spoken to a number of parties including the BBC and the alleged complainant and the alleged complainant’s family, both via another police force,” read a statement.
“There is no further police action. As such, the Met has advised the BBC it can continue with its internal investigation.”
‘Concern for mental well-being’
Mr Edwards is one of the BBC’s most familiar faces, having worked at the broadcaster since 1984.
The 61-year-old Welshman presents the BBC’s flagship evening news programme, BBC News at Ten, and has fronted coverage of major political and royal events for the broadcaster.
Mr Edwards has previously spoken of his struggles with depression, which he has battled for more than two decades.
In a statement this evening, his wife said the events of the past few days have seen him suffer ‘another serious episode’.
“In light of the recent reporting regarding the ‘BBC Presenter’ I am making this statement on behalf of my husband Huw Edwards, after what have been five extremely difficult days for our family,” read the statement released to the PA news agency.
“I am doing this primarily out of concern for his mental well-being and to protect our children.
“Huw is suffering from serious mental health issues. As is well documented, he has been treated for severe depression in recent years.
“The events of the last few days have greatly worsened matters, he has suffered another serious episode and is now receiving in-patient hospital care where he’ll stay for the foreseeable future.
“Once well enough to do so, he intends to respond to the stories that have been published.”
The statement added that Mr Edwards was sorry about the impact recent speculation had on his colleagues.
Following the conclusion of the Met’s enquiries, the BBC said this evening it would resume its own investigation while ‘continuing to be mindful of our duty of care to all involved’.