The BBC suspends the presenter’s investigation

The BBC suspends the presenter’s investigation

The BBC press office released a statement on a high-profile investigation into the allegations against an anonymous presenter as follows:

Yesterday, July 10th (UK time), On Thursday 6 July, the BBC’s Corporate Investigation Team met with the Metropolitan Police in relation to information provided to the BBC by The Sun newspaper.

Following this meeting, the BBC was asked to suspend its investigation into the allegations while police look into future proceedings.

We understand that there have been questions about how the complaint was initially handled, so today we have released an update setting out the key dates and some additional information that we are currently able to share.

The BBC has processes and protocols for receiving information and handling complaints when they are first made. We always take these matters seriously and seek to handle them with appropriate duty of care.

The events of the past few days have demonstrated how complex and challenging cases of this type can be and how crucial it is that they are handled with the utmost diligence and attention.

There will, of course, be lessons to be learned after this exercise. Whilst the current issues have not yet been fully resolved, the Director-General has asked Leigh Tavaziva, Group Chief Operating Officer of the BBC, to assess whether our protocols and procedures are appropriate in light of this case, and to report to the BBC Council on the matter in due course.

BBC presenter allegations: Key dates updated
By law, individuals are entitled to a reasonable expectation of privacy, which somewhat limits the information available to be shared by the BBC at this time.

The BBC may add to the information below as appropriate.

Key Appointments:

• On 18 May, the complainant (a family member) went to a BBC building, where he tried to lodge a complaint about the behavior of a BBC presenter.

• On 19 May, the complainant contacted BBC Audience Services; details of this contact have been reported to the BBC’s Corporate Investigations Team.

• On 19 May, the BBC’s Corporate Investigations Team assessed the information contained in the complaint provided by Audience Services. The assessment made was that, based on the information provided, it did not include a felony charge, but still warranted further investigation.

• On 19 May, the BBC’s Corporate Investigations Team emailed the complainant stating how seriously the BBC takes the matter and asking for further information to verify the allegations made; There was no response to this contact.

• Checks were also carried out on 19 May to verify the identity of the complainant. This is a standard procedure for confirming that the complainant is who they say they are.

• On 6 June, having received no reply to the above email, a telephone 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 contact the complainant, the corporate investigation team was expected to return to the matter in the coming weeks. No further attempts were made to contact the complainant 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 came from the same family who approached the BBC on 18 and 19 May. This was the first time that the Director-General or other executive directors of the BBC had knowledge of the case.

• The allegations made by The Sun contained new allegations, which were different from the issues being considered by BBC Corporate Investigations.

• On 6 July, the BBC set up an Incident Management Group to lead the response to this case, involving senior BBC management, including the Director-General. The interim President has been updated and the Council has been regularly updated in the coming days.

• On July 6, a senior executive held the first interview on the matter with the presenter concerned, to acquaint him with the allegations made by The Sun. It was agreed that the presenter would not go on the air while the matter was being considered.

• On 7 July, following contact from The Sun, the BBC’s Corporate Investigations team contacted the complainant again, who was in contact with BBC investigators.

• The BBC’s Serious Case Management Framework (SCMF) was launched on 7 July and the investigation undertaken by the Corporate Investigations Team was brought within the SCMF, which is chaired by a Human Resources Director.

• The BBC also contacted the police on 7 July regarding this matter.

• On 8 July and 9 July, the complainant sent materials relating to the complaint to the BBC.

• The BBC released an update to staff and media on 9 July; the BBC also confirmed it had suspended the presenter.

• On 10 July, the BBC met with the Police, to report the matter and discuss how to continue the investigation. Police have asked the BBC to suspend its investigation into the allegations while they look into future work.