Former Sun editor says newspaper faces ‘crisis’ over BBC scandal as Huw Edwards ‘furious’ over its coverage

Former Sun editor says newspaper faces 'crisis' over BBC scandal as Huw Edwards 'furious' over its coverage
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A former editor of The sun accused his former newspaper of “inflicting terror” on BBC presenter Huw Edwards.

Mr Edwards was identified by his wife on Wednesday night as the presenter facing allegations of payments for sexually explicit images, first reported in The sun last week.

After the Metropolitan Police and South Wales Police both said on Wednesday that no criminal offenses had been committed, the newspaper said it “did not intend to publish any further allegations” and argued that it was now up to the BBC to investigate.

But the newspaper is facing criticism for its handling of the scandal, including from a former senior staff member.

David Yelland, who edited The sun from 1998 to 2003, tweeted on Wednesday night: “Wishing @thehuwedwards good luck. The sun inflicted terror on Huw despite the lack of evidence of a criminal offense. It’s no longer a BBC crisis, it’s a newspaper crisis. Huw’s privacy must now be respected. Social media also needs rapid reform.

Huw Edwards has not been seen on the BBC since the scandal broke

(BBC)

Jon Sopel, a former colleague of Mr Edwards, said the BBC presenter was “very angry” and “felt very disappointed” by the coverage of the allegations made about him.

Mr Sopel, who worked with Mr Edwards for decades, told ITV Hello Brittany that he was in contact with him before going to the hospital.

“I think [he] felt very disappointed by what happened at The sunfurious with their coverage, not too impressed with the BBC coverage either.

Mr Sopel said he did not see what the claims had to do with anyone else.

“If it’s not about illegality, it’s not about sexual assault and things could change, but as things stand there was no illegality, there there was no abuse of power, as far as I can see. So what does it have to do with someone?

Mr Sopel said the coverage of the allegations “got lousy”, adding: “I think it became a feeding frenzy. I think it was a competition to see who could go further the fastest.

Defend his cover, The sun insists he never claimed the then-unidentified presenter was guilty of a crime and says reporting the allegations made by the parents of the youngster involved was in the public interest.

The paper’s columnist Rod Liddle said the paper performed “impeccably”.

“That’s exactly the right thing to do… hold the powerful to account,” he told the BBC. Newsnight. “He tried not to hurt people.”

And another former Sun editor, Kelvin MacKenzie, praised the newspaper for standing up for a mother “worried for her life”.

“Only The sun went to fight for her. They deserve the highest praise,” he tweeted.

A Sun spokesperson said on Wednesday: “We must also re-emphasize that The sun at no time in our original story has any allegations of criminality and also made the decision not to name Mr. Edwards or the youth implicated in the allegations.

“Suggestions of possible criminality were first made at a later date by other media, including the BBC.

“Early on, we reported the story of two very concerned and frustrated parents who complained to the BBC about a presenter’s behavior and payments from him which fueled a youngster’s drug addiction.

“We reported that the parents had already gone to the police who said they couldn’t help.

“The parents then lodged a complaint with the BBC which was not acted upon.”

The Independent asked The sun comment on Mr. Yelland’s review.

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