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Family of young person at centre of Huw Edwards scandal 'has been ripped apart', mother says

Family of young person at centre of Huw Edwards scandal 'has been ripped apart', mother says

The parents of the young person Huw Edwards allegedly paid for explicit images have said the scandal has “ripped their family apart”.

The mother said she and her loved ones have “suffered immense pain” over the last months, which has left her “broken”.

She spoke to The Sun after the BBC issued an apology to the family for not escalating their complaint, lodged last May, quickly enough.

It came out on Tuesday that an independent report had found a need for “greater consistency” in how complaints at the corporation are processed.

BBC group chief operating officer Leigh Tavaziva said: “The initial complaint in this case was not escalated quickly enough to senior management and we have apologised to the complainant for this.”

The mother responded on Wednesday: “If the BBC had handled the complaint properly, we would have not had to go through this hell. We have been ripped apart as a family.

“It’s a relief this independent report backs up what we’ve said all along — the BBC simply failed to take this seriously. If anything, this underlines how vital it is we get answers, for everyone’s sake.”

Her husband, the young person’s stepdad, added: “It’s only right they admitted their procedures were wrong. Their apology also proves that I was right to be frustrated.”

He was the one who made the initial complaint at a BBC building on May 18 last year.

The family was referred to the BBC’s Audience Services Team who sent the case to its Corporate Investigations team but nothing was flagged to senior managers.

There is also “insufficient” documentation of the BBC’s attempts to contact the family, the report by auditors Deloitte said.

The Sun published the first story about Edwards, without naming him, on July 7, triggering a storm of controversy.

His wife Vicky Flind eventually named the father-of-five and revealed he was receiving hospital treatment for mental health issues.

In a letter to BBC News, the young person at the centre of the storm said via lawyers that nothing inappropriate or unlawful happened with the then unnamed presenter.

The Metropolitan Police has confirmed there is no evidence to indicate a criminal offence had been committed at the time, when the young person was 17 years old.

BBC director-general Tim Davie ordered a review to “assess how some complaints are red-flagged up the organisation” last year.

He also ordered an additional “fact-finding investigation”.

On top of the report’s findings about Edwards, it also said that some employees interviewed said they would feel nervous about raising a complaint with the BBC, particularly if it was about a more senior member of staff or a high profile figure.

It read: “These employees said they have lower levels of confidence in how robustly the complaint will be handled if it is a grievance relating to another member of staff or talent, particularly where there is an actual or perceived power discrepancy between the complainant and the subject of the complaint.”

Edwards has been absent from screens since he was suspended in the wake of the scandal.

As a prominent figure at the BBC, Edwards was paid a salary of £435,000 and trusted to break the news of the Queen’s death.