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Should Huw Edwards have been named? Secrecy isn't guaranteed to deliver justice

(Chris Jackson/Getty Images)


July 14, 2023   5 mins

The Yewtree investigations into historic sexual offences by public figures changed two things about the British relationship with celebrity. First, it made us more suspicious of it: the nice men in your living room had in several cases, it turned out, been abusing their familiarity in the most grotesque ways.

But as well as identifying several genuine perpetrators, the Yewtree overreached. In 2014, the police raided Cliff Richard’s home and the BBC was on hand to film it; no charges were brought and there is no suggestion of wrongdoing on Richard’s part. In 2018, the High Court ruled that the BBC coverage had infringed Richard’s privacy in a “serious” and “sensationalist” way.

Both Richard and Paul Gambaccini, another innocent who was arrested during Yewtree and released without charge, have argued that those accused of sexual offences should have anonymity to protect them from the stigma of the “sex offender” label. And in practice, the media has grown increasingly cautious about publishing suspects’ names, particularly famous ones.

Over the past few days, it has become obvious that this approach is as likely to inflame speculation as protect reputations. On Friday, The Sun reported that an unnamed “top BBC star” had been suspended over allegations that he had paid an unnamed 20-year-old “more than £35,000 since they were 17 in return for sordid images”, according to the unnamed 20-year-old’s unnamed mother.

The whole country became engaged in a high-stakes game of “Guess Who?”. There were so many candidates. Within 24 hours, one had been settled on in media gossip circles. Online, though, the guesses ran wild, with the words “nonce” and “paedo” freely dispensed. This was potentially career-ruining stuff: Rylan Clark, Gary Lineker and Nicky Campbell all issued statements denying being the presenter in question.

But if you knew, the name still seemed so unlikely. Huw Edwards. Beneath the stentorian furrowed brow that has carried the nation through election night and the Queen’s death, the naked absurdity of male lust.

And there were still twists. On Monday, the young person involved made a statement calling The Sun’s report “rubbish” (and saying that The Sun had been informed of this before publication). The BBC opened an investigation, then suspended it at the police’s request. On Tuesday, another person told the BBC they had received “abusive and menacing messages” from the accused, after they met on a dating app. A detail that attracted less attention was that the abuse happened after the alleged victim had hinted on social media that they would out the presenter.

Then the police concluded that there had been no criminal offence. And finally, on Wednesday, Edwards’s wife issued a statement confirming that it was him, and that “Huw is suffering from serious mental health issues”. “The events of the last few days have greatly worsened matters,” she said. “He has suffered another serious episode and is now receiving in-patient hospital care where he’ll stay for the foreseeable future.”

The mood deflated at this point. It felt a bit like having stayed at a gathering too long, queasily sobering up among the cold canapes and dregs of booze. The Sun has announced it had no plans to publish further allegations. The BBC will continue its investigation.

There is no nice way to be accused of being a predator. But the toxic mix of celebrity and anonymity seems to have made this exceptionally messy: the scurrilous chatter about Edwards expanded to fill the void of information. By the time he was officially named, the shaming had grown so extreme that he began to look like the victim — and yet we still don’t know what, if anything, he’s culpable of.

In one sense, the Edwards story is a very old-school tabloid expose. It’s in the lineage of sports anchor Frank Bough, who was brought down by the News of the World in 1988 with the headline “I TOOK DRUGS WITH CALL GIRLS”; or Jamie Theakston, who was reported by the Sunday People in 2002 to have visited a “vice club”. A good old-fashioned British sex scandal.

But although the British public loves those stories, it also harbours a conflicting instinct that celebs deserve some privacy — especially if it’s about sex. If Edwards was active on apps (he has yet to respond to the allegations), it says something that no one he communicated with went to the press until The Sun broke its story. Being a bit sleazy, on its own, isn’t deemed disgraceful behaviour.

But that doesn’t mean the British public has no taboos. There was much focus on the youth of the individual Edwards is alleged to have received pictures from. Age gap relationships, even legal ones, are broadly disapproved of. The Sun quoted the mother referring to “my child”, even though the individual is well into sexual majority — a technique to foil identification by not disclosing gender, maybe, but one that introduced an unsavoury implication.

The reports about Edwards also referred to his “power” as a celebrity. His greater fame, like his greater age, was assumed to confer a seniority he was able to exploit. This is true of some kinds of celebrity: the YouTuber who grooms his fans, the popstar who chews through groupies. But it’s also a logic that, at the peak of #MeToo, saw cases such as a bad date with the comic Aziz Ansari rounded up to practically assault.

It feels doubtful that presenting the 10 O’Clock News casts that kind of irresistible spell over young dating app users. Outside of the newsroom, it’s hard to imagine what power Edwards had to exercise. Conversely, anyone with compromising chats from an august national treasure has a one-click means of undoing them. The allegations against Edwards so far amount to unwise, but not illegal. There are certain things that are incompatible with broadcast gravitas, and it seems being incontinently thirsty online is one of them.

Edwards has suffered a humiliation that would be unsurvivable for many, personally as well as professionally. What he is accused of would appear to be a deep betrayal of his family; the way in which the accusations have been made has set him against his BBC colleagues, who at a minimum have seen their workplace brought into disrepute, and at worst have been dragged into the scandal on social media. And he has suffered in isolation, walled inside a formal namelessness that didn’t stop everyone from knowing it was him.

It is a strange fact that there are, out there in the world, actual paedophiles — men convicted of viewing the worst child sex abuse imagery — serving non-custodial sentences and living their lives. Meanwhile Edwards appears to have been comprehensively ruined by an allegation that so far amounts, at worst, to looking at pictures of someone he could have legally had sex with. This is not to say that his actions are beyond moral reproach. It’s possible to wrong other people without breaking the law.

It’s also possible to be both sinned against and sinning. But there is no proportionality in public shaming, and there is no privacy on the internet. Edwards was the perfect public figure for this scandal because everything about his image suggested perfectly controlled professionalism. How incongruous for the solemn man behind the desk to have appetites.

Those already committed to the “abuser” narrative will continue to believe the worst about Edwards; others will recalibrate him into a pure victim. The truth is probably messier. Whatever it is, it would have to be exceptionally bad to merit the destruction already inflicted. The problem is one of justice. Despite what Richard and Gambaccini believe, this is unlikely to be achieved in secret, any more than it is likely to be achieved by the febrile processes of social media.


Sarah Ditum is a columnist, critic and feature writer.

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Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
11 months ago

I don’t think the obsession with this issue is really about Huw Edwards, although the allegations – if they turn out to be true – would mean he has conducted himself improperly for a person in such a senior position who is paid obscene money out of the public purse. Clearly, if he was just a normal Joe Bloggs, people might wrinkle their noses a bit and twitch their metaphorical curtains but it wouldn’t be a matter of national discussion over weeks. Edwards’ position means different standards apply and that the level of public interest is unsurprising and – to a certain extent – justified.
However, the reason why this drama is so explosive is because it touches on things which are far greater than Huw Edwards’ activities on social media and private predilections – and which so many people are frustrated by that all it needed was the right trigger and – BOOM! – it all comes out.
These larger irritants include (in no particular order):
No. 1: The double standards constantly on display in the media. If this had been a Tory minister, the BBC would have been all over it, baying for blood. Think of Dominic Raab: he sounded like a demanding and difficult boss for sure, but those bullying allegations? What a stitch up. And now he is leaving politics – as I remember, citing the effect this has all had on his family. Was any care shown about his mental health or that of his family? Of course not. The same goes for Dom Cummings – now, I’m thinking of the media camped outside his house for days, scrawling abuse on the pavement. The guy has small children – how must they have felt? Again, zero consideration shown. Not to mention how Cliff Richard was dealt with by the BBC. The call for kindness is so very selective. The hypocrisy absolutely stinks and it sickens me to the core.
No. 2: The fetishisation of victimhood. Whether it’s Meghan and Harry or Huw Edwards, victim status has become the ultimate way to put up an immutable shield around yourself and avoid having to take responsbility for your own actions. If Edwards does suffer from depression, then that is very regrettable – but it is not a get out of jail free card which absolves you from personal responsibility for bad behaviour. Any women out there who supported #metoo but are now part of the “poor Huw” brigade need their heads examined. Giving him any more sympathy than is truly necessary here (which is around the level of “OK, take yourself some time mate…but then you’re explaining yourself”) is to open the door to all the Harvey Weinsteins of this world to go on with their sleazy antics. Get caught? No problem, just wave the victim card – like a magic shield! It’s SO infantile…and I for one am sick to death of it. This is just one more instance in a long line of them.
No. 3: The arrogance of the self-proclaimed morally superior. The BBC, Remainers…oh yes, they think they are so much better and so much cleverer…but at the end of the day, they’re not getting caught out eating cake, but getting caught out sending quite creepy messages to young, impressionable, possibly vulnerable people. Get down off that pedestal folks, before you fall off it flat onto your face.
No. 4: The tribal, irrational nature of more or less any discussion in GB right now. we have long since left the realm of facts and rationality and entered the realm of “I’m on this side and will support my brethren no matter what”. Gosh, how wonderfully civilised. In this vein, I’ve found myself having some quite surreal conversations with persons I previously thought rational and grounded who proceed to completely lose their marbles when – for example – Boris Johnson is involved. This guy just has the capacity to send quite normal people to utter, foaming-at-the-mouth, swivel-eyed madness and it is highly disturbing.
This sort of unhinged behaviour has pushed me to sympathise with people/things that, 5 or 10 years ago I would never have thought of siding with. For example (again in no particular order): The Sun, Piers Morgan, Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson.
Everything is just completely nuts and this BBC incident is just the latest battle in the tribal struggle we’ve all descended into since Brexit and the pandemic. I have no idea how to get out of it.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Actually I do have a random idea how to get out of it. Even though Britain has not had a civil war as such, the rows that have gone on have left the same kind of deep scars. Why not invoke the idea of a peace settlement for the nation, like a new deal for moving forward, together? A deal to which parties and also private people can sign up where you agree to bury the hatchet and be civil again. Not sure how you’d go about doing that or putting it into writing but at this point anything has to be worth a shot, right?
The French might consider the same thing…

Last edited 11 months ago by Katharine Eyre
Phil Rees
Phil Rees
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Good luck with that with the likes of Rusbridger, Sopel, Owen Jones, Ash Sarkar.

James Kirk
James Kirk
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

These days we’d have two guillotines, one left, one right and half a dozen Mayflowers setting sail.

Alan Kaufman
Alan Kaufman
11 months ago
Reply to  James Kirk

I’d much prefer another half dozen of your Mayflowers to our southern invasion.

Alan Kaufman
Alan Kaufman
11 months ago
Reply to  James Kirk

I’d much prefer another half dozen of your Mayflowers to our southern invasion.

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

I believe that is what should have happened after Brexit. Some kind of interim Government for National Unity (I know it sounds a bit dodgy, but it couldn’t possibly be any worse than the sh*tshow that we actually got).

Phil Rees
Phil Rees
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Good luck with that with the likes of Rusbridger, Sopel, Owen Jones, Ash Sarkar.

James Kirk
James Kirk
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

These days we’d have two guillotines, one left, one right and half a dozen Mayflowers setting sail.

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

I believe that is what should have happened after Brexit. Some kind of interim Government for National Unity (I know it sounds a bit dodgy, but it couldn’t possibly be any worse than the sh*tshow that we actually got).

Dustin Needle
Dustin Needle
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Exactly this, Katherine. The arrogance and lack of self-awareness of certain high profile BBC “contractors”/employees is staggering. 
Jeremy Vine has been filming working class delivery drivers who dare to obstruct his cycle to work and outing them on his Twitter account (GDPR anyone?), whilst Lineker sneers and carps from his Ivory Tower at anyone who cannot see the sunny upside of undocumented immigration. Meanwhile Campbell bangs on endlessly about Brexit on the box, like some ageing granddad might have done about the war in living rooms, pre-TV, back in the day.
The Trustees (largely Tory, Twitter informs me) operate on one level of reality where Reithian values proudly stride the corridors. The producers, presenters (largely Socialist, what comes out of the box informs me) operate at another where identity and sexuality rule. The gap is getting wider, and wider. It’s just not bridgeable any more. Practically an analogy for society today in some respects.
Murdoch has, as ever, cynically tapped into a public mood. I don’t condone it, I simply try and understand it.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
11 months ago
Reply to  Dustin Needle

Exactly. I am absolutely no fan of The Sun or the tabloids in general, but in this case, they appear to have performed a valuable service in helping to hold the powerful to account for their failures. That’s what journalists are supposed to do, that is their job. And it is mucky, but what’s the alternative? A sanitised press landscape with all the nastiness and venal dealings of the powerful suppressed but still boiling away underneath? Is that better than what Britain has now?

Gordon Arta
Gordon Arta
11 months ago
Reply to  Dustin Needle

Murdoch isn’t tapping the public mood, he’s doing what he’s always done. A few years ago he negotiated a ‘world exclusive’ (it wasn’t anything of the sort, but that’s a small matter) based on ‘anonymous sources’ and ‘insiders’, despite the fact that he’d been told it was a forgery. Nevertheless, it was sensationalised in the ST for 3 weeks, till the forgery was confirmed. His reaction? ‘So what, we didn’t lose anything, and circulation is up. Anyway, forgery or fact, what’s the difference? We’re in the entertainment business’.

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
11 months ago
Reply to  Dustin Needle

Exactly. I am absolutely no fan of The Sun or the tabloids in general, but in this case, they appear to have performed a valuable service in helping to hold the powerful to account for their failures. That’s what journalists are supposed to do, that is their job. And it is mucky, but what’s the alternative? A sanitised press landscape with all the nastiness and venal dealings of the powerful suppressed but still boiling away underneath? Is that better than what Britain has now?

Gordon Arta
Gordon Arta
11 months ago
Reply to  Dustin Needle

Murdoch isn’t tapping the public mood, he’s doing what he’s always done. A few years ago he negotiated a ‘world exclusive’ (it wasn’t anything of the sort, but that’s a small matter) based on ‘anonymous sources’ and ‘insiders’, despite the fact that he’d been told it was a forgery. Nevertheless, it was sensationalised in the ST for 3 weeks, till the forgery was confirmed. His reaction? ‘So what, we didn’t lose anything, and circulation is up. Anyway, forgery or fact, what’s the difference? We’re in the entertainment business’.

Frances Killian
Frances Killian
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Magnificent rant! I agree with every word.

Phil Rees
Phil Rees
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

A really excellent post which gets everything it says pretty well 100% right.

Alan Kaufman
Alan Kaufman
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Oh my, how sad, sounds like here in America! And your analysis would work flawlessly for our insanity as well.

Chipoko
Chipoko
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

The double standards are the worst aspect of this affair. Consider what happened to Damian Green MP who ‘fleetingly touched’ a younger woman’s knee and sent her a slightly creepy text message after she had appeared attired in a corset in a newspaper (a far less serious ‘offence’ than that committed by the altogether far more sordid Huw Edwards on his gigantic salary. There were no John Sopals, Owen Joneses, and other Leftie bigots who sprung to Green’s defence when he was outed, trashed and smeared all over the media! Utter hypocrites all of them.
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/nov/01/damian-green-denies-making-sexual-advances-towards-kate-maltby-tory-activist

Teresa Baker
Teresa Baker
11 months ago
Reply to  Chipoko

And poor Michael Fallon who May forced to resign because he touched a woman’s knee. Ludicrous.

Teresa Baker
Teresa Baker
11 months ago
Reply to  Chipoko

And poor Michael Fallon who May forced to resign because he touched a woman’s knee. Ludicrous.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Quite so. Mrs U says, “We’re on the same page, Katharine and me”. 🙂

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
11 months ago

Yes, I think we are! Best wishes to you and Mrs. U!

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
11 months ago

Yes, I think we are! Best wishes to you and Mrs. U!

Lang Cleg
Lang Cleg
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

What Katherine said.

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Young POSSIBLY vulnerable ? As an ex-crack addict I can assure you any 17 year old with a crack habit , whether Huw Edwards induced or merely Huw Edwards facilitated , will feel he has to do pretty much anything to get high .

DenialARiverIn Islington
DenialARiverIn Islington
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

The double standards from hard-core Remania are breathtaking. There is no way the defenestration of Johnson would ever pass muster in a court of law so Johnson’s description of that process was spot on. Kier Starmer does more or less the same thing, twice, and with the exact same line of defence and

nothing. On one side
it’s appalling behaviour
..but, happen to the other, and there’s always an excuse.

Stevie K
Stevie K
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Congratulations Katherine, that is the best comment I have ever read on Unherd.
Well thought out and unwavering in its brutal yet necessary honesty. The grand malaise of contemporary Britain laid bare.Thank you for taking the time to assemble that masterpiece.

La Playa
La Playa
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

As an American who could not care less, my most burning question regarding this topic is how to pronounce HUW? Is if Huff? Hew? How?, Hoo?Hoo-wwh? I may come back in a few days to see if anyone answered. Thanks

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Actually I do have a random idea how to get out of it. Even though Britain has not had a civil war as such, the rows that have gone on have left the same kind of deep scars. Why not invoke the idea of a peace settlement for the nation, like a new deal for moving forward, together? A deal to which parties and also private people can sign up where you agree to bury the hatchet and be civil again. Not sure how you’d go about doing that or putting it into writing but at this point anything has to be worth a shot, right?
The French might consider the same thing…

Last edited 11 months ago by Katharine Eyre
Dustin Needle
Dustin Needle
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Exactly this, Katherine. The arrogance and lack of self-awareness of certain high profile BBC “contractors”/employees is staggering. 
Jeremy Vine has been filming working class delivery drivers who dare to obstruct his cycle to work and outing them on his Twitter account (GDPR anyone?), whilst Lineker sneers and carps from his Ivory Tower at anyone who cannot see the sunny upside of undocumented immigration. Meanwhile Campbell bangs on endlessly about Brexit on the box, like some ageing granddad might have done about the war in living rooms, pre-TV, back in the day.
The Trustees (largely Tory, Twitter informs me) operate on one level of reality where Reithian values proudly stride the corridors. The producers, presenters (largely Socialist, what comes out of the box informs me) operate at another where identity and sexuality rule. The gap is getting wider, and wider. It’s just not bridgeable any more. Practically an analogy for society today in some respects.
Murdoch has, as ever, cynically tapped into a public mood. I don’t condone it, I simply try and understand it.

Frances Killian
Frances Killian
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Magnificent rant! I agree with every word.

Phil Rees
Phil Rees
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

A really excellent post which gets everything it says pretty well 100% right.

Alan Kaufman
Alan Kaufman
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Oh my, how sad, sounds like here in America! And your analysis would work flawlessly for our insanity as well.

Chipoko
Chipoko
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

The double standards are the worst aspect of this affair. Consider what happened to Damian Green MP who ‘fleetingly touched’ a younger woman’s knee and sent her a slightly creepy text message after she had appeared attired in a corset in a newspaper (a far less serious ‘offence’ than that committed by the altogether far more sordid Huw Edwards on his gigantic salary. There were no John Sopals, Owen Joneses, and other Leftie bigots who sprung to Green’s defence when he was outed, trashed and smeared all over the media! Utter hypocrites all of them.
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/nov/01/damian-green-denies-making-sexual-advances-towards-kate-maltby-tory-activist

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Quite so. Mrs U says, “We’re on the same page, Katharine and me”. 🙂

Lang Cleg
Lang Cleg
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

What Katherine said.

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Young POSSIBLY vulnerable ? As an ex-crack addict I can assure you any 17 year old with a crack habit , whether Huw Edwards induced or merely Huw Edwards facilitated , will feel he has to do pretty much anything to get high .

DenialARiverIn Islington
DenialARiverIn Islington
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

The double standards from hard-core Remania are breathtaking. There is no way the defenestration of Johnson would ever pass muster in a court of law so Johnson’s description of that process was spot on. Kier Starmer does more or less the same thing, twice, and with the exact same line of defence and

nothing. On one side
it’s appalling behaviour
..but, happen to the other, and there’s always an excuse.

Stevie K
Stevie K
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

Congratulations Katherine, that is the best comment I have ever read on Unherd.
Well thought out and unwavering in its brutal yet necessary honesty. The grand malaise of contemporary Britain laid bare.Thank you for taking the time to assemble that masterpiece.

La Playa
La Playa
11 months ago
Reply to  Katharine Eyre

As an American who could not care less, my most burning question regarding this topic is how to pronounce HUW? Is if Huff? Hew? How?, Hoo?Hoo-wwh? I may come back in a few days to see if anyone answered. Thanks

Katharine Eyre
Katharine Eyre
11 months ago

I don’t think the obsession with this issue is really about Huw Edwards, although the allegations – if they turn out to be true – would mean he has conducted himself improperly for a person in such a senior position who is paid obscene money out of the public purse. Clearly, if he was just a normal Joe Bloggs, people might wrinkle their noses a bit and twitch their metaphorical curtains but it wouldn’t be a matter of national discussion over weeks. Edwards’ position means different standards apply and that the level of public interest is unsurprising and – to a certain extent – justified.
However, the reason why this drama is so explosive is because it touches on things which are far greater than Huw Edwards’ activities on social media and private predilections – and which so many people are frustrated by that all it needed was the right trigger and – BOOM! – it all comes out.
These larger irritants include (in no particular order):
No. 1: The double standards constantly on display in the media. If this had been a Tory minister, the BBC would have been all over it, baying for blood. Think of Dominic Raab: he sounded like a demanding and difficult boss for sure, but those bullying allegations? What a stitch up. And now he is leaving politics – as I remember, citing the effect this has all had on his family. Was any care shown about his mental health or that of his family? Of course not. The same goes for Dom Cummings – now, I’m thinking of the media camped outside his house for days, scrawling abuse on the pavement. The guy has small children – how must they have felt? Again, zero consideration shown. Not to mention how Cliff Richard was dealt with by the BBC. The call for kindness is so very selective. The hypocrisy absolutely stinks and it sickens me to the core.
No. 2: The fetishisation of victimhood. Whether it’s Meghan and Harry or Huw Edwards, victim status has become the ultimate way to put up an immutable shield around yourself and avoid having to take responsbility for your own actions. If Edwards does suffer from depression, then that is very regrettable – but it is not a get out of jail free card which absolves you from personal responsibility for bad behaviour. Any women out there who supported #metoo but are now part of the “poor Huw” brigade need their heads examined. Giving him any more sympathy than is truly necessary here (which is around the level of “OK, take yourself some time mate…but then you’re explaining yourself”) is to open the door to all the Harvey Weinsteins of this world to go on with their sleazy antics. Get caught? No problem, just wave the victim card – like a magic shield! It’s SO infantile…and I for one am sick to death of it. This is just one more instance in a long line of them.
No. 3: The arrogance of the self-proclaimed morally superior. The BBC, Remainers…oh yes, they think they are so much better and so much cleverer…but at the end of the day, they’re not getting caught out eating cake, but getting caught out sending quite creepy messages to young, impressionable, possibly vulnerable people. Get down off that pedestal folks, before you fall off it flat onto your face.
No. 4: The tribal, irrational nature of more or less any discussion in GB right now. we have long since left the realm of facts and rationality and entered the realm of “I’m on this side and will support my brethren no matter what”. Gosh, how wonderfully civilised. In this vein, I’ve found myself having some quite surreal conversations with persons I previously thought rational and grounded who proceed to completely lose their marbles when – for example – Boris Johnson is involved. This guy just has the capacity to send quite normal people to utter, foaming-at-the-mouth, swivel-eyed madness and it is highly disturbing.
This sort of unhinged behaviour has pushed me to sympathise with people/things that, 5 or 10 years ago I would never have thought of siding with. For example (again in no particular order): The Sun, Piers Morgan, Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson.
Everything is just completely nuts and this BBC incident is just the latest battle in the tribal struggle we’ve all descended into since Brexit and the pandemic. I have no idea how to get out of it.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago

Assuming there is NO criminality, involved who really gives a ‘tinker’s cuss’ about what Mr Edwards gets up to in his free time?

As for the conduct of the BBC, is anyone really surprised? After all wasn’t this the organisation that exonerated one Ms Jo Brand after her tasteless joke about throwing battery acid over someone? Yet summarily sacked someone else for mocking a Royal birth?

In short the BBC is a national disgrace, and has been for some years now.

Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
11 months ago

Isn’t there an allegation of the heinous crime of violating lock down laws? Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve every confidence in the efficacy of the metropolitan police to verify that no crimes were committed in an investigation lasting about 23 minutes but that’s the sort of serious stuff that ends the careers of prime ministers and health secretaries.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago

While that’s true, I don’t think that’s the real issue.
Just as with Phillip Schofield, Huw Edwards will have signed an employment contract and been subject to a corporate code of conduct and a responsibility yo uphold and not damage the interests and reputation of his employer (disclaimer: of course he may have been one of the many tax-dodging BBC “freelancers” like Gary Lineker – I haven’t checked – but even they will be constrained by such rules).
Those constraints are not ones which would result in criminal prosecution if not adhered to. But constraints they still are. And knowingly entered into in full knowledge of the consequences if they are violated.
This is primarly a matter of public trust in public institutions. If the BBC doesn’t uphold the values it claims to or selectively enforces them (i.e. conveniently ignores them for their so-called “talent” whilst happily enforcing them for others), then that is a matter of legitimate public concern.
BBC apologists and media insiders will at this point try to deflect from these obvious truths in two principal ways:
1) The BBC is not a “public institution” – no it’s some sort of special hybrid public/private organisation they claim. Hogwash. It’s funded by forcible expropriation of public money.
2) The BBC can enforce its employment practices and doesn’t need us to know – or help – in these matters. Unfortunately, we know this simply isn’t true – Jimmy Savile, Rolf Harris, Stuart Hall, … .
You’ve fallen for the media deflection of positioning this as a purely legal/criminal matter – i.e. they picked off a small zone of the battlefield where they knew they were safe to deflect your attention away from what was really wrong.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

An excellent summary. As you make clear the BBC has a record of covering up criminal behaviour. It was happy to do this with Edwards, only contacting the police when forced to do so for PR reasons.

Caradog Wiliams
Caradog Wiliams
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

I don’t think he was a freelancer, so I think he will have a contract which limits what he can say or do.
I was just thinking about how this contract would end. If he broke the agreement he could resign or be sacked. If he was ILL, he could claim sick pay and an agreed pay-off clause. Perhaps his mental illness is all about a big golden handshake.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago

I didn’t expect to be writing this today, but there is one aspect to this in which Huw Edawards might be one of the victims in all of this. If this whole business had been dealt with more quickly and correctly by the BBC, much of what happened might have been avoided and his career not effectively ended. It is the fact that they turned a blind eye for so long that allowed matters to spiral out of control and invite outside media involvement. And in that they have failed not only their junior employees and many others, but also Huw Edwards.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Excellent point.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Excellent point.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago

I didn’t expect to be writing this today, but there is one aspect to this in which Huw Edawards might be one of the victims in all of this. If this whole business had been dealt with more quickly and correctly by the BBC, much of what happened might have been avoided and his career not effectively ended. It is the fact that they turned a blind eye for so long that allowed matters to spiral out of control and invite outside media involvement. And in that they have failed not only their junior employees and many others, but also Huw Edwards.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

An excellent summary. As you make clear the BBC has a record of covering up criminal behaviour. It was happy to do this with Edwards, only contacting the police when forced to do so for PR reasons.

Caradog Wiliams
Caradog Wiliams
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

I don’t think he was a freelancer, so I think he will have a contract which limits what he can say or do.
I was just thinking about how this contract would end. If he broke the agreement he could resign or be sacked. If he was ILL, he could claim sick pay and an agreed pay-off clause. Perhaps his mental illness is all about a big golden handshake.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
11 months ago

I’m sure that the hospital will be on hand to give affirmative care and Mr Edwards’s will be released as Ms Edwards (of the non presenting variety like MP Jamie Wallis) and will therefore beyond reproach anyway.

Justin Clark
Justin Clark
11 months ago
Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
11 months ago

What has the BBC got to do with this? They pay their staff but cannot be responsible for how the staff spend the money. What was the mother expecting the BBC to do? They are not a police force.

ben arnulfssen
ben arnulfssen
11 months ago

Mr Edwards’ talent, if you can call it that, consisted of projecting an aura of probity and gravitas; of being, in effect an avatar for the moral superiority and high standards of the BBC.

He HAD to be “cleaner than Caesar’s wife” or he was nothing. It’s no different to Angus Deayton being sacked from HIGNFY; HIS whole position revolved around NOT having something of the sort lurking in the background.

Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
11 months ago

Isn’t there an allegation of the heinous crime of violating lock down laws? Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve every confidence in the efficacy of the metropolitan police to verify that no crimes were committed in an investigation lasting about 23 minutes but that’s the sort of serious stuff that ends the careers of prime ministers and health secretaries.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago

While that’s true, I don’t think that’s the real issue.
Just as with Phillip Schofield, Huw Edwards will have signed an employment contract and been subject to a corporate code of conduct and a responsibility yo uphold and not damage the interests and reputation of his employer (disclaimer: of course he may have been one of the many tax-dodging BBC “freelancers” like Gary Lineker – I haven’t checked – but even they will be constrained by such rules).
Those constraints are not ones which would result in criminal prosecution if not adhered to. But constraints they still are. And knowingly entered into in full knowledge of the consequences if they are violated.
This is primarly a matter of public trust in public institutions. If the BBC doesn’t uphold the values it claims to or selectively enforces them (i.e. conveniently ignores them for their so-called “talent” whilst happily enforcing them for others), then that is a matter of legitimate public concern.
BBC apologists and media insiders will at this point try to deflect from these obvious truths in two principal ways:
1) The BBC is not a “public institution” – no it’s some sort of special hybrid public/private organisation they claim. Hogwash. It’s funded by forcible expropriation of public money.
2) The BBC can enforce its employment practices and doesn’t need us to know – or help – in these matters. Unfortunately, we know this simply isn’t true – Jimmy Savile, Rolf Harris, Stuart Hall, … .
You’ve fallen for the media deflection of positioning this as a purely legal/criminal matter – i.e. they picked off a small zone of the battlefield where they knew they were safe to deflect your attention away from what was really wrong.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
11 months ago

I’m sure that the hospital will be on hand to give affirmative care and Mr Edwards’s will be released as Ms Edwards (of the non presenting variety like MP Jamie Wallis) and will therefore beyond reproach anyway.

Justin Clark
Justin Clark
11 months ago
Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
11 months ago

What has the BBC got to do with this? They pay their staff but cannot be responsible for how the staff spend the money. What was the mother expecting the BBC to do? They are not a police force.

ben arnulfssen
ben arnulfssen
11 months ago

Mr Edwards’ talent, if you can call it that, consisted of projecting an aura of probity and gravitas; of being, in effect an avatar for the moral superiority and high standards of the BBC.

He HAD to be “cleaner than Caesar’s wife” or he was nothing. It’s no different to Angus Deayton being sacked from HIGNFY; HIS whole position revolved around NOT having something of the sort lurking in the background.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
11 months ago

Assuming there is NO criminality, involved who really gives a ‘tinker’s cuss’ about what Mr Edwards gets up to in his free time?

As for the conduct of the BBC, is anyone really surprised? After all wasn’t this the organisation that exonerated one Ms Jo Brand after her tasteless joke about throwing battery acid over someone? Yet summarily sacked someone else for mocking a Royal birth?

In short the BBC is a national disgrace, and has been for some years now.

William Cameron
William Cameron
11 months ago

If the BBC pay you over ÂŁ400 grand to be their lead news person – then you have a duty not to bring your employer into disrepute. So what you do off duty has to be reasonably moral and capable of public exposure without reputational damage to the BBC.
The BBC comes out of this very badly. Some of its statements – like the DG wasn’t told about – defy credibility. And It’s failure to address the parents’ complaint fully and speedily-if true.
And there seem to be double standards at play. Things that would have a Tory hung out to dry get covered up by the BBC for one of their own.

Last edited 11 months ago by William Cameron
William Cameron
William Cameron
11 months ago

If the BBC pay you over ÂŁ400 grand to be their lead news person – then you have a duty not to bring your employer into disrepute. So what you do off duty has to be reasonably moral and capable of public exposure without reputational damage to the BBC.
The BBC comes out of this very badly. Some of its statements – like the DG wasn’t told about – defy credibility. And It’s failure to address the parents’ complaint fully and speedily-if true.
And there seem to be double standards at play. Things that would have a Tory hung out to dry get covered up by the BBC for one of their own.

Last edited 11 months ago by William Cameron
Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago

How odd that Unherd are allowing comments on this article, less than 24 hours after the Giles Fraser article on the same subject with no comments allowed “for legal reasons”.

I’ve no comment to make on Edwards. I would say two things: firstly, the BBC has gone out of its way to try to deflect attention from its own shortcomings in the matter by expressing ‘outrage’ at the Sun newspaper. A particularly egregious example was the flagship Newsnight programne after the identity was revealed on Wednesday. This was particularly relevant in view of the way the BBC hounded Sir Cliff Richard, as mentioned in the article. The hypocrisy of this organisation knows no bounds.

Secondly, Sarah Ditum strangely didn’t refer to the suspicion falling (in social media) on Jeremy Vine, but named three others. The reason i mention this is because it was Vine who was particularly vocal in publicly requesting the “BBC star” to identify themselves so as to stop further speculation involving other names. He was justified in doing so, and just a few hours later Edwards’ wife did precisely that; one might almost say that Vine’s intervention prompted it.

Last edited 11 months ago by Steve Murray
N Satori
N Satori
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

If you have no comment to make on Edwards why didn’t you just leave it at that? Quite honestly, it would be a blessing to see at least one UnHerd article or Post make it through 24 hours without a below-the-line comment from you.

Caradog Wiliams
Caradog Wiliams
11 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

Well said.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

A lip-snarl worthy of Edwards himself.

Last edited 11 months ago by Steve Murray
Derek Smith
Derek Smith
11 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

In defence of Steve, he did not actually comment on Edwards as he said, but did make relevant points concerning the BBC’s response.

Caradog Wiliams
Caradog Wiliams
11 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

Well said.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

A lip-snarl worthy of Edwards himself.

Last edited 11 months ago by Steve Murray
Derek Smith
Derek Smith
11 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

In defence of Steve, he did not actually comment on Edwards as he said, but did make relevant points concerning the BBC’s response.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I didn’t know Cliff Richard had been Knighted. One wonders what for.

Last edited 11 months ago by Clare Knight
Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
11 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Charity work.

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
11 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

I knew someone in Australia who was literally given a knighthood for services to flute-playing, but who, a year later, had to resign from numerous positions and retire to private life for exactly the same thing.

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
11 months ago
Reply to  Dumetrius

For playing the wrong flute, was it??

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
11 months ago
Reply to  Dumetrius

For playing the wrong flute, was it??

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
11 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Charity work.

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
11 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

I knew someone in Australia who was literally given a knighthood for services to flute-playing, but who, a year later, had to resign from numerous positions and retire to private life for exactly the same thing.

Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

How odd that Unherd are allowing comments on this article, less than 24 hours after the Giles Fraser article on the same subject with no comments allowed “for legal reasons”.

I’m guessing here as Unherd’s moderation policy is about as transparent as a BBCs internal investigation, but I suspect that it was down to the timing of the article being published, which was fairly late in the day. Whereas this article is being pre-moderated as can be seen by the comment immediately disappearing and returning some time later.
So, all comments on this topic are under this article and it’s being controlled such that anything potentially libelous can be screened before it’s published.
I do find it a bit odd as Edwards has been named and the met aren’t pursuing any criminal charges.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

Yes, good points.

Melanie Grieveson
Melanie Grieveson
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

I can’t remember if Giles Fraser’s article was published before or after Edwards was named but it would be useful if comments could be enabled now the cat is out of the bag.
I took great exception to being chided as being somehow responsible, as a member of the British public, for the hounding of this individual – it seemed mostly to be other journalists who were fuelling the interest.
I think what Edwards did was sordid and I fail to understand the enormity of his salary – but then I’ve never quite forgiven him for the scowl on his face the morning after the Brexit referendum. (I have also seen him virtue-signalling about wearing a mask on the train.) As far as I’m concerned he is being punished for his own stupidity, after all, how many news stories about this kind of activity has he broadcast on news bulletins? He has only emerged from hiding in the toilets to escape to another ‘safe space’ in a hospital bed, all the while protected by colleagues who have signally failed as journalists these past three years.
Giles Fraser, please direct your disgust at those who were fanning the flames – not the public as a whole, who were denied a right of reply.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

Yes, good points.

Melanie Grieveson
Melanie Grieveson
11 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

I can’t remember if Giles Fraser’s article was published before or after Edwards was named but it would be useful if comments could be enabled now the cat is out of the bag.
I took great exception to being chided as being somehow responsible, as a member of the British public, for the hounding of this individual – it seemed mostly to be other journalists who were fuelling the interest.
I think what Edwards did was sordid and I fail to understand the enormity of his salary – but then I’ve never quite forgiven him for the scowl on his face the morning after the Brexit referendum. (I have also seen him virtue-signalling about wearing a mask on the train.) As far as I’m concerned he is being punished for his own stupidity, after all, how many news stories about this kind of activity has he broadcast on news bulletins? He has only emerged from hiding in the toilets to escape to another ‘safe space’ in a hospital bed, all the while protected by colleagues who have signally failed as journalists these past three years.
Giles Fraser, please direct your disgust at those who were fanning the flames – not the public as a whole, who were denied a right of reply.

Alan Kaufman
Alan Kaufman
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

As an American we don’t see these people, but I listen to BBC World radio and your Sacker fellow is one nasty, arrogant man. I’ll bet he has some dark secret somewhere.

Bruno Lucy
Bruno Lucy
11 months ago
Reply to  Alan Kaufman

Senator Mcarthur ??? back from the grave under disguise ? crawl back in.

Bruno Lucy
Bruno Lucy
11 months ago
Reply to  Alan Kaufman

Senator Mcarthur ??? back from the grave under disguise ? crawl back in.

N Satori
N Satori
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

If you have no comment to make on Edwards why didn’t you just leave it at that? Quite honestly, it would be a blessing to see at least one UnHerd article or Post make it through 24 hours without a below-the-line comment from you.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I didn’t know Cliff Richard had been Knighted. One wonders what for.

Last edited 11 months ago by Clare Knight
Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

How odd that Unherd are allowing comments on this article, less than 24 hours after the Giles Fraser article on the same subject with no comments allowed “for legal reasons”.

I’m guessing here as Unherd’s moderation policy is about as transparent as a BBCs internal investigation, but I suspect that it was down to the timing of the article being published, which was fairly late in the day. Whereas this article is being pre-moderated as can be seen by the comment immediately disappearing and returning some time later.
So, all comments on this topic are under this article and it’s being controlled such that anything potentially libelous can be screened before it’s published.
I do find it a bit odd as Edwards has been named and the met aren’t pursuing any criminal charges.

Alan Kaufman
Alan Kaufman
11 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

As an American we don’t see these people, but I listen to BBC World radio and your Sacker fellow is one nasty, arrogant man. I’ll bet he has some dark secret somewhere.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago

How odd that Unherd are allowing comments on this article, less than 24 hours after the Giles Fraser article on the same subject with no comments allowed “for legal reasons”.

I’ve no comment to make on Edwards. I would say two things: firstly, the BBC has gone out of its way to try to deflect attention from its own shortcomings in the matter by expressing ‘outrage’ at the Sun newspaper. A particularly egregious example was the flagship Newsnight programne after the identity was revealed on Wednesday. This was particularly relevant in view of the way the BBC hounded Sir Cliff Richard, as mentioned in the article. The hypocrisy of this organisation knows no bounds.

Secondly, Sarah Ditum strangely didn’t refer to the suspicion falling (in social media) on Jeremy Vine, but named three others. The reason i mention this is because it was Vine who was particularly vocal in publicly requesting the “BBC star” to identify themselves so as to stop further speculation involving other names. He was justified in doing so, and just a few hours later Edwards’ wife did precisely that; one might almost say that Vine’s intervention prompted it.

Last edited 11 months ago by Steve Murray
Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
11 months ago

Sopel, Maitless et al seem to be suggesting that The Sun should have suppressed allegations of serious misconduct by a public figure, simply because Edwards isn’t a Tory politician.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
11 months ago

Sopel, Maitless et al seem to be suggesting that The Sun should have suppressed allegations of serious misconduct by a public figure, simply because Edwards isn’t a Tory politician.

Malcolm Knott
Malcolm Knott
11 months ago

The real story here is about the BBC, yet again, getting it wrong. A serious complaint is made about a prominent celebrity who is paid the sort of salary most people can only dream of. So what do they do?
Ask the celebrity for his response? (He might say, yes it’s all correct.) ‘God, no, we can’t do that! We have safeguarding duties and Huw is a household name.’
Tell the DG? ‘God, no, we can’t do that! Let’s not go there.
What about the complaint? Well it’s obvious nonsense, isn’t it? Who are these little people for God’s sake? The BBC is not in the business of upholding complaints.

Malcolm Knott
Malcolm Knott
11 months ago

The real story here is about the BBC, yet again, getting it wrong. A serious complaint is made about a prominent celebrity who is paid the sort of salary most people can only dream of. So what do they do?
Ask the celebrity for his response? (He might say, yes it’s all correct.) ‘God, no, we can’t do that! We have safeguarding duties and Huw is a household name.’
Tell the DG? ‘God, no, we can’t do that! Let’s not go there.
What about the complaint? Well it’s obvious nonsense, isn’t it? Who are these little people for God’s sake? The BBC is not in the business of upholding complaints.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
11 months ago

Huw Edwards was named because he was putting his colleagues in danger of being slandered and libelled and because there are plenty of BBC employees who knew his identity and had little sympathy for him. This came about because BBC HR refused to speak to Edwards when the initial allegation was made. The BBC also appears to have no idea what legal activities are inconsistent with continuing employment.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
11 months ago

Huw Edwards was named because he was putting his colleagues in danger of being slandered and libelled and because there are plenty of BBC employees who knew his identity and had little sympathy for him. This came about because BBC HR refused to speak to Edwards when the initial allegation was made. The BBC also appears to have no idea what legal activities are inconsistent with continuing employment.

Steven Carr
Steven Carr
11 months ago

What mental health problems?
Huw Edwards was fit and well and scheduled to present programmes.
The BBC covered up the story during the entire month of June.
Because June was Pride Month, and a sex scandal could not be allowed to happen during the sacred month of Pride.

Tom Lewis
Tom Lewis
11 months ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

I only repeat what the BBC said. Maybe it was just my cynical reading of it, but it did seem to be being used as a defensive force field around Hue, to try and deflect any ‘awkward’ press questioning. What his past history of mental illness is, I can’t say, although I can well believe he might be extremely mentally conflicted at the moment given the potential number of skeletons that might have publicly tumbled out of his cupboard.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

I doubt that had anything to do with it.

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
11 months ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

That might be coincidence, but you might be on to something there


Last edited 11 months ago by Derek Smith
Tom Lewis
Tom Lewis
11 months ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

I only repeat what the BBC said. Maybe it was just my cynical reading of it, but it did seem to be being used as a defensive force field around Hue, to try and deflect any ‘awkward’ press questioning. What his past history of mental illness is, I can’t say, although I can well believe he might be extremely mentally conflicted at the moment given the potential number of skeletons that might have publicly tumbled out of his cupboard.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

I doubt that had anything to do with it.

Derek Smith
Derek Smith
11 months ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

That might be coincidence, but you might be on to something there


Last edited 11 months ago by Derek Smith
Steven Carr
Steven Carr
11 months ago

What mental health problems?
Huw Edwards was fit and well and scheduled to present programmes.
The BBC covered up the story during the entire month of June.
Because June was Pride Month, and a sex scandal could not be allowed to happen during the sacred month of Pride.

j watson
j watson
11 months ago

This was the BBC first headline story for 4-5 days whilst the Whodunnit nonsense went on. Hardly an organisation looking to cover up. In fact utterly ridiculous self-flagellation when so much else more important going on that should have been the primary stories leading.
It’s not unreasonable to expect higher behaviour standards in key leadership roles – whether a politician or leader of a business, or a very eminent BBC broadcaster.
Nonetheless the feeding frenzy says as much about us as him one suspects.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
11 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Well, I’ll say one thing for you, jw: no-one will ever accuse you of being unpredictable.

john freeman
john freeman
11 months ago
Reply to  j watson

I promise you, the “feeding frenzy” says nothing about me.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
11 months ago
Reply to  j watson

Well, I’ll say one thing for you, jw: no-one will ever accuse you of being unpredictable.

john freeman
john freeman
11 months ago
Reply to  j watson

I promise you, the “feeding frenzy” says nothing about me.

j watson
j watson
11 months ago

This was the BBC first headline story for 4-5 days whilst the Whodunnit nonsense went on. Hardly an organisation looking to cover up. In fact utterly ridiculous self-flagellation when so much else more important going on that should have been the primary stories leading.
It’s not unreasonable to expect higher behaviour standards in key leadership roles – whether a politician or leader of a business, or a very eminent BBC broadcaster.
Nonetheless the feeding frenzy says as much about us as him one suspects.

Adrian Doble
Adrian Doble
11 months ago

Barristers, auditors, local councillors, policemen, insolvency professionals, royalty – all are expected to demonstrate the highest standards professionally and in their private life when it crosses over into their professional life.

These people have to be seen to be doing the right thing, at all times.

Huw Edwards is no exception. You can’t take the money by putting your mug on the screens of 56 million people every day and then act inappropriately in your private life!

Neither can you expect a rag like the sun to have any mercy. It’s his profession for God’s sake! Taking news and sensationalising it.

We saw the double standards in covid when presenters went AWOL.

Have sympathy by all means but come on let’s be real.

Last edited 11 months ago by Adrian Doble
Adrian Doble
Adrian Doble
11 months ago

Barristers, auditors, local councillors, policemen, insolvency professionals, royalty – all are expected to demonstrate the highest standards professionally and in their private life when it crosses over into their professional life.

These people have to be seen to be doing the right thing, at all times.

Huw Edwards is no exception. You can’t take the money by putting your mug on the screens of 56 million people every day and then act inappropriately in your private life!

Neither can you expect a rag like the sun to have any mercy. It’s his profession for God’s sake! Taking news and sensationalising it.

We saw the double standards in covid when presenters went AWOL.

Have sympathy by all means but come on let’s be real.

Last edited 11 months ago by Adrian Doble
Melanie Grieveson
Melanie Grieveson
11 months ago

Unkind and unfair. I too would kick up a stink if I discovered a pillar of the Establishment seeking to engineer such a sordid transaction with my teenaged child.

Melanie Grieveson
Melanie Grieveson
11 months ago

Unkind and unfair. I too would kick up a stink if I discovered a pillar of the Establishment seeking to engineer such a sordid transaction with my teenaged child.

ben arnulfssen
ben arnulfssen
11 months ago

More to the point, why weren’t the BBC already on top of this? It’s immensely damaging their reputation, that issues of this nature surface through the Murdoch press.

Nor do I believe that this came as a surprise to at least some within the organisation.

Mr Edwards is, or was (and if Mr Lineker is any guide, will continue to be) paid very large sums of taxpayers money to serve as an avatar of probity and gravitas. He should have been put out to grass long ago.

ben arnulfssen
ben arnulfssen
11 months ago

More to the point, why weren’t the BBC already on top of this? It’s immensely damaging their reputation, that issues of this nature surface through the Murdoch press.

Nor do I believe that this came as a surprise to at least some within the organisation.

Mr Edwards is, or was (and if Mr Lineker is any guide, will continue to be) paid very large sums of taxpayers money to serve as an avatar of probity and gravitas. He should have been put out to grass long ago.

Alan Kaufman
Alan Kaufman
11 months ago

As an American I was delighted to watch commentators on YouTube strain in their frustration of not naming him. In the US, even the slightest hint of wrongdoing gets headlines. We also engage in Middle Ages justice with “perp walks” — after all, Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s career was ruined by a dishonest cleaning lady, yet he was handcuffed and hauled in front of the press.
So this British restrain was welcome. Given the central important of your aptly named news presenter (we call our trained seals “anchors”), I can see though why his name had to come out.

Alan Kaufman
Alan Kaufman
11 months ago

As an American I was delighted to watch commentators on YouTube strain in their frustration of not naming him. In the US, even the slightest hint of wrongdoing gets headlines. We also engage in Middle Ages justice with “perp walks” — after all, Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s career was ruined by a dishonest cleaning lady, yet he was handcuffed and hauled in front of the press.
So this British restrain was welcome. Given the central important of your aptly named news presenter (we call our trained seals “anchors”), I can see though why his name had to come out.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago

Whatever Huw Edwards got up to it hardly seems to have been sleazier than what Max Mosley got up to and for which Max received ÂŁ60,000 in his privacy action against the News of the World.
“In his judgment Mr Justice Eady said that Mosley had a “reasonable expectation of privacy” in relation to his sexual activities no matter how “unconventional”.

We have somehow slipped back into the titillating and censorious world of the scandal rag that we seemed to have left behind, perhaps as a result of #Metoo.

Last edited 11 months ago by Jeremy Bray
Steven Carr
Steven Carr
11 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

It was no sleazier than Jeffrey Archer paying 2000 pounds to a prostitute.

Last edited 11 months ago by Steven Carr
Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

I think missing the point.
This is really about behaviour at work and an apparent abuse of someone in a position of power in an organisation over junior employees. Something for which the BBC will have policies and penalties for those who infringe them. It is really about confidence and trust in the conduct of a public institution and the welfare of its employees. The fact that the BBC publically preaches all sort of “morality” to the rest of us only makes it more important that they are seen to walk the talk.
Max Mosley’s behaviour did not involve an employee of his organisation. That really was a private matter.
There is no real equivalance between the two situations.

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Where is there evidence that anything he has done was carried out at work?

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

I tried replying a few hours ago, but that seems to have got lost.
In short, it doesn’t matter whether what happened was in work or outside. Companies and organisations have employment rules about relationships between people they employ where one is in a position or power or authority relative to the other. And for very good reasons.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

I tried replying a few hours ago, but that seems to have got lost.
In short, it doesn’t matter whether what happened was in work or outside. Companies and organisations have employment rules about relationships between people they employ where one is in a position or power or authority relative to the other. And for very good reasons.

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
11 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

Where is there evidence that anything he has done was carried out at work?

Steven Carr
Steven Carr
11 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

It was no sleazier than Jeffrey Archer paying 2000 pounds to a prostitute.

Last edited 11 months ago by Steven Carr
Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

I think missing the point.
This is really about behaviour at work and an apparent abuse of someone in a position of power in an organisation over junior employees. Something for which the BBC will have policies and penalties for those who infringe them. It is really about confidence and trust in the conduct of a public institution and the welfare of its employees. The fact that the BBC publically preaches all sort of “morality” to the rest of us only makes it more important that they are seen to walk the talk.
Max Mosley’s behaviour did not involve an employee of his organisation. That really was a private matter.
There is no real equivalance between the two situations.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago

Whatever Huw Edwards got up to it hardly seems to have been sleazier than what Max Mosley got up to and for which Max received ÂŁ60,000 in his privacy action against the News of the World.
“In his judgment Mr Justice Eady said that Mosley had a “reasonable expectation of privacy” in relation to his sexual activities no matter how “unconventional”.

We have somehow slipped back into the titillating and censorious world of the scandal rag that we seemed to have left behind, perhaps as a result of #Metoo.

Last edited 11 months ago by Jeremy Bray
Samuel Gee
Samuel Gee
11 months ago

The Sun story wasn’t really about Edwards though. The BBC has successfully made it so. Rather it was about the BBC. How it was that a serious allegation around safeguarding involving a senior presenter was filed in bin 13. If you make a properly serious complaint to a publicly funded organization, you’ll get no further than reception. That the BBC only responded when the frustration of the parents with the BBC was publicized by the Sun.

Samuel Gee
Samuel Gee
11 months ago

The Sun story wasn’t really about Edwards though. The BBC has successfully made it so. Rather it was about the BBC. How it was that a serious allegation around safeguarding involving a senior presenter was filed in bin 13. If you make a properly serious complaint to a publicly funded organization, you’ll get no further than reception. That the BBC only responded when the frustration of the parents with the BBC was publicized by the Sun.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
11 months ago

Unherd may not have had a choice. There could be legalities at stake

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
11 months ago

A nicely balanced piece, a choice form of moral relativism. Thank you for your service, except for the element of forgiveness for pedophilia. The left is trying to normalize that as just another lifestyle choice, and you’ve done your bit.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
11 months ago

A nicely balanced piece, a choice form of moral relativism. Thank you for your service, except for the element of forgiveness for pedophilia. The left is trying to normalize that as just another lifestyle choice, and you’ve done your bit.

Graeme Laws
Graeme Laws
11 months ago

The only person who knows the whole truth is in hospital. The police don’t think a crime has been committed. Unless evidence of criminality emerges, can’t we just leave the man and his family alone?

Phil Rees
Phil Rees
11 months ago
Reply to  Graeme Laws

Yes we should, but we should not leave the BBC alone.

Phil Rees
Phil Rees
11 months ago
Reply to  Graeme Laws

Yes we should, but we should not leave the BBC alone.

Graeme Laws
Graeme Laws
11 months ago

The only person who knows the whole truth is in hospital. The police don’t think a crime has been committed. Unless evidence of criminality emerges, can’t we just leave the man and his family alone?

Steven Carr
Steven Carr
11 months ago

Until the Sun story broke, Huw Edwards was fit and well and was scheduled by the BBC to present programmes.
He is now in a mental hospital.
The Sun literally hospitalised him, just because a woman complained to them that the BBC had fobbed off her allegations about Edwards paying tens of thousand of pounds to her child to buy drugs.
Money of course which never existed, and was a figment of her imagination, according to the 750 pound per hour lawyer who is working for her son/daughter.

Last edited 11 months ago by Steven Carr
Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

Nonsense. Mental health problems do not suddenly emerge overnight. And Huw Edwards had apparently been open about having mental health problems for some years.
The bigger question here is why the BBC as an employer (which I assume would have been aware of the man’s mental health challenges – since he’d apparently spoken about them in public) continued to put him in situations which exposed him to further risks.
The real question here is not “is Huw Edwards’ behaviour illegal or dodgy ?” but actually “what sort of an employer is the BBC ?”.

Glyn R
Glyn R
11 months ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

Good points. I wonder who is paying the fees for the ÂŁ750 per hour lawyer?

Jack Martin Leith
Jack Martin Leith
11 months ago
Reply to  Glyn R

Many lawyers do pro bono work.

Jack Martin Leith
Jack Martin Leith
11 months ago
Reply to  Glyn R

Many lawyers do pro bono work.

Phil Rees
Phil Rees
11 months ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

Scurrilous nonsense. First, he’s been medically treated for depression several times before. Second, he’s not in a ‘mental hospital’. Third, you rush to assume wrongdoing by the mother, while assuming that everything said by Edwards’s wife must be 100% true.

Peter B
Peter B
11 months ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

Nonsense. Mental health problems do not suddenly emerge overnight. And Huw Edwards had apparently been open about having mental health problems for some years.
The bigger question here is why the BBC as an employer (which I assume would have been aware of the man’s mental health challenges – since he’d apparently spoken about them in public) continued to put him in situations which exposed him to further risks.
The real question here is not “is Huw Edwards’ behaviour illegal or dodgy ?” but actually “what sort of an employer is the BBC ?”.

Glyn R
Glyn R
11 months ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

Good points. I wonder who is paying the fees for the ÂŁ750 per hour lawyer?

Phil Rees
Phil Rees
11 months ago
Reply to  Steven Carr

Scurrilous nonsense. First, he’s been medically treated for depression several times before. Second, he’s not in a ‘mental hospital’. Third, you rush to assume wrongdoing by the mother, while assuming that everything said by Edwards’s wife must be 100% true.

Steven Carr
Steven Carr
11 months ago

Until the Sun story broke, Huw Edwards was fit and well and was scheduled by the BBC to present programmes.
He is now in a mental hospital.
The Sun literally hospitalised him, just because a woman complained to them that the BBC had fobbed off her allegations about Edwards paying tens of thousand of pounds to her child to buy drugs.
Money of course which never existed, and was a figment of her imagination, according to the 750 pound per hour lawyer who is working for her son/daughter.

Last edited 11 months ago by Steven Carr
Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
11 months ago

Shouldn’t the media stick to reporting facts? In this case the police say no crime has been committed, so why is it even being discussed?

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
11 months ago

Shouldn’t the media stick to reporting facts? In this case the police say no crime has been committed, so why is it even being discussed?

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
11 months ago

All hail the new Puritans. A bit sad, a but sleazy, but who gives a f***, really? Sounds like the old fool was being bled for cash – power my foot.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

That’s precisely why i didn’t comment about Edwards, nor did most others, so your “new Puritans” point is invalid. What most comments address is the iniquitous double standards at the BBC.

Last edited 11 months ago by Steve Murray
Steve Murray
Steve Murray
11 months ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

That’s precisely why i didn’t comment about Edwards, nor did most others, so your “new Puritans” point is invalid. What most comments address is the iniquitous double standards at the BBC.

Last edited 11 months ago by Steve Murray
Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
11 months ago

All hail the new Puritans. A bit sad, a but sleazy, but who gives a f***, really? Sounds like the old fool was being bled for cash – power my foot.