Emily Maitlis blasts BBC for ‘distasteful’ reporting of allegations against Huw Edwards

Emily Maitlis has criticized the BBC for its coverage of the accusations surrounding Huw Edwards, describing it as ‘somewhat distasteful’. Meanwhile, a friend of Edwards expressed his ‘surprise’ at the continuation of the corporation’s investigation into the broadcaster, who was hospitalized at the time.

Fresh allegations against Edwards were aired on BBC Newsnight on Wednesday, made by three present and past employees of the corporation. They accused the experienced broadcaster of sending them ‘unsuitable’ and ‘flirtatious’ messages.

Maitlis, with over two decades of service at the BBC and former Newsnight presenter prior to Victoria Derbyshire and other hosts taking over, questioned the journalism ethics in the reporting of the shocking allegations against her ex-colleague.

‘When you become aware of such issues about a colleague, shouldn’t your first obligation be to approach HR or a higher-level manager… rather than converting it into a news article,’ voiced the former BBC anchor on her podcast The News Agents.

Andrew Billen, a friend of Edwards and a writer for The Times, also expressed his ‘surprise’ at the continuation of the BBC’s probe into the claims against the ‘fragile’ newsreader, particularly after news of his hospitalization due to mental health concerns broke.

Billen, who had dined with Edwards just a week ago – shortly before the accusations were made known to the presenter, stated: ‘I was taken aback that Newsnight proceeded with the investigation, considering his known hospitalization… but I can see why the BBC did it.

‘If they aggressively pursue other public figures guilty of some misconduct, in order to project independence, they need to do the same with their own.’

Allegations revealed by Newsnight’s Victoria Derbyshire, along with another journalist and BBC Special Correspondent Lucy Manning, came hours after Edwards’ wife announced his hospitalization.

When queried by Sky News on the additional accusations, Billen remarked: ‘One would think this could be an HR issue, instead of an investigative matter.’

Billen further confessed to being ‘immensely shocked’ when the allegations against his friend were initially publicized, admitting, ‘I partly disbelieved it because I didn’t want to believe it.’

He added that just before the dramatic allegations surfaced, Edwards appeared ‘quite cheerful’ and certainly did not seem like ‘a man with an enormous dark cloud hovering above him’.

It is currently believed that BBC journalists are pursuing more potential stories involving Edwards, despite ‘seething anger’ among some of the presenter’s colleagues about the Newsnight investigation.

Jon Sopel, a close friend and former BBC colleague of Edwards, accused the corporation of unjustly focusing on the broadcaster.

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