BBC heard claim Tim Westwood ‘bullied’ staff in early 2010s

·2-min read
Tim Westwood has denied all allegations against him  (PA)
Tim Westwood has denied all allegations against him (PA)

Tim Westwood faced allegations of “unacceptable bullying” while he was a Radio 1 DJ, it has been reported.

The Guardian said on Monday that a former BBC employee raised concerns about the behaviour of the hip-hop presenter but was “warned against taking further action”.

Mr Westwood, 64, has in recent months faced multiple allegations of abuse dating from 1992 to 2017 - including some from women who would have been underage when the DJ allegedly approached them. He has denied all of the claims.

When the accusations came to light in April, the BBC’s director general Tim Davie said the corporation had no evidence of complaints. However, six have now been publicised and the BBC has said that an internal investigation will be undertaken.

This latest complaint, which dates back to the early 2010s, is understood not to be about sexual abuse. Instead, the whistleblower - who has remained anonymous - raised multiple concerns, including that of bullying, to BBC executives.

An email written by the complainant, that has been partly republished by the Guardian, read: “I have already had a conversation with you about the ongoing difficulties we’re having with Tim’s staffing/duty of care. We’re in a real pickle now as essentially, there’s no one who wants to work on that show.”

One executive replied to say they would “work out what next steps might be needed” but acknowledged the need to “balance our needs to look after the staff with our need to produce some difficult talent”. Another senior executive wrote back to tell the complainant to be “really careful about saying the words ‘duty of care’”.

The DJ, who is credited for championing hip-hop and helping the genre find a wider market in the UK, left Radio 1 in 2013 to work for Capital Xtra - from which he stepped back in April due to the allegations.

The Metropolitan Police is investigating claims Mr Westwood had sex with 14-year-old girl.

The force has said: "The Met takes allegations of sexual offences extremely seriously and we are carrying out enquiries to establish further details."

A BBC spokesperson said: “We are taking this incredibly seriously and want to understand what happened with regard to the BBC. At the beginning of the month we confirmed we had received a number of complaints relating to allegations of bullying and sexual harassment. As we have set out we are fully committed to investigating them and when that work has concluded we will publish findings.”

Mr Westwood has been approached for comment.

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