Huw Edwards resigns from the BBC 'on the basis of medical advice'

Huw Edwards resigns from the BBC 'on the basis of medical advice'

Huw Edwards has resigned from the BBC on medical grounds, the corporation has announced.

The veteran newsreader has been off air since July, when The Sun newspaper alleged he had paid a young person for sexually explicit images.

Edwards’ wife later said her husband was receiving medical care for depression.

South Wales Police and the Metropolitan Police found no evidence of criminal conduct by Edwards.

The BBC said in a statement on Monday: “Huw Edwards has today resigned and left the BBC.

“After 40 years of service, Huw has explained that his decision was made on the basis of medical advice from his doctors. The BBC has accepted his resignation which it believes will allow all parties to move forward.

"We don’t believe it appropriate to comment further.”

The BBC has confirmed Edwards has not received a pay off.Edwards was a highly prominent figure at the BBC, anchoring its flagship nightly news programme News at Ten for 20 years and being trusted to handle some of the most major news stories of recent decades, including breaking the news of the Queen’s death.

He was the corporation’s highest-paid newsreader, with a pay bracket of £435,000 - £439,999 in the year 2022/2023, according to the BBC’s most recent annual report.

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

The father-of-five’s wife Vicky Flind eventually named him as the BBC presenter facing allegations over payments for sexually explicit images, 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 confirmed there was no evidence to indicate a criminal offence had been committed at the time, when the young person was 17 years old.

The BBC issued an apology to the family of the young person Edwards allegedly paid for explicit images, for not escalating their complaint, lodged in May 2022, quickly enough.

An independent report found a need for “greater consistency” in how complaints at the corporation are processed.

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

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 parents of the young person later said the scandal had “ripped their family apart”.

The young man’s mother said: “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.”

After Edwards was named as the presenter at the centre of the scandal, former BBC News North America editor Jon Sopel sent his best wishes to the broadcaster.

He tweeted: “This is an awful and shocking episode, where there was no criminality, but perhaps a complicated private life.

“That doesn’t feel very private now. I hope that will give some cause to reflect. They really need to.”

Edwards has in the past been open about his mental health struggles. He revealed in a documentary in 2021 he had had bouts of depression which have left him “bedridden” since 2002.