The BBC has suspended “a male member of staff” following allegations of sexual misconduct.
UK tabloid The Sun first reported Friday that a woman had accused an unnamed male BBC presenter of paying her teen child for sexually explicit photographs.
“This is a complex and fast moving set of circumstances and the BBC is working as quickly as possible to establish the facts in order to properly inform appropriate next steps,” a BBC spokesperson said in a statement to CNN on Sunday, adding that it is important that these matters are handled “fairly and with care.”
The BBC said in the statement that it first became aware of a complaint in May.
“New allegations were put to us on Thursday of a different nature and in addition to our own enquiries we have also been in touch with external authorities, in line with our protocols,” it said.
“We have been clear that if – at any point – new information comes to light or is provided to us, this will be acted upon appropriately and actively followed up,” it added.
The broadcaster said that it would provide a further update in the coming days as the process continues. It has not confirmed the identity of the presenter in question or their current status at the organization.
The Sun report has led to several BBC presenters releasing public statements on Twitter denying that they were the subject of the article.
‘Deeply concerning’ allegations
In a statement sent to CNN earlier on Sunday, a spokesperson for the United Kingdom’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) stressed the need for the department to be “kept informed” of the progress of the investigation in light of the BBC’s status as a public service broadcaster in receipt of public funding.
“These allegations are deeply concerning,” DCMS said in the statement.
The UK culture secretary, Lucy Frazer, also responded to the report Sunday, saying she has been assured by the head of the BBC that the broadcaster is investigating the allegations.
Frazer spoke to BBC Director-General Tim Davie on Sunday. In a tweet posted after the conversation, Frazer said Davie had “assured me the BBC are investigating swiftly and sensitively.”
“Given the nature of the allegations it is important that the BBC is now given the space to conduct its investigation, establish the facts and take appropriate action. I will be kept updated,” Frazer continued.