BBC explicit pictures scandal presenter could be named in House of Commons

Piers Morgan claims ‘we know’ who BBC presenter concerned is

The BBC presenter embroiled in allegations that he paid a teenager thousands of pounds for explicit photographs could be named in the House of Commons, an unnamed former Government minister has claimed.

Meanwhile, while not directly threatening to reveal his identify, Nadine Dorries – who remains an MP despite last month announcing plans to resign – called for the identity of the individual in question to be revealed, declaring: “There’s no place to hide.”

A male member of BBC staff has been suspended after The Sun newspaper reported allegations that around £35,000 were paid over three years for explicit images of the teenager, starting when they were aged 17.

The controversy rumbled on last night, with the young person at the centre of the BBC controversy insisting nothing inappropriate or unlawful happened with the unnamed presenter and the allegations are “rubbish”, according to their lawyer in a letter to the broadcaster.

However, the mother and stepfather of the young person involved stood by their allegation, questioning how their child could afford the lawyer, the newspaper subsequently reported.

An ex-minister told MailOnline: “There is a discussion going on about whether to name this individual.

“Parliamentary privilege has been used before to identify people who have tried to use injunctions to keep their names out of the Press.

They added: “The circumstances here are slightly different, but the issues are the same – do we have free speech in this country, or do we just accept a creeping privacy law made by judges, which parliament has never approved?”

READ MORE: Met launches new ‘malicious communications’ probe after top BBC stars accused

On Saturday Ms Dorries, also a former minister, tweeted: “No place to hide for broadcasters who attempt to cover up this sort of behaviour. Lives are ruined, that’s what matters not damage limitation and brand protection.

“The public pay for the BBC, they have a right to know who this is, what happened and action taken.”

Also on Saturday, Priti Patel, the former Home Secretary and MP for Witham, tweeted: “The response from the BBC has been derisory.

“They must provide the victim and his family a full and transparent investigation. The BBC which is funded by licence fee payers has become a faceless and unaccountable organisation.”

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Don’t miss…
Prince Harry and Meghan ‘to become power couple to save the Sussex brand'[CLAIM]
BBC’s own reporter admits corporation in ‘crisis’ over explicit pictures claims[LATEST]
BBC presenter’s panicked call to teen he paid for pictures[INSIGHT]

Should she or another MP choose to name the presenter in question, they could do so without fear of legal action, in accordance with a convention known as Parliamentary privilege, whereby elected officials are granted protection against civil or criminal liability for statements made in the course of their legislative duties.

Speaking yesterday, Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary Alex Chalk said a proper investigation was needed before any decision over naming the presenter was taken.

He told Sky News: “This is quite a difficult, nuanced legal issue. I’m not going to criticise them at this stage because it will depend on all sorts of things.

“So, for example, if an allegation were made against you and it was of an extremely serious nature, then I don’t think it would necessarily be appropriate to name you immediately until there had been a full investigation.

“And that is why, if I may say so, it is really important that time is of the essence because there is a public interest in this, I accept that.

“But equally there is a public interest in ensuring that people aren’t defamed as well.”

In a letter reported by BBC News At Six, the young person said via a lawyer: “For the avoidance of doubt, nothing inappropriate or unlawful has taken place between our client and the BBC personality and the allegations reported in The Sun newspaper are ‘rubbish’.”

The legal representative also said the young person told The Sun on Friday evening before the newspaper published the story that there was “no truth to it”, the BBC reported.

A spokesman for The Sun said: “We have reported a story about two very concerned parents who made a complaint to the BBC about the behaviour of a presenter and the welfare of their child. Their complaint was not acted upon by the BBC.

“We have seen evidence that supports their concerns. It’s now for the BBC to properly investigate.”

The newspaper reported the mother as saying: “It is sad but we stand by our account and we hope they get the help they need.

“We did this to help – and the presenter has got into their head. How did they afford a lawyer?”

The Sun said the stepfather spoke to the BBC for an hour and the newspaper has seen emails sent to the corporation detailing alleged bank statements made by the presenter.

Director-general Tim Davie is due to face the media today for a scheduled briefing following the release of the corporation’s annual report, although the controversy will undoubtedly dominate the agenda.

Source: Read Full Article