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Ex-BBC presenters close ranks around Huw Edwards 

Emily Maitlis (photo: News Agents)

In the days since the Huw Edwards scandal broke, the television broadcaster’s wife has been praised for a dignified statement citing her husband’s mental health struggle – with the presenter currently in hospital. Meanwhile, the police finding of no evidence of criminal behaviour means that the BBC is allowed to resume its original investigation. Some staff are taking matters into their own hands – with reports that some journalists at the corporation were looking into the alleged behaviour of Edwards before the Sun story broke. 

There is one group particularly unimpressed at the news: former BBC staff. Mr S has been curious to note that the ex-BBC presenters and correspondents that feature on Global’s ‘News Agents’ podcast – made up of Emily Maitlis, Jon Sopel and Lewis Goodall – have almost taken on a campaigning role since Edwards has been named.

Maitlis, of Prince Andrew interview fame, has argued that it is in fact the BBC that has been ‘distasteful’ during the saga. On an episode of the podcast, she appeared to criticise Newsnight and the BBC employees that spoke to the programme about their concerns about Edwards, saying ‘if you know this stuff about a colleague, why isn’t your first duty to then go to HR or a senior manager… rather than turning it into a news story?’ One wonders if Maitlis has always believed that whistleblowers should avoid speaking to the press… 

Meanwhile, her co-host Jon Sopel was as keen to make his distaste for his former employers (but not his former colleague) all too clear. In a tweet he wrote, ‘a BBC news presenter using BBC resources to investigate another BBC news presenter. Does it get any weirder or madder?’ The former North America editor later added that ‘there’s been no illegality, there’s been no abuse of power, as far as I can see.

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Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to or message @MrSteerpike

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