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BBC forced into urgent inquiry over Russell Brand


The BBC is urgently investigating allegations that complaints made against Russell Brand during his time at the broadcaster were ignored.

The Corporation has been urged to “come clean” about what it knew about the comedian’s alleged wrongdoing and executives will be hauled before MPs to answer questions.

BBC bosses on Sunday ordered a comprehensive review to establish what was known about Brand’s alleged actions as they came under scrutiny following claims that at least one senior executive was aware of the complaints but hid them. Under the carpet.

Channel 4, where Brand worked for several years, also launched an internal investigation to establish how complaints were handled and removed all of its content from its popular streaming platform.

Meanwhile, Scotland Yard said detectives were keen to speak to any victims of sexual abuse and urged them to get in touch.

Brand faces serious allegations of rape, sexual abuse, coercive control and assault by women in the UK and US between 2006 and 2013, when he was at the peak of his fame. She has vehemently denied all allegations.

As well as a series of criminal charges, Brand also faces accusations of subjecting fellow BBC staff to lewd and humiliating behaviour. It has been suggested that complaints were made to a senior member of BBC staff, but no action was taken.

Questions for the CEO

The claims have raised serious questions for BBC director general Tim Davie, who was director of audio and music when Brand was forced to resign from Radio 2.

A BBC spokesperson said: “The documentary and associated reports contained serious allegations spanning several years. “Russell Brand worked on BBC radio programs between 2006 and 2008 and we are urgently investigating the issues raised.”

Caroline Nokes, Conservative chair of the women and equalities committee, said there were urgent issues that needed to be addressed.

She said: “The BBC, Channel 4 and other companies that have hired Russell Brand must come clean about what they knew and when, as celebrity and the ‘value’ of a channel cannot be used to cover up abuse.”

There was no sign of Brand or his wife at their riverside home in Henley Upon Thames on Sunday, the day after their performance on stage at a theater in Wembley.

The Metropolitan Police said it had not received any formal complaints at this stage, but confirmed that detectives would contact journalists who had worked on the story to ensure the alleged victims knew they would be heard.

A Scotland Yard spokesperson said: “We are aware that a number of sexual assault allegations have been reported in the media. At this time, we have not received any reports regarding this. If anyone believes they have been a victim of sexual assault, no matter how much time has passed, we recommend that they contact the police.

“We spoke to the Sunday Times on Saturday 16 September. “We will be moving closer to the Sunday Times and Channel 4 to ensure crime victims they have spoken to know how they can report any criminal allegations to the police.”

‘Do the right thing’

On Sunday, James Cleverly, the Foreign Secretary, suggested there were wider questions for the entertainment industry to answer and that opportunities had been missed to “do the right thing”.

While he did not comment specifically on the allegations, he told BBC One’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg programme: “I think there are some real challenges where there are very, very stark power differences, whether in the entertainment industry or in the politics and we also see it in the commercial world.

“I think we need to be especially careful when we listen to the voices of people who are relatively powerless because, I think, collectively we have missed opportunities to do the right thing and intervene much, much sooner, and we have to be better at this.”

Inside sources told The Sunday Times that complaints about Brand’s behavior at the BBC were made to Lesley Douglas, the then controller of Radio 2, but nothing was done.

Lawyers for Ms Douglas, who was forced to quit her job in 2008 when Brand and Jonathan Ross made a lewd prank call to Fawlty Towers actor Andrew Sachs, denied she had “failed to take appropriate action.” within its power” to address complaints. . Brand also resigned over the scandal.

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