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BBC sex photo claims are 'rubbish', young person's lawyer tells broadcaster

Security guards patrol outside BBC Broadcasting House in central London on July 9, 2023 (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS / AFP)
Security guards on duty outside the BBC's Broadcasting House in London on 9 July 2023. Photo: AFP

Allegations that an unnamed BBC presenter paid a young person to pose for explicit photos are "rubbish", a lawyer acting for the young person has told the broadcaster in a letter.

UK media has been gripped in recent days by a report in the Sun newspaper that cited the young person's mother as saying the presenter paid the now 20-year-old £35,000 ($NZ72,000) for photos over three years beginning when they were 17.

The presenter, who has not been named by the BBC or the Sun newspaper, was suspended on Sunday following the claims.

The BBC reported on Monday, however, that a lawyer for the young person had written to the broadcaster stating that the allegation was "rubbish".

The lawyer said the young person sent a denial to the Sun newspaper on Friday evening, when it first published the allegation, saying there was "no truth" to it, the BBC said.

A spokesperson for Rupert Murdoch's Sun tabloid said in response to the BBC report: "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."

BBC News said it did not know the identity of the young person and had not spoken directly to them, nor had it seen the Sun's evidence.

Earlier on Monday British police said they were assessing information provided by the BBC about the claims, but there was no investigation into a crime at this stage.

The age of consent for sex in England is 16, but images of someone under 18 can be considered child pornography. London's Metropolitan Police said detectives from its specialist crime command held an online meeting with the BBC earlier on Monday.

"There is no investigation at this time," the police said.

- Reuters