Tim Westwood: BBC spends £3m on investigation

More than £3 million has been spent so far by the BBC on a report about the alleged misconduct of one of its former DJs.

The external review is to examine the BBC’s knowledge of, and response to, complaints, allegations and concerns about the misconduct of the former Radio 1 and 1Xtra DJ Tim Westwood.

A freedom of information request by BBC News revealed that the BBC has spent more than £3.1m on the review.

Mr Westwood has denied claims of misconduct, commenting: “It’s all false allegations.”

Several women have accused the presenter of predatory and unwanted sexual behaviour and touching, in incidents between 1992 and 2017, after a joint investigation by the BBC and the Guardian.

It was initially believed the review, launched in August 2022, would take around six months but a report is yet to be published.

Led by Gemma White KC, it was commissioned by the BBC to examine the near 20-year employment of Mr Westwood with the broadcaster.

The women also accused him of abusing his position in the music industry. Some of them said they encountered Mr Westwood when they were under 18. One said she was only 14 when he first had sex with her.

In a video that appeared on social media last year, the DJ was asked whether the allegations were true.

He replied: “It’s all false allegations. It’s all false allegations. I’ve never done that, period. They’re all false allegations. I will prove that as soon as I get my opportunity and trust me, I am ready.”

The costs of the review include invoices received but not yet paid by the BBC and those incurred by the review itself as well as BBC review-related costs.

A call for evidence was published by Ms White in October 2022.

In November 2022, it was announced that a safeguarding professional, Jahnine Davis, with expertise in violence against women and girls, was joining the review team.

A 24/7 confidential hotline was launched for a number of weeks in April 2023.

“I expect to report to the BBC in late June or early July 2023,” Ms White had said in a statement announcing the phoneline.

Ms White intimated the additional time for publication of the review was “necessary for a thorough review of documents and information”.

People who held key roles within the BBC are part of the “significant number of people” who have been interviewed and more than 50,000 BBC documents were requested for review by the investigation team.

Both oral and written evidence has been submitted by people who responded to the calls to come forward.

BBC News understands historical text messages sent to BBC Radio 1 are also being looked at as part of the review.

Participants have told BBC News, before Christmas last year, they had been sent sections where they are mentioned to examine and were led to believe that the report would “be published imminently”.

In a statement, the BBC said: “This is an extremely important ongoing process, led by an independent reviewer.

“As we have said from the beginning, it is essential we fully understand what was known about concerns regarding Tim Westwood’s conduct during his time with the BBC and this remains the priority.”

It is believed Mr Westwood has been interviewed under caution by the Metropolitan Police four times since the broadcast of the investigation.

In a statement, police said the offences are alleged to have happened between 1982 and 2016.

Detectives said they interviewed a 66-year-old man under caution last year. There has been no arrest.

In April 2022, Mr Westwood stepped down from his Capital Xtra show.

The 66-year-old has continued to play in gigs up and down the country, despite some campaigners calling for nightclubs not to host him since the allegations emerged.

The Mail Online reported that he had moved to Lagos, Nigeria for the first half of this year.

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