A FORMER editor of the Sun newspaper has said that the outlet “inflicted terror” on the BBC’s Huw Edwards despite “no evidence of any criminal offence”.

David Yelland, who edited the Sun from 1998 to early 2003, said the newspaper now faced a “crisis”.

“I wish @thehuwedwards well,” he wrote on Twitter. “The Sun inflicted terror on Huw despite no evidence of any criminal offence.

“This is no longer a BBC crisis, it is a crisis for the paper. Huw’s privacy must now be respected.

“Social media also needs speedy reform.”

Jon Sopel, the co-presenter of the News Agents podcast who was formerly a top political correspondent at the BBC, said that the case showed there were "a number of people in the tabloid press and dare I say it, in BBC news, who need to give themselves a good hard look in the mirror".

After his remarks on Good Morning Britain, Sopel added online: "I didn’t say any of this lightly, but have been struck by how many of my former BBC colleagues – some very senior – have been in touch to express their anger and dismay at their own coverage of this."

The comments from Yelland and Sopel come after Edwards was named as the BBC star at the centre of the scandal by his wife, Vicky Flind.

Naming the 61-year-old as the BBC presenter facing allegations over payments for sexually explicit images, Flind said the father-of-five is “suffering from serious mental health issues” and is now receiving treatment in hospital.

Edwards, one of the BBC’s most recognisable newsreaders, has been outspoken about his struggles with depression over decades, saying they have at times left him “bedridden”.

While the police have concluded their investigation and said no criminality was established, the BBC are continuing with “fact-finding investigations”.

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It comes after BBC Newsnight reported new claims from one current and one former BBC worker, who said they had received “inappropriate messages” from Edwards, “some late at night and signed off with kisses”.

Both said there was “a reluctance among junior staff to complain to managers about the conduct of high-profile colleagues in case it adversely affected their careers,” the programme alleged.

Following Edwards’s family’s statement, BBC director-general Tim Davie said in a note to staff it is “important” that the work on the internal investigation continues, adding: “I want to be clear that in doing so we will follow due process.”

Davie (below) also stressed that the corporation’s “immediate concern is our duty of care to all involved”.

The National: BBC Director-General Tim Davie

The Sun said it has no plans to publish further allegations and will co-operate with the BBC’s internal investigation process.

The paper has also insisted that it did not allege criminality in its early reporting of the case, despite claiming that a BBC star had paid a young person “more than £35,000 since they were 17 in return for sordid images”.

The Sun claimed other media had misinterpreted its story and led the police to get involved, saying in a statement: "We must also re-emphasise that the Sun at no point in our original story alleged criminality and also took the decision neither to name Mr Edwards nor the young person involved in the allegations.”

Edwards is the BBC’s highest-paid newsreader, with a pay bracket of £435,000–£439,999, putting him fourth on the top 10 list, the corporation’s annual report revealed on Tuesday.

The presenter was last seen on BBC One’s News At Ten on July 5 when he co-presented a special edition live from Edinburgh as the King was honoured in the Scottish capital.

Sources have made it clear to PA that Edwards has not resigned from the BBC.

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The statement from his wife, a TV producer who has worked on BBC’s This Week politics show and Robert Peston’s ITV programme, Peston, to PA said: “Huw is suffering from serious mental health issues.

“As is well documented, he has been treated for severe depression in recent years.

“The events of the last few days have greatly worsened matters, he has suffered another serious episode and is now receiving in-patient hospital care where he’ll stay for the foreseeable future.”

She said that once the presenter, who has worked for the BBC for four decades, is well enough, he “intends to respond to the stories that have been published” and added that her husband was first told there were allegations “being made against him last Thursday”.