Entertainment

A 24-hour hotline set up for people to report information about alleged sex offences by former BBC Radio 1 DJ Tim Westwood has produced a “significant amount of important new information”.

The confidential phone line is part of an independent inquiry into what the corporation knew about allegations of sexual misconduct against its ex-employee.

Barrister Gemma White KC, who was appointed by the BBC Board to lead the inquiry, said it had been set up in a bid to “expand the ways in which people can come forward” to report information.

An earlier internal review found that the corporation should have further explored a string of sexual assault allegations against the former hip hop DJ.

The line will close this Friday, with the inquiry expected to publish its findings in the summer.

Giving an update, Ms White said: “We would like to thank everyone who has contacted us via the review phone line.

“We know that taking the decision to call was not easy for many of you and that speaking to us has taken courage.

“Your evidence will assist me in my task of independently establishing whether the BBC knew of concerns and responded appropriately to them.

“If you have been thinking of contributing but have not been sure about whether to do so, please do get in touch now.”

Westwood was questioned twice this year, in March and April, over five alleged sex offences said to have taken place between 1982 and 2016.

The 65-year-old, who left the BBC in 2013, strongly denies the allegations. He stepped down from his show on Capital Xtra in April last year.

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In a statement last year, a representative of Westwood said: “Tim Westwood strongly denies all allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

“In a career that has spanned 40 years, there have never been any complaints made against him officially or unofficially.

“Tim Westwood strongly rejects all allegations of wrongdoing.”

The hotline – on 08000 121 838 – is open during working hours and on certain evenings until this Friday, and has a voicemail out of hours.

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