BBC faces further questions about how Martin Bashir was allowed to re-join the corporation four years ago

·2-min read
 (PA)
(PA)

The BBC faced further questions today about how Martin Bashir was allowed to re-join the corporation as Religious Affairs Correspondent four years ago.

Thursday’s report by Lord Dyson found Bashir had been in “serious breach” of their guidelines when he faked bank statements and showed them to Diana’s brother Earl Spencer to gain access to the princess for the landmark 1995 interview.

That interview, where she famously said there were “three of us” in her marriage, made Bashir’s name and he went to work on American TV for years before returning to the UK.

His appointment to the role in 2016 was queried at the time as he had little previous experience reporting on religious affairs, having made his name with headline grabbing interviews about the Stephen Lawrence case and with Michael Jackson.

He had also been investigated by an internal BBC enquiry when doubts first surfaced about the Diana interview.

But his appointment was welcomed by Head of Newsgathering Jonathan Munro who said his “track record in enterprising journalism is well known and respected in the industry and amongst our audiences”.

Corporation insiders worry that the backlash against the BBC, which has included heartfelt statements from both Prince William and Prince Harry, could see senior figures forced to resign and changes imposed by the Government on how it is run.

Lord Hall, who was then Director-General, has since left the BBC but others more directly involved in recruitment of journalists are still there.

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland said ministers would be looking into whether there were BBC governance issues outside of the remit of Lord Dyson’s reports that needed reviewing.

Mr Buckland told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “My colleague the Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, has rightly said that we should look at the governance structures of the BBC.

“They have apologised, which is appropriate, but clearly the wider issues of governance and the way things are run now need to be looked at.”

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