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The interview with Diana, Princess of Wales on Panorama is once again making headlines following the publication of Lord Dyson’s investigation.
Here are the key findings from the report.
– Martin Bashir breached BBC rules by mocking up fake bank statements and showing them to Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, to gain access to the princess.
– The documents falsely suggested individuals were being paid for keeping the princess under surveillance.
– He acted to deceive Earl Spencer and encourage him to arrange for Bashir to meet Diana.
– Bashir was therefore able to persuade her to agree to give the interview.
– During a meeting in August 1995 Bashir told Earl Spencer he was a target of the tabloids and that his household contained informants who were selling private information about him to that end of the media.
– Lord Dyson said Bashir had engaged in “deceitful behaviour” in a “serious breach” of the BBC’s producer guidelines.
– A letter, which was included as evidence in the report, written on official Kensington Palace stationery and signed by Diana says she consented to the interview “without any undue pressure and have no regrets concerning the matter”.
– The BBC subsequently “fell short of the high standards of integrity and transparency which are its hallmark” in its internal investigation in 1996.
– Lord Dyson described the investigation as “flawed and woefully ineffective”.
– Lord Tony Hall, who was director of BBC news and current affairs when the Diana interview was screened, has apologised, saying it “fell well short of what was required”.
– Steve Hewlett, who edited the Panorama interview, reassured Earl Spencer at the time of the interview that “Martin is one of my very best”.
– However, Hewlett’s widow Rachel Crellin offered Lord Dyson’s inquiry “a detailed and strong response” to accusations that he was aware or involved in Bashir’s behaviour.
– Lord Dyson did not investigate why Bashir was rehired by the BBC in 2016 because he did not consider it “sufficiently closely related” to his terms of reference.