Princess Diana’s brother said he is ‘not at all satisfied’ with the BBC’s inquiry into Martin Bashir’s Diana interview – after he accused the broadcaster of a ‘whitewash’ over faked bank statements.
Earl Spencer earlier accused the BBC of ‘sheer dishonesty’ for showing him falsified bank accounts ahead of the 1995 interview that sent shockwaves through the royal family.
These purporting to show – entirely wrongly – that two senior courtiers were being paid by the security services for information on his sister, in the hope it would win him an introduction to the princess.
He said had it not been for the bank statements, he would not have ‘introduced Bashir’ to the then-Princess of Wales.
Since then, the broadcaster has launched an investigation into the Diana interview with retired judge, Lord Dyson, former master of the rolls, to spearhead the probe.
But Earl Spencer said he is ‘not at all satisfied’ with the scope of the BBC inquiry, claiming that Lord Dyson should be able to examine ‘examine every aspect of this matter’.
He tweeted: ‘As I’ve told the BBC this evening, I’m not at all satisfied with the parameters they’ve set around their enquiry into the @BBCPanorama interview with Diana of 25 years ago tonight.
‘Lord Dyson must be free to examine every aspect of this matter, from 1995 to today, as he sees fit.’
The BBC has insisted that investigation has a sufficiently broad scope.
A spokesman for the corporation said: ‘The review is fully independent and the terms are suitably broad and wide-ranging.
‘We hope that everyone will support Lord Dyson’s work in establishing the truth.’
Charles Spencer previously alleged he was shown ‘false bank statements’ by Martin Bashir to help the reporter land the Panorama interview
He took to Twitter to say he was ‘not at all satisfied’ with the scope of the BBC inquiry into the interview
His comments come after it was revealed Prince William had been with contact with the BBC to ensure a top judge was hired to ‘establish the truth’ about the interview.
The broadcaster has appointed a retired judge, Lord Dyson, former master of the rolls, to lead an investigation into the Diana interview.
The investigation will consider if the steps taken by the BBC and Mr Bashir were appropriate and to what extent those actions influenced Princess Diana’s decision to give an interview.
It will also examine what knowledge the BBC had in 1995 and 1996 of ‘mocked up bank statements purporting to show payments to a former employee of Earl Spencer (and) the purported payments to members of the Royal Households’, the corporation said.
On Thursday, TV watchdog Ofcom said it will not launch its own investigation into the BBC Panorama controversy, but will follow the independent inquiry ‘closely’.
Following Lord Dyson’s appointment, the Duke of Cambridge called the move ‘a step in the right direction’.
The interview was watched by 23 million people and sent shockwaves through the Royal Family
The Princess of Wales, during her world exclusive Panorama interview with Martin Bashir for the BBC on November 20, 1995
He said: ‘The independent investigation is a step in the right direction. It should help establish the truth behind the actions that led to the Panorama interview and subsequent decisions taken by those in the BBC at the time.’
The interview, in which Diana admitted there were ‘three people’ in her marriage, was watched by 23 million people and sent shockwaves through the Royal Family.
Lord Dyson, 77, who stood as Master of the Rolls between 2012 and 2016, has said he will start his inquiry ‘straight away’ by interviewing corporation staff and having access to available records.
He also promised Mr Bashir a ‘thorough and fair’ investigation following sensational claims the journalist secured the Princess of Wales’s trust by faking two bank statements.
The BBC approved Lord Dyson’s appointment on Wednesday after new Director General Tim Davie ordered an independent inquiry into allegations Mr Bashir fed Diana a string of lies and smears to obtain his exclusive interview with her.
Lord Dyson will also probe how much BBC bosses knew at the time and whether there was a cover-up and said: ‘This is an important investigation which I will start straight away. I will ensure it is both thorough and fair’.
The five key areas the BBC inquiry into the Martin Bashir scandal will cover
Lord Dyson has been asked to investigate and report back on five key areas.
He will interview BBC staff and have access to all their records.
1. What steps did the BBC and in particular Martin Bashir take with a view to obtaining the Panorama interview on 20 November 1995 with Diana, Princess of Wales? This will involve a consideration of all the relevant evidence including (i) the mocked up bank statements purporting to show payments to a former employee of Earl Spencer (ii) the purported payments to members of the Royal Households; and (iii) the other matters recently raised by Earl Spencer not limited to the matters published in the Daily Mail on 7 November 2020.
2. Were those steps appropriate, having regard in particular to the BBC’s editorial standards prevailing at the time?
3. To what extent did the actions of the BBC and in particular Martin Bashir influence Diana, Princess of Wales’s decision to give an interview?
4. What knowledge did the BBC have in 1995 and 1996 of the relevant evidence referred to at paragraph 1 above?
5. Having regard to what was known at the time of its investigation in 1995 and 1996, how effectively did the BBC investigate the circumstances leading to the interview?