BBC savaged over ‘we know best’ attitude amid Princess Diana Martin Bashir interview row

Tory MP Andrew Griffith calls for ‘a change in culture’ at BBC

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BBC bosses have been warned by Conservative MP Andrew Griffith that the broadcaster needs to stop “looking down their noses” at TV license fee payers. The remarks come after Lord Dyson’s report into Martin Bashir’s 1995 interview with Princess Diana slammed the corporation leading to a “full and unconditional” apology being issued by the BBC. Lord Dyson ruled that Mr Bashir had used forged bank faked bank statements to gain access to the Princess of Wales through her brother Earl Spencer.

Mr Griffith told Julia Hartley-Brewers show on TalkRADIO: “A key thing I think is a change in the culture.

“This at heart was a cultural failing where there were a number of people who tried to raise the alarm and rather step into that the BBC actually used its resourced to denigrate those and push that away.

“So that is the key change we need to see and within that, we need a BBC that loves its licence fee payers.”

He added: “I think a lot of us intuitively think that there are some not all within the BBC that actually look down their nose on the values that are held by their licence fee payers.”

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It came as the former Labour MP Tom Watson warned the BBC corporation has “left itself open to further criticism.”

Mr Waton told LBC: “If you look at the tabloid newspapers, particularly the Murdoch press, historically almost ideologically opposed the BBC because it is a public service broadcaster.

“So if the very least this scandal has done it has left itself open to further criticism from its critics and its dare I say, enemies.

“I think ministers, MPs on the appropriate select committees would probably want to hear from the BBC management that it is cleaning up its act.

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“That it can give guarantees that you will never let reporting like this happen again.”

Mr Watson continued: “I am sure Tim Davies indicated there is a review of how they do their editorial sort of safeguarding.

“And I think it is for the BBC leadership to prove to politicians that they are going to put safeguards in place.”

Meanwhile, Prince William issued an extraordinary statement in response to the findings of Lord Dyson’s inquiry last week

William said: “It is my view that the deceitful way the interview was obtained substantially influenced what my mother said.

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“The interview was a major contribution to making my parents’ relationship worse and has since hurt countless others.”

The Prince added: “It brings indescribable sadness to know that the BBC’s failures contributed significantly to her fear, paranoia and isolation that I remember from those final years with her.

“But what saddens me most, is that if the BBC had properly investigated the complaints and concerns first raised in 1995, my mother would have known that she had been deceived.

“She was failed not just by a rogue reporter, but by leaders at the BBC who looked the other way rather than asking the tough questions.”

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