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The broadcasting corporation has commissioned an independent investigation allegations claims made in an ITV documentary that journalist Martin Bashir used forged bank statements to secure the interview. Aired on BBC’s Panorama programme in 1995, the interview involved revelations from Diana about her troubled marriage to Prince Charles.
Now, an official spokesman for Mr Johnson has said the Prime Minister is backing calls for an investigation into the BBC.
The spokesman said: “As a public service broadcaster we expect BBC journalists to adhere to high standards.
“The director general has set out that there needs to be an investigation into this and the Prime Minister thinks that’s the right course of action.”
The scandal has made headlines recently following an ITV interview with graphic designer Matt Weissler, who claimed he was approached by Mr Bashir, a BBC reporter, to produce fake bank statements.
Mr Weissler told ITV: “I got a phone call from Martin Bashir and he wanted me to do a favour for him.
“Martin asked me to make up a couple of bank statements that he needed the following day.”
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The Daily Mail claims the statements were used to persuade Earl Spencer, brother of Princess Diana, to introduce Mr Bashir to the Princess.
It adds the statements purported to show Earl Spencer’s head of security had been sent money from media outlets.
Former BBC chairman Michael Grade has called the allegations “a very, very serious matter”.
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The broadcaster’s current director general Tim Davie said this week the corporation was “taking this very seriously and we want to get to the truth.”
He added: “We are in the process of commissioning a robust and independent investigation.”
Lord Hall, ex-director general of the BBC, launched an internal probe into the matter in 1996 when he was then head of news.
It concluded “there had been no question of Mr Bashir trying to mislead or do anything improper,” The Telegraph reports.
Meanwhile, Ear Spencer has also demanded an independent inquiry into the matter.
Earl Spencer said: “The BBC has shown itself incapable of honestly facing up to the ugly truth of this matter.”
He also claimed he was “deliberately excluded” from the BBC’s previous enquiry into the matter which he “wasn’t even aware was being conducted”.
The BBC has said Mr Bashir is currently recovering from heart surgery and has been “signed off work by his doctors”.
As such he hasn’t made any public comment in response to the allegations.
According to reports, the infamous Panorama interview was watched by 23 million people when it aired.
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