Prince William ‘didn’t hold back’ in ‘attack’ on BBC says expert
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Earlier this week, Lord Dyson’s investigation into Martin Bashir’s 1995 BBC Panorama interview was published. The probe threw up systematic failings on the part of the BBC who rehired Mr Bashir despite evidence he showed Diana forged bank documents.
While on a visit to Scotland today, the Duke of Cambridge was asked by a reporter whether he had seen Mr Bashir’s apology over the 1995 interview with his mother.
However, William did not respond to the question as he left the Grassmarket Community Project – which provides sanctuary and support for vulnerable people through community innovation and social enterprise.
Following the report, the journalist – who left the BBC last week citing ill health – spoke out about the findings which found he used “deceitful behaviour” to land the interview with the Princess of Wales.
Mr Bashir, whose reputation is in tatters, insisted Diana was not unhappy about the content of the interview.
He told the Sunday Times: “I never wanted to harm Diana in any way and I don’t believe we did.
“Everything we did in terms of the interview was as she wanted, from when she wanted to alert the palace, to when it was broadcast, to its contents…
My family and I loved her.”
Mr Bashir said he is “deeply sorry” to Prince William and Prince Harry.
But the journalist disputed the Duke of Cambridge’s charge that he fuelled Diana’s isolation and paranoia.
He said: “Even in the early 1990s, there were stories and secretly recorded phone calls. I wasn’t the source of any of that.”
Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, has said he “draws a line” between the interview and his sister’s death in a Paris car crash in 1997.
William responded to the report’s findings with an uncharacteristically passionate statement which lambasted the BBC.
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The video message was shared by Kensington Palace on Friday and in it, William said: “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.
“It is my firm view that this Panorama programme holds no legitimacy and should never be aired again.”
Prince Harry also welcomed the inquiry which found the former BBC journalist deceitfully obtained an interview with his mother Princess Diana.
Harry said the findings were the “first step towards justice” but warned of bad media practices still being around now.
He said: “Our mother was an incredible woman who dedicated her life to service.
“She was resilient, brave, and unquestionably honest.
“The ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices ultimately took her life.
“To those who have taken some form of accountability, thank you for owning it.
“That is the first step towards justice and truth.
“Yet what deeply concerns me is that practices like these – and even worse – are still widespread today.”
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