Prince William on Thursday launched an unprecedented attack on the BBC over its handling of claims related to the 1995 BBC Panorama interview with his deceased mother, after the BBC apologized part of the activity.
The prince, who is second in line to the throne, said Martin Bashir’s interview with Diana, Princess of Wales, exacerbated the relationship between her parents, who separated in 1992 and decided to divorce in 1996, after the interview aired.
The prince spoke after an interrogation found that Bashir lied to get a conversation with the princess in 1995, using deceptive methods that were later covered up by a “severely ineffective” internal investigation in the past. director-general of broadcaster Lord Tony Hall.
The prince said the deceptive way Bashir got the conversation “significantly influenced” what his mother said in the interview, in which she said the “marriage” of the marriage was due to the relationship of Prince Charles, her husband, with Camilla, now his wife.
“The interview has been a significant contribution to making more damage to my parents’ relationship and has since hurt others, ”Prince William said in a statement, which he also gave in broadcast form to ITV News, the main rival of the BBC.
the report in an interview with Lord John Dyson, a former UK Supreme Court judge, was published on Thursday and offers a difficult account of Bashir’s use of forged documents to get to the princess, before repeatedly lying to cover his tracks.
The prince said it brought him “indescribable sadness” to learn that the BBC’s failures “contributed greatly” to the “fear, paranoia and isolation” he remembered from his last years with him.
What saddens him the most, he continues, is that if the BBC investigates the complaints and concerns that first aroused in 1995 his mother, who died in August 1997, would know he had been deceived.
“He has failed not just with the average reporter, but with BBC leaders who look at it differently than asking tough questions,” he said. “It is my strong view that this Panorama program has no legitimacy and no longer needs to be aired. This misrepresentation has effectively been corrected, by more than a quarter of a hundred years, made commercial by the BBC and so on. ”
Even after a quarter of a hundred years, official questioning has tarnished the reputation of the UK’s national public service broadcaster and some of the oldest present and past executives.
Diana’s conversation with Bashir, was broadcast on the company’s main audit program Panorama, became one of the most popular scoops of the era. Along with this she said “we were three at this wedding, so it was a bit crowded”, a conversation about her husband Prince Charles ’relationship with the woman he would later marry, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.
Bashir, in agreement with the questioning, forged bank statements and showed them to Diana’s brother Charles, Earl Spencer, who convinced him to help Bashir get to him. Documents suggest that members of the royal household were paid to keep the princess safe.
Bashir, who left the corporation last week, said the drafting of the documents was an action I deeply regret ”but insisted it had no“ impact ”on Diana’s decision to participate.
Dyson’s findings were highly critical of Hall and his part in a 1996 internal review of Bashir’s conduct, which concluded that Bashir was an “honest and an honorable man”. Dyson said he did not challenge Bashir’s “serious and unexplained lies” that he neglected to cross-check his account with Spencer.
Hall oversaw news and current affairs during the internal audit, and continued to lead the BBC for seven years until his departure last year. He remains chairman of the National Gallery.
Dyson knew Hall “unreasonably concluded” that Bashir was honest. He also rejected the BBC’s claim that there was no concealment of wrongdoing in self -reporting and answers to questions from outside reporters.
“Without reason, the BBC falls short of high standards of integrity and transparency,” Dyson wrote.
Hall apologized on Thursday and said “in anticipation” there are more steps “we can and should have done”.
“I was wrong to give Martin Bashir the benefit of the doubt,” he added.
Lord John Birt, the BBC’s director-general at the time of the interview, said it was now clear that there was “a rogue reporter” in the Panorama, which “forms a detailed, detailed but completely erroneous account of his dealings with Earl Spencer and Diana, Princess of Wales”.
“This is a shocking blot of the BBC’s ongoing commitment to honest journalism; and it’s a matter of deep regret that it took 25 years for the growth of absolute truth,” he added.
Tim Davie, Hall’s successor as director-general, admitted that the BBC “fell short of what viewers had expected”
“The BBC should have made more effort to get to the bottom of what was happening at the time and be more clear about what it knew,” he said. “While the BBC may not turn the clock back after a quarter of a century, we can make a full and unconditional apology. The BBC is offering that today.”