Martin Bashir inquiry must be widened after further allegations of his conduct at the BBC emerge –

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In 2005 he was poached by the US network, ABC, to co-anchor its current affairs show, and in 2010 he joined the rival network MSNBC as a political commentator. 

But in 2013 he was forced to resign after making controversial comments about the former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

He returned to the BBC in 2016 as the network’s Religious Affairs Editor.

Questions over his conduct during negotiations to land the Diana, Princess of Wales interview, reemerged last month when her brother, Earl Spencer claimed he had been duped into providing an introduction.

He has said he would never have helped Mr Bashir had he not been shown forged bank statements, purporting to show that several royal courtiers were in the pay of the security services. 

The Earl has questioned the scope of Lord Dyson’s inquiry, saying: “I’m not at all satisfied with the parameters they’ve set around their inquiry into the BBC Panorama 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.”

Ms Fairweather said the inquiry should go even further and look closely at what the Corporation knew about previous allegations surrounding Mr Bashir’s conduct and why he was re-hired in 2016.

Mr Bashir is currently signed off sick as he recovers from heart bypass surgery and also complications from Covid-19 and is unable to comment

A BBC spokesperson said: “It is a fully independent investigation with a suitably wide remit. The notion that it doesn’t cover the BBC’s investigations at the time is incorrect as this is explicitly part of the remit. Clearly, if anyone submits new evidence – or the investigation needs to go to particular places – then Lord Dyson will be able to consider that appropriately.”


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