Princess Diana BBC inquiry sparks anger from Earl Spencer as he demands it go further – Express

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Earl Spencer has called for the independent probe into the BBC’s Panorama interview with his sister to be allowed to “examine every aspect” around the controversial programme, which was broadcast in 1995. He added he had told the BBC he was unhappy with the parameters of the inquiry, which is being led by Lord Dyson. The inquiry is seeking to discover what steps both the broadcaster and journalist Martin Bashir took to land the historic interview.

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He tweeted: “As I’ve told the BBC this evening, 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.”

He has previously claimed he was shown “false bank statements” by interviewer Mr Bashir ahead of Diana’s interview with Panorama.

They were allegedly used to help the reporter get access to the princess.

Earl Spencer has demanded the BBC investigation go further

Earl Spencer has demanded the BBC investigation go further (Image: GETTY)

The investigation will look at whether the BBC and Mr Bashir acted appropriately in their steps to influence Diana’s decision to give an interview.

The BBC added it will also examine how much the corporation knew in 1995 and 1996 of “mocked up bank statements purporting to show payments to a former employee of Earl Spencer (and) the purported payments to members of the Royal Households”.

Ofcom said yesterday that it will not launch its own investigation into the BBC Panorama controversy, but will follow the independent inquiry “closely”.

Diana’s son the Duke of Cambridge has previously welcomed the investigation, saying it “should help establish the truth behind the actions” that led to the programme.

READ MORE: Sarah Ferguson’s in-joke with Princess Diana about The Great Escape

Princess Diana gave the historic interview in 1995

Princess Diana gave the historic interview in 1995 (Image: PA)

A statement from Kensington Palace said: “The independent investigation is a step in the right direction.

“It should help establish the truth behind the actions that led to the Panorama interview and subsequent decisions taken by those in the BBC at the time.”

Earl Spencer had called for the independent inquiry earlier this month after claiming “sheer dishonesty” was used to secure the interview.

In a letter to the BBC’s director general Tim Davie, he said Mr Bashir used forged bank statements that falsely purported to show that two senior courtiers were being paid by the security services for information on his sister.

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Princess Diana tragically died in a car crash in 1997

Princess Diana tragically died in a car crash in 1997 (Image: PA)

The Daily Mail reported that Earl Spencer wrote in the letter: “If it were not for me seeing these statements, I would not have introduced Bashir to my sister.”

The BBC’s director general, Tim Davie, said the BBC is “determined to get to the truth”.

Mr Davie said: “The BBC is determined to get to the truth about these events and that is why we have commissioned an independent investigation.

“Lord Dyson is an eminent and highly respected figure who will lead a thorough process.”

Princess Diana and Prince Charles married in 1981

Princess Diana and Prince Charles married in 1981 (Image: EXPRESS)

Earl Spencer also called for a posthumous apology to his sister, along with a donation to charities set up in her memory.

The BBC also recently found a handwritten note by Diana claiming that false bank statements were not part of her decision to give an interview.

The broadcaster added the investigation would start straight away.

It added it was handing over “all of its relevant records”.

Prince William is said to have welcomed the inquiry into the interview

Prince William is said to have welcomed the inquiry into the interview (Image: PA)

The interview was watched by a huge audience of 23 million people, as the princess spoke about the breakdown of her marriage to Prince Charles.

She famously admitted “there were three of us in this marriage” while talking about her the Prince of Wales’ relationship with Camilla Parker-Bowles, before saying she had doubts over Prince Charles’s suitability to be king.

The Princess was separated from Prince Charles when she gave the interview and later died on August 31, 1997, in a car crash in Paris.

Mr Bashir, who is currently BBC News religion editor, has been unable to comment on Earl Spencer’s allegations as he is recovering complications from coronavirus.

 

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