Former BBC reporter Martin Bashir “deceived and induced” Princess Diana’s brother in order to obtain a bombshell Panorama interview with her, a new report has found.
By producing fake bank statements, Bashir made a “serious breach” of BBC guidelines on straight dealing.
BBC director general Tim Davie has made a “full and unconditional” apology over the finding in the Lord Dyson report released this afternoon.
The report was set up to explore how the BBC and journalist Bashir landed an explosive Panorama interview with Princess Diana in 1995 – during which she sensationally claimed there were “three of us” in her marriage to Prince Charles.
Bashir said in a statement after the report’s findings were released on Thursday: “This is the second time that I have willingly fully co-operated with an investigation into events more than 25 years ago. I apologised then, and I do so again now, over the fact that I asked for bank statements to be mocked up. It was a stupid thing to do and was an action I deeply regret. But I absolutely stand by the evidence I gave a quarter of a century ago, and again more recently.
“I also reiterate that the bank statements had no bearing whatsoever on the personal choice by Princess Diana to take part in the interview.”
Bashir stepped down as the BBC’s religion editor last Friday due to ongoing health issues.