Martin Bashir investigation finds no evidence he was re-hired to cover up Diana deceit

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An inquiry into the fact Martin Bashir was rehired by the BBC has found no evidence that it was a ploy to cover up the controversy of his interview with Princess Diana.

Bashir's now infamous 1995 chat with the People's Princess has come under fire recently.

A huge investigation into it by Lord Dyson, the former master of the rolls and head of civil justice, found that Bashir used deceitful measures to secure the Panorama chat with Diana.

A report into the interview concluded that Bashir acted inappropriately and in serious breach of BBC guidelines.

It read: "I have also concluded that, without justification, the BBC covered up in its press logs such facts as it had been able to establish about how Mr Bashir secured the interview and failed to mention the issue at all on any news programme and thereby fell short of the high standards of integrity and transparency which are its hallmark."

Bashir's interview with Diana has come under fire recently

Bashir had commissioned fake bank statements and used "deceitful behaviour" in a "serious breach" of the BBC’s producer guidelines.

Bashir rejoined the BBC in 2016 as a religious affairs correspondent, after quitting in 1999, with the corporation's head of newsgathering Jonathan Munro saying at the time he was attracted to Bashir's "track record in enterprising journalism".

But following Lord Dyson's report on the Diana interview, questions were raised about the real reason he was rehired by the BBC.

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An inquiry by the BBC has now found no evidence that Bashir was rehired to cover up the circumstances surrounding his Diana interview.

The report said that Bashir "would have never been reappointed" if the people involved in hiring him had known what he did to secure the interview.

Bashir, who recently quit the BBC for a second time due to health reasons, responded to Lord Dyson's findings in a statement.

The infamous interview took place in 1995
(Image: PA)

He said: "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. Evidence handed to the inquiry in her own handwriting (and published alongside the report today) unequivocally confirms this, and other compelling evidence presented to Lord Dyson reinforces it.

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"In fact, despite his other findings, Lord Dyson himself in any event accepts that the princess would probably have agreed to be interviewed without what he describes as my 'intervention'.

"It is saddening that this single issue has been allowed to overshadow the princess' brave decision to tell her story, to courageously talk through the difficulties she faced, and, to help address the silence and stigma that surrounded mental health issues all those years ago. She led the way in addressing so many of these issues and that's why I will always remain immensely proud of that interview."

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