Earls Spencer not happy with Princess Diana Panorama inquiry
Princess Diana’s brother Earl Spencer has said he is not happy with the scope of an inquiry into a BBC Panorama interview she gave in 1995.
He has previously alleged he was shown ‘false bank statements’ by interviewer Martin Bashir ahead of Diana’s interview, and they were used to help the reporter gain access to the princess.
The BBC has appointed Lord Dyson, a retired judge and former master of the rolls, to lead the investigation.
But on Friday Earl Spencer tweeted: ‘As I’ve told the BBC this evening, I’m not at all satisfied with the parameters they’ve set around their enquiry into the @BBCPanorama 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.’
The BBC has insisted that the investigation’s scope is big enough and is an independent process.
They said: ‘The review is fully independent and the terms are suitably broad and wide-ranging.
‘We hope that everyone will support Lord Dyson’s work in establishing the truth.’
The investigation will determine whether the BBC and Bashir acted unethically and to what extent their actions influenced Diana’s decision to speak up in the interview.
Part of this will be to look at how much the BBC knew of ‘mocked up bank statements purporting to show payments to a former employee of Early Spencer (and) the purported payments to members of the Royal Households’ in 1995, when Diana gave the interview, and 1996′.
The BBC recently said it had a written note from Diana saying that she had not seen false bank statements and that they played no part in her decision to speak to Bashir.
On Thursday, TV watchdog Ofcom said it will not launch its own investigation into the BBC Panorama controversy but will follow the independent inquiry ‘closely’.
Prince William has welcomed the investigation, saying it ‘should help establish the truth behind the actions’ that led to the programme.
The BBC said Bashir, who is now its religion editor, is currently signed off from work recovering from quadruple heart bypass surgery and with significant complications from having contracted Covid-19 earlier in the year.
The princess sent shockwaves through the monarchy with the interview, which included candid details about her marriage and the Prince of Wales’s rumoured relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles, his now wife.
It was this explosive interview that famously featured Diana saying: ‘Well, there were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.’ Diana also questioned Charles’s suitability as king.
A month later the Queen urged the separated couple to divorce, which they did in 1996. The princess died in 1997 in a car crash in Paris.
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more stories like this, check our news page.
Get your need-to-know
latest news, feel-good stories, analysis and more