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No blame for BBC bosses who rehired controversial Princess Diana reporter Martin Bashir despite him being “deceitful”

Martin Bashir

An investigation into Martin Bashir being rehired by the BBC despite his past has cleared those involved in his recruitment.

However, the internal inquiry did find there were some “shortcomings” in the hiring process.

The inquiry was launched after Bashir was found to be “deceitful” during the making of the controversial Panorama programme about Princess Diana.


Bashir admitted he faked documents to help secure the Princess’ co-operation with the award-winning 1995 interview.

Years later Bashir was appointed as the BBC’s Religion Editor.

An investigation, led by BBC executive Ken MacQuarrie, found that none of those involved in rehiring Bashir had knowledge of the deceitful methods.

Mr MacQuarrie said:

“I have found no evidence that Martin Bashir was rehired to contain and/or cover up the events surrounding the 1995 Panorama programme.

“In my view, that theory is entirely unfounded.

“None of the individuals involved in the recruitment of Martin Bashir had knowledge of all of the matters contained in the Dyson report.

“I have no doubt that if any of the individuals … had been aware of what is now publicly known … Martin Bashir would never have been reappointed at the BBC.”

Last month an excoriating independent inquiry judgement by Judge John Dyson found Bashir had engaged in “deceitful behaviour” to secure his interview.

The former Supreme Court judge also said an internal inquiry into the allegations was “woefully ineffective”.

He said the BBC was aware Bashir was telling “serious and unexplained lies”.

The new BBC Director General Tim Davie said there was “no doubt” that rehiring Bashir years after the Diana interview had been a “big mistake”.

And James Harding, who was director of BBC News when Bashir was rehired, said he was not aware the journalist had forged bank statements.

Harding, said that if he had known “he wouldn’t have got the job”.

Bashir has since resigned from the BBC citing ill health.




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