BBC cleared over investigation Bashir was re-hired to 'cover-up' Diana scandal

Martin Bashir was not re-hired by the BBC in 2016 to cover up events surrounding his 1995 interview with Princess Diana, a report has found.

Last month, an inquiry found Bashir used ‘deceitful’ methods to coerce the Princess of Wales into a tell-all interview in which she candidly discussed the troubles in her marriage to Prince Charles.

It was stated the presenter commissioned fake bank documents to lure in the royal.

Bashir left the BBC in 1999 but was reappointed as religion editor in 2016.

Ken MacQuarrie, who conducted the inquiry, concluded: ‘In my view, the recruitment process for the religious affairs correspondent was targeted at finding the right person for the role.

‘Although there were some shortcomings in the process by which he was re-employed, I am satisfied that he was ultimately appointed because his knowledge and experience were considered to be the best match to the requirements for the role at that time.

‘It said I have found no evidence that Martin Bashir was re-hired to contain and/or cover up the events surrounding the 1995 Panorama programme. In my view, that theory is entirely unfounded.

‘As regards the due diligence conducted on Martin Bashir, the actions of the individuals involved in the recruitment and re-grading of Martin Bashir can only properly be judged against the state of the BBC’s corporate understanding as it was in 2016 and not as it stands now in 2021.

‘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 involved in the appointment of Martin Bashir in 2016 had been aware of what is now publicly known as a result of the Dyson Report, Martin Bashir would have never been reappointed to the BBC.’

Bashir announced his retirement from the BBC just days before the inquiry.

Following the findings, Bashir said in a statement: ‘I never wanted to harm Diana in any way and I don’t believe we did,’ adding that he was ‘deeply sorry’ to the Dukes of Cambridge and Sussex.

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