Ex-BBC director-general Lord Hall quits National Gallery role amid Diana backlash

22 May 2021, 13:22 | Updated: 22 May 2021, 14:19

Lord Hall has resigned as the National Gallery Chairman
Lord Hall has resigned as the National Gallery Chairman. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

Former BBC director-general Lord Hall has resigned as chairman of the National Gallery amid a growing backlash in his role in Martin Bashir's interview with Diana, Princess of Wales.

Lord Hall was head of news at the time of the interview in 1995 and in 1996 led an internal inquiry into allegations of deceit.

In a statement, Lord Hall said: "I have today resigned as chair of the National Gallery.

"I have always had a strong sense of public service and it is clear my continuing in the role would be a distraction to an institution I care deeply about.

"As I said two days ago, I am very sorry for the events of 25 years ago and I believe leadership means taking responsibility."

Read more: BBC sends letters of apology to William and Harry over 1995 interview with Princess Diana

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The BBC earlier this week issued a"full and unconditional" apology for what it described as "unacceptable failures" in how Bashir secured the interview following a report concluding he used fabricated bank statements to 'deceive' Princess Diana's brother to secure his bombshell 1995 interview with her.

The Duke of Cambridge subsequently accused the BBC of failures which "contributed significantly" to Princess Diana's "fear, paranoia and isolation" in her final years.

The Duke of Sussex said the trauma of his mother's death made him "mask" his emotions with alcohol and drugs so he could "feel less like I was feeling".

READ MORE: Prince Harry: 'I turned to drink and drugs to cope with trauma of Diana's death'

READ MORE: Prince William says BBC contributed to Diana's 'fear and paranoia' in final years

More to follow...