Earl Spencer: BBC has an 'enormous amount to answer for' in Bashir scandal

17 June 2021, 10:45 | Updated: 17 June 2021, 11:31

Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

Princess Diana's brother has said the BBC has "an enormous amount to answer for" over its handling of the Martin Bashir scandal.

Speaking to LBC today, Earl Spencer said he believed the corporation had got off "scot free" after Scotland Yard said in March this year that it would not be "appropriate" to launch a criminal investigation in connection with Mr Bashir's 1995 interview with Diana.

Earl Spencer told Nick Ferrari: "If you went into any situation with fake bank statements and profited from it, you wouldn't expect to get off scot free and nor would I - this seems a very odd case indeed."

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He also expressed disbelief at the BBC's decision to hire Mr Bashir as relgious affairs correspondent.

He said: "Bashir is Bashir, and there we are, but I do think the BBC has had an enormous amount to answer for.

"I don't think it's very healthy for an institution to report on itself.

"They found no connection between Bashir being rehired and his previous known lies and other things."

"It's very hard to see how that man is then put forward as religious correspondent a few years later.

"Why would you choose somebody who you know has caused such trouble?

"This isn't a crusade. I just find it unbelievable; we are not going to get to the nub of it."

Asked about what would have been Diana's 60th birthday in two weeks' time, the Earl said it would be "joy for reflection on her life" and recalled Prince Charles' loving recollection of the day she was born.

Early Spencer told LBC the Metropolitan Police were "bizarrely reluctant" to investigate the BBC over Martin Bashir
Early Spencer told LBC the Metropolitan Police were "bizarrely reluctant" to investigate the BBC over Martin Bashir. Picture: PA Images

"My father always used to talk with huge love about the day Diana was born," he said.

"She was born at home, we lived in Norfolk and it was a blazing hot day and Mr Barrett, the local policeman, had a sentry on the cricket ground next to our home.

"So it has very deep family roots, you know, because people think of Diana as this global royal celebrity but to me she will always be a sister first.

READ MORE: 'I've never seen anything like it': Nick Ferrari blasts BBC over Diana interview

"So it will be day for joy for reflection on her life but also pain because it was such a short one."

He cast doubt on the BBC's internal review of its interactions with Mr Bashir following the scandal, which found the corporation did not rehire him as part of a cover-up.