Martin Bashir’s Panorama interview with Princess Diana will not be investigated (Picture: Getty)
Martin Bashir’s Panorama interview with Princess Diana will not be investigated by the Metropolitan Police, it has been confirmed.
An official inquiry in May concluded that the journalist commissioned fake bank statements and used used ‘deceitful behaviour’ in a ‘serious breach’ of the BBC’s producer guidelines to secure his bombshell interview with the Royal, in 1995.
In the inquiry, he was criticised by Lord Dyson, who was appointed to look into the circumstances surrounding the infamous chat.
However, Scotland Yard has now confirmed there will not be a police investigation into the interview, after assessing his report.
The Metropolitan Police said in a statement: ‘In March, 2021, the Metropolitan Police Service determined it was not appropriate to begin a criminal investigation into allegations of unlawful activity in connection with a documentary broadcast in 1995.
‘Following the publication of Lord Dyson’s report in May, specialist detectives assessed its contents and looked carefully at the law – once again obtaining independent legal advice from Treasury Counsel as well as consulting the Crown Prosecution Service.
The explosive interview aired in 1995 (Picture: PA)
‘As a result, the MPS has not identified evidence of activity that constituted a criminal offence and will therefore be taking no further action.’
Diana’s now-infamous interview saw her candidly discuss life in the Royal family, and the state of her marriage to Prince Charles – in which she famously stated there were ‘three’ people in the relationship.
The Princess of Wales’ brother, Earl Spencer claimed that, before the programme aired, Bashir showed him forged bank statements that related to alleged payments made to his sister’s former private secretary and another former royal household member by the security services.
The documents falsely suggested the individuals were being paid for keeping her under surveillance.
Princess Diana spoke candidly about her marriage in the chat (Picture: Getty)
The inquiry earlier this year determined that Bashir’s efforts to secure time with the late Royal in 1995 was a breach of BBC guidelines – something that the presenter said he ‘deeply regrets’.
In a statement shared after Lord Dyson’s findings were made public, he said: ‘This is the second time that I have willingly fully co-operated with an investigation into events more than 25 years ago.
‘I apologised then, and I do so again now, over the fact that I asked for bank statements to be mocked up. It was a stupid thing to do and was an action I deeply regret. But I absolutely stand by the evidence I gave a quarter of a century ago, and again more recently.
‘I also reiterate that the bank statements had no bearing whatsoever on the personal choice by Princess Diana to take part in the interview.
Prince William and Prince Harry called out the bombshell chat (Picture: AFP)
‘Evidence handed to the inquiry in her own handwriting (and published alongside the report today) unequivocally confirms this, and other compelling evidence presented to Lord Dyson reinforces it.
‘In fact, despite his other findings, Lord Dyson himself in any event accepts that the Princess would probably have agreed to be interviewed without what he describes as my “intervention”.’
‘It is saddening that this single issue has been allowed to overshadow the Princess’ brave decision to tell her story, to courageously talk through the difficulties she faced, and, to help address the silence and stigma that surrounded mental health issues all those years ago,’ it concluded.
‘She led the way in addressing so many of these issues and that’s why I will always remain immensely proud of that interview.’
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After Lord Dyson’s findings, Prince William criticised the BBC in a scathing video, claiming that his late mother’s ‘fear, paranoia and isolation’ were exacerbated’ by its failings.
The Duke of Cambridge also said the interview hurt ‘countless’ others, and called for it to never be aired again, alleging that it contributed to making the relationship between Princess Diana and Prince Charles ‘worse’.
In a separate statement, Princess Harry added: ‘The ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices ultimately took her life.’
Bashir later addressed their words, saying he was ‘deeply sorry’ but insisted that he ‘never wanted to harm’ Diana.
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