Martin Bashir's Princess Diana interview won't be subject of Scotland Yard probe

By Talia Shadwell

Martin Bashir's controversial Princess Diana interview won't be the subject of a criminal investigation, it has been announced.

Scotland Yard has confirmed it will not open a probe over his career-making world exclusive interview.

The force made the decision after assessing Lord Dyson's report into the 1995 BBC Panorama documentary found the broadcaster covered up the 'deceitful behaviour' that secured the scoop.

The Metropolitan Police made the announcement after looking at the report into Mr Bashir's famous sit-down with the royal.

Scotland Yard had already said in March it would not launch a criminal investigation into the interview, but added that it had since assessed the contents of the Dyson report two months later.

Former BBC News religion editor Martin Bashir (PA)

The Met said in a statement on the independent report by the former Master of the Rolls on Wednesday: "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.

"As a result, the MPS has not identified evidence of activity that constituted a criminal offence and will therefore be taking no further action."

Mr Bashir's past career with the BBC had come under scrutiny after allegations were made about how he got the now-notorious Diana interview.

Princess Diana during her bombshell Panorama interview in 1995 (Press Association)

During the bombshell interview two years before her death, the late princess opened up about her rocky marriage to Prince Charles.

"There were three of us in this marriage," she famously told Mr Bashir - referring to the Prince of Wales and his future wife, Camilla Parker-Bowles.

Lord Dyson's inquiry found the BBC covered up "deceitful behaviour" used by the journalist to secure his headline-making world exclusive, and that he faked bank statements.

Earlier this year, the BBC wrote to the royal family to apologise for the circumstances surrounding the interview.

Mr Bashir quit the BBC on health grounds earlier this year before the release of Lord Dyson's report.

The Duke of Cambridge launched a blistering attack on the BBC following the publication of Lord Dyson's investigation (PA)

Love the royals? Sign up for the Mirror's daily newsletter to get all the latest news on the Queen, Charles, Kate, Wills, Meghan, Harry and the rest of The Firm. Click here to sign up.

He had been on sick leave for several months before stepping down as religion editor.

The BBC director general, Tim Davie, also commissioned an independent inquiry to look into how Mr Bashir persuaded Diana to speak on camera about her marriage.

The review also probed whether Bashir used false documents to gain the trust of the royal family to secure the scoop.

The saga was resurrected after Matt Wiessler, a graphic designer who worked on BBC programmes, said he was phoned by Mr Bashir one evening in 1995 and asked to create fake bank statements.

It was claimed Mr Bashir used the fake documents to convince Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, that the media had been paying royal family associates for information on her in a bid to win the trust of her closest confidantes.

Prince William was scathing of the public broadcaster after Lord Dyson's independent inquiry found serious failings.

In a rare video addressing the public, The visibly angered royal said he felt "indescribable sadness" as he poured scorn on the BBC's interview.

He said it had fuelled the “fear, paranoia and isolation” his mother felt in her final years.

Prince Harry also blamed the media and paparazzi. drawing a link to the interview fallout and her later death.

He claimed the "ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices" was the reason his mother lost her life in the tragic car crash in Paris.

What is inkl?

Important stories

See news based on value, not advertising potential. Get the latest news from around the world.

Trusted newsrooms

We bring you reliable news from the world’s most experienced journalists in the most trusted newsrooms.

Ad-free reading

Read without interruptions, distractions or intrusions of privacy.