BBC ‘set to pay £1.5m to charity’ over Martin Bashir scandal

It comes after inquiry found former journalist used ‘deceitful behaviour’ to secure interview with Princess Diana

Zoe Tidman
Sunday 15 August 2021 15:20
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<p>The BBC is reportedly set to donate around £1.5m to charity over the Martin Bashir scandal</p>

The BBC is reportedly set to donate around £1.5m to charity over the Martin Bashir scandal

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The BBC is reportedly set to pay around £1.5m to a charity of the Royal Family’s choice in a bid to make amends for the Martin Bashir scandal.

An inquiry earlier this year found Mr Bashir, a former journalist for the broadcaster, used “deceitful behaviour” to secure a bombshell interview with Princess Diana, which included the use of fake bank statements.

Prince William and Harry both criticised the BBC in the wake of the scathing report, which found the corporation “fell short of high standards of integrity and transparency which are its hallmark” over the interview.

The BBC is now set to donate £1.15m – the figure it made from selling global rights to the interview –and further money as reparations to charity over the scandal, according to the Mail on Sunday.

The newspaper reported it was understood Buckingham Palace had not asked for the donation and had still not been told about the details.

The total sum involved has also reportedly not been confirmed.

The BBC told The Independent it would not be commenting on the story.

After the report into the interview was released in May, Mr Bashir apologised and said he “deeply” regretted the fake bank statements.

The journalist – who stepped down from the BBC earlier this year citing health reasons – also said he felt the statements had “no bearing whatsoever on the personal choice by Princess Diana to take part”.

The BBC apologised to the Royal Family in the wake of the inquiry’s findings.

Prince William said he blamed the 1995 interview for fuelling his mother’s “fear, paranoia and isolation” and worsening her relationship with his father, Prince Charles.

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