PM ‘issues warning’ to BBC after Diana report
"I hope very much that the BBC will be taking every possible step to make sure nothing like this ever happens again."
Boris Johnson has demanded that the BBC take action in the aftermath of the Panorama-Diana interview report released on Thursday.
The Prime Minister said that he was "obviously concerned" by Lord Dyson's report, which found that reporter Martin Bashir had forged bank statements designed to suggest Diana was under surveillance to win the trust of her brother and eventually to an interview with her. The report described Bashir as "unreliable," "devious" and "dishonest," and found that an initial investigation into the claims had been "woefully ineffective."
It concluded that the BBC fell short of its "high standards of integrity and transparency" over the interview, that gathered an audience of 23 million when it was aired in 1995.
On Thursday, Prince William launched a scathing attack on the broadcaster, claiming that his mother had been failed by "not just a rogue reporter, but by leaders at the BBC who looked the other way." He also said that the interview was a major contribution to "making my parents' relationship worse," and that it brought him "indescribable sadness" to know that the broadcaster's failing contributed significantly to his mother's "fear, paranoia and isolation."
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Boris Johnson said: "I can only imagine the feelings of the royal family and I hope very much that the BBC will be taking every possible step to make sure nothing like this ever happens again."
Meanwhile Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has suggested that there could be drastic reforms to the BBC's structure before its charter is renewed.
Lord Dyson’s report reveals damning failings at the heart of the BBC.
We will now reflect on Lord Dyson's thorough report and consider whether further governance reforms at the BBC are needed in the mid-term Charter review. (1/2)
— Oliver Dowden (@OliverDowden) May 20, 2021
Justice Secretary Robert Buckland told Good Morning Britain that it was a "very serious moment for the BBC" as there may be issues that the report didn't cover that "need to be looked at more widely." He later told Sky News that "an apology is a start but I don't think it's the end of it."
Lord Chancellor & Sec of State for Justice @RobertBuckland responds to @ranvir01's question about where the govt stands on the review of the license fee after the BBC admits Martin Bashir used deceit to get Princess Diana to give her 95 Panorama interview. pic.twitter.com/4MBDKeny8M
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) May 21, 2021