BBC bosses ‘conspired, lied and cheated’ in bid to cover up Martin Bashir’s deceit in securing ‘scoop of the century’ Princes Diana interview, veteran Panorama reporter claims
- Tom Mangold said executives covered up the deceit used to get Diana interview
- He claims managers worked to uphold Bashir and the BBC’s reputations after it
- Bashir allegedly told shocking lies to relatives of the victims of Harold Shipman
- The Corporation has today launched an independent inquiry into their journalist
Tom Mangold (pictured), who was senior reporter at the current affairs programme for 26 years, said executives covered up the deceit used to get her to talk on camera
BBC bosses ‘conspired, lied and cheated’ their way out of the scandal around Martin Bashir’s Princess Diana interview, a former Panorama journalist has claimed.
Tom Mangold, who was senior reporter at the current affairs programme for 26 years, said executives covered up the deceit used to get her to talk on camera.
He has catalogued how managers allegedly worked to uphold Bashir and the BBC’s reputations after the bombshell 1995 show.
It comes after it emerged Bashir allegedly told shocking lies to relatives of those murdered by killer GP Harold Shipman.
The Corporation today launches an independent inquiry into their journalist – now religion editor – after the Princess’ brother Earl Spencer raised concerns.
Mr Mangold has dubbed the late BBC news executive Steve Hewlett as the ‘organising genius’ behind the alleged cover up.
He told the Times the then Panorama editor helped move blame from Bashir to other journalists to save the ‘scoop of the century’.
The reporter also claimed Hewlett said ‘I don’t see why this is any of your f***ing business’ when asked about an artist doctoring bank statements.
He has catalogued how managers allegedly worked to uphold Bashir and the BBC’s reputations after the bombshell 1995 show (pictured)
Former director general and the then head of news and current affairs Tony Hall had acting head of weekly and special programmes Anne Sloman look into the claims.
But Mr Mangold alleged: ‘She [Sloman] worked doggedly with Hewlett looking, not for the evidence of Bashir’s malfeasance, far from it, she was looking for leakers, jealous colleagues and troublemakers.’
Mr Mangold has dubbed the late BBC news executive Steve Hewlett (pictured) as the ‘organising genius’ behind the alleged cover up
He claimed the BBC ‘conspired, lied, deceived and cheated its way out of the biggest scandal that threatened its very reputation with the possibility of police action at the end of it’.
And he suggests Mr Hewlett was the only one person ‘who had both the knowledge, the cunning and the motive to be responsible’ for the supposed whitewash.
The BBC has been approached for comment.
Further allegations emerged last night that Bashir told shocking lies to relatives of those murdered by Shipman.
He also peddled damaging ‘untruths’ to Scotland Yard about the Soho bombings case, it was claimed.
A catalogue of jaw-dropping accusations about his underhand methods for clinching scoops was last night revealed in a Channel 4 News investigation.
Channel 4 News revealed a pattern of extraordinary dishonesty by the once-feted BBC journalist, who scooped a string of awards for the corporation.
So concerned were BBC chiefs about Bashir’s unethical tactics after he moved to ITV that they formally demanded that ITV take ‘steps to control Martin in future’.
Bashir (left and right) was re-hired by the BBC and is now its religious affairs editor
Despite the warnings, Bashir was re-hired by the BBC and is now its religious affairs editor.
Bashir – who is accused of feeding Diana a string of preposterous lies to get an interview with her – later went round rubbishing Panorama journalists as ‘liars’.
During Shipman’s trial, the journalist allegedly tried to dupe the loved-ones of his victims.
It is claimed he urged the grieving relatives to give him an interview, rather than speak to his old colleagues at Panorama, telling them untruthfully the flagship BBC show intended to ‘sabotage the prosecution’ case.
Shipman was convicted in January 2000 of murdering 15 patients and suspected of killing hundreds more.
Bashir allegedly even told a spokesman for the families Panorama planned to reveal ‘alleged financial irregularities’ about him unless he granted an interview.
On July 10 that year Peter Horrocks, the BBC’s head of current affairs, wrote a searing letter to ITV formally complaining about Bashir’s dodgy tactics.
He said: ‘What Martin does crosses the line of acceptability. ‘Potential interviewees told us that Martin suggested they should not speak to us because Panorama were liars and could not be trusted.
‘One relative of a victim said Martin had claimed that Panorama would sabotage the prosecution by broadcasting before the end of the trial.’
Mr Horrocks wrote the idea his Panorama reporter was ‘less trustworthy than Martin Bashir would be laughable’ if it were not so damaging.
During Harold Shipman’s (pictured) trial, Bashir allegedly tried to dupe the loved-ones of his victims. It is claimed that he told grieving relatives BBC intended to ‘sabotage the prosecution’
Bashir also allegedly fed Scotland Yard lies about the case of Soho bomber David Copeland, a homophobic racist who set off a series of nail bombs in London in 1999.
According to Mr Horrocks’ letter, Bashir told police Panorama knew Copeland had conspired with others, leading the Yard to accuse the BBC of withholding evidence.
Mr Horrocks said in his letter, addressed to Ian McBride, managing director of ITV’s Granada: ‘I would ask that you take steps to control Martin in the future.’
Mr Horrocks had left the BBC by the time Bashir was re-hired as its religious affairs correspondent in 2016.
But it will now face pressure to explain why it took him back with the extraordinary boast ‘Martin’s track record in enterprising journalism is well known and respected’.
A string of other Bashir interviewees have also come forward to say that he lied to them.
After weeks of revelations over his tactics to secure an interview with Diana, the corporation is on the brink of announcing details of an inquiry into the scandal and is expected to announce today the identity of an ‘impressive’ legal figure who will chair the inquiry.
Bashir, 57, is said to be ‘seriously unwell’ after heart surgery with coronavirus complications, and has not commented.
He is understood to have agreed to answer questions to the inquiry. Last night the BBC declined to comment.
Source: Read Full Article