Disgraced journalist Martin Bashir sparked fury last night as he hit back at Prince William over the scandalous Princess Diana interview, insisting: “Everything we did she wanted.”
Bashir, 58, who faked documents to get his 1995 scoop for BBC’s Panorama, said he “never wanted to harm” Diana and he “doesn’t believe he did”.
Prince William, 38, earlier spoke of his “indescribable sadness” over the way his mother had been tricked by Bashir and failed by the BBC and its leaders, following Lord Dyson’s findings on Friday that the interview was obtained through “deceit”.
“BBC employees lied and used fake documents to obtain the interview with my mother. Made lurid and false claims about the royal family, which played on her fears and fuelled paranoia. Displayed woeful incompetence when investigating complaints and concerns about the program,” Prince William said.
Bashir has since hit back at the Duke of Cambridge, telling The Sunday Times “everything we did (Diana) wanted. My family and I loved her.”
He also hit back at Earl Spencer, Diana’s loyal brother who declared he “drew a line” between the interview and his sister’s death.
Bashir insisted: “I don’t feel I can be held responsible for many of the other things that were going on in her life.”
Royal biographer Penny Junor has slammed Bashir for his interview, saying: “Martin Bashir’s response shows extraordinary arrogance and false confidence. I think he’s shameless.
“I find it extraordinary that Bashir doesn’t at this stage just hold his hands up and say he’s sorry — properly without the ‘buts’.”
Bashir’s interview comes as Scotland Yard prepares to hold a summit on whether a criminal probe should be launched over the scandal.
It can also be revealed UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to draft in a heavyweight TV regulator boss to crack down on the BBC.
Earl Spencer has urged police to open a formal investigation.
Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick will assess the case in talks with her deputy Sir Steve House, Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave and specialist crime and operations commander Alex Murray.
It is understood they will also be talking with Crown Prosecution Service lawyers to determine whether there are new grounds to push forward with a probe.
Cops will now painstakingly delve into the former judge’s 127-page marathon report and look for fresh evidence.
A source said: “Cressida Dick will be consulting her senior officers and CPS lawyers. They are likely to get together for a meeting in the coming days.
“If there are grounds for a criminal probe then it will likely be announced in the coming weeks.”
Meanwhile, the PM has revived plans to appoint former newspaper editor Paul Dacre as the new broadcasting regulator.
Mr Johnson has told his team he wants Ofcom to be run by a “real heavyweight who can hold the Beeb (BBC) to account”.
RELATED: Harry doubles down on Charles attack
Another candidate would be fellow Brexiteer and ex-Daily Telegraph editor Lord Charles Moore, 63.
In a further developments yesterday former BBC chief Lord Hall resigned as chairman of the National Gallery.
BBC executives will face a massive scrutiny of their news and current affairs operation.
Newly-appointed chairman Richard Sharp – a former Adviser to Mr Johnson — will analyse their output to ensure it is impartial.
Insiders say they will monitor the type of stories they cover, and the guests invited to make comments, over the next few months.
A source said: “Richard will do a proper analysis of the BBC news over a period of time to see if they are following a Left-wing agenda.
“He will compare the type of stories given most airtime to the type of stories covered by newspapers and other broadcasters.”
BBC chiefs are also under pressure from ministers to appoint a new independent editorial board to oversee its journalism.
In a further move, the licence fee could be frozen for the next five years.
It has increased in line with inflation over the past five years.
But a source said: “All bets are off now. The conduct of the BBC has seriously damaged its reputation.
“We’re not just talking about the dubious tactics of Martin Bashir in securing the interview with Princess Diana. We are talking about years of cover up and deceit afterwards.”
It was business as usual for the Queen and Prince William yesterday.
Her Majesty stepped out for the first time since Prince Philip’s death in April, and William spoke to a table of first responders at a rooftop bar while watching the Scottish Cup Final.
This story originally appeared on The Sun and has been reproduced here with permission
Originally published as Journo hits back at Prince William