Sunday, 13 Jun 2021

‘How is anyone safe from you!’ BBC reporter squirms after damning report sparks row

BBC reporter clashes with Alex Deane over ‘institutional failures’

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BBC Reporter Jonny Dymond and political commentator Alex Deane were involved in a heated clash on Radio 5 Live over the recent revelations that a BBC journalist misled Princess Diana to secure an interview in 1995. While Mr Dymond, a royal correspondent for the BBC, claimed that the revelations did not reflect on the BBC as a whole, while Mr Deane accused the broadcaster of “double standards.” A report released by an inquiry into the 1995 with Diana found that BBC Journalist Martin Bashir had forged documents including bank statements to obtain the interview, and that the BBC had hidden the details of the incident from the public.

Mr Deane said: “If this was a tabloid newspaper you’d close. If this was a tabloid newspaper, you’d be calling for it to close.”

“The double standards when it comes to the BBC are unreal.”

5 Live host Adrian Chiles responded that “The BBC wouldn’t be calling on anybody to close.”

Mr Dymond, referring to the closure of The News of The World after the phone hacking scandal said: “I mourned when The News of the World closed.

“Those people are my colleagues. Those people that lost their jobs are my colleagues. I loved reading the newspaper, I picked it up nearly every Sunday. I mourned when that newspaper closed because I thought it was a great paper.”

“That’s a fair point,” Mr Dean replied. “Let me ask you this then, if you’re trying to reassure people who are as concerned as I am.”

“If the BBC will fit up our future head of state with fake documents and then lie about it, who won’t you do it to, and how can you reassure anybody that we’re safe from you?”

Mr Dymond responded: “First of all the future head of state was not fitted up with fake documents by the BBC. This was an individual. There was a clear failure to investigate that.”

 

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“I thought you’d apologised unreservedly.” said Mr Deane. “That’s not what you’re doing now. You’re not very sorry are you?”

Mr Dymond said: “I’m just not going to take what you have as a premise and accept it and then argue on that ground. It’s not a fair discussion like that.”

The report into Martin Bashir’s interview with Princess Diana by former supreme court justice Lord Dyson found that Bashir had printed fake bank statements to show to Diana’s brother to gain access to her. 

It also found that the BBC had made false claims about Diana which played on her fears, and that it covered up its internal investigation of the interview.

The report said that the BBC “fell short of high standards of integrity and transparency.”

In the wake of the report’s publication, Prince William released a statement condemning the actions of Bashir and the BBC.

He said that “the deceitful way the interview was obtained substantially influenced what my mother said.” 

 

He also added that Diana was “failed not just by a rogue reporter, but by leaders at the BBC who looked the other way rather than asking the tough questions.”
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