M

artin Bashir’s Panorama interview with Diana Princess of Wales fuelled her “fear, paranoia and isolation” in the final years of her life and damaged her relationship with the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge has said in a stinging condemnation of the BBC

His brother, the Duke of Sussex also hit out at the corporation, saying: “The ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices ultimately took her life.”

The furious brothers issued scathing statements on the BBC’s actions after an inquiry found the broadcaster covered up “deceitful behaviour” used by journalist Martin Bashir to secure his headline-making 1995 interview with their mother.

In his rebuke of the BBC, William said: “The interview was a major contribution to making my parents’ relationship worse and has since hurt countless others.

“It brings indescribable sadness to know that the BBC’s failures contributed significantly to her fear, paranoia and isolation that I remember from those final years with her.

“But what saddens me most, is that if the BBC had properly investigated the complaints and concerns first raised in 1995, my mother would have known that she had been deceived.

“She 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.”

Calling  for the documentary never to be aired again, William, 38, said: “In an era of fake news, public service broadcasting and a free press have never been more important. These failings, identified by investigative journalists, not only let my mother down, and my family down; they let the public down too.”

Lord Dyson – Bashir report / PA Media

In a separate statement, Harry, 36, said: “Our mother was an incredible woman who dedicated her life to service. She was resilient, brave, and unquestionably honest.

“The ripple effect of a culture of exploitation and unethical practices ultimately took her life. To those who have taken some form of accountability, thank you for owning it.

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