THE BBC faces paying out £5million in compensation claims to people who were “smeared by Martin Bashir” it was claimed tonight amid calls for a Scotland Yard probe.
Royal aides who lost their jobs as a result of the Beeb’s deceit are considering suing the broadcaster after their reputation was tarnished, it’s understood.
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The BBC could face a payout if people who have been ‘smeared by Martin Bashir’ decide to sueCredit: Reuters
The journalist’s deceit was exposed in Lord Dyson’s damning reportCredit: BBC supplied by Pixel8000
It comes after yesterday’s damning report found “rogue reporter” Bashir faked bank statements and used “deceitful behaviour” to trick Diana into giving the infamous interview.
And it revealed the BBC “without justification” had “covered up” Bashir’s sensational lies.
The false documents also gave the impression associates of the royal family were selling stories to newspapers.
Diana’s brother Earl Spencer said if he hadn’t seen the bank statements he would not have made the introduction and the scoop wouldn’t have happened.
Bashir’s lies are blamed for fuelling Diana’s fears about her safety and privacy.
Mark Stephens, a media law expert, said the BBC could face payouts of up to £5million as former employees who were caught up in the deceit could sue for libel.
Mr Stephens from Howard Kennedy solicitors told the Mail: “So you’ve got defamation for virtually everybody because they were wrongly accused by Bashir and the BBC is liable as his employer for his wrongful acts, including libel.”
He added that in the event of civil claims the BBC would be forced to disclose relevant documents and offer up BBC chiefs as witnesses.
And Scotland Yard is also facing pressure to probe Martin Bashir after the BBC’s former editorial policy chief suggested he had committed a crime.
Critics have suggested that the report has provided “clear and unequivocal evidence” that must be pursued.
It comes as…
Richard Ayre, the BBC’s controller of editorial policy in 1995, believed Bashir may have committed a crime, adding: “I have no doubt that if he did what is, as I understand it, alleged, that of course would have been unacceptable.”
Police announced that they would not be following up the claims after a lawyer for Earl Spencer’s former head of security lodged a fraud complaint with Scotland Yard’s Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick in January.
Ex-chief superintendent Dai Davies, who once led the Met’s royal protection unit, said: “It seems to me there is clear and unequivocal evidence that the Met Police should be at the very least investifating these allegations.
“I simply cannot understand why they won’t investigate given what I understand from the testimony may be a crime.
“It seems there’s one rule for the BBC and one rule for the rest of us. Normally there would be a criminal inquiry before a civil inquiry.”
A Met Police spokesperson said: “In March 2021 the force determined it was not appropriate to begin a criminal investigation into allegations of unlawful activity in connection with a documentary broadcast in 1995 but should any significant new evidence emerge it would be assessed.”
Prince Harry slammed the “culture of exploitation and unethical practices” that took Princess Diana’s life following the BBC Panorama scandal.
The Duke of Sussex responded to Lord Dyson’s damning report on Diana’s interview, adding that the probe is the “first step towards justice and truth.”
While William slammed the national broadcaster after they “let my mother down, my family down and let the public down too.”