Earl Spencer has expressed concern that the BBC has interrupted the broadcast of a Panorama investigation into how his own journalist Martin Bashir secured an exclusive interview with his sister Diana, Princess of Wales.
Panorama’s investigation, which was due to air tonight, is viewed as highly critical of Bashir. It was removed from the appendices due to allegations of a “duty of care” to Bashir.
The BBC insists the program has only been delayed, although there are fears it will never air.
Reacting to the news that the episode was postponed, Earl Spencer wrote on Twitter: “Well, there is a surprise. And after? My guess: a rush by the BBC’s managing director to have Lord Dyson’s report published, ahead of its scheduled publication date on Friday, so that he could say, with apparent regret: “Unfortunately, this panorama is no longer relevant “. ”
It is alleged that Bashir faked two fake bank statements to trick the Earl into presenting him to Diana.
In the first major test of his leadership of the company, Tim Davie, the chief executive of the BBC, ordered that Panorama be taken off the air before a report was released into Bashir’s conduct and amid cover-up allegations from the BBC.
Bashir was working for Panorama in 1995 when he got the scoop interview with the Princess of Wales in which she complained that “there were three of us in this marriage” in reference to Prince Charles’ affair with Camilla Parker Bowles.
The Panorama survey, led by veteran journalist John Ware, was commissioned by the BBC late last year to effectively look at itself.
Separate from the Panorama investigation into the circumstances surrounding the interview and the subsequent cover-up allegations, Mr Davie commissioned an independent investigation led by Lord Dyson, the former Master of the Rolls. He handed his report to Lord Davie last Friday evening.
The telegraph understands that the general manager, the same day, ordered the abandonment of the Panorama program.
Bashir, 58, told the BBC last month he was resigning his post as editor of the religion after undergoing quadruple heart bypass surgery last year and a new operation shortly after reporting those responsible for his intention to resign.
However, Bashir was also made aware of the criticisms leveled at him by Lord Dyson, having been given advance notice as part of the legal process before the report was released.
The BBC declined to comment.