Politics

Martin Bashir Diana scandal: BBC announces review into the effectiveness of its ‘editorial policies and governance’


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he BBC will launch a review into the effectiveness of its “editorial policies and governance” following Lord Dyson’s report into Martin Bashir’s Panorama interview with the Princess of Wales, its board has said.

The BBC board released a statement on Monday, saying: “We must not just assume that mistakes of the past cannot be repeated today – we must make sure that this is the case.”

It said: “As members of the BBC board we were, like so many others, concerned by the findings in Lord Dyson’s report into the 1995 Panorama interview with Diana, Princess of Wales.

“We accepted Lord Dyson’s findings in full and reiterate the apology we have offered to all those affected by the failings identified. We recognise the impact that the events it describes has had on so many people, not least those whose lives were personally affected by what happened. We also acknowledge that audiences had a right to expect better from the BBC.

“As a board we believe that the BBC is a different organisation today, with different and stronger governance, as well as improved processes. Nevertheless, Lord Dyson’s report speaks to historic failings of oversight and these should be reflected upon. We must not just assume that mistakes of the past cannot be repeated today – we must make sure that this is the case.

“We have confidence that the processes and guidelines in today’s BBC are much stronger than they were in 1995, but we know we must also do what we can to prevent such an incident happening again. As such, we think it is right that we review the effectiveness of the BBC’s editorial policies and governance in detail.”

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“In doing this, the board will hold the Executive to account to ensure there are strong day to day editorial processes and a clear route by which to handle any specific issues arising from Lord Dyson’s report. The board will look at the culture of the BBC as part of its remit to assess the effectiveness of policies and practice.”

The BBC was under fresh pressure today to reform in the wake of the scandal as a former Ofcom chief accused the corporation of “letting the public down”.

Dame Patricia Hodgson said there had to be more “independence” in its complaints procedures.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has also accused the corporation of adopting a “we know best” attitude.



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