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By the time you read this piece Lord “Tony” Hall may well have quit as Chairman of the National Gallery. What surprises me is that he didn’t go about 10.04 last night after Prince William issued his devastating statement attacking Martin Bashir for his lies to gain the interview with his mother and how the interview played to Diana’s paranoia and sense of isolation.
The deception and deceit by Bashir and his senior colleagues at the BBC will cost the Corporation dear both financially and in terms of reputation. I would expect the BBC will pay out millions in compensation to people who have been smeared by Bashir or lost their jobs as a result of the deceit.
As we now all know Bashir produced fake bank statements which he then showed to Diana’s brother, Earl Spencer, to gain access to Diana.
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They purported to show payments into the bank accounts of Alan Waller, a former employee of Earl Spencer, Commander Patrick Jephson, Diana’s private secretary and Commander Richard Aylard, private secretary to the Prince of Wales. It was all made up.
Mr Jephson left his job after the affair but has since said that it had been “life changing and devastating ”. He will be in line for a huge pay-out since his career never recovered from these false allegations.
Not to mention how much Royal nanny Tiggy Legge-Bourke would be in line for since there was a preposterous slur that she had a secret holiday with Prince Charles. There was a further allegation that Prince Edward had Aids.
There were brave staff on Panorama who knew something fishy had gone on but instead of there being an inquiry basically got shown the door. They will have a substantial claim.
Plus the graphic artists who thought he was doing the BBC and Bashir’s bidding on behalf of Panorama by making the false bank statements only to be fired. His life has been destroyed. He will pick up a fortune.
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The guy who will escape almost scot free is Lord “Tony” Hall. As BBC Head of News back in the mid-Nineties he carried out a perfunctory inquiry and claimed that Bashir was an “honest man.”
Plainly absurd. Hall went on to be Director-General of the BBC and on his watch rehired Bashir in 2016 in order presumably to keep him onside.
Today Hall is Chairman of the National Gallery. That job is at the heart of the Establishment. I am astonished he did not quit when hearing Prince William’s statement.
I think a quick and quiet word in his ear telling him to bugger off should do the trick don’t you? I do hope so.
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