Martin Bashir: Journalist quits BBC ‘to focus on his health’

BBC journalist Martin Bashir is to leave the broadcaster due to ongoing health issues.

The corporation’s religion editor was most notable for his interview with Princess Diana in 1995 – and his decision to leave the corporation comes amid allegations he faked documents to secure the interview for Panorama.

Jonathan Munro, the deputy director of BBC News, said: “Martin Bashir has stepped down from his position as the BBC’s religion editor, and is leaving the corporation.

Diana, Princess of Wales, during her interview with Martin Bashir for the BBC
Diana, Princess of Wales, during her interview with Martin Bashir for the BBC

“He let us know of his decision last month, just before being readmitted to hospital for another surgical procedure on his heart.

“Although he underwent major surgery toward the end of last year, he is facing some ongoing issues and has decided to focus on his health.

“We wish him a complete and speedy recovery.”

Last year, BBC News said that Mr Bashir was “seriously unwell with COVID-19 related complications”.

He started working as a journalist in 1986, before his breakthrough interview with Princess Diana in 1995.

The BBC has appointed retired judge Lord Dyson to investigate how the BBC and Mr Bashir managed to get the sit-down.

The Princess of Wales’s brother, Earl Spencer, claims he was shown fake financial documents by the BBC journalist and told false stories about the royals to get access to his sister.

During a previous, internal, investigation at the BBC, Mr Bashir admitted commissioning the mocked up bank documents, and that they had been shown to Earl Spencer.

Lord Tony Hall carried out the inquiry and later became BBC director general.

That inquiry is understood to have found that Mr Bashir had “done wrong”, but it is not known what sanction, if any, he faced.

In March, Scotland Yard said it would not launch a criminal inquiry into the interview after one of Earl Spencer’s former workers lodged a complaint.

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