Duke of Cambridge refuses to comment on Bashir's Diana apology

Diana's biographer told ITV News that Bashir's actions scared the princess into giving him the exclusive, as Correspondent Neil Connery reports.

The Duke of Cambridge refused to comment on Martin Bashir’s apology over the Panorama interview with his mother as he continued his visit to Scotland on Sunday.

William began a week-long visit to Scotland on Friday. On Sunday, the duke tried his hand at woodworking as he visited the Grassmarket Community Project in Edinburgh.

As he left, the duke was asked by a reporter whether he had seen Martin Bashir’s apology over the 1995 interview with his mother, He did not respond.

The duke is on a week-long visit to Scotland Credit: Chris Jackson/PA

Speaking to the Sunday Times, Bashir said he “never wanted to harm” Diana, Princess of Wales, with the Panorama interview, adding: “I don’t believe we did.”

He said he is “deeply sorry” to the dukes of Cambridge and Sussex.

An inquiry by former master of the rolls Lord Dyson concluded that Bashir used “deceitful behaviour” to land his world exclusive 1995 interview. The report also found that an internal BBC investigation had covered Bashir's actions up.

After the report was released on Thursday, Prince William spoke of his "indescribable sadness", adding that the BBC's failures "contributed significantly to her fear, paranoia and isolation, that I remember from her final years with her."

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On Sunday, Home Secretary Priti Patel refused to rule out criminal prosecutions.

Asked on Sky News’s Trevor Phillips on Sunday about the prospect of prosecutions, Ms Patel said: “If there is subsequent action that needs to be taken, then clearly – alongside the publication of this report and lessons being learned and changes, changes to the institution, structure, governance, accountability – then that will follow.”

She said the BBC’s reputation has been “compromised” by the disclosures and suggested governance and accountability could be “strengthened”.

She told the programme that the forthcoming mid-term review of the BBC charter would be a “very, very significant moment” for the corporation.

“There will be an opportunity not only for reflection but an opportunity to look at governance reforms and how effectively accountability and governance can be strengthened.

“There will be a very, very significant moment now – there is no question about this – where lessons have to be learned.”

She added it was important the corporation rebuilt trust and confidence, saying: “The BBC itself – one of our great institutions – its reputation has been compromised".