Tony Hall, An Ex-BBC Chief, Steps Down From Job Over Princess Diana Probe

A former BBC chief got resigned as chair of Britain’s National Gallery was earlier criticized for his woefully ineffective probe into Martin Bashir’s deception in securing a bombshell interview with Princess Diana on Saturday.
Journalist Bashir tricked Diana into giving a BBC television interview (1995) in which she opened up about her troubled marriage to Prince Charles, after an independent investigation concluded on Thursday.

Leadership means Taking Responsibility

Tony Hall had led an earlier investigation into the interview and was later named head of the BBC, said he had today resigned as Chair of the National Gallery. “As I said two days ago, I am very sorry for the events of 25 years ago and I believe leadership means taking responsibility,” he said in a statement released by the world-renowned London gallery. I have always had a strong sense of public service and it is clear my continuing in the role would be a distraction to an institution I care deeply about.

Woeful Incompetence

A 1996 internal inquiry by Hall cleared Bashir of wrong-doing, but Dyson called that probe flawed and woefully ineffective. In particular, it did not ask Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, for his version of events, Dyson said, lambasting it for failing to scrutinise Bashir’s actions properly.

“If they had been able to test Mr Bashir’s account by asking him to comment on Earl Spencer’s detailed account, it is very unlikely that they would have believed him and concluded that he was an ‘honest and an honourable man, he wrote. Hall admitted that the probe “fell well short of what was required”, and said he was “wrong to give Martin Bashir the benefit of the doubt”.

Diana’s son Prince William said the interview had made a major contribution to the demise of his parents’ relationship, while the BBC’s woeful incompetence in disclosing the truth had contributed significantly to her fear, paranoia and isolation in her final years.

Diana died in a high-speed car crash while being chased by paparazzi photographers in 1997. Hall took charge of the BBC in 2013, and stepped down seven years later in 2020.