Ministers pledged on Saturday to intervene to restore trust in the BBC by conducting a wider-than-anticipated review of its operations next year, as recriminations grew over its controversial Panorama interview in 1995 with Diana, Princess of Wales.

The fallout from an independent report by Lord Justice Dyson into the programme 26 years ago prompted the dramatic resignation on Saturday of the corporation’s former director-general, Lord Hall of Birkenhead, from his post as chair of the board of trustees of the National Gallery.

After Princes William and Harry reacted on Friday to the Dyson report by making public their fury at the BBC’s behaviour, ministers are expected to be called to the House of Commons on Monday to answer questions from MPs about the crisis.

One senior government figure closely involved in weekend discussions with the BBC said that while governance rules had changed and been improved since 1995, it would not be enough for ministers simply to step back and say it is now a different and improved institution.

“When you have a future king of England attacking in a pretty strong fashion the state-owned broadcaster, then the government needs to be seen to be taking that seriously,” a government minister said. “While there is now stronger internal management than there was then and stronger external regulation, there is a long way to go to change the culture of the BBC.”

Sources inside government said the midterm review of the BBC’s charter, due to begin next year, and previously intended as a mere “health check”, would be “beefed up” and would look at a range of possible structural changes, including potentially enhancing the role of the regulator Ofcom. Preparatory work for the review will begin immediately.

Another senior government source said: “Next year’s midterm charter review is an opportunity to strengthen the BBC’s governance arrangements if necessary. We will reflect carefully on Lord Dyson’s report, to ensure that recent reforms would prevent the appalling failures that he sets out in it.

“The BBC’s reputation has taken a significant knock. We need to restore trust in it to make sure this can never happen again.”

Dyson’s report into Martin Bashir’s conduct, released last week, found the journalist guilty of deceiving the late princess and her brother, Earl Spencer, with a series of faked documents and bank statements intended to suggest that several innocent people who worked with them were selling stories to the newspapers.

The deception ultimately succeeded in securing Bashir’s position as architect of one of the biggest media events of the decade. Diana’s candid admission to Bashir that there were “three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded” went around the world.

Diana with Bashir seen from behind
Martin Bashir interviews Diana, Princess of Wales, in Kensington Palace for BBC’s Panorama programme in 1995. Photograph: Tim Graham/Corbis/Getty Images

Bashir was also found to have lied to BBC management about his behaviour, before admitting to the forgeries. The Dyson report highlights how he was then protected by his bosses, including Hall, who said they believed he had acted in good faith in pursuit of a story of great public interest and that the faked documents had no direct involvement in the interview.

In a resignation statement from the National Gallery on Saturday, Hall said: “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.”

Prince Charles became patron of the National Gallery in 2016.

As the fallout continued Richard Eyre, who served as a member of the BBC’s governing board in the late 1990s, told the Observer that he believed another former director general, John Birt, is implicated in the mishandling of the aftermath of the Bashir interview.

Eyre, the film director and former head of the National Theatre, said the BBC board was misled in 1996 when the results of an internal investigation into the Panorama programme were presented to them. It gave Bashir a clean bill of health and declared him “honourable”.

“You can’t tell me now that John Birt did not know, when Tony Hall first gave that report about the allegations against Bashir to us, that what it contained was at least partially false,” he said. “The BBC management had an instinctive defence mechanism that was very, very strong.”

Claims that Bashir had used deception to gain trust were first voiced by fellow BBC journalist Mark Killick and by Matt Wiessler, a freelance graphic designer who had made the fake bank statements.

Wiessler claims he believed he was recreating actual documents to appear on screen in a documentary, but his suspicions were aroused by Bashir’s cloak-and-dagger behaviour. His attempt to raise the alarm was met with apparent disbelief by BBC management.

Dyson’s report shows Birt and Hall agreed he should not be employed by the corporation again.

Last night Labour former culture secretary Ben Bradshaw, who worked as a BBC reporter before becoming an MP, accused the BBC of a “culture of arrogance”.

“It’s not good enough for BBC ‘sources’ to claim the Diana interview happened 25 years ago and that governance and cultural changes since then mean such egregious mistakes couldn’t happen again. They have – through Gilligan/Hutton, Jimmy Savile, equal pay for women, Cliff Richard and less high-profile cases.”

Bradshaw said the BBC should accept “for its own good and ours that self-regulation doesn’t work” and argued that only fully independent regulation would do.

He added: “More immediately and urgently the BBC itself must establish a robust system to support, instead of punishing whistleblowers.

“The treatment of the Diana interview whistleblower, Matt Wiessler, whose career was ruined, has been shameful, but he wasn’t and won’t be the last, until the BBC puts its house in order.

“The BBC also has immediate questions to answer on how on earth Mr Bashir was rehired to fill the very senior job of religious affairs editor. This followed a less-than-distinguished period outside the BBC, including in the US and a lengthy and comprehensive review by the BBC of its religious programming and coverage.

“I am not aware of any improvement or increase in the BBC’s religious affairs output following Mr Bashir’s appointment – in fact, the opposite seems to have been the case.”

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