Steerpike Steerpike

Hacked Off’s curious silence on Martin Bashir

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

It has not been a happy day for those in Broadcasting House. An inquiry into Martin Bashir’s 1995 Panorama interview with Princess Diana has concluded the BBC ‘fell short of its high standards of integrity and transparency’ and that Bashir acted in a ‘deceitful’ way by faking documents to obtain the sit down chat. 

Judge Lord Dyson found the Beeb’s subsequent probe into the incident to be ‘woefully ineffective’ with current Director-General Tim Davie forced to issue a grovelling apology. Bashir’s account of events is described as ‘incredible, unreliable, and in some cases dishonest’ with some describing it as ‘the BBC’s phone hacking moment.’

Given all this, Mr S finds it curious that those fearless campaigners at Hacked Off have thus far remained tight lipped on the drama at Broadcasting House. The group, which is backed by Hugh Grant and campaigns for increased press regulation, has issued comment in the last few months on the Society of Editors, the Online Safety Bill and even Meghan Markle’s copyright case but is yet to say anything about what appears to be a most shocking breach of journalistic ethics. 


A search on Hacked Off’s own website records no results for Bashir or the Panorama story despite urging those affected by ‘intrusive, inaccurate, or otherwise unethical press reporting and conduct’ to get in touch. The group’s over-active Twitter feed has meanwhile today focused on the Daniel Morgan inquiry while studiously ignoring the findings of another major inquiry into media standards. 

Mr S can only imagine what the group would say if Bashir had been a tabloid hack rather than a BBC journalist.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.


Unlock more articles


Written by

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to or message @MrSteerpike

Topics in this article


Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in