Ken MacQuarrie, the BBC’s former director of nations and regions, was asked by BBC director general Tim Davie to examine the recruitment process that took place for BBC News’ religious affairs correspondent in September 2016, which culminated with the appointment of Bashir.
His re-hire has been branded “scandalous” in light of the findings from Lord Dyson’s inquiry into the Princess Diana interview last month, which concluded that the former MSNBC anchor Bahir used fake bank statements to secure access to the Princess of Wales for Panorama. Dyson said it was a serious breach of BBC editorial guidelines.
In an 11-page review, MacQuarrie concluded that Bashir was recruited because “his knowledge and experience were considered to be the best match to the requirements for the role at that time.” He added: “I have found no evidence that Martin Bashir was re-hired to contain and/or cover up the events surrounding the 1995 Panorama programme. In my view, that theory is entirely unfounded.”