Earl Spencer believed Martin Bashir ‘planted listening device in Diana’s Kensington Palace flat’

Earl Spencer believed Martin Bashir ‘planted listening device in Diana’s Kensington Palace flat to play on her fears that security services were spying on her’ and help secure 1995 Panorama interview

  • Author Sally Bedell Smith recorded Earl Spencer’s belief in interview notes
  • She spoke to him while writing her 1998 biography of Princess Diana
  • Earl Spencer thought Bashir put bug in apartment to fuel Diana’s insecurities
  • She had herself believed a bug had been planted in her flat and had it checked for devices

Princess Diana’s brother believed that rogue reporter Martin Bashir planted a listening device in her Kensington Palace apartment to gain her confidence.

The author Sally Bedell Smith recorded the revelation in notes she made when she  interviewed Earl Spencer for her 1998 biography of Diana.

Diana herself had believed a bug had been planted in her flat by the security services and had professionals in to check for listening devices.

Ms Bedell Smith’s notes record Earl Spencer’s belief that a device was put in Diana’s apartment by Bashir to make her believe her suspicions were well-founded, according to The Times.

Earl Spencer reportedly said that he was told by members of Diana’s staff that Bashir went into her apartment with his ‘anti-bugging team’ before pulling a device from her radio.

The notes also record that Earl Spencer said he believed Diana would have done the interview without encouragement from anyone else – but only after Bashir had ‘very cleverly’ fed her ‘insecurities’.

The new revelation comes after Earl Spencer last night demanded that Scotland Yard investigate the BBC over her 1995 Panorama interview with Bashir.

The Metropolitan Police promised it would ‘assess’ any possible new evidence into former senior judge Lord Dyson’s explosive report into how the interview was secured.

Princess Diana’s brother believed that rogue reporter Martin Bashir planted a listening device in her Kensington Palace apartment to gain her confidence and secure his Panorama interview with her in 1995

Earl Spencer was convinced Bashir has put listening devices in Diana's apartment, according to the princess's biographer, Sally Bedell Smith

Earl Spencer was convinced Bashir has put listening devices in Diana’s apartment, according to the princess’s biographer, Sally Bedell Smith

Throughout the mid-1990s, Diana’s concerns about her privacy and security were crucial to her.

She believed her telephones had been bugged as part of a spying campaign against her.

According to Ms Bedell Smith, Earl Spencer said his sister was ‘off on her own bat having had her various insecurities fed by Bashir very cleverly’.

‘I even heard from members of her staff that he would go in with his anti-bugging team and go into a radio and produce a bug,’ he added.

Earl Spencer is said to have also claimed that Bashir made his sister ‘so paranoid’ about her communication channels that he ‘destroyed several of her friendships’.

Lord Dyson’s final report did not mention these notes.

Diana herself had believed a bug had been planted in her flat and had professionals in to check for listening devices

Diana herself had believed a bug had been planted in her flat and had professionals in to check for listening devices

The author Sally Bedell Smith recorded the listening device revelation in notes she made when she interviewed Earl Spencer for her 1998 biography of Diana

The author Sally Bedell Smith recorded the listening device revelation in notes she made when she interviewed Earl Spencer for her 1998 biography of Diana

According to the Daily Mail’s Richard Kay, Diana had experts in to check for bugs. They pulled up palace carpets and lifted floorboards.

The news comes after last night’s revelation that Earl Spencer had written to Met Commissioner Cressida Dick alleging that his sister was the victim of blackmail and fraud.

The allegation will intensify the pressure on the Met for a full investigation into how Bashir persuaded Diana to agree to the bombshell broadcast.

The force promised yesterday that it would ‘assess’ any new evidence in Lord Dyson’s report.

Justice Secretary Robert Buckland also weighed in, saying that the former Master of the Rolls’ findings raised ‘very serious issues’.

According to Ms Bedell Smith, Earl Spencer said his sister was 'off on her own bat having had her various insecurities fed by Bashir very cleverly'

According to Ms Bedell Smith, Earl Spencer said his sister was ‘off on her own bat having had her various insecurities fed by Bashir very cleverly’

He suggested that ‘fraud’ and ‘forgery’ may have occurred.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday warned the BBC: ‘Nothing like this must ever happen again.’

And Princes William and Harry accused the corporation of ruining their mother’s live with the ‘deceitful’ interview.

According to a friend, Earl Spencer believed Bashir had established ‘coercive control’ over his sister.

Lord Dyson concluded in his enquiry that Bashir commissioned fake bank statements – a blatant breach of BBC rules – to convince Earl Spencer to introduce him to Diana.

It is understood that Earl Spencer first wrote to Dame Cressida in January.

He has since been in regular touch with the head of the Met’s specialist crime squad, Commander Alex Murray.

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