Hall resigns from National Gallery in Bashir scandal aftermath

Tony Hall today stood down as chairman of the National Gallery in the wake of the Martin Bashir scandal.

Lord Hall was director of BBC News at the time of Bashir’s 1995 Panorama interview with Princess Diana, and director-general in 2015 when Bashir was re-hired by the BBC. Hall retired as director-general last year and became chairman of the National Gallery trustees in July 2020 having been a trustee since 2019.

In announcement today, Hall said: “I have today resigned as chair of the National 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. As I said two days ago, I am very sorry for the events of 25 years ago and I believe leadership means taking responsibility.”

Hall’s deputy, Sir John Kingman, will take over while a replacement is sought. “Tony Hall has been doing a superb job as chair of the National Gallery, where he is much respected and liked” Kingman said. “The Gallery is extremely sorry to lose him, but of course we entirely understand and respect his decision.”

The gallery’s director, Gabriele Finaldi, added: “I would like to express my gratitude to Tony Hall for his excellent work as chair of trustees of the National Gallery. He has demonstrated extraordinary commitment to the gallery and it has been a great pleasure to work closely with him as we have faced the challenges of Covid and as we prepare to mark the gallery’s bicentenary in 2024.”

 

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