Ex-private secretary denies role in Diana death

Lord Fellowes, Diana’s brother-in-law, told the inquest into her death that he was not in Paris on the night she died, but was listening to John Mortimer in Norfolk.

The Harrods owner Mohamed Fayed – who is convinced the car crash, in which his son, Dodi, and Diana were killed, was an MI6 murder plot – believes Fellowes was involved.

He claims Fellowes helped co-ordinate the “conspiracy” by commandeering a section of the British embassy in Paris to send messages to GCHQ shortly before the crash.

Fayed also says Diana “feared” Fellowes, who is married to her sister, Lady Jane Fellowes.

Ian Burnett QC, counsel to the Diana inquest, told him: “It had been suggested, particularly in a letter from Mr Fayed, that it was said you had been present in the British embassy at 11 o’clock on the evening of the 30th of August 1997, commandeering the communications centre to send messages to GCHQ.

“In other words, it was being suggested that you were intimately concerned in the murder of your sister-in-law. You understand that that was the allegation?”

Fellowes nodded. Asked whether he had been in Paris that night, he replied: “No.

“We were in Norfolk that evening, we had people to stay, we went to an entertainment by Mr John Mortimer in Burnham Market church.”

He also told the inquest, being held in London, that rooms at Buckingham palace were regularly swept for bugs by MI5.

He said the security service conducted the sweeps in rooms used by the Queen and her private secretary to conduct business to provide “reassurance”.

The detail emerged during questioning about the “Squidgygate” and “Camillagate” tapes – recordings of telephone calls involving Diana and the Prince of Wales.

Fellowes told the court how the recordings – which were revealed in the press – prompted high level meetings and correspondence involving the heads of MI5 and GCHQ, the government’s listening station, in early 1993.

It was also revealed that the then home secretary had blocked a full security service investigation for fear that such a move would leak out and be misrepresented in the press.