British police have said they would not launch a formal probe into claims of underhand tactics by BBC journalist Martin Bashir to secure a 1995 television interview with the late Princess Diana.

In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said officers sought legal advice from internal lawyers, independent counsel and the Crown Prosecution Service and determined is was "not appropriate" to launch a criminal probe.

A former employee of Earl Spencer, who claims he was the subject of false documents allegedly used to gain access to Diana, had earlier made a complaint to the force.

Commander Alex Murray said: "In recent months the Metropolitan Police Service received correspondence alleging unlawful activity in connection with a documentary broadcast in 1995. This was carefully assessed by specialist detectives.

"They obtained legal advice from Metropolitan Police lawyers, independent counsel and from the Crown Prosecution Service.

"Following this detailed assessment and in view of the advice we received, we have determined that it is not appropriate to begin a criminal investigation into these allegations. No further action will be taken.

"In this matter, as in any other, should any significant new evidence come to light we will assess it."