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Sky News' Kay Burley and Beth Rigby are airborne over a Covid violation


Sky News broadcaster Kay Burley "is not out of the woods" as it continually grapples with her offense at her 60th birthday party. This could lead to her leaving the new channel, as MailOnline can reveal.

Newsroom staff said they were told today that Sky's wide-ranging investigation into their meeting with Covid rulers in Soho on Saturday with colleagues including reporters Beth Rigby and Sam Washington is "ongoing." They were also warned not to imitate their behavior and to remember their responsibilities.

The revelation that she is still under investigation came at a lunchtime executive-editorial meeting held over the Internet, a senior Sky source, who asked not to be named, told MailOnline.

She also revealed that the veteran TV presenter is admired for her professional approach to her job, but "doesn't exactly have a 100 percent Sky fan base" – hinting that the controversy could lead her to leave Sky.

"Few can blame Kay for her journalism and presentation skills, but she doesn't exactly have a 100 percent fan base on Sky," she told MailOnline. “She's not the most popular presenter and one day she will leave the role. This shed a very negative light on her and the colleagues she invited.

& # 39; As one of the oldest and most recognizable faces on Sky News, she was scheduled to anchor the first Covid vaccines yesterday and was absent. She should be presenting from a hospital. The others are still under investigation as well, but will likely keep working, but there is now a question mark over Kay's future with Sky. & # 39;

Ms. Burley is scheduled to be on vacation by January 4th and is flying to Africa on Friday. The source added, "Her tweet about the vacation didn't go down as well as she'd hoped. It looks like she was hoping the matter was closed when she apologized, but it isn't.

& # 39; This is taken very seriously and we have all been warned to be careful about the rules of coverage in public. We are regularly tested for Covid, with the results being available within a few hours. Some of us want to know what happened to the party and if it was tested and what the results were. & # 39;

Sources also claimed today that senior reporters Beth Rigby and Sam Washington could avoid losing their jobs by attending only part of Miss Burley's 60th birthday party, which violated coronavirus rules.

Political editor Rigby and presenter Washington were taken out of the air by Sky along with Inzamam Rashid, correspondent for Northern England, who was also at Miss Burley's party in London over the weekend.

But sources within Sky reported to MailOnline tonight that there were violations of Covid-19 laws – and that there was a difference between Ms. Rigby and Ms. Washington and others who went to Miss Burley's home.

Miss Burley and Ms. Rigby attended dinner at the Century Club in Soho with eight friends and colleagues, including Ms. Washington, Mr. Rashid, and former royal correspondent Paul Harrison, who is now a spin doctor for Huawei.

The identities of the other five were not revealed. Miss Burley later "showed up" at another restaurant after 11pm, and it was alleged that part of the group then returned to their London home to continue the party.

Sky News is owned by Philadelphia-based Comcast, which also controls US news media companies such as NBC and Universal Studios. Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox sold his stake in Sky TV to Comcast in September 2018.

It has been less than a year since another veteran broadcaster, Alastair Stewart, stepped down from ITV News for making multiple "assessment errors" using social media. angry monkey & # 39; while quoting from Shakespeare's Measure for Measure.

When Miss Burley was apparently battling for her Sky News career, it also found that:

  • The bosses reportedly invited Kay to a meeting on Sky's Osterley campus yesterday to speak with news director John Riley, content director Christina Nicoletti Squires.
  • A source close to Kay admits that after the star's 60th birthday, he has no leg to stand on.
  • According to The Guardian, two Sky employees who attended the party reportedly signed nondisclosure agreements yesterday as the broadcaster is investigating.
  • Ms. Burley was also banned from entry in the Royal Television Society's Journalism Awards for her breakfast show. Sky News has won News Channel of the Year for the past three years.
  • The broadcaster insists it won't be on the air until 2021 because of a pre-booked trip to Africa – not because of a request.

Kay Burley is expected to be out of the air by next year, and other Sky stars of the event, including Beth Rigby (pictured together), have also been fired to do their duties pending investigation

Inzamam Rashid

Sam Washington

Sky colleagues Inzamam Rashid (left) and Sam Washington (right) have also reportedly joined and are said to have been taken from the air during an internal investigation

Kay clouded the water by tweeting that she should always be on vacation in Africa from the end of this week

Kay clouded the water by tweeting that she should always be on vacation in Africa from the end of this week

Adam Boulton, who has worked with Kay for 31 years, retweeted a message branding the idiots of the partiers

Adam Boulton, who has worked with Kay for 31 years, retweeted a message branding the idiots of the partiers

A source close to Miss Burley said she didn't have a leg to stand on despite apologizing for accidentally breaking the rules – and that she is expected to be absent by early 2021. Veteran colleague Adam Boulton appeared to support claims acting like "idiots" for "illegally going on a bend," with Miss Burley absent today.

Sky News steadfast Mr. Boulton, who has worked with Miss Burley since 1989, retweeted angry news from a viewer about the scandal today that said, “Check out the state of Sky News. The idiots have spent all summer preaching to us and now are looking at you! After bending illegally, they wanted to go to a hospital to put lives in danger! & # 39 ;.

How Kay Burley held others accountable for violating coronavirus rules

Kay Burley had previously attacked Cabinet Secretary Michael Gove after appearing on Sky News to defend Dominic Cummings for violating coronavirus restrictions.

Boris Johnson's former aide had driven a 60-mile round trip from his Durham home to Barnard Castle earlier this year, breaking Covid's lockdown restrictions at the time.

He claimed he drove to the local beauty site to have his eyesight tested after suffering vision loss from a coronavirus.

In the Sky News interview, Ms. Burley asked Mr. Gove, "If you are struggling with Covid-19 and you think you have a problem with your eyesight, what does the government advise?"

Mr. Gove replied, "We obviously advise people to seek medical advice."

Ms. Burley replied, "So it is not appropriate to get in a car and drive for half an hour with your four-year-old behind you?"

The moderator, who has since apologized for violating the Tier 2 Covid restrictions, previously also mocked Cummings on Twitter.

In July she wrote: & # 39; So. Ibiza foiled. Does anyone know of a place to stay at Barnard Castle? «

Sky political editor Beth Rigby, who reportedly attended Ms. Burley's birthday dinner on Saturday – although it was not confirmed that she was breaking coronavirus rules – also previously criticized Cummings.

During a press conference in the Rose Garden on Downing Street in May, she said to Cummings, “Why are you so different?

“What people are seeing here is that there is one rule for you … and another rule for them.

"Do you think you owe them at least one apology?"

Today all Sky employees attended a meeting chaired by Sky News boss John Ryley at 1:00 p.m. A source told Guido Fawkes: "I think the big bosses would be wrong if they believed this is something everyone is going to shake off."

The Microsoft Yammer online meeting, attended by other senior executives, was scheduled three weeks ago. In addition, the bosses presented a review of the last few months and a glimpse into the Christmas season.

Last night, with uncertainty about her future at Sky, Miss Burley clouded the water by tweeting that she should always be on vacation in Africa by the end of this week and saying, "Beautiful people, whatever you read are You sure The knowledge that on Friday I was always on my way to my beloved Africa to sit with lions. They kill for food, not for exercise. & # 39;

It is understood, however, that Miss Burley – a foundation of Sky since its inception 32 years ago – and others were taken off the air over dinner while an internal investigation was conducted to determine whether the celebrations were "Covid Compliant".

A friend of a member of the group said everyone was "pretty devastated" by her treatment, as some had worked for the station for many years.

But there also seems to be some anger among colleagues over the decision to celebrate while tightening national restrictions when asked to hold ministers accountable for dealing with the crisis.

Critics have also beaten Beth Rigby, who was sent by Sky to barbecue Dominic Cummings after breaking the lockdown rules during the infamous press conference in the Downing Street garden to go to Barnard Castle in May. Ms. Burley also attacked Cabinet Secretary Michael Gove after defending Mr. Cummings.

According to the & # 39; i & # 39; newspaper, Sky's bosses dragged Kay over to the Osterley officers yesterday morning for a barbecue where they suspect Mr. Riley and Content Director Christina Nicoletti Squires.

After Miss Burley had hosted dinner for ten on Saturday, she went to another restaurant after 11 p.m. Mr. Rashid also attended the dinner, where the group was split over two tables.

He appeared to have broken further with Covid rules while traveling from his Manchester home on Tier Three to the restaurant on Tier Two.

When Miss Burley left the venue, she went to the slide restaurant, half a mile away, to spend a dime while waiting for a cab.

She is then believed to return to her London home to continue the party with four colleagues who were believed to have included Mr. Rashid and former royal correspondent Paul Harrison but not Miss Rigby, who were leaving after dinner.

According to the Tier Two regulations, you cannot mix in your own home with anyone outside of your household. You are also not allowed to eat in a restaurant with anyone outside your household.

Groups of different households can dine on outdoor patios and outdoors. The Century Club has a heated outdoor terrace. Miss Burley wrote on Twitter after the news broke: “I apologize to all of you for a mistake in judgment.

On Saturday evening I enjoyed my 60th birthday in a Covid-compliant restaurant. I'm embarrassed to say that I accidentally broke the rules later that night. I had been waiting for a taxi to come home at 11pm. Desperate for the loo, I went to another restaurant to spend a penny. «

It is subject to an internal review, Sky confirmed. A spokesman denied anyone had been suspended, saying, "A small number of Sky News employees may have engaged in activities in violation of the guidelines."

Bosses wowed the Sky News host last night in the eleventh hour after she admitted to "accidentally" breaking Tier 2 restrictions when she celebrated her 60th birthday over the weekend - according to political editor Beth Rigby attended (pictured here hugging Kay Burley).

Bosses wowed the Sky News host last night in the eleventh hour after she admitted to "accidentally" breaking Tier 2 restrictions when she celebrated her 60th birthday over the weekend – according to political editor Beth Rigby attended (pictured here hugging Kay Burley).

Kay claims she used a toilet in another restaurant at 11pm while waiting for a taxi, then took a taxi with friends to their house

Kay claims she used a toilet in another restaurant at 11pm while waiting for a taxi, then took a taxi with friends to their house

Miss Burley had a barbecue minister Michael Gove on Dominic Cummings' drive from London to Durham back in May. She also questioned Matt Hancock about Professor Neil Ferguson's violation of the restrictions to visit his girlfriend.

A film spokesman said Miss Burley came over to pay a bill for a recent grocery delivery and went to the bathroom.

Ms. Burley allegedly attributed the situation to "misunderstandings" during the planning and organization of the event, reports the Guardian.

However, she hasn't addressed why people returned to her home after dinner – a claim that is not considered controversial.

All Sky employees who may have been involved are now facing a review of their behavior by their employer, who said they were "disappointed" with the incident.

Ms. Hewson announced on Twitter that she would be showing off the Sky News morning slot shortly after Ms. Burley's apology.

While hosting Ms. Burley's usual newscast, Ms. Hewson discussed the coronavirus vaccine roll out and Brexit with Secretary of Health Matt Hancock.

A spokesperson for Sky said, “We value compliance with government COVID guidelines and we expect all of our employees to adhere to them. We were disappointed to learn that a small number of Sky News employees may have engaged in activities that were against the guidelines.

“Although this was done at a social event on personal time, we expect all of our employees to follow the rules that apply to everyone. An internal process is under way to review the behavior of the people involved. & # 39;

Tier 2 restrictions prohibit households from congregating indoors unless one single household forms a support bubble with another. However, outdoor gatherings of six people are permitted.

Ms. Burley has interrogated politicians for their perceived defense of violations of government restrictions by government officials.

After Neil Ferguson was forced to resign from government for breaking rules to enjoy secret trysts with his lover, she asked Matt Hancock, “What were you thinking when you read it? Did you hit your head on the desk? & # 39;

In May, Ms. Burley interrogated Michael Gove on defending Dominic Cummings' lockdown disregard trip to Barnard Castle. She also punished Prime Minister Boris Johnson for not social distancing himself on Twitter.

Sky News broadcaster Kay Burley

Sarah Hewson this morning on Sky News

Sky News broadcaster Kay Burley (pictured left) was replaced by journalist Sarah Hewson (pictured right in Sky News yesterday morning) on ​​her morning TV show after she apologized last night for her 60th birthday "Accidentally" violated coronavirus regulations

Though she didn't confirm where she celebrated her birthday, Ms. Burley apologized amid reports that she'd gone to the swanky private members' club Century Club in Soho

Though she didn't confirm where she celebrated her birthday, Ms. Burley apologized amid reports that she'd gone to the swanky private members' club Century Club in Soho

The veteran journalist said she spent Saturday night in a "Covid-compliant restaurant" in London before breaking Tier 2 restrictions by using a toilet in another restaurant at 11pm

The veteran journalist said she spent Saturday night in a "Covid-compliant restaurant" in London before breaking Tier 2 restrictions by using a toilet in another restaurant at 11pm

On a picture of Johnson with Conservative MP for Ashfield Lee Anderson, who later tested positive for Covid, causing the prime minister to self-isolate, she wrote, "Doesn't look like two shopping carts to me."

Last night, the Sky News broadcaster told its 517,000 followers on Twitter that their behavior, which they called "assessment errors", was "embarrassing."

She said, “I apologize to all of you for a mistake in judgment. On Saturday evening I enjoyed my 60th birthday in a Covid-compliant restaurant.

I'm embarrassed to say that I accidentally broke the rules later that night. I had been waiting for a taxi to come home at 11pm.

“Desperate for the loo, I went to another restaurant for a moment to spend a cent. I can only apologize. & # 39;

It comes after it shows up. Pop star Rita Ora didn't self-isolate for 14 days after flying to Egypt for an event.

Rita Ora flew to Cairo on a private jet on November 21st to perform at the five-star Hotel W. She returned the next day and is believed to have self-isolated for 14 days under government quarantine rules

Rita Ora flew to Cairo on a private jet on November 21st to perform at the five-star Hotel W. She returned the next day and is believed to have self-isolated for 14 days under government quarantine rules

Instead, she held a birthday party on November 28th at the exclusive Casa Cruz restaurant in Notting Hill, West London

Instead, she held a birthday party on November 28th at the exclusive Casa Cruz restaurant in Notting Hill, West London

The 30-year-old singer flew to Cairo on a private jet on November 21 to perform at the five-star Hotel W. She returned the next day and is believed to have self-isolated for 14 days under government quarantine rules.

Instead, she hosted a birthday party on November 28th at the exclusive Casa Cruz restaurant in Notting Hill, west London.

Ms. Ora apologized last week after she and around 30 guests were photographed at the event ahead of the end of the second national lockdown on Wednesday.

Cara and Poppy Delevingne as well as TOWIE star Vas Morgan (31) and Rita's sister Elena (32) could all be seen at the venue.

While the singer said she deeply regretted her actions and offered to pay a £ 10,000 fine for hosting the party, she made no mention of her trip to Egypt or violation of a second set of strict rules.

Kay Burley: The no-nonsense news otters who "hated being married" got into a brawl ahead of Naomi Campbell's trial and was rated "a bit dark" live on TV

By Amie Gordon

Kay Burley is the no-nonsense news otters who enjoys holding MPs accountable – but she has not been without controversy in a broadcast career spanning more than three decades.

The ambitious anchor has made its way through the ranks of the broadcasting world, offering "more hours of live television than anyone," but regularly shares opinion with its direct attacks on politicians.

The 59-year-old rarely talks about her personal life, but once admitted that she had "two successful marriages" – but "hated being married".

At the age of 20, Burley had divorced her first husband, Steve Burley, whom she met at the age of 17, in a local newspaper in Wigan and married at 19.

She moved to Sky at the age of 28 and met her second husband, soccer agent Steve Kutner, three years later.

At 32, she was pregnant with her son Alexander, but the couple separated when he was one.

Mom and son stay close and in her Twitter bio she describes herself as a founding member of Sky News. Animal lover. Climber. Incredibly proud mother. & # 39;

From left: Tony Blackburn, Peter Marshall, Derek Jameson, Andrew Neil, Alastair Yates, Rupert Murdoch, Penny Smith, Bob Friends and Kay Burley at the launch of Sky TV on February 5, 1989

From left: Tony Blackburn, Peter Marshall, Derek Jameson, Andrew Neil, Alastair Yates, Rupert Murdoch, Penny Smith, Bob Friends and Kay Burley at the launch of Sky TV on February 5, 1989

In 2008, Burley bumped into a photographer during scrum in a London court

In 2008, Burley bumped into a photographer during scrum in a London court

The Fracas happened while waiting for supermodel Naomi Campbell to arrive to file charges of assaulting airport police

The Fracas happened while waiting for supermodel Naomi Campbell to arrive to file charges of assaulting airport police

She had a relationship with former political editor of The Sun newspaper, George Pascoe-Watson, for five and a half years, but they split shortly after he left the newspapers in 2009 to work in public relations.

In December 2017, Burley was joined by her late-night date at Piers Morgan's birthday party, British Airways pilot Jonny Knowlson, with whom she had spent an evening at Tate Modern two months earlier.

Jonny, who was 27 years younger than Kay at the age of 30, met the news anchor when she used the help of four "strong, capable" British Airways pilots to overcome her fear of flying.

In 2011, Burley turned to fiction writing and published her debut novel, First Ladies. "An irresistible cross between The Thick Of It and Jilly Cooper," in which "the glamorous worlds of glossy magazines, television and politics are exposed".

In an article for the Daily Mail last year, Burley said it was "nonsense that wrinkles look better on a mature woman" when she talked about getting a facelift for her 50th birthday.

She admitted looking into botox and fillers, and removing a lower face lift, an eyebrow lift, and bags under her eyes.

She added: "Women, especially in public, are always judged tougher than their male counterparts."

Born to parents Kath and Frank in Wigan, Lancashire, at the beginning of the Swinging Sixties, the 59-year-old has often praised her deceased parents for raising her up with love.

She said the family has no money, but her parents are "incredible".

Burley began her journalistic career at the Lancashire Evening Post and Chronicle at the age of 17, before moving to the radio in 1981 as a reporter for Granada Reports as a researcher for Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan.

Until 1985, she was offered a job as a reporter at TV-am, before moving to Rupert Murdochs Sky in 1988, where she took over the management of the young Sky News.

Burley rose quickly to become its lead reporter. It broke the news of Princess Diana's death in 1997 and was broadcast live in 2001 when the Twin Towers in New York were attacked.

The 9/11 coverage earned her a Bafta that she keeps "in the toilet".

Kay Burley presented on camera in front of the Lindo Wing of St. Mary & # 39; s Hospital on July 22, 2013 for the birth of Prince George

Kay Burley presented on camera in front of the Lindo Wing of St. Mary & # 39; s Hospital on July 22, 2013 for the birth of Prince George

She got a new plum appearance in September 2018 when she got her own show on her behalf, which switched to prime-time morning slot 12 months later and was renamed Kay Burley @ Breakfast.

The agenda-setting gig, which is at the center of the British Brexit negotiations and the general election, is filmed live in Westminster and sees Burley accompanied by a large number of politicians and critics.

Last year Burley admitted she found it "difficult to fight back" being "attracted" to the aura and charisma of political figureheads such as Boris Johnson, Bill Clinton and Tony Blair.

But sitting on the hot seat at Sky has resulted in Burley being accused of her fair share of controversy.

In 2008, Burley clashed with a photographer during the scrum outside a London court as they waited for supermodel Naomi Campbell to arrive to file charges with airport police.

The newscaster was apparently hit in the cheek by a camera – and then seen with her hand around the neck of a photographer.

The collapse came when 100 journalists were battling it out at Uxbridge Magistrates Court in north-west London to get an overview of the model.

There were suggestions that Associated Press photographer Kirsty Wigglesworth had come across Ms. Burley.

That same year, Burley was inundated with criticism when she asked Suffolk serial killer Steve Wright's wife, "Do you think if you had had a better sex life he wouldn't have?"

In 2010, she had to apologize for the joke that the Catholic US Vice President Joe Biden, who had ash on his forehead on Ash Wednesday, had a "bruise" that he had noticed when he "entered a door".

Labor MP Chris Bryant later said to her: "You seem a bit gloomy if you don't mind if I say that."

Burley hit back, “This is the first time anyone has said on TV that I'm weak and it was water off a duck's back. Inside his underpants is a photo of Chris Bryant on the Internet that he took for a gay website. You can judge who is the darkest. & # 39;

Then Prime Minister David Cameron meets Burley during a reception to celebrate women's achievements in the media on May 16, 2013 at 10 Downing Street

Then Prime Minister David Cameron meets Burley during a reception to celebrate women's achievements in the media on May 16, 2013 at 10 Downing Street

Burley admitted she "found it hard to fight back" being "sucked in" by the aura and charisma of political figureheads like Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and Boris Johnson (pictured together here in 2019).

Burley admitted she "found it hard to fight back" being "sucked in" by the aura and charisma of political figureheads like Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and Boris Johnson (pictured together here in 2019).

In September 2019, she had an awkward argument with Brexit Party MP Lucy Harris when she was accused of not being impartial and of voting for Remain. The conversation got heated when Ms. Burley accused Ms. Harris of being over the top by saying Remainers wanted 15 referendums before they got the result they wanted.

Just two months later, Burley provoked a number of Ofcom complaints after she was accused of doing a "cheap stunt" for Tory chairman James Cleverly on her show.

Ms. Burley showed an empty chair and claimed that Mr. Cleverly refused to appear – but he insisted that he had not arranged an interview with her and was in another interview.

The presenter repeatedly pointed to the empty chair and reeled off a series of questions she was about to ask him, causing a number of complaints from viewers.

At the height of the pandemic, Burley came across Cabinet Secretary Michael Gove after appearing on Sky News to defend Dominic Cummings for violating coronavirus restrictions.

She added, "What people are seeing here is that there is one rule for you … and another rule for them."

In 2011, Burley turned to fiction writing and published her debut novel, First Ladies. "An irresistible cross between The Thick Of It and Jilly Cooper," in which "the glamorous worlds of glossy magazines, television and politics are exposed".

In 2011, Burley turned to fiction writing and published her debut novel, First Ladies. "An irresistible cross between The Thick Of It and Jilly Cooper," in which "the glamorous worlds of glossy magazines, television and politics are exposed".

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