Sky News Takes Top Presenter Kay Burley Off-Air For Six Months After She Breached UK Covid Rules

Kay Burley

Comcast-owned Sky News has taken arguably its top presenter, Kay Burley, off-air for six months after she breached the UK’s coronavirus rules over the weekend.

In a statement, Sky said: “Sky News has completed an internal review into the conduct of a small number of team members who attended a social event on the evening of 5th December.

“Over the course of the evening, COVID guidelines were breached. Sky News expects all team members to fully comply with the COVID restrictions. All those involved regret the incident and have apologised.”

“Following our review of what took place on 5th December, we have agreed with Beth Rigby (Political Editor) and Inzamam Rashid (News Correspondent) that they will not be on air for three months, and we have agreed with Kay Burley (Breakfast Show Presenter) that she will not be on air for six months.”

According to reports, Burley hosted a 60th birthday party on Saturday, during which a group of 10 visited a London members club. A number of the party went on to a restaurant and later, four of the group returned to Burley’s house for drinks. London sits within Tier 2 of the UK’s Covid rules, which prohibit indoor gatherings unless people live together or are part of the same support bubble — but even then, this is only in groups of six or less.

In a statement today, Burley said she made a “big mistake” and is stepping back for a “period of reflection.” She has previously apologized.

Burley was presenting on Sky News when it first launched in 1989 and has been in the hot seat for key stories, not least the 9/11 terror attacks on the U.S. She has built a reputation as a pugnacious and straight-talking interviewer, who doesn’t suffer fools, while she is on hand for most major live events, including royal weddings and births. She became Sky News’ breakfast host last year, meaning she is responsible for daily interviews with cabinet ministers, who need to be held to account for the government’s response to the pandemic.

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