Kay Burley ‘stepping back’ from Sky News role for six months after breaking coronavirus rules

Political editor Beth Rigby and correspondent Inzaman Rashid taken off air for three months

Kate Ng
Thursday 10 December 2020 18:22
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Kay Burley has apologised for breaching coronavirus restrictions during a celebration for her 60th birthday
Kay Burley has apologised for breaching coronavirus restrictions during a celebration for her 60th birthday

Sky News presenter Kay Burley has said she will “step back” from her broadcasting role “for a period of reflection” after breaking Covid-19 rules.

In a statement posted on Twitter, she said it did not matter that she thought had had been “Covid-compliant on a recent social event”, and apologised for making “a big mistake”.

“Some dear friends and colleagues – some of the most talented and committed professionals in our business – have been pulled into this episode and I regret this enormously,” she added.

Ms Burley said she will return and was looking forward to “being able to continue my 32-year career with Sky”.

Sky News said that Ms Burley agreed to be taken off air for six months after she attended a party for her upcoming 60th birthday at the Century Club in Soho.

Political editor Beth Rigby and correspondent Inzaman Rashid, who were also at the party, have been taken off air for three months.

“A small number of Sky News staff attended a social event in London on Saturday evening during which Covid-19 guidelines were breached,” said the broadcaster, as reported by the PA news agency.

“As a result of an internal review Sky News presenter Kay Burley has agreed to be off air for six months, and political editor Beth Rigby and correspondent Inzaman Rashid have agreed to be off air for three months.

“All those involved regret the incident and have apologised. Everyone at Sky News is expected to comply with the rules and the company takes breaches like this very seriously indeed.”

On Tuesday, the veteran presenter said she was “enjoying my 60th birthday at a Covid compliant restaurant” but later “inadvertently broke the rules” when she “popped” into another restaurant to use the toilet.

In a now-deleted Twitter message, she said she had always planned to take time off to visit “my beloved Africa”, and shared a video from a safari trip.

“Lovely people, whatever else you read be safe in the knowledge I was always heading to my beloved Africa on Friday to sit with lions. They kill for food not sport.”

Sky News did not say who would take Ms Burley’s place or who would fill the role of political editor while Ms Rigby is gone. Sam Coates is currently the deputy political editor.

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