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Burley may be off air until 2021 after Covid ‘error’

Kay Burley: apologised

UPDATED 9 DEC: Sky News presenter Kay Burley could be off air until the new year following her ‘inadvertent’ breach of the Covid regulations.

Sources have said she will be forced to take extended leave after she celebrated her 60th birthday with a group of 10 people at a Soho restaurant.

The veteran journalist, who has challenged a number of politicians about the behaviour of their advisers, was replaced by presenter Sarah Hewson on her normal 7am to 10am slot on Tuesday. Her employer announced it had launched an internal investigation into her behaviour.

According to The Sun, the presenter will now be off air for the rest of the week, and is ‘unlikely’ to return until 2021.

On Wednesday it was reported that all staff at Sky will attend a meeting at 1pm and that political editor Beth Rigby, who was among the revellers, was also reported to have been taken off air.

Ms Burley was understood to have been dropped from an entry to the Royal Television Society’s journalism awards for her breakfast show. 

A source told the paper:  “The Sky News bosses were absolutely furious at Kay.

“She should know better and they told her as such. They’ve told her she’s off-air for the foreseeable. It looks like it will be 2021 before she’s back.”

The presenter admitted she ‘inadvertently broke the rules’ while celebrating her forthcoming birthday. 

She said she spent Saturday night at a ‘Covid-compliant restaurant’ in London but admitted to flouting Tier 2 restrictions by using a toilet in another venue while waiting for a taxi home at 11pm. 

She apologised on Twitter after the Guido Fawkes blog reported a “group of ten”, including Ms Rigby, Inzamam Rashid and Sam Washington attending the party at the Century private members’ club. 

Guido said that a smaller group then went on to the nearby Soho restaurant Folie as the 11pm curfew came into effect, before four of the original party ended the night at Ms Burley’s home in west London. 

Ms Burley is understood to have blamed the situation on ‘misunderstandings’ in planning and organising the event.

She later claimed  she was off air until 2021 because of a pre-booked trip to Africa – not because of any internal inquiry.

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