Sky News presenter Kay Burley has said she was an ‘idiot’ over the Covid rules breach that landed her a six-month suspension.
The broadcaster, 60, was taken off air for six months on full pay, after breaking restrictions for her birthday party in London in December, which was then in Tier 2.
Burley dined with eight colleagues and friends at a London restaurant, sitting at two tables, before she ‘inadvertently’ broke the rules later in the evening as she ‘briefly popped into another restaurant to spend a penny while waiting for a taxi home’.
It was also claimed that a group of four returned to Burley’s home to continue the celebrations, although Burley has never addressed this accusation.
Having returned to Sky News on June 7, Burley has now said she was ‘appropriately sanctioned’.
The journalist told the Daily Mail: ‘I thought I was Covid-compliant. I wasn’t. I made a mistake.
‘I was an idiot and I let myself and my viewers down. I’m sorry for what I did and for any heartache I caused the loyal friends with me at the time.
‘I was appropriately sanctioned.
She added: ‘I paid for my mistake; quite rightly. My viewers told me how frustrated they were with me and they were right to do so.
‘With time, the mood music changed and my viewers wanted me back.’
Burley has since reported from the G7 summit in Cornwall, and alluded to her six-month absence upon her return by quipping: ‘It’s great to be back.’
While suspended, Burley volunteered at a food bank and a vaccine hub.
Following an internal review in December, Sky News found that ‘a small number of Sky News staff attended a social event in London’ where Covid-19 guidelines were breached.
It said: ‘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.’
The channel’s political editor, Beth Rigby, and correspondent Inzamam Rashid were also both taken off air for three months following the review.
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