SKY News presenter Kay Burley has been hauled off air – and told to take a period of extended holiday after breaking lockdown laws.
The veteran journalist’s future on the channel is said to be hanging in the balance after she was caught hosting an illegal 60th birthday party.
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Kay and nine friends – including Sky colleagues Beth Rigby, Inzamam Rashid and Sam Washington – partied at Century Club in Soho, London, against the rule of six.
A group then carried onto a private restaurant, Folie, before four went back to Kay’s West London home.
The 59-year-old was told to report to the news provider’s HQ in Osterley, West London, for showdown talks.
She was supposed to be fronting the channel’s coverage of the first Covid-19 vaccination in Coventry but was stood down at the eleventh hour.
Sarah Hewson was drafted in to replace her for the momentous event.
She will now be off air for the rest of the week, and has been told to take annual leave while bosses mull over her future.
It’s thought she is now unlikely to be back on air until 2021.
A Sky source said: “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 others involved have also been warned about their behaviour. Beth, Inzy and Sam have all had tickings off too but none more so than Kay.”
On Monday night Kay tried to play down the rule breach, and claimed she only entered Folie to use the toilet.
She said: “I want to apologise to you all for an error of judgment.
"On Saturday night I was enjoying my 60th birthday at a Covid compliant restaurant. I am embarrassed to say that later in the evening I inadvertently broke the rules. I had been waiting for a taxi at 11pm to get home.
Desperate for the loo I briefly popped into another restaurant to spend a penny. I can only apologise.”
Burley has held many politicians accountable over Covid rule breaks in her role at the broadcaster during the pandemic.
In May she interviewed Michael Gove over Dominic Cummings' trip to Durham, and repeatedly asked him what the government advice would be for someone "struggling with Covid-19" who had a "problem with their eyesight” – referencing his trip he made to Barnard Castle.
She also tackled Matt Hancock over Professor Neil Ferguson's forced resignation, asking the health secretary: "What did you think when you read it? Did you bang your head on the desk?"
A spokesman for Sky News declined to comment.
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