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Kay Burley suspended by Sky News for six months

Kay Burley suspended by Sky News for six months
© Sky
Kay Burley is issued with a six-month suspension by Sky News following a coronavirus rule break, while political editor Beth Rigby is suspended for three months.

Sky News has given veteran news anchor Kay Burley a six-month suspension following a breach of coronavirus rules last weekend.

The presenter - one of the founding members of Sky News in 1989 - hosted a small gathering at a private members' club to mark her 60th birthday, with several of her colleagues said to have been in attendance.

Sky initially suspended Burley, as well as political editor Beth Rigby and news correspondent Inzamam Rashid, while it conducted an investigation and has now agreed longer sanctions on the trio.

A statement from the broadcaster 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."

In a statement posted on social media, Burley apologised for her actions but insisted that she believed she had been complying with the rules.

"I have today agreed with Sky News to step back from my broadcasting role for a period of reflection," she said.

"It's clear to me that we are all in the fight against COVID-19 and that we all have a duty to stick firmly by the rules.

"It doesn't matter that I thought I was COVID-compliant on a recent social event. The fact is I was wrong, I made a big mistake, and I am sorry.

"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.

"I was one of the founding presenters on Sky News. No one is prouder of our channel's reputation, the professionals on our team, and the impact we make.

"I very much look forward to being able to continue my 32-year career with Sky when I return."

The news means that Rigby will miss coverage of the UK's exit from the EU transition period at the end of the year, while by the time Burley returns in May, Sky is expected to have competition from two new TV news channels.


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