Sky is investigating the conduct of its star news broadcaster Kay Burley after she admitted ‘inadvertently’ breaking coronavirus regulations while celebrating her 60th birthday.
The veteran journalist said she spent Saturday night at a ‘Covid-compliant restaurant’ in London before flouting Tier 2 restrictions by using a toilet in another venue while waiting for a taxi home at 11pm.
She apologised on Twitter after Guido Fawkes reported a ‘group of ten’ including Sky’s Beth Rigby, Inzamam Rashid and Sam Washington celebrated Ms Burley’s 60th at private members’ club Century Club in Soho.
Guido claims 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.
Inzamam Rashid and former Sky News employee Paul Harrison, who now works for Huawei, were reportedly in the group-of-four at Ms Burley’s house.
Ms Burley is understood to have blamed the situation on ‘misunderstandings’ in planning and organising the event, the Guardian reports.
However, she has not addressed why people returned to her home after the dinner – a claim not thought to be in dispute.
All of the Sky staff who ‘may’ have been involved are now facing a review of their conduct by their employer, which said it was ‘disappointed’ by the incident.
Sky News broadcaster Kay Burley last night apologised for ‘inadvertently’ breaking coronavirus regulations while out celebrating her 60th birthday
Though she did not confirm where she had celebrated her birthday, Ms Burley apologised amid reports that she went to swanky private members’ club Century Club in Soho
The veteran journalist said that she spent Saturday night at a ‘Covid-compliant restaurant’ in London before flouting Tier 2 restrictions by using a toilet in another restaurant at 11pm
A spokesperson for the channel told the Guardian: ‘We place the highest importance on complying with the government guidelines on Covid, and we expect all our people to comply.
‘We were disappointed to learn that a small number of Sky News staff may have engaged in activity that breached the guidelines.
‘Although this took place at a social event in personal time, we expect all our people to follow the rules that are in place for everyone. An internal process is under way to review the conduct of the people involved.’
Under Tier 2 restrictions, households are not allowed to gather indoors unless a one-person household forms a support bubble with another – but outdoor gatherings of six people are permitted.
Ms Burnley has interrogated politicians for their perceived defence of breaches of shutdown restrictions by government officials.
After Neil Ferguson was forced to resign from the Government for flouting rules to enjoy secret trysts with his lover, she asked Matt Hancock: ‘What did you think when you read it? Did you bang your head on the desk?’
In May, Ms Burley interrogated Michael Gove over his defence of Dominic Cummings’ lockdown-flouting trip to Barnard Castle.
Last night, the Sky News broadcaster told her 517,000 followers on Twitter that she was ’embarrassed’ by her behaviour, which she described as an ‘error of judgment’.
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.
According to the website Guido Fawkes, Sky talent Beth Rigby celebrated Ms Burley’s 60th
Sky colleagues Inzamam Rashid (left) and Sam Washington (right) also reportedly celebrated
‘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.’
The Mail on Sunday reported how pop star Rita Ora did not self-isolate for 14 days after flying to Egypt for an event.
The 30-year-old singer flew by private jet to Cairo on November 21 to perform at the five-star W Hotel. She returned the next day and under Government quarantine rules should have self-isolated for 14 days.
Instead, she threw a birthday party on November 28 at the exclusive Casa Cruz restaurant in Notting Hill, west London.
Ms Ora was forced to apologise last week after she and around 30 guests, including model Cara Delevingne, were photographed at the event before the end of the second national lockdown on Wednesday.
While the singer said she was ‘deeply sorry’ for her actions and offered to pay a £10,000 fine for hosting the party, she did not mention her trip to Egypt or breaking a second set of strict rules.