Emily Maitlis has revealed that Dominic Cummings sent her a message of support after her infamous Newsnight tirade criticising him for breaching coronavirus lockdown rules.
The presenter was found to have violated the BBC’s impartiality guidelines following her monologue on Mr Cummings’s trip to Barnard Castle in Durham.
Now, in an interview with Tatler, Ms Maitlis, 49, has revealed that Mr Cummings sent her a ‘text of support’ after she faced heavy criticism for her words.
She said: ‘[Dominic Cummings] sent me a text of support. It was peak surreal getting a message of support from him in the middle of all the crazy stuff.’
The BBC received 40,000 complaints within two days of the monologue, but Ms Maitlis says she was inundated with support – receiving more than she had for her dramatic Prince Andrew interview.
She added: ‘I think that was the biggest I’ve had – more than Andrew, more than anything. I was overwhelmed by it; I wasn’t expecting such a flood of warmth.’
In an interview with Tatler, Emily Maitlis, 49, has revealed that Dominic Cummings sent her a ‘text of support’ after her monologue on him
She spoke about the fallout of the monologue and also her infamous of interviewing Prince Andrew
Ms Maitlis said Mr Cummings had ‘broken the rules’ when he travelled from London to Durham during lockdown and ‘the country can see that, and it’s shocked the Government cannot’.
She said he made the public feel ‘like fools’ and accused Boris Johnson of showing ‘blind loyalty’ towards his adviser, who had driven 260 miles from London to County Durham during lockdown.
Within 24 hours, the BBC released a statement saying the programme had not met ‘standards of due impartiality’, adding that staff had been ‘reminded of the guidelines’.
Anger flooded in from some incensed by the initial broadcast, which they believed showed bias, while others were furious about the corporation’s rapid climb down, after it issued a statement saying Maitlis had broken the rules.
In her discussion with Tatler, the presenter also spoke about her infamous interview with Prince Andrew at Buckingham Palace.
She said: ‘He was actually so generous with his time. He took us on a tour of the extraordinary corridor of Buckingham Palace, he pointed out the statues, the staircases and where the Queen has her audiences with prime ministers.
‘He said to me, ‘Next time you come, we’ll talk about Prince Albert. He was the entrepreneur of the family’.’
But the presenter said she had not ‘grasped exactly what was in the interview until I finished’.
Maitlis added: ‘You’re so determined not to miss a beat, to check with yourself you haven’t used the wrong tone or got something stupendously wrong, that actually you’re not sitting there grinning, thinking, ‘Hahaha! That’s amazing!”
The Andrew interview, in which he was grilled over his relationship with billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, heavily damaged the Duke.
Dominic Cummings came under heavy criticism for breaching coronavirus lockdown rules
Newsnight host Emily Maitlis spoke about the Dominic Cummings row on last night’s show
The Andrew interview, in which he was grilled over his relationship with billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, heavily damaged the Duke
The fallout saw him withdraw from public duties after he was widely criticised for failing to show remorse for his friendship with Epstein, and little empathy with the sex offender’s alleged victims.
Ms Maitlis also discussed her relationship with Piers Morgan.
She said: ‘I think of Piers as someone who’s incredibly loyal. I know if I was in prison, Piers Morgan would come and see me.
‘I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but he’d be there.
‘And I like the fact that I can have a row with him without it affecting our friendship – I don’t think I’ve ever had dinner with him without it ending in a massive row. I think that’s a good thing.’
The full feature is in the September issue of Tatler available via digital download and newsstands on Thursday July 30.