Sky News presenter Kay Burley did not appear on air to host her TV show this morning after admitting to breaking coronavirus rules.
The veteran jounalist was replaced by presenter Sarah Hewson on her normal 7am to 10am Sky News slot after Sky announced they have launched an internal invesitgation into her behaviour.
The 59-year-old presenter’s absence from her usual morning slot follows her apology for her ‘error of judgment’.
Ms Burley yesterday admitted she ‘inadvertently broke the rules’ while celebrating her upcoming 60th birthday over the weekend.
Sky News has launched an internal probe into her conduct after she said she spent Saturday night at a ‘Covid-compliant restaurant’ in London but admitted to flouting Tier 2 restrictions by using a toilet in another venue while waiting for a taxi home at 11pm.
She apologised on Twitter last night after Guido Fawkes reported a ‘group of ten’ including Sky’s political reporter Beth Rigby, Inzamam Rashid and Sam Washington celebrated Ms Burley’s 60th at private members’ club Century Club in Soho.
Sky News broadcaster Kay Burley (pictured left) was replaced on her morning TV show by journalist Sarah Hewson (pictured right on Sky News this morning) after apologising last night for ‘inadvertently’ breaking coronavirus regulations while out celebrating her 60th birthday
Ms Hewson announced on Twitter that she would be presenting the morning Sky News slot shortly after Ms Burley’s apology last night
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.
Ms Hewson announced on Twitter that she would be presenting the morning Sky News slot shortly after Ms Burley’s apology.
While hosting Ms Burley’s usual news programme, Ms Hewson discussed the roll out of the coronavirus vaccine and Brexit with Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
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
The journalist claims she used a toilet at 11pm in a different restaurant while waiting for a taxi
A spokesperson for Sky said: ‘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 underway 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.
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 joined in
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.
‘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.’
It comes after it emerged 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.