Oh dear. Kay Burley's 2020 has taken a turn for the worse after she was caught breaking Tier 2 rules with her 60th birthday celebrations. Burley was taken off air while Sky News bosses began a disciplinary process against her to investigate the claims. As Mr S reported yesterday, her colleagues are seething and she is not expected to return to the screen until the new year at the earliest.
So, how is the Sky News anchor taking the news? On Tuesday evening, she posted a tweet in which she insisted that it was always the case she was going to be off over Christmas – owing to a pre-planned trip to Africa to 'sit with lions'. She then cryptically added, ‘they kill for food not sport’. The comment has been read by some of Burley's colleagues as a veiled dig at her treatment in the press and online since the Guido story first broke. That's raised eyebrows given her own approach to holding power to account.
Whatever she meant, it appears not to have landed well with someone senior. For Burley has now deleted the tweet. Happily, Steerpike was on hand to grab it first...
Meanwhile, Mr S hears that at an all staff Sky meeting (scheduled before the Burley incident), Sky News boss John Ryley said the company was 'obviously disappointed' to hear some colleagues had not observed coronavirus rules. Staff were told that the corporation expected them to comply with government rules. As for an angry staff Q&A, Steerpike understands this was somewhat hampered by the fact staff can no longer submit questions anonymously. However, some in the newsroom are taking comfort in the fact that three other Sky employees who attended Burley's bash are off air pending an investigation into the allegations – political editor Beth Rigby, correspondent Inzaman Rashid and presenter Sam Washington.
Burley's colleague Adam Boulton certainly seems unimpressed – retweeting a tweet criticising those involved: