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Kay Burley returning Monday after being off air for six months in wake of controversial birthday gathering

The gathering had occurred at a time when London was in Tier 2 of England’s Covid-19 three-tier system.

Sky News presenter Kay Burley
Sky News presenter Kay Burley
Image: Yui Mok via PA Images

SKY NEWS PRESENTER Kay Burley is returning to the air on Monday, six months after she and other reporters controversially gathered at a London restaurant for her 60th birthday.

The gathering had occurred at a time when London was in Tier 2 of England’s Covid-19 three-tier system, meaning it wasn’t advised to socialise with people who were not in your household or support bubble, at home or in a public place. 

It was reported that Burley attended one restaurant with a group of people in London, and afterwards, the presenter allegedly went to a second restaurant.

Responding to this at the time, Burley said on Twitter:

“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.”

Following the incident, an internal review was carried out and Sky News said Burley agreed to be off air for six months, and political editor Beth Rigby and correspondent Inzamam Rashid, who were also at the gathering, agreed to be off air for three months.

At the time, Burley said in a statement shared on Twitter that “we are all in the fight against Covid-19 and that we all have a duty to stick firmly by the rules”.

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“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… have been pulled into this episode and I regret this enormously,” Burley said. 

Burley confirmed on social media today that she will be returning to Sky News on Monday. 

She wrote: “See you on Monday. Hope you’re as happy as I am to be back.” 

With reporting by Gráinne Ní Aodha 

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