Cummings, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s chief adviser, is accused of violating the rules for containing coronavirus by traveling with his family through England to pass the quarantine to his parents’ home, despite the fact that his wife already exhibited COVID-19 symptoms . “It made those who did everything to respect the rules seem stupid, and it made many others think that they could violate them,” said Maitlis, who added that Johnson chose to ignore him.
Public service broadcasting ????????pic.twitter.com/6iceTI7hQ4
– David Lammy (@DavidLammy) May 26, 2020
The BBC release said Maitlis violated the impartiality rules of the network, and that staff were reminded of the guidelines to follow. The monologue had gone viral and had been appreciated by many, but several conservative politicians had criticized it, as well as some journalists, considering it excessive compared to the traditional sobriety of the BBC news.
– Also read: Boris Johnson is risking, with Cummings
BBC statement on last night’s Newsnight pic.twitter.com/JFm4Nt5YMv
– BBC News Press Team (@BBCNewsPR) May 27, 2020
The BBC’s decision was met with some surprise, and has been heavily criticized by Labor journalists and politicians. Journalist Katie Razzall led the episode of Newsnight Wednesday night, but he wrote on Twitter that it didn’t happen because the BBC asked Maitlis not to introduce him: if it had been so, Razzall wouldn’t have aired. Maitlis confirmed that she asked not to work on Wednesday evening.
So grateful to my friend and excellent colleague @katierazz for stepping in this evening. She did so because I asked for the night off -knowing tonight’s prog would be in the most excellent hands ???? #newsnight https://t.co/0ZkH2KbzBF
– emily m (@maitlis) May 28, 2020