Emily Maitlis facing further BBC rebuke after saying she doesn't regret Dominic Cummings remarks

·Senior news reporter, Yahoo News UK
·2-min read
Emily Maitlis is facing another rebuke from the BBC after defending her Dominic Cummings monologue. (Getty Images)
Emily Maitlis is facing another rebuke from the BBC after defending her Dominic Cummings monologue. (Getty Images)

Emily Maitlis is facing another rebuke from the BBC after saying she does not regret her comments about Dominic Cummings.

The corporation said “we will be taking this up with Emily” following her latest remarks.

Maitlis, the Newsnight presenter, was reprimanded in May last year over her infamous monologue addressing the scandal surrounding Cummings – then Boris Johnson’s chief adviser – and his lockdown trip from London to the North East.

She had opened with the words: “Dominic Cummings broke the rules. The country can see that, and it’s shocked the government cannot.”

Former number 10 special advisor Dominic Cummings talks to the media outside his residence in London on May 4, 2021. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
Dominic Cummings (AFP via Getty Images)

Maitlis was subsequently reprimanded, with the BBC saying it “did not meet our standards of due impartiality”.

In an interview with Press Gazette published on Thursday, Maitlis said she didn’t regret the words she used, adding: “It hasn’t ever been explained to me what was journalistically inaccurate about that.”

Maitlis also suggested the BBC issued its rebuke after pressure from Downing Street. The corporation has denied this.

Watch: Friday's politics briefing

She added Cummings did not complain, and that he “sent me a very funny text separately which was supportive”.

A BBC spokesperson said after the interview was published: “Nothing is more important than our impartiality.

"All BBC journalists must abide by the BBC's editorial guidelines and social media rules. There are no exceptions.

“We will be taking this up with Emily."

The corporation even published a news article about the latest row on its website on Friday.

Meanwhile, the BBC has dismissed complaints about its interview with Cummings that was broadcast earlier this week.

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The corporation said on Friday that it "received complaints from people who felt we shouldn’t have interviewed Dominic Cummings, and that this interview was biased against the prime minister".

However, it said the interview, carried out by political editor Laura Kuenssberg, "made clear that this was Mr Cummings’ version of events" and "reflected... the acrimonious circumstances in which he left government and the personal animosity that exists between him and some of the individuals involved".

Watch: Johnson wanted to visit Queen in person before first lockdown – Cummings

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