Sky News anchor suspended for breaching virus restrictions

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Kay Burley

FILE – In this Wednesday, 22 April, 2015 file photo, Kay Burley poses for photographers upon her arrival at the British Academy Television Nominees Party in London. British broadcaster Sky News said Thursday Dec. 10, 2020, they have taken one of its leading news anchors, Kay Burley, off the air for six months after she threw a birthday party that violated coronavirus restrictions. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP, File)

LONDON (AP) — British broadcaster Sky News has taken one of its leading news anchors off the air for six months after she threw a birthday party that violated coronavirus restrictions.

The channel said Thursday that Kay Burley had agreed to be off air for six months “as a result of an internal review.” Sky News said it “takes breaches like this very seriously indeed.”

Burley threw a 60th birthday bash at a London restaurant on Saturday. Under current restrictions in the British capital, people from different households can’t meet indoors.

Two reporters who attended the gathering, political editor Beth Rigby and correspondent Inzaman Rashid, will be off-air for three months, Sky News said.

Burley, who has been a presenter on Sky News since the channel’s debut in 1989, said she had agreed “to step back from my broadcasting role for a period of reflection.

“It’s clear to me that we are all in the fight against COVID-19 and that we all have a duty to stick firmly by the rules,” she said in a statement. “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.”

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