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Kay Burley has admitted she was an "idiot" for breaking Covid rules to celebrate her 60th birthday.
The Sky News presenter returned to the channel earlier this month after she was slapped with a six month suspension after breaking Tier 2 rules in December.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, she said that she hadn't broken the rules on purpose, and that she had been "appropriately sanctioned" with a six month suspension.
The veteran news hound said: “I thought I was Covid-compliant. I wasn’t. I made a mistake.
“I was an idiot and I let myself and my viewers down. I’m sorry for what I did and for any heartache I caused the loyal friends with me at the time.
Should Kay Burley have been sacked for breaking the rules? Tell us in the comments below!
Kay Burley is back on Sky News after 6 month suspension for breaking lockdown rules
“I paid for my mistake; quite rightly. My viewers told me how frustrated they were with me and they were right to do so.
“With time, the mood music changed and my viewers wanted me back.”
In December an internal review found that “a small number of Sky News staff attended a social event in London” where Covid-19 guidelines were breached.
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It said: “All those involved regret the incident and have apologised. Everyone at Sky News is expected to comply with the rules and the company takes breaches like this very seriously indeed.”
Kay was photographed with a group of people on December 2.
Kay spent some of her time away from work volunteering at a food bank
She invited four colleagues back to her home to continue celebrations after a dinner to celebrate her 60th birthday in London.
As London was under Tier 2 regulations at that time – where it was forbidden to enter other people's homes – this was against the rules.
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She admitted one instance of breaking the rules by entering a restaurant to "spend a penny," but at the time did not mention the private gathering she'd hosted, which went against Covid regulations.
The breach was scandalous as Kay had been calling out the actions of politicians throughout 2020 for their problematic Covid behaviour – critics saw this as a further signal of her hypocrisy.
Kay was pictured in London with friends celebrating her 60th birthday in December
Other Sky staff including political editor Beth Rigby, north of England correspondent Inzamam Rashid and presenter Sam Washington were photographed at the celebrations, and Kay's employers at Sky released a statement declaring their "disappointment" at the actions.
Both Beth and Inzamam were taken off air for three months following the review.
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It's not the first time Kay has labelled herself "an idiot" for almost derailing her career – and her colleagues'.
After her birthday party hit the headlines, she issued a grovelling apology on social media in which she revealed that she had agreed to step back from her role with Sky for a short period.
She wrote: "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."
Kay spent her six months away from work on an African holiday lion-watching, volunteering at food bank, and rowing on Twitter with talkRADIO host Julia Hartley-Brewer.