18 October 2023

Kay Burley’s remarks about Palestinian ambassador receive 1,500 complaints

18 October 2023

More than 1,500 complaints have been received by Ofcom after Kay Burley made comments about the Palestinian ambassador on her show.

The Sky News journalist, 62, allegedly misrepresented comments made by Husam Zomlot, according to the complainants.

The media watchdog said a total of 1,537 complaints were made after Breakfast With Kay Burley on Sky News on October 10.

Ofcom said: “Complainants alleged Kay Burley misrepresented comments made by the Palestinian ambassador.”

During the programme, Ms Burley was talking to the shadow chancellor for the Duchy of Lancaster, Pat McFadden.

She asked: “Will the shadow foreign secretary (David Lammy) sit with the Palestinian ambassador, appearing with him, at an event, given that the Palestinian ambassador basically said, the last couple of days, that ‘Israel had it coming’?”

Mr McFadden said Israel “did not have it coming” and he would attend a Labour Friends of Palestine event, which took place on the fringes of the party conference.

Ms Burley also asked Stella Creasy about Mr Zomlot’s remarks, with the Labour MP saying she was “not aware of the incident you’re talking about and the Labour party is united in condemning the violence”.

Later in the day, Mr Lammy gave an address at the meeting after it was confirmed Mr Zomlot would no longer be appearing.

Mr Zomlot, who does not represent the militant group Hamas and is the most senior Palestinian diplomat in the UK, has accused Israel of a “war crime” against civilians.

The head of the Palestinian mission in London condemned the killing of civilians by Hamas but said Israel is seeking “sheer vengeance” in its retaliation.

He also told CNN on October 7: “The loss of civilian life is tragic… (on) all sides and what is happening is extremely worrying and very tragic.

“As we speak, the loss of (lives), you’ve counted 70 Israeli deaths, there (are) more than 200 Palestinian deaths so far, more than 1,600 entire residential compounds are being wiped out. This is a war crime committed by Israel.

“And what is more tragic or equally tragic is the blindness and the deafness of the world and the international community for so many years of the warnings we have been saying that this was coming.

“Israel knew that this was coming their way. We the national movement of Palestine, the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organisation), have found a different part 30 years ago, we have committed to what the world asks us; recognise Israel, commit to negotiations of non-violence… Israel was expected to do one thing only, roll back its occupation… It’s a consequence.”

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said on Sky News on October 10 he would not share a platform with Mr Zomlot.

He said: “I’ve met with him, I speak with him. Maintaining diplomatic relations is important.

“But I have said that Palestinian voices, particularly those in leadership positions, should criticise the appalling behaviour, the atrocious actions, that have been perpetrated by Hamas.

“These indiscriminate killings, these murders, these kidnaps, these terrorist actions, should be condemned by the leadership of the Palestinian Authority because otherwise there will be this perception that all Palestinians support Hamas and they don’t.”

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