27 May 2020

Newsnight's Emily Maitlis praised for opening monologue about Dominic Cummings saga

Newsnight host Emily Maitlis has been applauded for her opening monologue about Dominic Cummings’ lockdown breaches.

She said: "Dominic Cummings broke the rules, the country can see that, and it’s shocked the Government cannot.

“The longer ministers and the Prime Minister tell us he worked within them, the more angry the response to this scandal is likely to be.

“He was the man, remember, who always got the public mood, he tagged the lazy label of ‘elite’ on those who disagreed. He should understand that public mood. One of fury, contempt, and anguish.

“He made those who struggled to keep to the rules feel like fools, and has allowed many more to feel like they can flout them.

"The Prime Minister knows all this, and despite the resignation of one minister, growing unease from his backbenchers, a dramatic early warning from the polls, and a deep national disquiet, Boris Johnson has chosen to ignore it."

Viewers hailed Maitlis for her ’honest’ words, just weeks after she was praised for ’debunking’ the  claim that coronavirus was ’the great leveller’.

One tweeted: "OK, that is an opening... @maitlis tells it how it is."

With another writing: "The Emily Maitlis Miracle MK2. These words were brilliant and most definitely needed. This needs to be the new norm."

A third tweeted: "Truly excellent from @maitlis exercising the freedom to say two plus two make four."

However, not all viewers were happy and some have accused Maitlis of editorialising the monologue.

Commentator Darren Grimes wrote: "Look, you all know my view, but whether you liked Maitlis' explanation or not, this is editorialising. Deliberately including certain analysis and excluding others.

“It reveals her views and in doing so undermines the impartiality of the BBC. She was not clear it was her own take.”

The BBC was told no government minister was available to appear on Newsnight last night.

However, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick was on BBC Breakfast this morning talking about Cummings.

He said: "Now I think is the time for us all to move on. 

"That's not to say this isn't an important issue or that people don't care a great deal about it but I think there is a lot more that we need to focus on now, like the virus and the economy."

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