UPDATE: Ofcom has confirmed to the Huffington Post UK that complaints have been made over the Burley interview.

Kay Burley has sparked a raft of criticism on Twitter after she broke the news that police are now searching for April Jones' body to a member of the Machynlleth community live on air.

Labour MP Tom Watson joined in the chorus of disapproval, calling the interview "insensitive bordering on cruel".

However, a Sky News source told The Huffington Post UK that one of the interviewees, Claire Owen from Aberystwyth, has expressed support for Ms Burley in a text message and is exasperated that some reports are intimating that the breaking of the news live on air was planned.

She stressed that Ms Burley was genuinely horrified that she hadn't been told of the latest development in the case.

She wrote: "No matter what anyone says I know you didn't know I hadn't been informed. I wish everybody could have seen the look on your [Kay Burley's] face when you realised I hadn't been told. I will not let people who weren't there keep making out like it was planned."


tom_watson
Kay Burley: Insensitive bordering on cruel. Is breaking news so important that you have to forget your humanity?

Criticism of the Sky News anchor swept the internet after a mid-morning press conference in which local police announced that Mark Bridger had been arrested on suspicion of murder, Burley asked for reaction from the two community members. One said he had already heard the news, the other had not.

Burley then broke the news that the search had become a murder investigation, leaving her female interviewee in tears.

kayburley5

One woman was left in tears by the news

"They [the police] don't expect to find her alive," said Burley, adding: "I'm sorry to have to tell you in circumstances like this... would you like to say anything?"

Burley's name immediately started trending on Twitter, with users questioning the Sky reporter's tactics.


Seán O'Keefe
Kay Burley is trending. Like a phone call at 2:30am, you just know something terrible has happened.


Lauren Laverne
Kay Burley. Wow. Just wow.


Ben Rathe
Kay Burley is horrendous. She just broke the news to villagers that it was now a murder inquiry and asked for their reaction LIVE ON AIR.


badassday
Why doesn't Kay Burley just go to the Jones' house and scream "how do you feel?" thru the letterbox?


Lily
Harrowing, heartbreaking news compounded by unethical journalism. Shame on you Kay Burley.

Soon after the interview, Burley's Wikipedia page was updated with the spoof update: "She also works part-time as Death, being the first to announce the demise of then-missing child April Jones, her primary source being her own testimony."

Quick Poll

Was Burley's interview insensitive?

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As well as interviewee Claire, some journalists also defended Ms Burley.


Victoria Derbyshire
KB didn't "break the news to 2 volunteers." The first 1 confirmed she'd "heard the news"; the 2nd ASKED KB what the news was.


Helen Lewis
To be fair, if it had been any another presenter, it wouldn't have caught on so much.

Shortly after the interview, Burley disappeared from the Sky broadcast, though it is not know whether she was pulled off air or her shift had ended.

A Sky News spokesperson said: "At around 10.30 today, Dyfed Powys Police announced that the search for April was now a murder inquiry. Several minutes later, Kay Burley spoke live to a volunteer believing she was aware of the latest developments.

"As she spoke she was joined by a second volunteer. It is clear from the full clip that Kay did not start the interview withthe intention of breaking the sad development to them.

"However, as the interview unfolded, she found herself having to explain the developments and she sought to deal with it as sensitively as possible whilst continuing to offer some comfort to the interviewees. Everyone at Sky News has the greatest sympathy for all those affectedby this tragic story and we will continue work with the police andlocal community to keep people informed."

Friday's interview was not the first time the presenter has been criticised for perceived on-air sensitivity.

In 2010, the reporter came under fire for probing singer Peter Andre about his former wife's new husband, Alex Reid, and the role he would be playing in Andre's children's' lives.

Comments have been closed for legal reasons.

Loading Slideshow...
  • Search Continues For April Jones After Man Arrested On Suspicion Of Murder

    ABERYSTWYTH, WALES - OCTOBER 08: A police officer tries to prevent a member of the public from getting at a prison van believed to contain Mark Bridger as it leaves Aberystwyth Justice Centre on October 8, 2012 in Aberystwyth, Wales. Five-year-old April Jones was abducted from outside her house last week in Machynlleth, Wales and Bridger was arrested last Tuesday, the day after she went missing and has been charged with her murder, abduction and perverting the course of justice. Police continue their search for the young girl. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • Search Continues For April Jones After Man Arrested On Suspicion Of Murder

    ABERYSTWYTH, WALES - OCTOBER 08: A member of the public approaches a prison van believed to contain Mark Bridger, to shout abuse as it leaves Aberystwyth Justice Centre on October 8, 2012 in Aberystwyth, Wales. Five-year-old April Jones was abducted from outside her house last week in Machynlleth, Wales and Bridger was arrested last Tuesday, the day after she went missing and has been charged with her murder, abduction and perverting the course of justice. Police continue their search for the young girl. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • April Jones missing

    A man attacks a prison van as it leaves Aberystwyth Magistrates' Court where Mark Bridger, 46, appeared today accused of the abduction and murder of five-year-old April Jones.

  • April Jones missing

    A man attacks a prison van as it leaves Aberystwyth Magistrates' Court where Mark Bridger, 46, appeared today accused of the abduction and murder of five-year-old April Jones.

  • Search Continues For April Jones After Man Arrested On Suspicion Of Murder

    ABERYSTWYTH, WALES - OCTOBER 08: Members of the public and policemen look on as a prison van believed to contain Mark Bridger as it leaves Aberystwyth Justice Centre on October 8, 2012 in Aberystwyth, Wales. Five-year-old April Jones was abducted from outside her house last week in Machynlleth, Wales and Bridger was arrested last Tuesday, the day after she went missing and has been charged with her murder, abduction and perverting the course of justice. Police continue their search for the young girl. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • Search Continues For April Jones After Man Arrested On Suspicion Of Murder

    ABERYSTWYTH, WALES - OCTOBER 08: A prison van believed to contain Mark Bridger, who has been charged with the murder of April Jones, leaves Aberystwyth Justice Centre on October 8, 2012 in Aberystwyth, Wales. Five-year-old April Jones was abducted from outside her house last week in Machynlleth, Wales and Bridger was arrested last Tuesday, the day after she went missing and has been charged with her murder, abduction and perverting the course of justice. Police continue their search for the young girl. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • Search Continues For April Jones After Man Arrested On Suspicion Of Murder

    ABERYSTWYTH, WALES - OCTOBER 08: Media record outside Aberystwyth police station where Mark Bridger, who has been charged with the murder of April Jones, prepares to leave on October 8, 2012 in Aberystwyth, Wales. Five-year-old April Jones was abducted from outside her house last week in Machynlleth, Wales and Bridger was arrested last Tuesday, the day after she went missing and has been charged with her murder, abduction and perverting the course of justice. Police continue their search for the young girl. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • April Jones missing

    A prison van leaves Aberystwyth Magistrates' Court believed to be carrying Mark Bridger, 46, who appeared today accused of the abduction and murder of five-year-old April Jones.

  • April Jones missing

    Members of the public wait for the van to leave outside Aberystwyth Magistrates' Court after Mark Bridger, 46, appeared today accused of the abduction and murder of five-year-old April Jones.

  • April Jones missing

    A prison van leaves Aberystwyth Magistrates' Court believed to be carrying Mark Bridger, 46, who appeared today accused of the abduction and murder of five-year-old April Jones.

  • April Jones missing

    ALL TV OUT. ALL TV RELATED INTERNET SITES OUT. Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Mark Bridger as he appears in the dock of Aberystwyth Magistrates' Court accused of the abduction and murder of five-year-old April Jones.

  • April Jones missing

    A prison van leaves Aberystwyth Magistrates' Court believed to be carrying Mark Bridger, 46, who appeared today accused of the abduction and murder of five-year-old April Jones.

  • April Jones missing

    A Sunday church service at St Peter's Church in Machynlleth and prayers for April Jones, held by Reverand Kathleen Rogers and Bishop of Bangor Andrew John.

  • April Jones missing

    A Sunday church service at St Peter's Church in Machynlleth and prayers for April Jones, held by Reverand Kathleen Rogers and Bishop of Bangor Andrew John.

  • April Jones missing

    A Sunday church service at St Peter's Church in Machynlleth and prayers for April Jones, held by Reverand Kathleen Rogers and Bishop of Bangor Andrew John.

  • April Jones missing

    Villagers walk to Sunday church service at St Peter's Church in Machynlleth.

  • April Jones missing

    Villagers walk to Sunday church service at St Peter's Church in Machynlleth.

  • April Jones missing

    A Sunday church service at St Peter's Church in Machynlleth and prayers for April Jones, held by Reverand Kathleen Rogers and Bishop of Bangor Andrew John.

  • April Jones missing

    Forensic officers search the home of Mark Bridger - who has been arrested on suspicion of murder - as the hunt for missing April Jones resumed in Machynlleth, mid Wales.

  • April Jones missing

    Villagers walk to Sunday church service at St Peter's Church in Machynlleth.

  • April Jones missing

    BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE. Undated handout photo issued by Dyfed-Powys Police of April Jones who was abducted while out playing near her home in the Bryn Y Gog estate in Machynlleth, Mid Wales on Monday night. Issue date: Friday October 5, 2012. See PA story POLICE Missing. Photo credit should read: Dyfed-Powys Police/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

  • April Jones missing

    BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE. Undated handout photo issued by Dyfed-Powys Police of April Jones who was abducted while out playing near her home in the Bryn Y Gog estate in Machynlleth, Mid Wales on Monday night. Issue date: Friday October 5, 2012. See PA story POLICE Missing. Photo credit should read: Dyfed-Powys Police/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

  • April Jones missing

    BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE. Undated handout photo issued by Dyfed-Powys Police of April Jones who was abducted while out playing near her home in the Bryn Y Gog estate in Machynlleth, Mid Wales on Monday night. Issue date: Friday October 5, 2012. See PA story POLICE Missing. Photo credit should read: Dyfed-Powys Police/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

  • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

    ABERYSWYTH, WALES - OCTOBER 05: Mark Bridger is led from Aberyswyth police station to appear before magistrates in the town on October 5, 2012 in Aberystwyth, Wales . Five-year-old April Jones was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested the main suspect in the case, Mark Bridger, on suspicion of murder. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

    ABERYSWYTH, WALES - OCTOBER 05: Mark Bridger is led from Aberyswyth police station to appear before magistrates in the town on October 5, 2012 in Aberystwyth, Wales . Five-year-old April Jones was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested the main suspect in the case, Mark Bridger, on suspicion of murder. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • Britain-missing-child-police

    Police search teams enter the River Dyfi near to the home of Mark Bridger near Machynlleth, mid-Wales, on October 5, 2012 as the search for missing five-year-old girl April Jones continues. A man was arrested on suspicion of the murder of a missing five-year-old girl in Wales whose disappearance has gripped Britain. Mark Bridger, 46, was held as officers stepped up their hunt for April Jones, who was last seen on Monday evening in her hometown of Machynlleth in a mountainous area, getting into a car.AFP PHOTO/PAUL ELLIS (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Britain-missing-child-police

    Police search teams enter the River Dyfi near to the home of Mark Bridger near Machynlleth, mid-Wales, on October 5, 2012 as the search for missing five-year-old girl April Jones continues. A man was arrested on suspicion of the murder of a missing five-year-old girl in Wales whose disappearance has gripped Britain. Mark Bridger, 46, was held as officers stepped up their hunt for April Jones, who was last seen on Monday evening in her hometown of Machynlleth in a mountainous area, getting into a car.AFP PHOTO/PAUL ELLIS (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

    MACHYNLLETH, WALES - OCTOBER 03: Canoeists search river banks close to where Mark Bridger was arrested on October 3, 2012 near Machynlleth, Wales. April Jones, a five-year-old girl was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested 46-year-old Mark Bridger in connection with her disappearance in the Machynlleth area. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

    MACHYNLLETH, WALES - OCTOBER 03: Canoeists search river banks close to where Mark Bridger was arrested on October 3, 2012 near Machynlleth, Wales. April Jones, a five-year-old girl was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested 46-year-old Mark Bridger in connection with her disappearance in the Machynlleth area. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

    MACHYNLLETH, WALES - OCTOBER 03: Police search a garden close to where Mark Bridger was arrested on October 3, 2012 near Machynlleth, Wales. April Jones, a five-year-old girl was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested 46-year-old Mark Bridger in connection with her disappearance in the Machynlleth area. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

    MACHYNLLETH, WALES - OCTOBER 03: Police search a garden close to where Mark Bridger was arrested on October 3, 2012 near Machynlleth, Wales. April Jones, a five-year-old girl was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested 46-year-old Mark Bridger in connection with her disappearance in the Machynlleth area. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

    MACHYNLLETH, WALES - OCTOBER 04: Police search Mark Bridger's house in the village of Ceinws as the hunt for missing April Jones continues on October 4, 2012 near Machynlleth, Wales. April Jones, a five-year-old girl was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested 46-year-old Mark Bridger in connection with her disappearance in the Machynlleth area. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

    MACHYNLLETH, WALES - OCTOBER 04: Police search Mark Bridger's house in the village of Ceinws as the hunt for missing April Jones continues on October 4, 2012 near Machynlleth, Wales. April Jones, a five-year-old girl was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested 46-year-old Mark Bridger in connection with her disappearance in the Machynlleth area. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

    MACHYNLLETH, WALES - OCTOBER 04: Police search Mark Bridger's house in the village of Ceinws as the hunt for missing April Jones continues on October 4, 2012 near Machynlleth, Wales. April Jones, a five-year-old girl was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested 46-year-old Mark Bridger in connection with her disappearance in the Machynlleth area. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • Britain-missing-child-police

    A police officer stands outside the last known address of Mark Bridger, the man arrested in connection with the abduction of April Jones near Machynlleth, mid-Wales, on October 4, 2012. The search for a missing five-year-old girl in a rural area of Wales was stepped up, three days after she went missing. April Jones was last seen getting into a vehicle on Monday near her home in the rural market town of Machynlleth. Rescuers appealed for volunteers with 'good local knowledge' to search 32 villages around the town as it emerged that the missing girl needs regular medication for cerebral palsy. AFP PHOTO/PAUL ELLIS (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Britain-missing-child-police

    A police officer stands outside the last known address of Mark Bridger, the man arrested in connection with the abduction of April Jones near Machynlleth, mid-Wales, on October 4, 2012. The search for a missing five-year-old girl in a rural area of Wales was stepped up, three days after she went missing. April Jones was last seen getting into a vehicle on Monday near her home in the rural market town of Machynlleth. Rescuers appealed for volunteers with 'good local knowledge' to search 32 villages around the town as it emerged that the missing girl needs regular medication for cerebral palsy. AFP PHOTO/PAUL ELLIS (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/GettyImages)

  • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

    MACHYNLLETH, WALES - OCTOBER 04: Police search Mark Bridger's house in the village of Ceinws as the hunt for missing April Jones continues on October 4, 2012 near Machynlleth, Wales. April Jones, a five-year-old girl was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested 46-year-old Mark Bridger in connection with her disappearance in the Machynlleth area. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

    ABERYSWYTH, WALES - OCTOBER 05: Mark Bridger is taken in a prison van from Aberyswyth police station to appear before magistrates in the town on October 5, 2012 in Aberystwyth, Wales . Five-year-old April Jones was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested the main suspect in the case, Mark Bridger, on suspicion of murder. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • April Jones missing

    Search and rescue teams continue their search along the banks of the River Dyfi in Machynlleth, Mid Wales, for missing five-year-old April Jones, who was last seen willingly getting into what is believed to be a Land Rover Discovery on the Bryn-y-Gog estate where she lives at 7pm on Monday.

  • April Jones missing

    Search and rescue teams continue their search on the River Dyfi in Machynlleth, Mid Wales, for missing five-year-old April Jones, who was last seen willingly getting into what is believed to be a Land Rover Discovery on the Bryn-y-Gog estate where she lives at 7pm on Monday.

  • April Jones missing

    Search and rescue teams prepare to continue their search along the banks of the River Dyfi in Machynlleth, Mid Wales, for missing five-year-old April Jones, who was last seen willingly getting into what is believed to be a Land Rover Discovery on the Bryn-y-Gog estate where she lives at 7pm on Monday.

  • April Jones missing

    Search and rescue teams continue their search on the River Dyfi in Machynlleth, Mid Wales, for missing five-year-old April Jones, who was last seen willingly getting into what is believed to be a Land Rover Discovery on the Bryn-y-Gog estate where she lives at 7pm on Monday.

  • April Jones missing

    Search and rescue teams continue their search along the banks of the River Dyfi in Machynlleth, Mid Wales, for missing five-year-old April Jones, who was last seen willingly getting into what is believed to be a Land Rover Discovery on the Bryn-y-Gog estate where she lives at 7pm on Monday.

  • April Jones missing

    Search and rescue teams continue their search on the River Dyfi in Machynlleth, Mid Wales, for missing five-year-old April Jones, who was last seen willingly getting into what is believed to be a Land Rover Discovery on the Bryn-y-Gog estate where she lives at 7pm on Monday.

  • April Jones missing

    Media satellite trucks outside the leisure centre in Machynlleth, Mid Wales, as search and rescue teams continue their search along the banks of the River Dyfi in Machynlleth, for missing five-year-old April Jones, who was last seen willingly getting into what is believed to be a Land Rover Discovery on the Bryn-y-Gog estate where she lives at 7pm on Monday.

  • April Jones missing

    Search and rescue teams continue their search on the River Dyfi in Machynlleth, Mid Wales, for missing five-year-old April Jones, who was last seen willingly getting into what is believed to be a Land Rover Discovery on the Bryn-y-Gog estate where she lives at 7pm on Monday.

  • April Jones missing

    Search and rescue teams continue their search on the River Dyfi in Machynlleth, Mid Wales, for missing five-year-old April Jones, who was last seen willingly getting into what is believed to be a Land Rover Discovery on the Bryn-y-Gog estate where she lives at 7pm on Monday.

  • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

    MACHYNLLETH, WALES - OCTOBER 04: Members of a mountain rescue team search the River Dyfi as the hunt for missing April Jones continues on October 4, 2012 in Machynlleth, Wales. April Jones, a five-year-old girl was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested 46-year-old Mark Bridger in connection with her disappearance in the Machynlleth area. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

    MACHYNLLETH, WALES - OCTOBER 04: Members of a mountain rescue team search the River Dyfi as the hunt for missing April Jones continues on October 4, 2012 in Machynlleth, Wales. April Jones, a five-year-old girl was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested 46-year-old Mark Bridger in connection with her disappearance in the Machynlleth area. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

    MACHYNLLETH, WALES - OCTOBER 04: Members of a mountain rescue team search the River Dyfi as the hunt for missing April Jones continues on October 4, 2012 in Machynlleth, Wales. April Jones, a five-year-old girl was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested 46-year-old Mark Bridger in connection with her disappearance in the Machynlleth area. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • Police Search For Missing 5 Year Old April Jones

    MACHYNLLETH, WALES - OCTOBER 04: Members of a mountain rescue team search the River Dyfi as the hunt for missing April Jones continues on October 4, 2012 in Machynlleth, Wales. April Jones, a five-year-old girl was abducted from outside her house on Monday night. Police have arrested 46-year-old Mark Bridger in connection with her disappearance in the Machynlleth area. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)