Kay Burley Sacking Petition Reaches 42,000 After Alton Towers CEO Interview

Sky News

The petition calling for Kay Burley to be sacked over the interview with the CEO of the company which owns Alton Towers, has reached 42,000 signatures.

Ofcom has so far received 1,485 complaints over the interview, which saw Nick Varney grilled by the Sky News anchor over a rollercoaster crash at the theme park which left four seriously injured.

One of them, Leah Washington, 17, had her leg amputated above the knee.

Burley gave Varney short shrift as he attempted to answer her questions, pressing the Merlin Entertainments chief over what were at the time unconfirmed reports that one victim had lost a limb, as well as pushing him for an answer on whether he thought the safety measures in place were adequate.

Varney went on to accuse Burley of misrepresenting what he was saying and putting words in his mouth.

An Ofcom spokesperson said: “Ofcom has received 1,485 complaints about Kay Burley’s interview with Alton Towers Chief Executive, Nick Varney, on Sky News on June 3rd.

“We will assess these complaints before deciding whether to investigate or not.”

17-year-old Leah Washington was one of the four victims airlifted to hospital following the crash

Reaction to the interview was mixed, with some praising Burley for giving the CEO a thorough grilling, while others expressed their outrage at her aggressive questioning.

Burley herself defended the interview, tweeting: “For those concerned I was hard on Alton Towers boss, he'll get over it. Not sure those on his ride will be so quick to recover #perspective.”

some have questioned whether the reaction would have been quite so vehement had it been a male presenter carrying out the same line of questioning.

Many suggested that had a personality such as Jeremy Paxman conducted the interview with the chief executive of the company that owns Alton Towers, fewer people would have been outraged..

Others were less convinced that this was sexism…

Burley herself tweeted a blog written by Abi Wilkinson for The Debrief in which Wilkinson said: "Nick Varney is a powerful man with ultimate responsibility for everything that happens at Merlin Entertainment theme parks, including when things go wrong. He agreed to be interviewed on Sky News with one goal: casting himself and the company in as positive a light as possible.

The Smiler ride at an empty Alton Towers can be seen from the air as the attraction is closed to the public today following yesterday's accident on The Smiler ride. Staffordshire, England. June 3 2015. Alton Towers theme park could remain closed for days

16 Four Hurt In Alton Towers Rollercoaster Crash