24/07/2020 12:35 BST | Updated 24/07/2020 15:40 BST

Emily Maitlis Reveals Dominic Cummings Sent Her 'Text Of Support' Amid Newsnight Monologue Row

The presenter sparked controversy with a speech addressing the backlash the government aide had received over his conduct during lockdown.

Emily Maitlis has revealed Dominic Cummings sent her a message of solidarity after her Newsnight monologue about his conduct during lockdown sparked controversy. 

In May, Emily opened the current affairs programme with a speech addressing the backlash the government aide had received after it was revealed he’d taken a 260-mile trip to his parents’ house in Durham during lockdown.

In the opener, Emily said that Cummings “broke the rules – the country can see that, and it’s shocked the government cannot”. The BBC later said the episode “did not meet our standards of due impartiality”.

Amid the furore – which saw nearly 24,000 people complain to the broadcaster – Emily has now revealed Cummings sent her “a text of support”.

Emily Maitlis delivered a monologue about Dominic Cummings on Newsnight

Speaking to Tatler magazine, she said: “It was peak surreal getting a message of support from him in the middle of all the crazy stuff.”

Emily also said she was overwhelmed by the public support she received amid the controversy. 

“I think that was the biggest I’ve had – more than Andrew, more than anything. I was overwhelmed by it,” she said.

“I wasn’t expecting such a flood of warmth.”

Cummings was criticised for driving 260 miles to his parents' house during lockdown

The BBC’s decision to publicly reprimand Emily and the show sparked criticism, most notably from Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan, who said the corporation was “chucking one of its best journalists under the bus for telling the truth”.

During her Tatler interview, Emily spoke of her friendship with Piers, praising him for being “incredibly loyal”. 

“I know if I was in prison, Piers Morgan would come and see me,” she said.

Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP
Piers Morgan publicly supported Emily amid the controversy

“I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but he’d be there. And I like the fact that I can have a row with him without it affecting our friendship – I don’t think I’ve ever had dinner with him without it ending in a massive row.

“I think that’s a good thing.”

The full feature is in the September issue of Tatler available via digital download and newsstands on Thursday 30 July.