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In a public statement, the BBC said that “the introduction we broadcast did not meet our standards of due impartiality” after it conducted a review, adding that staff had “been reminded of the guidelines”.
Retweeting the statement, an enraged Piers wrote: “You’ve got to be kidding me??? BBC chucking one of its best journalists @maitlis under the bus for TELLING THE TRUTH? Utterly disgraceful.”
The Good Morning Britain presenter also criticised “high profile BBC stars” for failing to speak out in support of Emily, tweeting: “Cat got your cowardly tongues?
“If you don’t stand firm with her speaking the truth about a lying hypocrite whose reckless disregard of his own rules will cost lives, it will be you next. Speak up!”
Piers – who has been critical of Cummings’ rule breaches and the government ministers who have defended him – then shared a video of Emily’s Newsnight opener, telling his followers to retweet it and “shame the BBC”.
Many had previously praised Emily for summing up the national mood, when she opened the programme by saying: “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.”
She continued: “He was the man, remember, who always got the public mood, who tagged the lazy label of ‘elite’ on those who disagreed. He should understand that public mood one now: 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 assume they can now flout them.”
She added: “The prime minister knows all this, and despite the resignation of one minister and growing unease from his backbenchers, a dramatic early warning from the polls, and a deep national disquiet, Boris Johnson has chosen to ignore it.”
In a press conference on Monday, Cummings argued that his journey to Durham in March was justified as he sought to protect his family’s health.
But many questions remained unanswered, including over his subsequent drive to Barnard Castle which he said was to test his eyesight after it was affected by Covid-19.
Despite continued public unrest, the government has continued to back Cummings, with prime minister Boris Johnson refusing to fire his senior aide.
Newsnight airs weeknights at 10.45pm on BBC Two.