Kay Burley — the Sky News anchor whose aggressive interview technique during the lead-up to the election triggered an online campaign to sack her — has had another heated on-air exchange, this time with the Labour MP Chris Bryant, who called for a debate on the phone-hacking scandal.
It gets heated just before the two-minute mark. When Burley repeatedly asks whether he is comfortable making the assertion that phone-hacking was “endemic”, he calls her out on not having read the Information Commissioner’s report, or listened to the debate. She responds:
KB: You are in a position to have listened to the debate, and have read the report. As a result, you are content to say that on telly?
CB: [Incredulous] I have just said it. You seem to be a bit dim, if you don’t mind me saying so.
And it’s not over there. The following exchange comes at about 3.55 minutes, after Bryant says that sensitive constituency calls could be accessed:
KB: [Dismissively] You changed your Pin, so that wouldn’t have happened.
CB: No, no, see, that’s not true. [Shouting] No, no, no, LISTEN. That is simply untrue. It was nothing to do with Pin numbers in my case.
KB: OK, well that was the impression we got from Yates at the Yard.
CB: Well don’t lie, then. Don’t lie. Don’t say what you don’t know, madam.
KB: If Andy Coulson is guilty of phone-tapping — and it seems that that will eventually . . . may or may not become the case — what should happen to him?
CB: To be honest, I think Andy Coulson is a sideshow in all of this. That’s not my interest. I didn’t refer to Andy Coulson in the debate at all.
KB: But I am now.
CB: Well you’ve obviously got a view, so tell the nation what you think your view is.
KB: I’m here to play devil’s advocate, sir — you may know how these sorts of programmes work. I just wondered what you thought. Nobody cares what I think. We care what you think, because you wanted the debate.
CB: I wanted the debate not to talk about Andy Coulson, as I’ve explained.
It’s not the first time that Burley has come to blows with an interviewee. Back in May, this interview with David Babbs of the campaign group 38 Degrees also triggered criticism:
Who will be next?