BBC presenter Nuala McKeever made the derogatory remarks about Boris Johnson’s chief advisor Dominic Cummings during a broadcast on BBC Radio Ulster. The comments by Ms McKeever, 55, could be overhead during Monday’s 3pm news bulletin as she waited to present her afternoon show.
As BBC Radio Ulster’s Damian Edgar read the news featuring Mr Cummings’ alleged breach of lockdown rules, listeners were also tuned into Ms McKeever’s microphone and could hear her personal opinion on the Downing Street chief.
Ms McKeever was heard saying: “I was thinking he was such a d*ck – I had written his name as Richard Cummings… Freudian slip or what?”
The comedian and TV personality had been stepping-in for regular presenter Lynette Fay on BBC Radio Ulster’s magazine show.
The BBC has since issued an apology and insisted the comments were not intended for broadcast.
A BBC Northern Ireland spokeswoman said: “The comments were not intended for broadcast and should not have been.
“This interruption to our news bulletin was the result of a technical error.
“We very much regret what happened and the upset caused.”
The comments were broadcast on BBC radio just hours before Dominic Cummings defended his decision to drive from London to County Durham during the coronavirus lockdown.
During an extraordinary statement from the rose garden of Downing Street, Mr Cummings insisted he behaved “reasonably” and did not regret his actions.
The Prime Minister’s chief adviser said he made the 260-mile trip amid fears over a lack of childcare for his four-year-old son, if he became incapacitated with COVID-19, but also concerns about his family’s general safety.
Mr Cummings also denied reports he had initially opposed lockdown and “did not care about many deaths”.
READ MORE: Coronavirus map LIVE: UK death count up 134
Pressure has continued to mount on the Government over the actions of Mr Cummings, and has seen Douglas Ross, the parliamentary under-secretary of state for Scotland, resign from his post.
Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw has also joined at least 30 Tory MPs in calling for the Prime Minister’s advisor to step down or be removed from his position by Boris Johnson.
At the Downing Street briefing this afternoon, Health Secretary Matt Hancock reiterated his defence for Mr Cummings.
He said: “My view is that what he did was within the guidelines.
“I can understand why reasonable people can take a different view, but my judgment, which is the same as the Prime Minister’s judgment, is that what Mr Cummings did was within the guidelines.
“After all, the guidelines allow for exceptional circumstances, particularly with regards to childcare and we’ve stated before that if you’re unable to look after a small child, that is an exceptional circumstance.”
Published at Tue, 26 May 2020 17:31:00 +0000