World News

Victoria Derbyshire apologises for saying she would break rule of six

BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire apologises for saying she would break ‘Rule of Six’ to see her elderly parents if law is still in place at Christmas – as supporters on Twitter vow to do the same

  • Journalist said she would not follow rule of six if still in place on December 25
  • Said this would be so her mother, mother’s partner and husband’s father can join 
  • Mother-of-two has sons Oliver, 16, and Joe, 13, with her husband Mark Sandell
  • But she apologised today five hours after Radio Times interview was published 

The BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire apologised today after claiming she would break the Government’s rules on gatherings if they have not changed in time for Christmas.

The journalist had said she would not be adhering to the current ‘rule of six’, if it is still in place on December 25, so that her family of seven could join together.

Miss Derbyshire, 52, who has sons Oliver, 16, and Joe, 13, with her radio producer husband Mark Sandell, had claimed she would be inviting her mother Pauline, her mother’s partner and Mr Sandell’s father for lunch no matter what.

The reaction on social media was mixed today, with some Twitter users saying they backed her and would also break the ‘rule of six’ this Christmas – but others accused the £220,000-a-year star of being ‘irresponsible’ and ‘totally crass’.

But today, she tweeted: ‘I’m starting the day by saying I’m sorry: a few weeks ago the Radio Times asked me (amongst other things) what would potentially happen at Christmas with my own family if the rule of six was still in place.

‘I talked about my mum, her partner and my dad-in-law spending it with us – making seven in our home in a Tier One area (medium). 

Victoria Derbyshire attends the British Academy Television Awards in London in May 2018

Miss Derbyshire with her radio producer husband Mark Sandell, whom she married in 2018

‘It was hypothetical – however I was totally wrong to say it and I’m sorry. We’ll of course continue to follow whatever rules are in place on December 25.’

Her apology was issued at 5am this morning, five hours after the embargo on the interview from the RT was lifted overnight at midnight.

Miss Derbyshire, who earned up to £220,00 a year in 2018/19, had told the RT: ‘If the rule of six is still in place at Christmas, we’re breaking it to have the rule of seven. 

‘We just are. Joining me, my husband and our two boys will be my mum, her partner and my husband’s dad. It’s fine. We’ll do it knowing what the risks are. 

Miss Derbyshire had said she would be inviting her mother Pauline (pictured together at her wedding day in 2018), her mother’s partner and Sandell’s father for lunch no matter what

Miss Derbyshire has sons Oliver, 16, and Joe, 13, with Mr Sandell. She is pictured together with her children after the Race For Life at Windsor Racecourse in Berkshire in June 2018

‘We’re not stupid. We’re going to be sensible and buy a thermometer gun. But we have to be together at Christmas. 

‘It feels almost irresponsible saying that, but I don’t think we’re alone in feeling that way. We need to see my elderly mum and my husband’s elderly dad. We just do.’

The broadcaster lives in London, which is currently categorised as Tier 2, meaning that you can only mix indoors with your household or bubble.

Current nationwide restrictions still dictate that people can only mix indoors and outdoors in groups of no more than six, with it looking increasingly unlikely that this will ease up before Christmas. 

Miss Derbyshire leaves BBC Broadcasting House in London on January 23, after it was announced that her TV programme the Victoria Derbyshire show would be taken off air

Miss Derbyshire said that she had not seen much of her mother during lockdown as she lives in Bolton, but said they catch up on weekly Zoom calls.

‘What I’ve missed most is having loads of people round my house and seeing family,’ she told the RT.

‘My mum lives in Bolton, I live in London, so I’ve not been able to see her much. We do Zoom calls every Saturday, but that’s it. It’s mad.’

The star, who had her eponymous current affairs show axed earlier this year as part of a series of cost-cutting measures at the BBC, said she was glad to get the chance to make a documentary about domestic abuse recently.

‘During lockdown I felt there was no particular place where domestic abuse could be discussed in depth,’ she said.

‘Which was why I went to the Panorama editor to ask if I could cover it for them. And she said yes. 

This week’s Radio Times is on sale today 

‘So, I was gratified that the BBC still has a programme like Panorama to cover stuff of such importance.’

She added: ‘We have to work really hard at that because, yes, the news is relentless.

‘It’s good for a journalist to pause, take a breath and provide an overview, whether that’s with a guest or a correspondent.

‘We have to acknowledge the scale of what we’re living through right now. It’s tricky to do – there’s so much news.’

Miss Derbyshire might have more on her plate than Christmas lunch in the next couple of months as she is rumoured to be among the line-up for this year’s series of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here in Wales. 

The Victoria Derbyshire show began in 2015 and broadcasted live on BBC Two and the BBC News channel every weekday from 10am. 

She discovered that her show was being axed as part of a string of cuts when it was reported The Times before the official announcement was made in January this year.

The programme won a BAFTA in 2017 and has been nominated for several awards, including the RTS presenter prize. 

Ministers have said they hope the latest restrictions in England will slow the disease sufficiently to enable families to spend Christmas together.

But scientist Professor Neil Ferguson, whose modelling led to the original lockdown in March, said on Saturday: ‘It risks some transmission and there will be consequences of that. Some people will die because of getting infected on that day.

‘But if it is only one or two days the impact is likely to be limited. So that is really a political judgment about the cost versus the benefits.’

A BBC spokesman declined to comment on Miss Derbyshire’s comments today.

Victoria Derbyshire was interviewed in the Radio Times which went on sale today 

Tier-ing us apart: A guide to the coronavirus restrictions in England 

A seventh of England’s population will be in the highest level of restrictions by the end of the week as Warrington and Nottingham enter Tier 3.

More than eight million people will be living under the toughest coronavirus measures as winter looms, but what does it mean and what can you do?

Here’s what you need to know about the tier system:

– Who is in Tier 3 at the moment?

The UK Government confirmed on Monday that Warrington will be relegated to Tier 3 on Tuesday, with Nottingham and the boroughs of Broxtowe, Gedling and Rushcliffe set to join it on Thursday.

They join Greater Manchester, which was forced into top tier restrictions at midnight on Saturday despite the best efforts of Mayor Andy Burnham for extra support for the city.

Large areas of South Yorkshire including Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield were also placed into Tier 3 at the same time, after the region secured a £41 million funding package.

Liverpool City Region has been languishing in Tier 3 since October 14, and was joined by Lancashire two days later.

– What does Tier 3 mean exactly?

Expect extreme curbs to your social life – social mixing is banned both indoors and in private gardens, while pubs and bars must close unless they can operate as a restaurant.

The rule of six applies in some outdoor settings such as parks, public gardens and sports courts.

Deliberately flouting the rules can net you a fine of up to £6,400, while those who organise gatherings of more than 30 people can be fined up to £10,000.

Local leaders help the Government to determine whether other venues should be closed, such as gyms or casinos.

Shops and places of worship can remain open, as can schools and colleges, while universities must reflect wider restrictions with the option to move to greater online provision.

Up to 15 guests are allowed at weddings and 30 people can attend funerals, with 15 allowed at wakes, but wedding receptions are not permitted.

People living in Tier 3 areas are advised against overnight stays in other parts of the UK and should avoid travel where possible in and out of the area, unless it is for work, education or caring responsibilities.

Number 10 confirmed that, under Tier 2 and 3 rules on household mixing, people can still meet up for work meetings indoors under certain circumstances.

– What happens in Tier 2?

London, Derbyshire, West Yorkshire, Durham, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, Tees Valley, West Midlands, and Leicestershire are among the regions currently in Tier 2.

Areas categorised as high risk have restrictions on household mixing indoors, while the rule of six continues to apply outdoors.

People must not meet socially with friends and family indoors in any setting unless they live with them or have formed a support bubble with them.

Shops, gyms, all education settings, and places of worship can remain open, with overnight stays permitted.

Up to 15 guests are allowed at weddings and up to 30 people allowed at funerals, with 15 allowed at receptions and wakes.

Travel advice for those living in Tier 2 areas is to reduce the number of journeys they take where possible and avoid travel into very high Tier 3 areas.

– What restrictions are placed on areas in Tier 1?

Areas classed as medium risk, those in Tier 1, are subject to the same national measures which were commonplace across England earlier this year.

These include the 10pm curfew for pubs and restaurants and a ban on most gatherings of more than six people.

Like Tier 2, up to 15 guests will be allowed at weddings and up to 30 people allowed at funerals, with 15 allowed at receptions and wakes.

Shops, gyms, all education settings, and places of worship will remain open, with overnight stays permitted and no travel restrictions within the area, although people are advised to avoid travel into Tier 3 areas where possible.

Source: Read Full Article