BBC forced to apologise after ‘Party Marty’ swears during live Covid inquiry

Boris Johnson’s former right-hand civil servant forced the BBC to apologise for his language this morning while giving evidence to the official Covid Inquiry.

Martin Reynolds, who served as Mr Johnson’s Principle Private Secretary (PPS) throughout most of the pandemic, was explaining to the inquiry why Number 10 had appeared distracted by internal divisions in the lead-up to Covid.

Hugo Keith KC asked Mr Reynolds whether Number 10, as a relatively new administration following the General Election, had been unable to cope with “a crisis of this magnitude”.

Mr Johnson’s PPS said the dynamics of January and February 2020 had shifted compared to those seen before the General Election.

He appeared to throw Dominic Cummings under the bus, accusing him of causing distractions with different priorities to those of the Prime Minister.

Mr Reynolds said Mr Cummings had created a “divergent internal politics” as his agenda was “quite different” to the Prime Minister’s.

He said: “The other dynamic, I would say during this period, was a sort of unease with some of the messaging and actions taking place.

“It was during this period that we were talking about the appointment of various ‘weirdos and misfits’ and bringing in very different people into Downing Street.

“We had the case of Mr Sabisky who you remember was an advisor brought in who had unusual views on eugenics, and after three days he resigned.

Mr Reynolds also said there had been “unease in the civil service around the so-called ‘s*** list’ of people who were thought to be at risk in what was perceived to be a much more muscular approach to the civil service.”

At this point, BBC news presenter Lukwesa Burak was forced to cut Mr Reynolds’s testimony off and apologise to viewers for his language.

Ms Burak told viewers: “We just want to apologise if you have been following this, there was some language there – he did apologise beforehand – making reference to a term that was used and included as part of this inquiry.

Some twenty minutes later the BBC apologised again for the bad language broadcast during their live coverage.

Ms Burak said: “We’ve been following things very closely and if you’ve been following the proceedings I just want to point out two incidences when language was used.

“Obviously with the nature of this broadcast, it’s not something we can pick up in time, if you did catch that I do want to apologise.”

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