In his monologue, Maitlis said, “Dominic Cummings broke the rules. The country can see this and it is shocked that the government cannot… He was the man, remember, who always had the mood of the public, who labeled the lazy label of “elite” on those. who did not agree. He should understand this public mood by now, that of fury, contempt and anguish.
“He made those who struggled to follow the rules feel like rules and allowed many others to assume they could now flout them.” She added that Boris Johnson remained loyal to Cummings through “blind loyalty” despite “deep national concern.”
The BBC issued a quick reprimand, saying Maitlis had overstepped the mark and presented a question for debate “as if the country were unanimous in his eyes”.
Maitlis was so upset by the response that she took time off from the program and her colleagues rushed to her defense.
Within the BBC, there were concerns that the attack on Cummings would strengthen its resolve to crack down on the company by pushing for license fee reform.
Daniel Kawczynski, the Conservative MP, described Maitlis’ style as “aggressive, needlessly rude, biased and confrontational to the point of intimidation”. But his monologue was hailed by David Lammy, the Labor MP, as a fine example of public service broadcasting, and by Ed Davey, the acting leader of Lib Dem, as “brilliant journalism”.
Elsewhere in Tatler’s interview, Maitlis discussed his friendship with Piers Morgan, the outspoken host of ITV’s Good Morning Britain. She said: “I know if I was in jail, Piers Morgan would come to see me. I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but it would be there.
“And I love that I can have an argument with him without it affecting our friendship – I don’t think I’ve ever had dinner with him without it ending in a massive row.” I think this is a good thing.