THE BBC has said last night’s widely shared Newsnight opening segment did not meet the broadcaster’s “standards of due impartiality”.

During the opening of the programme, Emily Maitlis was critical of Dominic Cummings – the Prime Minister’s top adviser who is facing calls to resign after travelling more than 250 miles to his parents’ Durham farm while sick with Covid-19 during lockdown.

Maitlis kicked off the show by saying “Dominic Cummings broke the rules. The country can see that, and it’s shocked the Government cannot.”

She went on: “He was the man, remember, who always got the public mood.

READ MORE: Emily Maitlis praised for Newsnight opening on Dominic Cummings row

“Who tagged the lazy label of elite on those who disagreed. He should understand that public mood now: one of fury, contempt and anguish.

"He made those who struggled to keep to the rules feel like fools, and has allowed many more to assume they can now flout them."

"The Prime Minister knows all this, but despite the resignation of one minister, growing unease from his backbenchers, a dramatic early warning from the polls, and a deep national disquiet, Boris Johnson has chosen to ignore it."

The clip was shared widely on social media and was praised by many but due criticism from others – former Labour MP Kate Hoey said she and others would be issuing complaints over the episode.

Now this evening the BBC has released a statement saying it had reviewed the episode.

The BBC News Press Team said: “The BBC must uphold the highest standards of due impartiality in its news output. We’ve reviewed the entirety of last night’s Newsnight, including the opening section, and while we believe the programme contained fair, reasonable and rigorous journalism, we feel that we should have done more to make clear the introduction was a summary of the questions we would examine, with all the accompanying evidence, in the rest of the programme.

“As it was, we believe the introduction we broadcast did not meet our standards of due impartiality. Our staff have been reminded of the guidelines.”