THE BBC has doubled down in its censure of Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis over her monologue about the Dominic Cummings row.

The Prime Minister’s top adviser is still facing calls to resign a week on from news that he broke the coronavirus lockdown to travel 260 miles to his parents’ farm while sick with the virus himself.

The story prompted widespread anger with several opinion polls showing the public want the adviser to go – and plummeting Tory approval ratings in the wake of the scandal.

READ MORE: Emily Maitlis: BBC tells off Newsnight over Cummings row opening

Speaking on the programme after Cummings gave an unprecedented press conference in Downing Street’s Rose Garden, Maitlis said: “Dominic Cummings broke the rules. The country can see that and it’s shocked the Government cannot.” She added people who had stuck to the rules now felt like “fools”.

The day after the programme was broadcast, the BBC put out a short statement on Twitter stating the episode had broken impartiality guidelines.

Following this Maitlis reportedly asked to be dropped from Wednesday night’s programme, which she had been scheduled to present.

Now following anger over Maitlis’s treatment, and thousands of complaints over the BBC’s handling of the issue, the broadcaster has doubled down on its view.

It said: “Our editorial guidelines allow us to make professional judgments but not to express opinion.

“The dividing line can be fine, but we aim to say so if we think we have overstepped the mark."

It said Maitlis’s introduction had risked giving the “perception that the BBC was taking sides and expressing an opinion, rather than being impartial”.

Addressing the content of what Maitlis said, the statement went on: “But there are some who do not share this opinion, nor think that the issue is a ‘scandal’ or the Prime Minister has displayed ‘blind loyalty’.

“By presenting a matter of public and political debate as if the country was unanimous in its view, we consider Newsnight risked giving the perception that the BBC was taking sides.

“Our audiences hold the BBC in high trust, not least because we hold ourselves to exacting standards, and we do not want to forfeit this by ignoring our own rules.”

However the statement insisted “this is not a question of apportioning blame to anyone”.