Sheffield bar offers BBC journalist 'free drinks for life' after Newsnight opener on Dominic Cummings

A Sheffield cocktail bar has offered BBC journalist Emily Maitlis, who was raised in the city, ‘free drinks for life’ as a thank you for her no-punches-pulled criticism of Dominic Cummings’ flouting lockdown rules in her opening address on Newsnight.

Thursday, 28th May 2020, 1:51 pm

Voicing their approval of her statement, Public, in Sheffield city centre, tweeted: “We hereby declare that Sheffield’s own @maitlis will now receive free drinks for life at Public.”

Maitlis made the speech on the flagship BBC programme last night (May 26), criticising the government’s response to Cummings’ travel to County Durham during the coronavirus lockdown.

She said: “Cummings broke the rules. The country can see that, and it’s shocked the Government cannot.

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“The longer ministers and Prime Minister tell us he worked within them, the more angry the response to this scandal is likely to be.

“He was the man, remember, who always ‘got’ the public mood and tagged the lazy label of ‘elite’ on those who disagreed. He should understand that public mood now: on 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 this but despite the resignation of one minister, growing unease on his back benches, a dramatic early warning from the polls and a deep national disquiet, Boris Johnson has chosen to ignore it.

The interior of Public in Sheffield

“Tonight we consider what this blind loyalty tells us about the workings of Number 10. We do not expect to be joined by a Government minister but that will not stop us asking the question.”

Dominic Cummings has drawn heavy criticism for travelling to County Durham during lockdown, when he was suffering from coronavirus symptoms.

While in the county, he then made a journey of 25 miles to visit Barnard Castle.

Boris Johnson has spoken in support of Cummings, claiming that he acted within the law, despite the Government at the time telling people to ‘stay home, protect the NHS, save lives’.