David Cameron‘s extraordinary return to politics has sparked furious debate, but Kay Burley has stirred another discussion after declaring on live TV that the former Prime Minister has put on weight.
Ms Burley, 62, who has been open about her own decades of dieting and having a facelift in middle-age, has split opinion over her comments.
She spoke out yesterday after Sky News’ excitable Deputy Political Editor, Sam Coates, was describing what Mr Cameron had done since he resigned after losing the Brexit referendum in 2016.
As the former Tory leader was shown entering Downing Street, he said: ‘David Cameron had never really found his feet after leaving the job of prime minister. He did jobs that were controversial, wrote a memoir’, before a laughing Kay Burley interrupted him and said: ‘Put on weight’.
A flustered Coates repeated the phrase before swiftly returning to the subject of Mr Cameron’s post-politics jobs.
Viewers expressed their shock and dismay, claiming that if a male presenter said that about a woman they would be fired.
One claimed: ‘Kay Burley comments that David Cameron has “put on weight”. If a male news presenter said that about a female politician there would be calls for his resignation. Some consistency would be good’.
Others said that Mr Cameron’s paunch is ‘fair game’, with one supporter of Ms Burley insisting critics should ‘all just relax’. Another joked: ‘To be fair he’s had a lot on his plate. A third said: ‘Men can take it’.
Kay Burley has yet to comment but could argue that she and other female news presenters have been scrutinised over their looks and weight for years.
She has spoken about her own weight, especially in relation to the menopause. She admitted to dieting since she was 19, and having cosmetic surgery at 50.
She said in 2016: ‘I’ve eaten as much as the burly men I work with, drank alcohol and even feasted on chips with mayonnaise. I just followed one simple rule: I gave up sugar.
‘I’ve been on and off diets since I was 19 — religiously counting points, calories and grams of fat. But nothing has worked like this.
‘As for my complexion, I can only compare the glow to when I had a lower facelift aged 50 to tighten my neck and jawline. It’s amazing — so much so that I’d tell all women worried about wrinkles or ageing skin to look at their diet before they even consider subjecting themselves to the surgeon’s knife.
‘Because as sugar attacks collagen and elastin — the proteins that keep your skin looking perky — that sneaky slice of cake is just as bad for your complexion as your waistline.’
Mr Sunak yesterday gambled on a dramatic reshuffle to restore his political fortunes.
He risked a revolt on the Tory Right by sacking Suella Braverman and unveiling a sensational return to government for David Cameron as Foreign Secretary.
In a bold move, he also recalled former TV presenter Esther McVey to the Cabinet as a new ‘minister for common sense’ in charge of rooting out woke culture in Whitehall and the public sector.
Following days of speculation, the Prime Minister dismissed the Home Secretary who had infuriated No 10 last week with a series of outspoken interventions on homelessness and the policing of pro-Palestine marches. Foreign Secretary James Cleverly was moved to the Home Office to replace Mrs Braverman.
In a dramatic twist that stunned Westminster, Mr Cameron then arrived in Downing Street, was handed a peerage and installed in the Foreign Office, seven years after he quit Downing Street in the wake of the Brexit referendum.
The changes remove the Cabinet’s most high-profile Right-winger and revive the political career of the man who led the campaign to keep Britain in the EU.
Dame Andrea Jenkyns last night became the first Conservative MP to submit a formal letter of no confidence in the PM, saying Mrs Braverman had been ‘sacked for speaking the truth’. Conservative donor Lord Cruddas, a close ally of Boris Johnson, described the moves as a ‘coup’.
Former business secretary Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg said sacking Mrs Braverman was ‘a mistake’, warning that the return of Lord Cameron could push Tory Brexiteers into the arms of the Reform party.
‘Suella understood what the British voter thought and was trying to do something about it,’ he said. ‘It seems to me that the Prime Minister is not as well attuned to the voters’ concerns as Suella Braverman.’
But Downing Street sources said Mr Sunak had grown frustrated with Mrs Braverman’s high-profile interventions, which stretched the boundaries of collective responsibility.
Explaining her removal, a spokesman said the PM believed the Cabinet should always ‘speak with one voice’.