Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said: "At a time of national crisis, frank and fearless journalism that scrutinises and holds this government to account is more necessary than ever. Emily Maitlis exemplifies those qualities - if she's been stood down and replaced as a result of her tenacious reporting, that is an act of shameful cowardice by our public service broadcaster. It is as clear as day that Dominic Cummings breached government lockdown guidelines - just because government ministers are prepared to demean themselves by asserting otherwise, to protect a seemingly untouchable Number 10 advisor, does not make it true. Journalists should be congratulated for holding policymakers to account for actions that risk a monumental breach of trust during a public health crisis. They should certainly not be castigated."
Paul Siegert, NUJ national broadcasting organiser, said: "NUJ members across the corporation are outraged at the treatment of a respected colleague and a key face of the BBC. It is wholly unacceptable for journalists to be pilloried on social media, and let down by their employer, for doing their jobs whilst scrutinising decision-making and holding the government to account."
The IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger, said: "The IFJ stands in solidarity with Emily Maitlis and all BBC workers. We believe that public service journalism that holds power into account is now more needed than ever. Replacing a journalist for doing so is unnaceptable".