this is bbc world news. these are the headlines. the israeli prime minister, benjamin netanyahu, has described thursday night's crush that killed at least 45 people at a crowded religious festival as one of the country's worst disasters. several states in india say they've run out of coronavirus vaccines, as the second wave of the pandemic runs out of control. police in the capital delhi have asked local authorities to identify more sites for covid—19 cremations. brazil has become the second country in the world to record more than 400,000 covid deaths after the united states. the world health organization says countries should share vaccines with brazil to help the global fight against the pandemic. leading british teams and players from sports including football, cricket and rugby have begun a four—day boycott of social media. they want facebook, instagram and twitter to take stronger action against people who post racist and sexist comments. at ten o'clock, reeta chakrabarti will be here with a full round up
of the day's news. first, time for newscast. what is your favourite meme? oh, i'm a bit old for all that, adam. me too! um... 0h, there's some good political ones. yeah, featuring you but we'll not go there. let's not do that. chris, do you have a favourite meme? well, i quite like... i mean, i know it's used a lot but that one of the couple walking down the street with the bloke looking over his shoulder. oh, yes. oh, yeah. at the woman who has just walked by. and didn't matt hancock have the same shirt as the guy the other day, there? ithink he did! yeah, he did. he did, as memes collide, when memes collide. when memes go bad! i think one of my favourite ones is the is thejohn curtice on tv one. yes, heroic. and memes have collided tonight on newscast becausejohn curtice is on newscast. hello, professor sirjohn! hello. you are not a big fan of that thing, are you? i can tell.
no, no, i mean, you know, i don't follow it. _ i mean, it's all goodl fun, but you know... well, 11,900 people follow it, sirjohn. well, you know, that's all fine, but anyway, i mean, i hate - to disappoint people. i'm afraid i don't follow iti so you can carry on saying what you think because i won't know what you have said. _ and there are no trolls on newscast because we love what you have got to tell us about the incredibly complicated elections that we're all going to be reporting on next week, so thank goodness you're here! thank goodnessjohn curtice is on tv. newscast. newscast from the bbc. hello, it's adam in the studio. and laura in the same studio but two metres apart, as we still have to be. and chris, 20 yards down the corridor in my little solitary booth of news. now, one week from today, the polls will have closed in scotland, wales and england on a kind of huge, giant set of elections.
i'm trying to... can i get them all in one go, do you think? scottish parliament. yes. english local authorities of various types because there are many. senedd, the welsh parliament. police and crime commissioners in england. several mayors. hartlepool by—election? have i missed anything out? i think you've got it. i thought he might have forgotten the police and crime commissioners. yeah. they're my favourite! i was just sitting there thinking... i had that chalked up to hold you to account for as well. but mega thursday, super thursday... it hasn't got a name, has it? we don't call it super thursday. i'm waiting for a name to emerge for it. let's start that now. super thursday. yeah. well, when it is super thursday minus one week, the person you want to speak to is professor sirjohn curtice, professor of politics at strathclyde university, the man who has millions of spreadsheets in his head. hello, john. good day to you, adam. before we dive into the individual different kinds of contests, do you just have a sort of big thought that you could just inject
into us before we start discussing all of this? well, i guess we can think— about what we think might be a good day for the government and a good day for the labour party, _ so let's sketch it out. a good day for the government will be that the eight point- or so lead that is currently in national opinion polls . is reflected in the results- of the english local elections. that would mean probably net gains for the conservatives in those - elections, and governments rarely manage that in local elections. - they might hang on to most i of the metro mayors including the west midlands and then - theyperhaps above all might sneak they perhaps above all might sneak the hartlepool by—election. meanwhile, north of the border, nicola sturgeon fails to get - an overall majority, _ the conservatives hang on to second place and the uk government feels emboldened to try to kick - the scottish constitutional question into touch. - conversely, what would be| a good session for labour? well, to be doing an awful lot
better in the opinion - polls at the moment. ideally, to be seen to be doing better than jeremy corbyn did i in his first local elections - in 2016, which at the time got a pretty lukewarm reception, - but a lot of the seats being fought over in 2016 are being fought over again this year. - that labour in wales manage to get an overall majority, _ with 31 seats, they hang - on to the hartlepool by—election. oh, yes, and they manage i to come second in scotland. probably neither party is going - to manage to bag all of those wins but that is probably . what both sides ideally would like to see us reporting. not of course on the thursday night because there are very few- overnight counts but rather, by the time it's all over - on sunday after the election. i was just going to say, you've just done in three minutes what it will take about four days of results to achieve! yes, we'll have super thursday, super friday, super saturday, super sunday and super sirjohn from strathclyde all the way. and then knackered monday.
tired monday, yeah. john, can i ask you a question about scotland and how things are shaping up there? it's entirely self—serving because i'm coming to glasgow tomorrow for any questions so i need to bone up~ _ and ijust wonder how things are looking and then i guess the crucial question that we always tend to ask at this stage in an election campaign, is there any evidence that the campaign has made any difference to the relative position of the parties? yes, i think the answer to that is, chris, we started off in this - election campaign with the snp probably at 50% orjust below, i on the constituency vote, - and of course, we have two votes here, you know, it's a bit more. complicated than you have down south, and running at 40% or so on the list. _ i the truth is that those numbers seem | to have come down somewhat and that whereas if you had asked me - at the beginning of this campaign to predict what the outcome - would be, i would give my usual answer of, well, 50% chancej of the snp getting an overall majority and 50% not, i think _ can we toss a coin? i would say the odds - on the snp getting an overall
majority are still there, i they've still got a chance but they have probably lengthened. the other thing that has happened during this campaign _ is that anas sarwar, _ the relatively new scottish labour leader, has certainly got a good - press and he's got now rather more people in scotland thinking - favourably of him than unfavourably and labour seem to have made a bit of progress in the polls, _ although crucially for them, - they still trail the conservatives on the list vote, the other vote, i and it's that vote that is probably going to be crucial for determining which party is the second largest l in the holyrood parliament. thanks, john, i was taking notes, there. with his quill. now, laura, i wasjust thinking today, why are we not talking more about what the result of the scottish parliament election might mean? because it could be completely, completely seismic but not completely seismic right there and then. well, that's right and it depends, asjohn has been explaining, exactly how it falls out, because there will be an almighty row even if the snp does get
what they would really prize, a majority on their own. there will then be an almighty row about whether or not that does really give them a mandate to hold another independence referendum. certainly, they'll have the right to ask for one but remember, the legislation is there that the uk government does have the power to say yes or no to having another referendum. it's not technically in the scottish parliament's decision, right? so, if you think about it, i know there's been huge attention on this but if they get that majority on their own, that does not mean there's going to be an independence referendum. there's going to be an almighty battle about whether or not there's going to be an independence referendum. remember, even the snp themselves disagree over when the right time to have one would be. so, you could say it will be seismic if they get a majority on their own, especially since holyrood is set up almost specifically to make it really hard for any one party to get a majority, the one doesn't automatically lead to the other, despite what the sort of narrative sometimes has been and if anything, actually, as sirjohn was saying,
the snp appear to have been slipping back a bit in the last few weeks, so what felt... sorry, this is a very long answer but i suppose in westminster, people were starting to assume, oh, this is a kind of unstoppable drift towards independence in scotland but that's just actually not the case. so, to use my geography metaphor about it being seismic, it's like the san andreas fault. it's there... here we go. everyone�*s talking about it or worried about it, when the big one is going to be. 0r excited. 0r excited about it, exactly, if you are a seismologist. and... yeah, but the big one hasn't necessarily happened yet and people are waiting for it. talking of political seismology in one of those attempts at a neat segue, shall we talk about england and the picture in england? i think we've got a little whizzy graphic we can show you about how seats changed hands, notjust in england but elsewhere but focusing on england at the 2019 general election, and the whole business of this new addition to the political lexicon, the red wall, and the gains the conservatives made
in the english midlands and north of england and of course we've got the hartlepool by—election into the mix as well, and i wonder, john, as far as polling is concerned, obviously it is national polling rather than local or regional polling but what the evidence looks like as far as the polls are concerned, as far as this battle for this territory that for so long was labour and now the conservatives feel they've got a bit of purchase on. i think the answer to your question, chris, is that the evidence - is that the labour party| is on a hiding to nothing | in the so—called red wall areas but by that, i don't necessarily mean that the labour party is going to do significantly. worse in those places| than they did in 2019. the crucial thing we have to bear i in mind is particularly that halfl of the english local elections that were last contested _ in 2016, that is now- psephological prehistory.
it's before the brexit referendum, and it's before the way _ in which the brexit process completely reconstructed i the coalition that now is behind the conservative party. - it's very predominantly a leave one whereas in 2015, _ it was only moderately a leave one land equally, the labour vote now, | despite the party's best endeavours, is more concentrated amongst - the remain vote and less _ concentrated among the leave vote. one of the things i've been doing, boring away on my kitchen table l during the last six months when people were sayingl brexit didn't matter, _ is to keep on tracking the level of support for the parties separately amongst- remain and leave voters. and the crucial headline particularly as far- as the labour party is concerned is that there hasn't been any - evidence in the last 12 months that keeping schtum about brexit, - which seems to be labour's policy and brexit, as in any way been . effective at persuading leave voters in particular to come back— to the labour party. so, even when the labour party was doing relatively well - in the autumn of last year -
and they caught up with the tories in the polls for a while, yes, their vote went up— with leave voters - but was going upjust as much among remain voters. the counter—side that is that. in a way that would have frankly been inconceivable just a dozen years ago, london is now- a one—party capital. sadiq khan looks as though he's going to walk it. - why is he going to walk it? because of brexit. - because london is the remain part of england and you look _ i at the coalition of people thatl are going to vote for sadiq khan and it is those young, _ graduate professionals who don't like the idea of brexit who are going to vote for the labour party. but one of the things that is fascinating about this election, when you talk to the top brass of both the big political parties and indeed, the smaller ones, is this has been coming off the back of such a fluid, weird period. so, it's notjust the two tribes of leave and remain and what happened to that, it's also we are having elections everywhere,
almost everywhere, after a pandemic. you've also got this geographical shift that happened in 2019 and the first big test of whether or not that's going to stay. you have also got in wales and scotland, people looking at constitutional questions. so, john, do you think that actually, not wanting to do ourselves out of a job over next weekend's friday, saturday, sunday, monday news bulletins, will it be possible to read anything coherent from the results of these elections? the answer is you won't be able to read anything coherent out . of the headlines and i think - in truth, the elections next week will be a spinner's paradise. that therefore means, | laura, that the job that you and i and chris and adam| will have is actually to explain to people how to makej sense of these results, given the complexity. so, actually, i would say ourjob will be even more important - i than it is in a general election. when frankly this kind of obvious who is going to win and once you've l worked out who is going to win, l
that's it. here, it won't be obvious who has won and we will have to explain . to people how it has come about. that is the spirit! but the big picture, though, by any normal historical comparisons should be — should it not, adam? — is 11 years into one party being in charge of the government, they should be having seats tumble away! the opposition should be gobbling them up. but given what we have been covering this week, the sort of frenzy over sleaze, ijust wonder if we can think about what might have been cutting through? yeah, john, it will be interesting to hear from you with your scientific analysis of public opinion whether we can scientifically analyse whether public opinion has absorbed the stories we've been talking about — whether it's former prime ministers texting the chancellor, whether it's the prime minister's mobile phone habits, whether it's the prime minister's interior decorating habits. does that stuff — can you tell if that stuff is in the public�*s mind? crucially, above all, - i think what we have to bear in mind is that when these kind of stories come out is that -
people will evaluate - them through very much their prior partisan lens. so, if we take the polling that opinion did for the observer. last weekend in which they - asking people about the cameron intervention and the dysonj texts, well — and they then asked people, - "what do you think? is borisjohnson is honest, - or do you think he is corrupt?" and tory voters said _ he was honest and labour voters said that he was corrupt. and then, on that, i'lljust give you one other point. i when yougov asked people "who do you believe — - borisjohnson _ or dominic cummings?" well, actually, the most popular answer was "neither", _ but amongst conservative voters, only 7% said - they believed dominic cummings, so i you've got to break through the... i well, he was never a member of the tory party — proudly always said he was never a member of the tory party. sure, but the point- is the story has got to break through the veneer.
of prior partisanship. now, the one real reason why i can see why the flat story _ might cause more trouble | is that very often, the way in which, you know, bending the rules can be justified, i you say well, the end justifies the means. i i mean, this is clearly- the argument that the uk government's been using about various aspects of its handling i of the pandemic. the difficulty perhaps - is is what the broad public policy objective that is - justified by spending rather a lot of money on apparently i relatively expensive wallpaper? so, that's why perhaps the defence of, "well,| look," you know, "you may not like how we did it, - but it was all for the good" mightjust not be ready- for the government in the way. that it has been on other issues. now, i think laura knows much more about this than i do, _ so she may have a take - on this, but at the moment, my perspective is that - at least, as far as as what is in the public domain, - we are not yet at that point. what a briefing! thanks, john! was professor sirjohn curtice on television? yes, he was!
extensively! laughter. now, laura, parliament prorogued today... yes, say that when you haven't got your teeth in! ..which is the posh world for "stopping" because there's going to be a queen's speech in a couple of weeks when sort of it starts again, when it un—prorogues! or re—rogues — i don't know what it is! there are rogues anyway. and so there was a bit of a dash to get some legislation through in time, and one of the pieces of legislation was one that's very controversial for all sorts of reasons and it's the fire safety bill, which was basically the government's attempt to make sure there's never another grenfell. that's right. and where they have ended up with is that if you live in a very tall building, there is a fund that can be spent on removing the cladding from your building so that you're safe and there's all sorts of other things in there about whether you have to pay for wardens and patrol the corridors at night looking forfires. but some people are very, very angry that they have been left out of this legislation? that's right. so, the fire safety bill was aimed at making homes safer after that awful, awful tragedy in 2017 when more than 70
people lost their lives. but some mps — a few tory mps lots of labour mps and also a very strong feeling in the house of lords — were trying to extend the financial protection for leaseholders who have basically got stuck in flats that they might not be in the tallest of buildings with the cladding, but since then, all sorts all sorts of safety concerns and defects have been discovered. what the government would say they're putting $5 billion — i think the figure is — in to try fix things in the worst situations, and they also have to think about taxpayers. but there's an awful lot of people — some people would say, you know, a kind of generation of people just trying to get on the housing ladder who have really suffered here. so, that's a lot of homes that's been in the news, but then there's one home that has been in the news a lot in the last few days — the prime minister's flat above no 11 downing street — which we have been talking a lot about since friday, when dominic cummings, his former advisor, wrote that blog saying that there'd been some kind of things going on behind the scenes about the funding of it. i was going to say where have we got to on it?
but actually, it's all going out in all sorts of directions now. well, it is. investigations left, right and centre. yes, it's become a very sprawling and potentially a very serious issue for no 10 because the electoral commission, which is a legal, independent body with the power to sanction political organisations, is now conducting its own investigation. and the short version the prime minister and his fiancee had a lot of very, very expensive renovation done on the flat above 12 downing street, actually, where they live with their son. oh, not 11? it's actually — well, it's sort of kind ofjust on the corner. i think some of it's above 11. 11.5 downing street? yeah, 11.5 downing street! but the prime minister refuses to say who first picked up the bill for that renovation. now, in the simplest of terms, as with any story, if there's nothing to hide, why doesn't hejust say? and there are all sorts of fingers of suspicion and suggestions that tory donors paid, but there's no record of that happening. and if you wonder why you should give a monkey's about that, i mean who cares what kind of cushions they've
got, who cares what kind of wallpaper they've got — actually, quite a lot of people are quite interested! — but the point is politicians are meant to declare any cash or loans or anything they get, so we know what they get up to, right? politicians aren't meant to be beholden to any funders. so, in this country, we've got a really clear system. if they get any cash, they have to tell us who they get it from and he hasn't done that in this case so far. and what are we at now? three confirmed investigations going on. so, the electoral commission, laura, as you mentioned, we've got simon case, the most senior civil servant in the country doing his thing as well and then there is the guy, lord geidt brought in to oversee ministerial interests — and job number one in the in—tray is looking into this — and then the possibility of the parliamentary commissioner for standards getting involved because labour have asked them to have a look at it. but what i was struck by today was that the prime minister, on a visit to a school, asked about it and was kind of repeatedly dismissive, really, in his language about the whole thing. "nothing to see here. a farrago of nonsense," he reckoned. let's take a listen. i don't think that this
is number one issuel for the people of our country — indeed, by several — _ by several orders of magnitude — | by several orders of magnitude. | i would say what the people . want the government to focus on now — which is exactly what we are doing — - is on education, crime and all- the other issues that really matter. but labour are still banging on about it, aren't they? keir starmer in manchester today and, well, having some fun with it as well. all he's got to do is answer a very simple question, - which is who paid, initially, - for the redecoration of your flat? now, i'm thinking of people who are watching this. - i think most people would say, "if i had my flat redecorated, l i'd be able to answer that question". - so, the prime minister- could actually end this now, tell us who paid for it - in the first place, answer the question, it would takel about one minute, and then he could get back. on with the dayjob. and where do you go, laura and adam, when you're a leader of the opposition and there is a whole row
about interior decor, where do you go for your photo op? well, you go where there's allegedly a quote by somebody who has been has allegedly been to the prime minister's flat and said that they wanted to replace the "john lewis furniture nightmare" they'd been left by theresa may. 0h! so, you go to? john lewis! and you pose for a picture. oh, look — just casually looking at a piece of — a roll of wallpaper! as you do! and i have to say, having been lucky enough to have a glimpse of the downing street flat when theresa may was there — because we did part of her farewell interview there and we — it meant that we got a little bit of a look around — whatever your taste is, it was immaculate and really quite plush and pretty comfy and i didn't — well, anyway, people have different tastes — but it was really quite lavish and fancy, but perhaps not to borisjohnson�*s taste. well, we are nowjoined on newscast by an actual professional taste maker, i'm going to say! it's celia sawyer, the interior designer, who you will have seen on four rooms on channel 4 and your home in their hands
on bbc one. hello, celia! hello! help out our newscaster who hears the numbers being thrown around — and we know that prime ministers can spend up to £30,000 of a year of taxpayers' money on the flat — and think, "blimey, how on earth do you end up ratcheting up tens of thousands of expense for a bit of wallpaper and a new sofa?" well, it's notjust a bit - of wallpaper and a new sofa and we don't actually know, do we — or do we know? - — exactly how much was spent. do we know? no, we don't know. i mean, figures of up to £200,000 have been bandied around but we don't know if that really is true. i mean, i think we know it was sort of more than £50,000. but we do know that they hired somebody called lulu lytle from soane — if i'm pronouncing that correctly. so, could you tell us and our viewers and listeners a bit about that kind of — her designs and the sort of cachet that she has? i don't actually know her at all and i don't... - burn!
i don't know her at all- and i don't know her work. and i have seen some - pictures obviously recently, because she has been —| you know, this has been all in the news — and it's notl the sort of style that i would, that, you know, i do for somebody. however, everyone's goti different styles and that's the whole point of having your own interior designer, - so that you bring in whatever, you know, your style - is to someone's property. what's in at the moment? i don't follow trends because — the reason i don't... _ you're your own trend! well, the thing is i'm more classical because i think. to myself if you follow a trend, then you're . going to have to pay to change it again when it's not - in fashion and not in trend. ah! so, you know a lot of very, . very over—the—top wallpapers, a lot of over—the—top bright colours that probably - you would never normally put together, but that's very- fashionable at the moment, and i i don't put those things together. i when you look at the pictures of what is rumoured to be in the downing street flat — because all the pictures that are out there are actuallyjust from lulu lytle�*s website,
rather than actual candid snaps of the downing street flat — and you see the wallpaper and the sofa and the lamps and stuff, does that seem to match what we think we know of borisjohnson�*s personality? can you imagine that being the sort of stuff that he'd like, that he'd go for? i don't know if he'd - even know what he likes that he would go for, to be honest. - laughter. i would think that probably the female in his life - is probably in charge of that. side of things because he's got other things to think about. to me, it looks quite sort of chaotic, that sort - of interior, but perhaps that's what they like. . i mean, he is quite a sort of chaotic man, isn't he? | he's always got crazy hair and all the rest of it. - one way of putting it. quite a lot of people would say that downing street quite often likes having a bit of chaos around, so maybe that was the design theme? celia, just before we go, doing my due diligence as a journalist, on your website you say "clients include, pop stars, politicians, actors, actresses, sporting personalities, high net worth business people in the public eye". did borisjohnson approach you to come and do the refurb? unfortunately not.
ok _ but if he had, it would l have looked very smart. well, he gets 30 grand a year, so maybe he'll call next year? after seeing you on newscast and seeing your beautiful flat behind you! let's hope so, hey? thanks, celia! thank you. thank you, celia. my goodness, i always learn a lot on newscast but this week, ifeel like i'm learning more than most. i wonder if, you know — i mean this studio's looking better than it did a couple of years ago, but maybe we need a refresh. it's looking very... maybe that's how we make ourselves feel good is have a refresh every now and again. it's looking very brexit—era in here, actually, isn't it? definitely, yes. when we started doing this. this feels — this feels awful. it's changed a lot since then, you know. it feels awfully 2020 in here, tell you. oh, dear. i suppose actually, if we have a priority, it would have to be chris's little cupboard, wouldn't it? yeah. yeah, definitely. well, it's been a joy being part of broadcasting furniture on the bbc this evening. thank you very much for watching and listening. we'll be back very soon.
bye! bye everyone! bye. newscast. newscast from the bbc. good evening. it's a promising start to the bank holiday weekend. yes, some early frost out there, but it looks as though saturday and sunday will be a combination of sunny spells and scattered showers. but it's all change from bank holiday monday, turning increasingly wet and windy. but there will be some lovely sunshine first thing on saturday morning. as we go through the day, the showers will really develop, and with a light breeze, some of those could be slow—moving and quite intense with some hail, maybe some thunder. and those temperatures still a little disappointing for the time of year, 8—13 celsius the high. pretty much a repeat performance on sunday, dry with some sunny spells in the morning, plenty of showers into the afternoon. but by monday, here is that area of low pressure, it's going to move in from the atlantic. it will bring a spell of heavy rain and some gusty
a deadly crush at a religious festival in israel leaves 45 people dead and around 150 injured. men and boys at the segregated event struggled to escape the crowd through a narrow passageway, leading to panic and tragedy. crowds were heading down this metal ramp here. eye witnesses have said it was slippery. people were then turning around this corner heading down the steps and some have said that a barrier was blocking the route. there's been no official explanation for what caused the fatal crush. israel's prime minister has promised a full investigation. also tonight: the actor noel clarke says he's deeply sorry for some of his actions but vehemently denies sexual misconduct — itv dropped tonight's episode of viewpoint.