Skip to main content

tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 9, 2021 10:00am-1:01pm GMT

10:00 am
this is bbc news — these are the latest headlines in the uk and around the world. covid passes, working from home, and the wider use of facemasks. england braces for plan b rule changes. the health secretary says the measures are needed to delay the spread of omicron. if it carries on at that rate, you could havei million infections through community transmission by end of the month. the new restrictions provoke a backlash from some tory mps also angry at the allegation number ten staff broke covid rules last december. labour says it's not an isolated incident. there is a number of allegations around parties at the flat at numberten, the parties in numberten, and parties in other departments, and this is devastating news for people that did the
10:01 am
right thing, last christmas. the world food programme suspends aid distribution in two towns in northern ethiopia after gunmen loot its warehouses. new zealand plans an innovative scheme to stop the younger generation from ever buying cigarettes in their lifetime. a bbc investigation finds british rubbish is being illegally shipped to romania and dumped. hello and welcome if you're watching in the uk or around the world. the health secretary, sajid javid, says new restrictions in england are needed to buy time in order for people to get their boosters and protect against the spread of the omicron variant, which he said could "overwhelm" the nhs, if left unchecked. but the government
10:02 am
faces a mounting backlash to the plans from its own mps — with a substantial tory rebellion expected when the plans come to a vote in the commons, next week. one tory mp suggested it was a diversion from allegations over downing street christmas parties during restrictions last year. plan b restrictions mean that from friday, face masks will be required in more public settings — including theatres and cinemas. from monday, people will be asked to work from home where possible. from wednesday, the nhs covid pass — or a negative lateral flow test — will also be required for visitors to nightclubs, indoor unseated venues with more than 500 people, unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people and any event with more than 10,000 people. there is growing unease on the tory backbenches over the restrictions. former conservative party chief whip mark harper asked in the commons yesterday: "the prime minster and the secretary
10:03 am
of state do things... "..that people working in no 10 downing street "are not prepared to do?" a refernce to the row over allegations of a downing street christmas parties during restrictions last year. emma simpson reports. out on the town — the time of year for some festive fun. but hours earlier, the prime minister wasn't delivering much christmas cheer. while the picture may get better, and i sincerely hope that it will, we know that the remorseless logic of exponential growth could lead to a big rise in hospitalisations and, therefore, sadly, in deaths. and that's why it's now the proportionate and the responsible thing to move to plan b in england, while continuing to work closely with our colleagues in the devolved administrations, so we slow the spread of the virus. so, what does plan b mean? from friday, face coverings will be mandatory for most indoor public venues,
10:04 am
including theatres and cinemas, but not pubs or restaurants. from monday, you should work from home, if you can. an nhs covid pass will be needed to get into nightclubs and large venues. a negative lateral flow test will also be accepted. and daily testing will replace self—isolation for people who come into contact with someone infected. the government says the measures are necessary. we estimated that it spreads, what's called the doubling rate, is between two and a half to three days, which means the number of community infections are doubling in that time. and what that means is that if it carries on at that rate, you could have1 million infections through community transmission, by end of the month. right from the start, despite the fact that people are tired and despite the fact that people are having a hard time and suffering, genuinely suffering, psychologically and economically and with their health, still, by and large, the levels of adherence are very high indeed.
10:05 am
we live in scotland, so we've been used to them for a while. - so anything that keeps us safe has got to be good for the country. - i think if you can work from home to protect everyone else, why wouldn't you? i'm a dental student, so i can't really work from home. for me, it's been quite difficult with covid. learning... studying's been really difficult. but it's come at the worst possible time for many businesses. some are already asking for more government help. and, yet again, we're back. into open—ended restrictions with no end in sight, _ no financial support and absolutely no clarity on when any of this is going to be over. - i urge the government now to put the support packages in place - to support business through this really difficult period. . the government says its existing £400 billion support package will help businesses get through the winter. emma simpson, bbc news. the winter. the metropolitan police says it won't investigate allegations that staff at downing street broke covid restrictions
10:06 am
by holding a christmas party, because of a "lack of evidence". the prime minister's former spokesperson, allegra stratton, has resigned after appearing to joke about the party, and there are claims of more gatherings at number ten, whilst the uk was in lockdown. iain watson reports. three, two, one... plan b, with its new restrictions in england, is on its way just before christmas. but questions are still persisting over what happened last christmas behind downing street's black door. at a mock press conference, the prime minister's then spokeswoman appeared to be making light of some of the restrictions on social gatherings. this fictional party was a business meeting and it wasn't socially distanced. but yesterday, the laughter had turned to tears, as she apologised and resigned. my remarks seemed to make light of the rules, rules that people were doing everything to obey. that was never my intention.
10:07 am
i will regret those remarks for the rest of my days and i offer my profound apologies to all of you at home. will more staff follow suit? the country's most senior civil servant is now looking into what happened on december the 18th last year, the day that downing street still denies that a party took place. and the prime minister didn't seem to rule out extending that enquiry. people in this building have stayed within the rules. if that turns out not to be the case, and people wish to bring allegations to my attention or to the police or whoever, then, of course, there will be proper sanctions. so, what other events could potentially be examined? the bbc has received reports that some number ten staff attended a gathering with carriejohnson in a downing street flat on november the 13th last year, when england was in lockdown. but this has been denied by her spokeswoman. on the 13th and 27th of november,
10:08 am
the bbc has been told there were informal leaving drinks for staff at number ten. and conservative sources have confirmed that four members of the party's head office staff, working in the london mayoral campaign, were disciplined for taking part in an unauthorised social gathering on december the 14th, last year. and some of borisjohnson�*s own mps believe public trust has been damaged. the government's credibility, whether it's on paterson or on the christmas parties, has taken a hit. why should people at home, listening to the prime minister and the secretary of state, do things that people working in number ten downing street are not prepared to do? some, though, are more concerned by the pandemic�*s restrictions than reports of parties. just listen to the reaction from the conservative benches when the health secretary announced the introduction of so—called vaccine passwords for large venues. we will be introducing mandatory certification... resign! — ..based on vaccines or tests...
10:09 am
..in nightclubs and large events. this will reduce the number of unvaccinated, infectious people in venues, which could limit overall transmission. labour say they'll still support the government's new measures, but they don't support the man who leads the government. and they want conservative mps to do something about it. conservative mps can - remove the prime minister. we want to remove the prime minister in a general election. _ the point is, at this moment - in the pandemic, they need to decide whether he is really the - right person for the job, given the seriousness of the situation we find ourselves in. _ borisjohnson says he is getting on with the job, while his opponents "play politics" with the pandemic. he said the booster programme is about to really take off. but after a bruising few weeks, his leadership could also do with a shot in the arm. iain watson, bbc news. a lot of pressure on the prime
10:10 am
minister. some might say it is time for paternity leave. in fact, news hasjust for paternity leave. in fact, news has just broken that the prime minister and carrie are celebrating the birth of their second child, a baby girl born in a london hospital in the early hours of this morning. a sisterfor big in the early hours of this morning. a sister for big brother, in the early hours of this morning. a sisterfor big brother, wilf. the prime ministerjoining quite a few modern day prime minister is having a child whilst in downing street. interesting to see if the prime minister does take some paternity leave. there are other issues brewing for him at the moment! let's get more on this from our political correspondent ben wright. congratulations, prime minister, with a daughter. the electoral commission and a decision about the refurbishment of the downing street flat, talk us through what has happened. flat, talk us through what has happened-— flat, talk us through what has hauened. , happened. morning, tim. boris johnson's— happened. morning, tim. boris johnson's expanded _ happened. morning, tim. boris johnson's expanded family - happened. morning, tim. boris johnson's expanded family will| johnson's expanded family will presumably be returning to the
10:11 am
downing street flat fairly soon. a flat, of course, which has been the focus of a lot of attention, particularly earlier this year, when it emerged that the costs of refurbishing it had vast it outstripped the £30,000 limit that is available at of public funds to redo government residences like this. —— out of public funds. there was a donation from a tory donor, lord brownlow to help cover those costs. this was investigated at the beginning of the year by the prime minister's adviser on standards. that was the nature of the arrangement. borisjohnson didn't arrangement. boris johnson didn't know arrangement. borisjohnson didn't know anything about it but he acted "unwisely". since then, the electoral commission, which oversees electoral law and how donations are submitted has been digging into this. it has taken eight months to get to the bottom of the arrangement of lord brownlow worked. the electoral commission in the last
10:12 am
hour have come back saying they found the laws of the reporting and recordings of donations in this instance were not followed. they said the party failed to report a donation of £52,800 from lord brownlow�*s company at the end of 2020 that should have been declared as a loan for the purposes of going towards meeting the costs of the refurbishment of the flat. the electoral commission has fined the tory party £70,800 for failing to accurately report a donation and keep a proper accounting record. i don't think we learn anything brand—new about how this arrangement worked but after digging into this, the electoral commission has decided this loan should have been declared properly. it wasn't and the tories have been slapped with quite a hefty fine. the electoral commission can fine. the electoral commission can fine up to a maximum of £20,000. it is almost at the maximum limit. the
10:13 am
tory party responded and said they consider this to be a technical breach of the rules that they are considering an appeal against the decision. clearly, more pressure on downing street today. who decision. clearly, more pressure on downing street today.— downing street today. who will pay the fine? the _ downing street today. who will pay the fine? the tory _ downing street today. who will pay the fine? the tory party, _ downing street today. who will pay the fine? the tory party, i - downing street today. who will pay. the fine? the tory party, i presume. the are the fine? the tory party, i presume. they are the — the fine? the tory party, i presume. they are the ones _ the fine? the tory party, i presume. they are the ones who _ the fine? the tory party, i presume. they are the ones who were - the fine? the tory party, i presume. they are the ones who were found i the fine? the tory party, i presume. | they are the ones who were found to have breached the rules. it is a fine on the conservative party and they will have to pay. this is just another pressure point, now, on number ten to explain itself and exactly why it went down this route of asking for a loan and why it didn't declare it properly back at the end of 2020 as it tried to fill a whole, that they presume would be met by a new trust that the government hoped to set up to cover the costs. when it was established that trust couldn't be created in the way that downing street envisaged, the cabinet office, which paid the money needed to be reimbursed and that is when they turned to this tory donor to cough up. the electoral commission said that shouldn't have... it was clearly a loan and should have been
10:14 am
declared as such. that is why the tory party is now in trouble with the electoral commission. it finally draws a line under the saga of the downing street flat refurbishment. 0k, downing street flat refurbishment. ok, thank you. if you havejust joined us, breaking news from westminster in the past ten minutes. the prime minister, borisjohnson, and carrie are now celebrating the birth of their second child, a baby girl born in a london hospital in the early hours of this morning. has no name yet but a sister for older brother, wilf. the children with carrie that borisjohnson now has. trying to get more information on that as we can in terms of the name and the hospital, potential names and the hospital, potential names and all the other paraphernalia, of course. but borisjohnson and carrie celebrating the birth of their second child. you are watching bbc news.
10:15 am
more now on the plan b restrictions. joining me now is dr chaand nagpaul, who is the council chair at at the british medical association. thank you forjoining us on bbc news. we had the scientific advice. in your view, are these restrictions necessary? or has this been done with an abundance of caution? fine necessary? or has this been done with an abundance of caution? one of the lessons — with an abundance of caution? one of the lessons we _ with an abundance of caution? one of the lessons we have _ with an abundance of caution? one of the lessons we have learned - with an abundance of caution? one of the lessons we have learned over - with an abundance of caution? one of the lessons we have learned over the | the lessons we have learned over the 20 months of the pandemic is that it is always important to act in advance, ratherthan is always important to act in advance, rather than regret later on with more severe consequences. unfortunately, this is obviously a blow to the public, just as we are approaching christmas. they are necessary. because we are seeing a significant pressure on our health service. in fact, there is no slack at the moment. there are far too many scenes of long queues of ambulances, unable for patients to be admitted. we have had about
10:16 am
13,000 operations cancelled in two months in a0 hospitals. the real number is even greater to include all hospitals. people are suffering. these aren't necessarily patients with covid but there are other patients, over 5.8 million, waiting for treatment who had not been able to receive their care and that has a health impact. anything that can reduce the current pressure across hospitals will be welcome. in fact, the advice from sage itself to the government is that we are likely to see admission rates in hospitalfrom covid go up to around 1000 two 2000 if we are not careful. we are looking at a virus that is doubling every 2.5 to three days. within a few weeks... fin every 2.5 to three days. within a few weeks- - -_ few weeks... on the point of hospitalisations, _ few weeks... on the point of hospitalisations, do - few weeks... on the point of hospitalisations, do we - few weeks... on the point ofj hospitalisations, do we know few weeks... on the point of - hospitalisations, do we know how many people are in hospital at the moment in england because of omicron? we moment in england because of omicron? ~ ., �* .,
10:17 am
moment in england because of omicron?— moment in england because of omicron? ~ ., �* ., ., ., ., omicron? we don't have that granular data. we omicron? we don't have that granular data- we do — omicron? we don't have that granular data. we do know— omicron? we don't have that granular data. we do know how _ omicron? we don't have that granular data. we do know how many - omicron? we don't have that granular data. we do know how many people i omicron? we don't have that granular. data. we do know how many people are in hospital with covid illness. and we know that over 700 are admitted every day. there are nearly 6000 hospital beds occupied by patients with covid. we know that hospitals that are full are having to turn patients away. we also know that because the dublin rate is so rapid, that within a few weeks, it is very possible that omicron will be the dominant virus. we were in this position last year, when, before christmas, we had to kent variant, it was called the alpha variant. within a few weeks, it became the dominant variant and the same with delta. it is possible omicron will be the dominant virus in the new year. . , ., ., �* ., , year. critics of plan b and these new restrictions _ year. critics of plan b and these new restrictions would - year. critics of plan b and these new restrictions would say - year. critics of plan b and these new restrictions would say we . year. critics of plan b and these l new restrictions would say we still don't know quite how virulent omicron is. is it as serious? are the symptoms milder than delta? is
10:18 am
that something we still doubt know the answer to, as well? we that something we still doubt know the answer to, as well?— the answer to, as well? we don't have an answer _ the answer to, as well? we don't have an answer to _ the answer to, as well? we don't have an answer to that _ the answer to, as well? we don't have an answer to that because l the answer to, as well? we don't l have an answer to that because the scientific analysis around the impact of the virus is going on, as we speak. however, it is important to say these measures are not lockdown measures, they are actually an extension of current measures in place where face coverings are required in transport and shops and this is extended to all indoor settings. we have always said you need a will that makes sense in all settings, the virus doesn't behave differently in different places. —— need a rule. there is a glaring inconsistency in the current plan b inconsistency in the current plan b in that staff in restaurants and hospitality are not required to wear masks. it isjust hospitality are not required to wear masks. it is just as possible to be infected if you are being served by a waiter and speaking directly in line of yourface a waiter and speaking directly in line of your face within two or three feet. we think it is important to be consistent. it is very important to make this point for your viewers and the public in
10:19 am
general is that omicron responds far better if you've had the booster vaccination. it is not the two vaccinations alone. they are not as effective. whilst we have these restrictions in place, it is not a case ofjust having these additional measures to control spread, but it has to be accompanied with a very concerted effort to getting the public to receive their booster dose, because it is at booster dose that provides the efficacy against omicron. that has to be a real national priority.— omicron. that has to be a real national priority. judging by your comments around _ national priority. judging by your comments around face - national priority. judging by your comments around face masks, l national priority. judging by yourj comments around face masks, it sounds like you want these restrictions to go further? ida. sounds like you want these restrictions to go further? no, what we are saying _ restrictions to go further? no, what we are saying is _ restrictions to go further? no, what we are saying is we _ restrictions to go further? no, what we are saying is we want _ restrictions to go further? no, what we are saying is we want the - we are saying is we want the restrictions to be consistent. it doesn't make sense that if you go to a takeaway, the staff member has to wear a mask but if you are in a restaurant and you are taking an orderfrom a waiter or restaurant and you are taking an order from a waiter or they are taking one from you, they are not wearing a face mask. we want consistency so the public can understand this is a virus that is transmitted when people are close to each other. it is transmitted when people are exposed without face
10:20 am
coverings and it is also transmitted more physically close you are and without ventilation. we want these measures to be absolutely consistent, and implemented in a way that applies in all indoor settings. in fact, it will allow people to mix and meet each other but doing so in and meet each other but doing so in a safe way, as opposed to in an unsafe way. a safe way, as opposed to in an unsafe way-— a safe way, as opposed to in an unsafe wa . . , , ., . unsafe way. one last question. we often aet unsafe way. one last question. we often get asked — unsafe way. one last question. we often get asked this. _ unsafe way. one last question. we often get asked this. what - unsafe way. one last question. we | often get asked this. what happens if you have had both vaccines and you have had covid and you have recovered, what sort of protection does that give you? this recovered, what sort of protection does that give you?— does that give you? this is a very aood does that give you? this is a very good question- — does that give you? this is a very good question. there _ does that give you? this is a very good question. there is - does that give you? this is a very good question. there is a - does that give you? this is a very good question. there is a lot - does that give you? this is a very good question. there is a lot of l good question. there is a lot of scientific research being done on this. it may well be that if you had covid and the two vaccinations, you may have stronger protection. but, at the moment, without us being clear about it, it doesn't matter which previous type of covid you have had, the safest way to protect yourself is to have a booster. that has to be the message. we have very
10:21 am
good evidence that the third dose of the vaccine, or the booster dose, depending on what sort of person you are, the third dose does confer additional protection against omicron. it is really important to keep to that simple, clear message. and to do that as we continue the current additional measures under plan b. , ., ., current additional measures under plan b. , . . ., current additional measures under plan b. , .. ., ., ~ plan b. ok, dr chaand nagpaulthank ou ve plan b. ok, dr chaand nagpaulthank you very much _ plan b. ok, dr chaand nagpaulthank you very much indeed _ plan b. ok, dr chaand nagpaulthank you very much indeed for _ plan b. ok, dr chaand nagpaulthank you very much indeed forjoining - plan b. ok, dr chaand nagpaulthank you very much indeed forjoining us i you very much indeed forjoining us here on bbc news. one of the measures being introduced is the idea of covid passports. no mandatory vaccinations, according to the government and the prime minister yesterday. how are clubs reacting to the news of vaccine passports? let's speak to michael kill, who is the chief executive of the night time industries association. your response to that, mr cil? as ou your response to that, mr cil? is you can your response to that, mr cil? sis you can appreciate, an industry that has been at the sharpest end of the pandemic, closed for 20 months,
10:22 am
overburdened with debt, it is harrowing news to hearfurther restrictions. and particularly such a critical time. we have an vacated and supported the public health strategy right throughout this campaign by closing and being able to open on the 19th, against clinicians projected perspective, we retained our position, we worked hard, invested in mitigations and we feel we have done a fantasticjob in safeguarding and upholding our end of the bargain in terms of keeping our staff and customers say. what our staff and customers say. what evidence is _ our staff and customers say. what evidence is there _ our staff and customers say. what evidence is there that _ our staff and customers say. what evidence is there that covert - evidence is there that covert passports lead to a reduction in business? we have seen from scotland and wales that — business? we have seen from scotland and wales that there _ business? we have seen from scotland and wales that there has _ business? we have seen from scotland and wales that there has been - business? we have seen from scotland and wales that there has been a - and wales that there has been a direct impact on trade. about 20%-30%, in direct impact on trade. about 20%—30%, in fact. direct impact on trade. about 20%—30%, infact. but direct impact on trade. about 20%—30%, in fact. but over and above that, there are additional costs. when we are in a position when we have a shortage of staff and security, it is a challenge to get people in to start driving and being
10:23 am
part of that logistical sort of position. but it also costs between £a00 and £600 a week additional costs at a point when, you know, businesses are in a very fragile state. it's very difficult. they want to retain safe environments but feel they have done everything possible and invested, you know, to make sure that people are safe when they come into these premises. interesting, when you speak to people who travel around europe, quite a lot in germany, france, for example, france has a covid passport, doesn't seem to have the same sort of impact over there. waiting staff are adding this to the list of things they have to do. find list of things they have to do. and we have seen _ list of things they have to do. pm. we have seen different responses, definitely, from europe. for us, we have clear stats and feedback from our members and the wider industry to suggest it does impact trade. the challenge we have at the moment is the fragility of the last quarter of this year, where we built back reserves to survive the early part
10:24 am
of 2022. that is where the challenge is. at the moment, the government is not stepping forward to support us in any way. we have a concern that this is going to hit our golden period for us where we would start to recover. because there is so much misinformation and confusion at a time when we are literally at a period of the next three weeks, critical to our survival, it is a difficult period and the timing is very challenging. we have lots of work to do at a loss of clarity. as you can appreciate, with all of these announcements, the devil is in these announcements, the devil is in the detail. , , ., ., the detail. give us an overview, if ou the detail. give us an overview, if you would. _ the detail. give us an overview, if you would. of— the detail. give us an overview, if you would, of the _ the detail. give us an overview, if you would, of the night _ the detail. give us an overview, if you would, of the night time - you would, of the night time industries association position. the lockdown, going into christmas, what sort of percentage of clubs have gone to the wall compared to those who managed to survive by making all those changes they needed to just to keep afloat? just those changes they needed to 'ust to kee afloat? , , ., , ., those changes they needed to 'ust to kee afloat? , ., , ., , . ., keep afloat? just as a very clear narrative. _ keep afloat? just as a very clear narrative, there _
10:25 am
keep afloat? just as a very clear narrative, there were _ keep afloat? just as a very clear narrative, there were 1446 - narrative, there were 1aa6 nightclubs pre—pandemic. there are now less than 1000. we have already lost one third and we are losing them regularly with these changes in narratives. things like cancellations of bookings, promoters pulling out, not being able to access international artists. and enrich that cultural tapestry. it has been a real issue right the way throughout. we have many, many barriers. we are versatile. we have some amazing entrepreneurs within our industry but, at some point, we need the government to come to us and actually have some confidence in what we do. we are the experts in our setting, the government needs to understand that and we are doing everything possible, as in line with exactly what the expectation was from the 19th ofjuly.— from the 19th ofjuly. thank you, michael kill _ from the 19th ofjuly. thank you, michael kill for— from the 19th ofjuly. thank you, michael kill forjoining _ from the 19th ofjuly. thank you, michael kill forjoining us - from the 19th ofjuly. thank you, michael kill forjoining us on - from the 19th ofjuly. thank you, michael kill forjoining us on bbc news. the uk's chief veterinary officer has warned there is a "phenomenal level" of avian flu in the uk. tens of thousands of farmed birds have already been culled. officials say the risk to human health is low — there is no link to the covid—19 pandemic — but infected birds should
10:26 am
not be touched. let's speak to our correspondent, claire marshall. this has been rather below the radar, hasn't it, until now, how serious is it?— radar, hasn't it, until now, how serious is it? well, i spoke to the chief vet this _ serious is it? well, i spoke to the chief vet this morning _ serious is it? well, i spoke to the chief vet this morning and - serious is it? well, i spoke to the chief vet this morning and if - serious is it? well, i spoke to the chief vet this morning and if you i chief vet this morning and if you listen to the radio you might have heard her again. listen to the radio you might have heard heragain. she is listen to the radio you might have heard her again. she is really worried. yesterday she said it was a phenomenal level and it could have a real impact on trade. she updated the figures this morning and said that half a million birds had been killed or cold. that is mainly from intensive farms. —— or culled but also wild birds will stop you are looking at 80 different locations. 300 wild birds killed. also different species. notjust birds tucked away in sheds. it is actually birds that are members of the public might come in contact with. swans swimming around the centre of
10:27 am
stratford—upon—avon and lots of those have died. the first outbreak was in a swan sanctuary. a male had to be culled. and peregrines and vulcans. it is widespread and heading west from europe. experts are worried. —— and falcons. hagar are worried. -- and falcons. how contagious— are worried. -- and falcons. how contagious is _ are worried. -- and falcons. how contagious is it? _ are worried. -- and falcons. how contagious is it? very _ are worried. -- and falcons. how contagious is it? very contagious| are worried. -- and falcons. howl contagious is it? very contagious in the wild bird _ contagious is it? very contagious in the wild bird population. _ contagious is it? very contagious in the wild bird population. you - contagious is it? very contagious in the wild bird population. you can i the wild bird population. you can have a bird... it is the equivalent to human flu, essentially. you have one bird come in that is infected and comes into contact with another. it can give it the virus. so... something that experts are really telling everyone to do, particularly if you have a chicken farm, keep or if you have a chicken farm, keep or if you have a chicken farm, keep or if you keep birds, scrubbing your wellies, washing your hands. and if you are putting bird food out, which is a good thing, the rspb are saying just wash your hands after putting out the feeder. people are really
10:28 am
worried. the thing is that no one quite knows why it's happening. these outbreaks are getting worse, it seems, year on year. and the chief vet this morning said that maybe it could be to do with climate change. different birds interacting as temperatures alter and change. perhaps that is one reason but no one really knows.— perhaps that is one reason but no one really knows. claire marshall, thank ou one really knows. claire marshall, thank you very — one really knows. claire marshall, thank you very much. _ to ethiopia now — and the world food programme has suspended distribution of food aid in two northern ethiopian towns after gunmen looted its warehouses. looters from rebel tigrayan forces held aid staff at gunpoint in the towns of kombolcha and dessie, north of the capital addis ababa. they stole large quantities of essential food supplies — including some for malnourished children. our correspondent, emmanuel igunza, in nairobi has more. what we know so far is that this incident happened a couple of days back, when the government troops entered dessie and kombolcha
10:29 am
and these are in the amhara region. and they took these towns from the tigrayan forces. and as the tigrayan forces, when they were retreating, and as the tigrayan forces were retreating, they went about looting some of the areas. there are accusations, allegations, that have come notjust from the united nations, but also from the government itself. and according to the un, wfp staff, who are in some of the warehouses, were held at gunpoint as tigrayan forces looted and stole supplies. this included nutritional supplements for children. and then they fled. during that commotion, locals of that area also went into the warehouse and took what was left. and this has forced, now, the united nations, wfp, to suspend operations in dessie and kombolcha areas of amhara. and it's just not clear yet when they will resume.
10:30 am
new zealand is looking to bring in legislation that will stop young people from ever buying cigarettes, with the aim of making the whole country smoke—free within four years. lucy grey has more. at the moment, you have to be 18 to buy cigarettes in new zealand, but under planned new laws, anyone under the age of 1a will never be able to buy cigarettes legally. the age limit will then be increased every year until the whole country is smoke free. we want to make sure young people never start smoking. so, we are legislating for a smoke—free generation by making it an offence to sell or supply tobacco products to those aged 1a, when the law comes into effect. let's leave there and go to the house of commons. labour's fleur anderson is asking an urgent question on the details of the investigation into downing street christmas parties. we now have the minister to reply. thank_ we now have the minister to reply. thank you. — we now have the minister to reply. thank you, mr speaker. mr speaker,
10:31 am
as the prime minister said to the house yesterday, he understands and shares the anger up and down the country, as do i, at seeing number 10 staff seeming to make light of lockdown measures. ijoined the prime minister in apologising unreservedly, mr speaker, for the offence that it has caused to people who have been through what everyone in this house knows is immeasurable pain and hardship as a result of this appalling pandemic. the prime minister has been repeatedly assured that since these allegations emerged that there was no party and that no covid rules were broken. however... however, the government also recognises the
10:32 am
public anxiety about this and public indignation and i share that, and it appears as though the people, in the sense as though where it appears the people who have been setting the rules may not have been following the rules. now as the prime minister confirmed to the house yesterday, he has asked the cabinet secretary to investigate the facts and i would like to update the house now, if i've made, on the details of this investigation. mr speaker, the terms of reference for the investigation are being published and i will lay a copy in the library of the house later today. copy in the library of the house latertoday. now copy in the library of the house later today. now i can confirm to the house that the cabinet secretary's investigation will establish the facts surrounding the following: allegations made of a gathering at number 10 downing st on
10:33 am
the 27th of november 2020, a gathering at the department for education on the 10th of december 2020 and allegations made of a gathering at number 10 downing st on the 18th of december 2020. the primary purpose of the cabinet secretary's investigation will be to establish swiftly a general understanding of the nature of the gatherings, including attendance, the setting... gatherings, including attendance, the setting---_ the setting... laughter the setting _ the setting... laughter the setting and - the setting... laughter the setting and the - the setting... laughter i the setting and the purpose the setting... laughter - the setting and the purpose and the setting... laughter _ the setting and the purpose and with reference to adherents to the guidance in place at the time. now, if required, the investigation will establish whether individual disciplinary action is warranted. mr speaker, the work will be undertaken ljy speaker, the work will be undertaken by officials in the cabinet office
10:34 am
at the direction of the cabinet secretary, with support from the government legal department. those officials will have access to all the relevant records and be able to speak to members of staff. as with all internal investigations, if evidence emerges is of behaviour thatis evidence emerges is of behaviour that is potentially a criminal offence, the matter will be referred to the police and the cabinet office's work may be paused. mr speaker, in conclusion, i must emphasise the masses relating to the adherents of the law is for the police to investigate and the cabin cabinet office will liaise with the police as appropriate. all ministers, senior civil servants will be expected to collaborate with the investigation. finally, i can confirm, the findings of the investigation will be provided to the house and made public. following
10:35 am
the house and made public. following the long—standing practice of successive administrations, any specific hr action against individuals will remain confidential.— individuals will remain confidential. . , ., confidential. can i 'ust say to the minister, confidential. can i 'ust say to the minister. uh confidential. can i 'ust say to the minister, it is _ confidential. can i just say to the minister, it is meant _ confidential. can i just say to the minister, it is meant to - confidential. can i just say to the minister, it is meant to be - confidential. can i just say to the minister, it is meant to be three| minister, it is meant to be three minutes— minister, it is meant to be three minutes not over four minutes, so... just a _ minutes not over four minutes, so... just a minute — minutes not over four minutes, so... just a minute. so what i will say is i just a minute. so what i will say is lam _ just a minute. so what i will say is lam going — just a minute. so what i will say is i am going to give some flexibility to the _ i am going to give some flexibility to the other two benches. fleur anderson _ to the other two benches. fleur anderson. | to the other two benches. fleur anderson-— to the other two benches. fleur anderson. ., ,, ~ ., ,, to the other two benches. fleur anderson. ., ,, ~ .,~ ., anderson. i thank you mr speaker and i thank ou anderson. i thank you mr speaker and i thank you for— anderson. i thank you mr speaker and i thank you for granting _ anderson. i thank you mr speaker and i thank you for granting this _ anderson. i thank you mr speaker and i thank you for granting this urgent - i thank you for granting this urgent question today and i thank the paymaster general�*s statement and more information about this investigation. trust is vitally important during a pandemic. trust in the decisions being made and, most importantly, trust in the people making those decisions and the judgment about them. my constituent so wrote to me yesterday. she said, my mother died of covid on christmas day last year. she was alone and frightened in an isolation room in a hospital on the
10:36 am
18th of december while the alleged party was happening. she was admitted to hospitalfor party was happening. she was admitted to hospital for a party was happening. she was admitted to hospitalfor a non—covid related issue and contracted the disease whilst there. both of us had followed the rules and it breaks my heart that i was only able to see her a handful of times last year and i couldn't be with her in herfinal moments. she is angry, people across the country are angry. i welcome the prime minister's announcement that he has asked the cabinet secretary to conduct this investigation. i have asked for this urgent question as there are further urgent questions to be asked about the investigation and i don't think we need to call them into alleged parties, they are the parties, held in the government department or by government ministers elsewhere. are there more parties that we need to hear about? there more parties that we need to hearabout? is there more parties that we need to hear about? is this investigation just to say we are doing something, we will push it into the long grass or is it a serious investigation? the prime minister said yesterday i've been repeatedly assured there was no party had no covid rules were
10:37 am
broken but i have asked the cabinet secretary to establish these facts. who gave these repeated assurances? if there was no party, why did allegra stratton feel the need to resign? is she taking the fall instead of government ministers? if this investigation finds out that the prime minister has misled the house, mr speaker, will he resign? i look forward to the house of reference for the investigation being published later today. we'll include all the parties, notjust those three but any others that were held? who went to these parties? can the minister confirmed that the cabinet secretary and the remainder of the legal team just been reference didn't go to any of these parties and so are able to conduct the investigation without personal interest? if they happened, who couuded interest? if they happened, who colluded for over a year in the cover—up of these parties? when is the deadline for this investigation? how will the outcomes be made
10:38 am
public? is there any limit on the sanctions that will be given to the people who are found out to have beenin people who are found out to have been in the wrong? i welcome the assurance from the paymaster general that he will refer the cabinet secretary... this will be referred to the police if there is a case to answer and we come from their side, will be following this very closely. finally, will the governmentjust to be straight with the british people? thank you. be straight with the british people? thank ou. ~ . be straight with the british people? thank you.- thank - be straight with the british people? thank you.- thank you, i be straight with the british people? j thank you.- thank you, mr thank you. minister. thank you, mr seaker. thank you. minister. thank you, mr speaker- can _ thank you. minister. thank you, mr speaker- can i _ thank you. minister. thank you, mr speaker. can i say _ thank you. minister. thank you, mr speaker. can i say first _ thank you. minister. thank you, mr speaker. can i say first of— thank you. minister. thank you, mr speaker. can i say first of all- thank you. minister. thank you, mr speaker. can i say first of all that l speaker. can i say first of all that my heart goes out to her correspondence or constituent and anyone else who lost loved ones. the many, many thousands who have lost loved ones as a result of this pandemic. the investigation that she refers to, as i said in my opening remarks, is going to be conducted by the cabinet secretary. i know that she and those behind her, as well as
10:39 am
everyone in this house, has confidence in the independence and integrity of our civil service. the cabinet secretary heads the civil service and is conducting this investigation. how long it lasts, that will be a matter for him and the matter will if it discloses criminality be referred to the metropolitan police for further investigation. i also in a previous ministerial role as solicitor general worked for the government legal department. that is another department which has integrity and the confidence of all. and it will also be supporting the investigation. all those who are questioned by the investigation, civil servants, special advisers, ministers, are expected and will be expected to cooperate with it. i hope that answers her questions. sir desmond swain. would _ hope that answers her questions. sir desmond swain. would it _ hope that answers her questions. sir desmond swain. would it be - hope that answers her questions. sir desmond swain. would it be helpful| desmond swain. would it be helpful if there is a great _ desmond swain. would it be helpful if there is a great understanding - if there is a great understanding number 10 isn't a house but a front door behind which there is a suite
10:40 am
of modern offices and meeting rooms across three floors and it is perfectly possible to be in the rafters above number 11, completely isolated from what else is happening in the building?— isolated from what else is happening in the building?- it - isolated from what else is happening in the building?- it is - in the building? minister. it is certainly true _ in the building? minister. it is certainly true as _ in the building? minister. it is certainly true as a _ in the building? minister. it is certainly true as a matter - in the building? minister. it is certainly true as a matter of l certainly true as a matter of geography that number 10 downing street is a very large property, with a multitude of offices and many, many people working inside it. in that sense, geographically, he is absolutely right. sim»? in that sense, geographically, he is absolutely right. snp spokesperson martin doherty- _ absolutely right. snp spokesperson martin doherty. on _ absolutely right. snp spokesperson martin doherty. on the _ absolutely right. snp spokesperson martin doherty. on the 16th - absolutely right. snp spokesperson martin doherty. on the 16th of- martin doherty. on the 16th of december— martin doherty. on the 16th of december the _ martin doherty. on the 16th of december the prime _ martin doherty. on the 16th of december the prime ministerl martin doherty. on the 16th of- december the prime minister asked everyone to exercise the greatest possible personal responsibility. london entered tier three restrictions, that no person may participate in a gathering. you must not have a work christmas lunch or party, whether in an office or in somebody�*s flat upstairs. the 18th of december, the royal college of
10:41 am
emergency medicine said we were at a dangerous point where we could tip into finding it incredibly difficult to manage. the same day, 51a people died of covid—19. i am sure the nhs or those in care homes were already over the tipping point is that on the 18th of december the prime minister stated, the 18th of december the prime ministerstated, if the 18th of december the prime minister stated, if you are forming a christmas bubble, it is vital that from today you minimise contact with people from outside your household. the evening the statement was given by the prime minister in downing street, a christmas party, party, was held in number 10, where officials knocked back glasses of wine during a christmas quiz and a secret santa. so i wonder if the paymaster general would agree with me that if something looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and is at a christmas party, it's usually a dark!— a duck and is at a christmas party, it's usually a dark!_ no i
10:42 am
it's usually a dark! minister. no doubt mr speaker, _ it's usually a dark! minister. no doubt mr speaker, if— it's usually a dark! minister. no doubt mr speaker, if the - it's usually a dark! minister. no - doubt mr speaker, if the honourable gentleman has any evidence he may wish to supply it to the cabinet secretary, or the police. wish to supply it to the cabinet secretary, orthe police. but wish to supply it to the cabinet secretary, or the police. but the point is he has rehearsed to the house what regulations were in place at the time and the reality is that thatis at the time and the reality is that that is accepted. what we need to do is investigate the matter of these gatherings. i have said what the primary purpose is going to be, which is to swiftly establish a general understanding of the nature of any gatherings that took place, including attendance, including the setting and including the purpose. that is what the investigation is all about. . ., that is what the investigation is all about. , . , that is what the investigation is | all about._ there all about. theresa villiers. there is understandably _ all about. theresa villiers. there is understandably real _ all about. theresa villiers. there is understandably real public - all about. theresa villiers. there l is understandably real public anger about what seems to have happened at downing street. that is contributing to people' unhappiness and discontent with renewed covid restrictions the steps i will be government do everything it possibly can to lift the current restrictions as soon as it is safe to do so and ensure that christmas is not
10:43 am
cancelled?— ensure that christmas is not cancelled?- i - ensure that christmas is not cancelled?- i am i ensure that christmas is not - cancelled?- i am grateful cancelled? minister. i am grateful to her for her— cancelled? minister. i am grateful to her for her question. _ cancelled? minister. i am grateful to her for her question. my - cancelled? minister. i am grateful to her for her question. my right l to herfor her question. my right honourable friend, and i share the angen honourable friend, and i share the anger. the reality of the matter is that we are focusing on the pandemic as a government and as a nation. we need to ensure that everything is done to protect the people of this country from the effects of this pandemic and that, of course, is going to be the principal focus going to be the principal focus going forward, as it has been throughout. but we will always follow the science and the secretary of state for health and social care will have more to say in due course on the situation. thank you. first of all, my sympathies go out to the honourable gentleman for drawing the short straw on coming here this morning to answer the urgent question for them could he explain the difference between what a party and a gathering is in his understanding of the
10:44 am
vocabulary? and i note that he did not actually confirm that the gatherings forward stroke parties now we know have happened in number 10 on november the 13th, november 27, decemberthe10th, 10 on november the 13th, november 27, december the 10th, december the iath 27, december the 10th, december the 1ath and december the 18th will be within scope of this so—called enquiry, which many people on their side of the house are already seeing as a cover—up? side of the house are already seeing as a cover-up?— as a cover-up? minister. the issue _ as a cover-up? minister. the issue of _ as a cover-up? minister. the issue of the - as a cover-up? minister. the issue of the nature l as a cover-up? minister. | the issue of the nature of as a cover-up? minister. - the issue of the nature of the gathering goes to the heart of the investigation. therefore, to answer heather's question about what the nature of the gathering was, that will be established by the cabinet secretary, assisted by the government legal department and informing the police if any criminality is uncovered. so those questions will be answered in due course. ,., course. peter bow. thank _ course. peter bow. thank you. - course. peter bow.
10:45 am
thank you. i - course. peter bow. | thank you. i should course. peter bow. - thank you. i should say i course. peter bow. _ thank you. i should say i think the prime minister is doing a greatjob running the country. but... and i congratulate the honourable lady on getting this urgent question but i think the paymaster general missed one of the questions that she put and may i put that question again? it is quite right that the prime minister should come to this house and was told by someone and accepted that and did that in good faith. i want to know who that person was that told him. so perhaps the minister, the excellent minister, he does not need any protection, will tell us that answer? i don't have that answer, mr speaker. but what i will say, as i already have said, is that if required, the investigation will establish whether individual disciplinary action is warranted and that will be one of the principal focus is of the investigation. so of course, it will be ongoing and it will clearly be in the public domain
10:46 am
as soon as it is ready. in which case, can we get an assurance that the cabinet secretary was not involved in giving the assurances to the prime minister? because if that is not able to be given then it is quite inappropriate for him to be in charge of the investigation. the question of legal advice, though, also comes to our minds because the prime minister has asserted no rules were broken. so will be advice on watch that assertion was made be given to the enquiry when it is how? and on the question of investigation with the possibility of it then being passed on to the police, will people interviewed by this enquiry be interviewed by this enquiry be interviewed under caution? because the minister himself is a former law officer and well know there is a risk of contamination of evidence being obtained within an internal enquiry and fairly, which would then
10:47 am
prejudice prosecutions in the future. ~ . prejudice prosecutions in the future-- he - prejudice prosecutions in the future.- he is - prejudice prosecutions in the l future.- he isjumping future. minister. he is “umping ahead not future. minister. he is “umping ahead with his * future. minister. he is “umping ahead with his last _ future. minister. he isjumping ahead with his last point. - future. minister. he isjumping ahead with his last point. of. ahead with his last point. of course, whether or not there be any police investigation is dependent on whether this investigation by the cabinet secretary uncovers any suggestion of criminality which is referred to them. if that then happens, that's entirely a matter for the police are not a matterfor the government. but i know the cabinet secretary. he makes a suggestion about that. i have confidence in the integrity of the cabinet secretary. i also know the prime minister and i have confidence in the integrity of the prime minister to stop the prime minister... i've known the prime minister... i've known the prime ministerfor many years minister... i've known the prime minister for many years and the prime minister is a man of honour and integrity and he has presented to this house his position yesterday. what i would say to the honourable gentleman as he should
10:48 am
wait and see what the investigation uncovers. ~ ., wait and see what the investigation uncovers. ~., .~ , wait and see what the investigation uncovers._ thank i wait and see what the investigation l uncovers._ thank you. uncovers. martin vickers. thank you. if it turns out — uncovers. martin vickers. thank you. if it turns out one _ uncovers. martin vickers. thank you. if it turns out one of _ uncovers. martin vickers. thank you. if it turns out one of these _ if it turns out one of these gatherings involve politicians or politicians it's clearly a very different order to if half a dozen members of staff burst open a bottle of prosecco and had a drink before they departed for christmas. but does not excuse it. but if that is the case that it was indeed members of staff, it begs the question, what sort of supervision and management structure there is? who was the supervisor, the senior person concerned, who shed been able to discipline this matter? can the minister assure me that a proper management structure is being looked at again, to make sure that this could not happen in the future. minister. the matter he raises is minister. — the matter he raises is a matter for the matter he raises is a matterfor the enquiry, of course, to uncover. i can assure him that the people who work in number 10 downing street,
10:49 am
including over the pandemic, are hard—working, industrious people who are seeking to serve their country and they work very hard in order to do that. what he of course mentions is a matter of great concern to the people of this country, as it is to me, and we are all wishing to know, of course, the terms of the investigation and i have announced to this house are what the terms of the investigation and the scope of it are. it will clearly be published and a copy of the terms will be laid in this house. revelations of the december the 18th gathering in number 10 downing street has triggered much anguish across the country. so can i press the minister, how exactly will the government's legal department be supporting this investigation? minister. well, the fact is the
10:50 am
minister. — well, the fact is the government legal department can support in a number of ways and it will be up to the cabinet secretary to decide how he wishes to seek their support. one of the things that he could do, for example, is ask for their advice as to the legal position on various matters. so there are a myriad of ways in which the government legal department can help and can give advice on these matters. it will be “p advice on these matters. it will be up to simon case as cabinet secretary, who heads the civil service, to deal with the matter. i am sure the whole house will wish to pass on congratulations to the prime minister and his wife on the birth of their new child today. my honourable friend has been very careful in his words when he has been addressing the house but would he agree with me that one of the key issues here is those that are making draconian rules not only have to live by the letter of the rules but
10:51 am
by the spirit of the rules as well? i thank him for mentioning the news that i think in the last few minutes i understand the prime minister and mrsjohnson have safely delivered a baby girl. i am sure the whole house will wish to send them good wishes. but the point that he makes is understood and he is right to say that the public are angered by this we share that anger. the matter must be investigated. of course people should follow the rules and it is crucially important they continue to do so. that goes for everyone. everyone exoeriences _ that goes for everyone. everyone experiences bereavement - that goes for everyone. everyone . experiences bereavement differently but for those of us who had lost loved ones during the pandemic there
10:52 am
is a sentiment that increasingly unites us, and that is anger. i am angry that while my mum laid dying in hospital i could not hold her hand. i am angry that i had to bury my father—in—law and mother—in—law two days apart. and above all, i am angry that members of this government could be so flippant, so careless and so arrogant as to host not one, not two, not three but seven parties and then lie about it. can the minister confirm that the cabinet secretary will also investigate december the 1ath and december 13, which he missed out? will he also confirmed that the cabinet secretary will have access to all documents, electronic
10:53 am
communications, visitors logs and cctv footage related to reported incidents? ~ . incidents? minister. can i start _ incidents? minister. can i start by - incidents? minister. can i start by saying j incidents? minister. - can i start by saying how very incidents? minister. _ can i start by saying how very sorry i am to hear of his personal losses and i offer my profound condolences for his losses. i know that there are many thousands around the country who have also had personal losses and my heart goes out to them, too. i think he referred to the flippancy of a video recording that is in the public domain. it was totally unacceptable. it was grossly inappropriate and, frankly, inexcusable and i can say no more than that. i am not going to try and go behind that. what i do say is we
10:54 am
are going to investigate. the cabinet secretary, of course, is nonpolitical. he has the authority, as one would expect of the head of the civil service, to call for whatever material, whether it be documents or otherwise, that he wishes and he will have the support and assistance of the several thousand lawyers in the government legal department and, of course, others if he needs it. my others if he needs it. my constituents in catering are very angry indeed at reports of christmas parties in downing street during what was a very large second wave of covid and the behaviour was totally inappropriate. —— my constituents in kettering. and possibly criminal. does my right honourable friend agree that serving the public, whether as a member of parliament or civil servant is a privilege and that the public should be treated
10:55 am
with respect at all times, including behaviour inside downing street? so will he answer another question from the honourable lady opposite which i don't think he answered in his response? if the cabinet secretary orany response? if the cabinet secretary or any members of the investigator read team were at any of these parties, will he ensure that they don't take part in the investigation? i thank my honourable friend from kettering for his question. i agree with him, of course, that it is a privilege and an honour for all of us to serve our constituents in this honourable house. and what i can say, my understanding is that the cabinet secretary has denied any attendance at any gathering that is subject to this matter. but the reality of the matter is that he therefore can be said to be completely separate at the head of
10:56 am
the civil service and able to conduct a thorough investigation, as one would expect from someone with his seniority. he has, i would reiterate... white mat that is where we leave our view is now on bbc world. an urgent question to the paymaster general about the parties or gatherings, as he described them, in buckingham palace at the end of last year. mps raising several issues there. the prime minister himself, though, not in number 10 at the moment, he has been up all night it would seem, celebrating the daughter born to carrie, their second child, a baby girl. he was there throughout the birth at the london hospital to stop the baby is well and healthy more information will come from number 10 over the next few days. more news withjoanna moore and that
10:57 am
story as well but first, the weather. story as well but first, the weather-— story as well but first, the weather. ., ., ., ., , ., , weather. hello again, many of us will see some _ weather. hello again, many of us will see some sunny _ weather. hello again, many of us will see some sunny spells. - weather. hello again, many of us| will see some sunny spells. there are some showers and evoke us and we had some rain coming in from the west. a lot of dry weather, some sunshine, showers drifting eastwards taking showers drifting eastwards taking showers with them. rain is sweeping across the irish sea into western parts of england and wales and also into western scotland. a cold day more or less across the board, with the exception of parts of south west wales and south west england, where we're looking at highs of 11 degrees. now through this evening and overnight, our weatherfront takes its rain eastwards. behind it, we're looking at some showers coming in on the north westerly breeze. and also some of those could be wintry on the tops of the hills in scotland. a cold night, possibly a touch
10:58 am
of frost across parts of north east england and also parts of eastern scotland. so tomorrow, we start off with our weather front in the far east. that clears away and then we've got this straight northwesterly flow. so that's a cold direction for us and it will also bring in quite a lot of showers, especially to areas exposed to the northwesterly wind. so the north west of the country being a prime example, some of those wintry in the hills, but some of those showers will be blown further inland across north west england, into wales, down to the midlands and some parts of southern england. but in between, there will be a fair bit of sunshine. not as mild in the south west, looking at highs of nine, but generally, again, it's going to feel cool. now, on saturday, we've got this weather front coming our way. this is a warm front and as the name suggests behind it, the air will be that bit milder. and in fact, on saturday temperatures will rise as we go through the course of the day. we're looking at a murky start, cloud, some fog, some mist, and then we've got the rain pushing in and the mild air continuing to drift eastwards. so at three o'clock in the afternoon, we're looking at 7s and 8s as the temperature. by five o'clock, those temperatures will have risen a bit more.
10:59 am
and you can see that quite nicely on this air mass chart, where we've got the yellows and the ambers represent where the air is going to be that bit warmer, or milder in this case, and it's pushing northwards all the way into the north of scotland. so on sunday, temperatures between 10—1a degrees in our capital cities, cooler on sunday in the north, but still mild in the south.
11:00 am
this is bbc news. i'mjoanna i'm joanna gosling. the headlines at 11am: covid passes, working from home, and the wider use of facemasks. england braces for plan b rule changes. the health secretary says the measures are needed to delay the spread of omicron. if it carries on at that rate, you could have one million infections through community transmission by end of the month. an investigation into a christmas party in downing street last year will be widened to include two more gatherings, reported to have taken place amid covid restrictions. the conservative party has been fined £17,800 for "failing to accurately report a donation" that paid for the refurbishment
11:01 am
of the prime minister's flat. the uk's chief veterinary officer has warned there is a "phenomenal level" of avian flu in the uk. new zealand plans an innovative scheme to stop the younger generation from ever buying cigarettes in their lifetime. good morning. the health secretary sajid javid says new restrictions in england are needed to buy time for people to get their boosters and protect against the spread of the omicron variant which he said could overwhelm the nhs if left unchecked. but the government faces a backlash to the plans from its own mps — with a substantial tory rebellion expected when the plans come to a vote in the commons next week.
11:02 am
plan b restrictions mean that from tomorrow, facemasks will be required in more public settings — including theatres and cinemas. from monday, people will be asked to work from home where possible. from wednesday, the nhs covid pass — or a negative lateral flow test — will also be required for visitors to nightclubs, indoor unseated venues with more than 500 people, unseated outdoor venues with more than a,000 people and any event with more than 10,000 people. there is growing unease on the tory backbenches over the restrictions. former conservative party chief whip mark harper asked in the commons yesterday: "why should people at home listening to the prime minster and the secretary of state do things that people working in no 10 downing street are not prepared to do?" a refernce to the row over allegations of a downing street christmas parties during restrictions last year. in the last few minutes, the government has widened the investigation into the downing street christmas party to include two other gatherings. more on that shortly but first this
11:03 am
report from emma simpson. out on the town — the time of year for some festive fun. but hours earlier, the prime minister wasn't delivering much christmas cheer. while the picture may get better, and i sincerely hope that it will, we know that the remorseless logic of exponential growth could lead to a big rise in hospitalisations and, therefore, sadly, in deaths. and that's why it's now the proportionate and the responsible thing to move to plan b in england, while continuing to work closely with our colleagues in the devolved administrations, so we slow the spread of the virus. so, what does plan b mean? from friday, face coverings will be mandatory for most indoor public venues, including theatres and cinemas, but not pubs or restaurants. from monday, you should work from home, if you can. an nhs covid pass will be needed to get into nightclubs and large venues. a negative lateral flow test will also be accepted. and daily testing will replace self—isolation for people who come
11:04 am
into contact with someone infected. the government says the measures are necessary. we estimated that it spreads, what's called the doubling rate, is between two and a half to three days, which means the number of community infections are doubling in that time. and what that means is that if it carries on at that rate, you could have1 million infections through community transmission, by end of the month. despite the start, despite the fact that people are tired and despite the fact that people are having a hard time and suffering, genuinely suffering, psychologically and economically and with their health, still, by and large, the levels of adherence are very high indeed. we live in scotland, so we've been used to them for a while. - so anything that keeps us safe has got to be good for the country. - i think if you can work from home to protect everyone else, why wouldn't you? i'm a dental student, so i can't really work from home. for me, it's been quite
11:05 am
difficult with covid. learning... studying's been really difficult. but it's come at the worst possible time for many businesses. some are already asking for more government help. and, yet again, we're back. into open—ended restrictions with no end in sight, _ no financial support and absolutely no clarity on when any of this is going to be over. - i urge the government now to put the support packages in place - to support business through this really difficult period. i the government says its existing £a00 billion support package will help businesses get through the winter. emma simpson, bbc news. an investigation by the cabinet office into allegations that staff in downing street broke covid restrictions by holding a christmas party will look into three gatherings, in november and december last year. the investigation will look into who attended, and whether any disciplinary action is needed. the findings could be passed to the police. speaking earlier in the house of commons,
11:06 am
the paymaster general, michael ellis, explained the scope of the investigation. the cabinet secretary's investigation will establish the facts surrounding the following... allegations made of a gathering at number ten downing street on the 27th of november 2020. a gathering at the department for education on the 10th of december 2020. and allegations made of the gathering at number ten downing street on the 18th of december 2020. now, the primary purpose of the cabinet secretary's investigation will be to establish swiftly a general understanding of the nature of the gatherings, including attendance, the setting, and the purpose and
11:07 am
with reference to adherence to the guidance in place at the time. now, if required, the investigation will establish whether individual disciplinary action is warranted. but labour say there are still questions to answer about the prime minister's handling of the situation. the prime minister said yesterday, "i have been repeatedly ensured there was no party and no covid rules were broken but i have asked the cabinet secretary to check these facts." who gave these assurances? if there was no party, why did allegra stratton feel the need to resign? is she taking the fall instead of government ministers? if this government investigation finds out that the prime minister has misled the house, mr speaker, will he resign? the misled the house, mr speaker, will he resin? . ., ., ., ,, ., he resign? the electoral commission has fined the — he resign? the electoral commission has fined the conservative _ he resign? the electoral commission has fined the conservative party - he resign? the electoral commission has fined the conservative party for i has fined the conservative party for failing to properly report a donation of more than £67,000, mostly connected to the refurbishment of the downing street
11:08 am
flat where boris johnson lives. let's get more on this — and the latest on the xmas party investigation from our political correspondent. the investigation has been expanded to cover other parties. when is it likely to report? it to cover other parties. when is it likely to report?— likely to report? it will take as loni as likely to report? it will take as long as it _ likely to report? it will take as long as it takes, _ likely to report? it will take as long as it takes, said - likely to report? it will take as long as it takes, said the - likely to report? it will take as - long as it takes, said the paymaster general who you just heard from the, to howls of ridicule from the opposition benches. it was a week ago that number ten and boris johnson maintained that there was no party, no rules have been broken, and that was a line repeated again by michael alice, even as he was saying that the scope of the investigation being carried out by the cabinet secretary was expanding. he will be now looking at the december the 18th party in downing street but also a gathering on november 22, street but also a gathering on november22, by street but also a gathering on november 22, by which we believe the prime minister was in attendance. and also gathering at the department for education on december ten. there
11:09 am
will be establishing precisely what those gatherings amount to do, parties or not? did they breach the rules? who was there? the terms of reference for this inquiry are being published today. they will be set out and laid in the house of commons. in terms of and it will report back, no indication from mr ellis about when this will happen. he did say if there cabinet discovers there is action it amounts to criminal activity, then the investigation would be paused and the material handed over to the police. two meanwhile, another old row around who paid for the refurbishment of the number ten flat the by minister's flat. we hear that has resulted in a fine for the conservative party. the electoral commission _ conservative party. the electoral commission has _ conservative party. the electoral commission has been _ conservative party. the electoral commission has been looking . conservative party. the electorall commission has been looking into this for about eight months stop this for about eight months stop this has been smouldering away for a very long time. we knew that lord brownlow, a tory donor, had provided a lot of money to help cover the
11:10 am
cost of the refurbishment of the number 11 flat. the prime minister's adviser published a report back in spring into this. what the electoral commission was doing was trying to establish whether that money from lord brownlow was properly declared by the conservative party and whether it broke any electoral donation rules. the commission decided it wasn't properly declared, this was alone amounting in total to £67,000 of which £52,000 was used to cover the cost of the flat refurbishment. the electoral commission said that should have been declared as a loan, it wasn't, which is why they have fined the tory party £17,800. the conservative party in response have described this as a technical breach of the rules and have said that they are thinking about possibly launching an appeal against the electoral commission's conclusions but i don't think that is the end of the story. there is a big report that the commission have produced which we will look through. at what point ——
11:11 am
at one point, it talks about it text message discussing the refurbishment. earlier this year, the impression was gave that boris johnson didn't know about this arrangement. is there a discrepancy there? we'll have to see. we will look further into the report. for now, it is drawing a line under the downing street refurbishment saga. we had this morning that boris johnson and carrie have had a baby this morning. johnson and carrie have had a baby this morning-— johnson and carrie have had a baby this morning. they have. a baby girl born in a london _ this morning. they have. a baby girl born in a london hospital— this morning. they have. a baby girl born in a london hospital this - born in a london hospital this morning. the prime minister was there and it is a sister for wilfred who is a couple's first child. the prime minister was there, don't know any more at the moment. no name, no idea when the family will be back in downing street but some happy news for the prime minister after what has been a very tumultuous few days. there was enormous pressure on him
11:12 am
and numberten, particularly there was enormous pressure on him and number ten, particularly around this question of what was going on behind the front door of number ten last year as the rest of the country was in lockdown. there are huge questions now about whether the gatherings there the rules, had number ten been honest from the outset? is number ten been honest from the outset? . .. , number ten been honest from the outset? , ,, , ., ., ,, outset? is he likely to take paternity — outset? is he likely to take paternity leave _ outset? is he likely to take paternity leave with - outset? is he likely to take paternity leave with all - outset? is he likely to take paternity leave with all of l outset? is he likely to take i paternity leave with all of this going on? he paternity leave with all of this iioin on? . paternity leave with all of this going on?— paternity leave with all of this train on? , ., ., going on? he is entitled to, of course. going on? he is entitled to, of course- we — going on? he is entitled to, of course. we don't _ going on? he is entitled to, of course. we don't know. - going on? he is entitled to, of course. we don't know. there | going on? he is entitled to, of i course. we don't know. there is going on? he is entitled to, of. course. we don't know. there is a briefing of the lobbyjournalists about to start now so presumably number ten will be asked what the prime minister's paternity leave plans are. he does, as you say, have an enormous amount on his plate to deal with at the moment, aside from having another child.— having another child. thank you, ben. let's go back to the new restrictions being brought in across england in response to the omicron variant. joining me now is chris hopson, who is the ceo of nhs providers. can. thank you forjoining us. can you paint us a picture of how things
11:13 am
are looking for the nhs right now? it is statistics say today and there are two things they show. one how incredibly hard nhs staff are working. it is the largest number of 999 calls we have ever answered in the month of november. the second highest number of patients in a&e in november. the number of people starting at treatment is 150,000 more than it was at this time last year. we are going absolutely full pelt in terms of right across a whole number of different fronts, so thatis whole number of different fronts, so that is the first part of the story. the second part of the story is that because of the sheer demand that we are experiencing right across the system, performance is really, really under pressure. so, yes, unfortunately, this month it is the longest ever elected waiting list that we have had. we have also got an increase in the number of people
11:14 am
who are having to wait more than 12 hours in terms of accident and emergency department access and we have also got problems in terms of ambulance handover delays. it is a difficult picture will stop nhs staff running absolutely as fast as they can but being outpaced by the extra demand and pressure we are seeing. don't forget this is before we are hitting our traditional winter peak in terms of early to mid january and it is also before what i think is increasingly likely to be a higher number of omicron cases coming into hospitals. stand higher number of omicron cases coming into hospitals.— higher number of omicron cases coming into hospitals. and so on the omicron situation, _ coming into hospitals. and so on the omicron situation, what _ coming into hospitals. and so on the omicron situation, what are - coming into hospitals. and so on the omicron situation, what are your - omicron situation, what are your thoughts on what the government is doing to try to stem the growing tide of omicron cases that could potentially come into hospitals? i potentially come into hospitals? i think what we have seen, and again, as you know, we are still likely in the dark, the light is beginning and
11:15 am
we are getting some clarity, but what we appear to know now is that this is a significantly more transmissible variant. what we are seeing is really rapid uptake in terms of the level of infections. the secretary of state was talking about a doubling time of every two to three days. that is very significantly faster than the alpha or delta variant. the bit where it is still unclear is how serious the symptoms are. we know when you get a spike in infections, it is usually about a two week wait until we see what the hospitalisation impact is. effectively, this is what is happening with this variant, it tends to go to younger people first who tend to be able to cope with the variant and not go to hospital. it is really when it reaches older people that you get growth in hospitalisations. what we are basically waiting for is operably a week, ten days' time, to really see about what that rate of
11:16 am
hospitalisation looks like. in that environment, it makes complete sense to us, for the government to basically start increasing the level of protection available. we have always been very clear that we don't have,in always been very clear that we don't have, in the nhs, all of the data and all of the evidence and crucially you can't expect and wouldn't expect the nhs to make the trade—offs between the health factors and the economic and social factors. that has got to be the government's job. factors. that has got to be the government'sjob. clearly, what we're saying is if more protections are needed, then the government should introduce them as necessary. you have talked about the fact that there is going to be more time needed before it becomes clear the impact on hospitals but, of course, by then, and this is the reason for the restriction is being brought in, it could potentially be too late if it could potentially be too late if it is spreading very fast. do you think the government has the right balance now in terms of the protections and restrictions? {line balance now in terms of the protections and restrictions? one of the features. _
11:17 am
protections and restrictions? one of the features, as _ protections and restrictions? one of the features, as we _ protections and restrictions? one of the features, as we have _ protections and restrictions? one of the features, as we have said, - protections and restrictions? one of the features, as we have said, is . the features, as we have said, is the features, as we have said, is the exponential growth. if we are seeing numbers double in two to three days, it spreads incredibly quickly. as several people have said, even if it is only a small proportion of those people who end “p proportion of those people who end up being hospitalised, if you get a very, very large number of infections very quickly, you can see the number of hospitalisations rise. what we have also always said is there is a slight sense in whatever you do, it is almost always likely to be too late. i think we all acknowledge that government has got some very difficult decisions to make about when it does bring in those restrictions. you can see from the reaction in the conservative backbenchers that these issues, they are not simple. they do require very difficult decisions. as i say, they can only be for the government. they can't be for individual sectors of the economy. it can't be the cbi that decides whether the restriction should be put on, just as it shouldn't be the nhs that decides
11:18 am
whether the restrictions come in. that is a government's job. that is a government's 'ob. thank ou. lets that is a government's 'ob. thank you. mutant that is a government's 'ob. thank you. lets talk more _ that is a government's job. thank you. lets talk more about - that is a government's job. thank you. lets talk more about the - that is a government's job. thank i you. lets talk more about the impact on the economy. people are being urged to work from home if they can under the plan b changes in england. i'm nowjoined byjulianjessop, an independent economist. thank you forjoining us. work from home if possible, implies that if it can be done at home, do so, if not, go to work. what would the impact be of these plan b measures? i go to work. what would the impact be of these plan b measures?— of these plan b measures? i think there are two _ of these plan b measures? i think there are two types _ of these plan b measures? i think there are two types of _ of these plan b measures? i think there are two types of impact. - there are two types of impact. first, the direct impact of the new measures themselves and in some cases that might be quite small. if you look at work from home, many of us have got used to doing just as much as us we were before in our bedrooms or in our studies. i'm working from home now. then there is
11:19 am
the indirect impact. a lot of people will look at this increase in restrictions and say that the effect of that is starting to get big in the direction of travel, people are speculating that there will be a new lockdown in the new year. they could have quite a chilling impact on business and consumer confidence and therefore on spending. they may well be that is where the big effect from the economy comes from. the economic im act of the economy comes from. the economic impact of working _ the economy comes from. the economic impact of working from _ the economy comes from. the economic impact of working from home, _ the economy comes from. the economic impact of working from home, not - impact of working from home, not accustomed to the benefit of people being able to work together and creative impact of that would be about 15 million pounds per annum and it was estimated. do you agree with that? ., �* , and it was estimated. do you agree with that? . �*, , , with that? that's probably in the riiht with that? that's probably in the right ballpark. _ with that? that's probably in the right ballpark. there _ with that? that's probably in the right ballpark. there are - with that? that's probably in the right ballpark. there are lots - with that? that's probably in the right ballpark. there are lots ofl right ballpark. there are lots of things going into the picture here. one is that people aren't able to do as much work as —— at home than from
11:20 am
the office. they will be disruption there. you are missing out on the important social contact, the conversations around the water cooler, whatever. there are some productivity losses there as well. in addition, you are probably not spending as much money in the wider economy. city centre office supplies will be missing out. in addition, there is everything else. thing is that the vaccine passports which are being introduced. all of those measures cumulatively, it could have a big impact. one way to look at this is to look at what has happened in the past. in the semi lockdown last winter, gdp fell close to a%. we might have a small impact this time around, perhaps 2%, but that is still four £5 million per month.
11:21 am
there is an economic and fiscal cost as well. ~ ., there is an economic and fiscal cost as well. ~ . ., ,., there is an economic and fiscal cost aswell. . ., as well. what about wider aspects like the pound. — as well. what about wider aspects like the pound, for— as well. what about wider aspects like the pound, for instance, - as well. what about wider aspects like the pound, for instance, fell i like the pound, for instance, fell against the dollar when plan b was announced. it is not clear what will happen, whether that will be sustained or not, but what is the impact of aspects like that on the economy? impact of aspects like that on the econom ? ., .., , ., impact of aspects like that on the econom ? ., , ., , impact of aspects like that on the econom ? ., , ., ., ., economy? until a couple of days ago, the financial — economy? until a couple of days ago, the financial markets _ economy? until a couple of days ago, the financial markets had _ economy? until a couple of days ago, the financial markets had largely - the financial markets had largely shrugged and a crown. there was a fall of uk stops but then it —— uk stocks but then it regained. investors were looking at some of the data coming out of south africa and that appeared to be quite reassuring. now it looks like the financial markets have gauged a wider sentiment in the economy. one of the ways it might dampen growth is by hitting consumer and business confidence. it seems to be hitting
11:22 am
investor confidence as well. thank ou. and at 11:30am we'll be answering your questions on the changes to restrictions, plan b, and working from home. do send them in to us on twitter, using the hash tag "bbc your questions" or by emailing yourquestions@bbc.co.uk. that's coming up at 11:30am. as we heard from chris hopson, the number of people enduring waits of more than 12 hours in a&e departments in england has reached a record high. in november, more than 10,600 people waited longer than 12 hours. the figure is up from 7,000 in october and is the highest for any calendar month since records began in 2010. joining me now is our health and science correspondent nick triggle. tell us more about these waiting times. $5 tell us more about these waiting times. �* . , ., tell us more about these waiting times. a ,. tell us more about these waiting times. a , times. as you say, those weights, the are times. as you say, those weights, they are the _ times. as you say, those weights, they are the weight _ times. as you say, those weights, they are the weight from - times. as you say, those weights, they are the weight from when - they are the weight from when someone is admitted to the point where they are found a bed on a
11:23 am
ward, and those 12 hour waits are the worst on record. one in 36 patients who were admitted in november waited every 12 hours, nearly a third waited over four hours. that is because the wards are full. one of the problems nhs england has pointed to is the fact that more than a tenth of beds are taken up by patients who are medically fit to be discharged but can't be because there isn't a support in the community to help them once they are discharged. in terms of a&e weights, a quarter of patients in england in november waited longer than four hours. it is a similar number in scotland, even worse in wales. these really are the worst set of statistics for nhs performance since they started to be measured at the turn—of—the—century. 200a a lot of these targets came in. the waiting list for routine
11:24 am
procedures are up as well. it shows the pressure the nhs is onto as winter hits. and then we have the fact admissions and hospitalisations because of the new variant might put even more pressure on the health service. . even more pressure on the health service. , ., ,, service. tell us about the nhs tracker. that _ service. tell us about the nhs tracker. that has _ service. tell us about the nhs tracker. that has been - service. tell us about the nhs i tracker. that has been launched toda , tracker. that has been launched today. the _ tracker. that has been launched today, the winter _ tracker. that has been launched today, the winter tracker. - tracker. that has been launched today, the winter tracker. this | today, the winter tracker. this gives the public the ability to find out how services in their local area are coping. they can go on to the bbc website. they can put in their postcode and it will bring up their local hospital service and they can see how long the weights are in a&e, whether ambulances are being delayed, having to queue outside a&e because there aren't the staff to take this patients on there, and it also gives you an indication of how busyit also gives you an indication of how busy it is on the wards, how long those weights, trolley waits, we were just discussing, are.
11:25 am
those weights, trolley waits, we werejust discussing, are. there is also data provided in scotland on a&e waits and in wales bed waits. you can see how busy or local services. you can see how busy or local services-— the uk's chief veterinary officer has warned there is a phenomenal level of avian flu in the uk. tens of thousands of farmed birds have already been culled. officials say the risk to human health is low — there is no link to the covid—19 pandemic — but infected birds should not be touched. let's speak to our correspondent claire marshall. i'm just hearing she has gone. i'm sorry. she was waiting in the wins but has disappeared. we will go to claire marshall a little later to get the latest on avian flu. she is back. she heard me say that she has gone and she has run back. hello. i'm back! ., ., ., ., .,
11:26 am
gone and she has run back. hello. i'mback! ., ., ., ., ., , ., i'm back! you are not out of breath? luckily not — i'm back! you are not out of breath? luckily not running _ i'm back! you are not out of breath? luckily not running anywhere. - i'm back! you are not out of breath? luckily not running anywhere. just i i'm back! you are not out of breath? luckily not running anywhere. just a| luckily not running anywhere. just a poor connection. sometimes it goes and comes back. apologies if it goes again. ihla and comes back. apologies if it goes atain_ ., ., , , again. no worries. it is looking iioreous again. no worries. it is looking gorgeous there. _ again. no worries. it is looking gorgeous there. tell _ again. no worries. it is looking gorgeous there. tell us - again. no worries. it is looking gorgeous there. tell us the - again. no worries. it is looking i gorgeous there. tell us the latest about the avian flu. i'm afraid there no good news for rural communities.— there no good news for rural communities. the chief that is really worried _ communities. the chief that is really worried about _ communities. the chief that is really worried about what - communities. the chief that is really worried about what is i really worried about what is happening. there has been half a million birds cold. the first case 115 of october in swan century and they have had to be killed. then it spread it from migrating birds coming from the east and they are infected with avian flu which is a type of coronavirus, not to worry anybody, thereby that shows how transmissibility is within the bird population. these birds fly in carrying it, they then pass it on to other wild birds and then, from time to time, it comes through into
11:27 am
farms, turkeys, farmed geese and that kind of thing, and that's why you have so many birds that have had to be culled. i5 you have so many birds that have had to be culled-— to be culled. is there any risk at all to human — to be culled. is there any risk at all to human health _ to be culled. is there any risk at all to human health from - to be culled. is there any risk at all to human health from this? | to be culled. is there any risk atj all to human health from this? i have been really careful in how to talk about this because there is not zero risk, there is a little bit of a risk in terms of you could potentially get a kind of bad flu if you handle an infected bird for a long period of time, but it is a really, really small risk. that is why all the messaging from government is don't worry about it but to be very careful about not picking these birds up. i was just trying to get across how serious it is because it is sometimes hard for these kind of things people to kind of grasp. ijust these kind of things people to kind of grasp. i just spoke to a farmer who has given up breeding checking is because he said if he had to keep them in —— breeding chickens stop if he had to read them in —— if he had
11:28 am
to keep them in, you lose the prospect of free range. if this happens every winter as it seems to be, it could be that there is no free range eggs any more which is a very extreme point of view but it does show the impact in our households, as it were. that could be the impact. at the moment, everybody who keeps any birds at all is having to keep them under cover and some people don't have the space, they don't have sheds or anything like that. there are probably some birds in some pretty cramped conditions. tithe probably some birds in some pretty cramped conditions.— probably some birds in some pretty cramped conditions. one to watch for the potential— cramped conditions. one to watch for the potential long-term _ cramped conditions. one to watch for the potential long-term impact. - the potential long—term impact. thank you. new zealand is looking to bring in legislation that will stop young people from ever buying cigarettes, with the aim of making the whole country smoke—free within four years. lucy grey has more?
11:29 am
at the moment, you have to be 18 to buy cigarettes in new zealand, but under planned new laws, anyone under the age of 1a will never be able to buy cigarettes legally. the age limit will then be increased every year until the whole country is smoke free. we want to make sure young people never start smoking. so, we are legislating for a smoke—free generation by making it an offence to sell or supply tobacco products to those aged 1a, when the law comes into effect. the government particularly wants to help maori smokers kick the habit. i reckon it's a good move, really. because, right now, there's a lot of young kids walking around with smokes. how are they getting these smokes? and it's also good for myself, too, so i can save more money. if people still want to smoke, well, they can just grow their own, which they are doing. maybe it's a good idea because, at the end of the day, _ smoking is bad for you - and it's really hard to quit. the new legislation, being introduced to parliament next year, will also only allow cigarettes with low levels of nicotine and reduce
11:30 am
the number of shops selling them. vaping won't be affected. the aim is to get all ages to stub out the habit by 2025. lucy gray, bbc news. now it's time for a look at the weather with carol. hello again. storm barra continuing to weaken through today and, as we go through the day, the gusty winds of this morning will also ease. now, we've got a line of showers pushing east, really fragmenting through the day, taking the cloud with them, though. a lot of dry weather, a fair bit of sunshine but a weather front coming into the west, introducing some rain. mild in the south—west but it is going to be a chilly day elsewhere. as we head on through the evening and overnight, this band of rain continues to journey eastwards. behind it, in the north—westerly breeze, we are looking at a lot of showers coming our way, some of which will be wintry on the tops of the hills and we could see a touch of frost in sheltered glens in scotland, possibly too across parts of north—east england. tomorrow, then, we start off
11:31 am
with rain in the far east, that clears quite quickly, then they will be a lot of dry weather, a fair bit of sunshine but a noticeable breeze coming from the north—west blowing in all the showers, especially into the north—west, with some of them making it further south, and our top temperature reaching 9 celsius. hello, this is bbc news with joanna gosling. the headlines: covid passes, working from home, and the wider use of facemasks: england braces for �*plan b' rule changes. the health secretary says the measures are needed to delay if it carries on at that rate, you could have one million infections through community transmission by end of the month. an investigation into a christmas party in downing street last year will be widened to include two more gatherings, reported to have taken place amid covid restrictions. the conservative party has been fined £17,800 for "failing to accurately report a donation" that paid for the refurbishment
11:32 am
of the prime minister's flat. the uk's chief veterinary officer has warned there is a "phenomenal level" of avian flu in the uk. new zealand plans an innovative scheme to stop the younger generation from ever buying cigarettes in their lifetime. sport and for a full round—up, from the bbc sport centre, here's gavin. good morning. england's cricketers have it all to do, after a long hard day in the field — on the second day of the first ashes test. australia were in control for much of the day — david warner and marnus labushane, both making half centuries. england did finally make the breakthrough — removing both men — warner falling for 9a. two further quick wickets followed — but travis head took away all english hope, hitting an unbeaten century — it was the third—fastest in ashes history.
11:33 am
and england's bowlers ran out of ideas — so resorted to a different type of tactic. thankfully, head was ok and all smiles. well, another problem for england could be the fitness of ben stokes. he was seen limping during the game after appearing to pick up an injury whilst fielding. he was also only able to bowl nine overs and england's fast bowling coach admits he doesn't know the extent of the injury — and if it'll impact stokes during the rest of the match. i haven't spoken to our medical guys. i haven't spoken to our medical iu s. �* i haven't spoken to our medical i u s, . , , ., ~' i haven't spoken to our medical tus_ ,, ., i haven't spoken to our medical ius. , guys. and i will speak to arms. i have no idea _ guys. and i will speak to arms. i have no idea what _ guys. and i will speak to arms. i have no idea what the _ guys. and i will speak to arms. i have no idea what the matter. guys. and i will speak to arms. i have no idea what the matter is| guys. and i will speak to arms. i i have no idea what the matter is but he will get assessed overnight and take it from that. chelsea head coach thomas tuchel criticised his side for not doing the basics after an injury time goal ruined their hopes of winning their champions league group. they were 3—2 up and poised to finish top, until magomed ozdoyev equalised with this rocket, for zenit st petersberg, with virtually the last kick of the game. it means chelsea
11:34 am
will now face a group winner, in the knock out phase. it's the second game running that chelsea have squandered a lead. it's very easy. we need a higher level of sprints, a higher level of run, a higher level of intensity, concentration level. the basic need to be pushed onto a higher level while we are in the league and it cannot dropjust because while we are in the league and it cannot drop just because we are in the league and this is what is happening right now to us. chelsea striker sam kerr was booked for knocking over a pitch invader in her side's goalless draw at home tojuventus in the women's champions league last night. kerr barged into the man as he ran onto the pitch at kingsmeadow, raising cheers from the crowd — but was punished with a yellow card. after the game, chelsea boss emma hayes discussed player security. i don't know why he didn't wait until the end. he could have had a photograph if he really wanted one. but, jokes aside, you know, you have to do think about player safety. i think we have seen it. there is this sense that the players
11:35 am
are more in demand, so i think it should serve as a reminder to us all in our stadiums and our stewards that they have to put player protection first. tonight's europa conference game between tottenham and rennes has been postponed after a number of positive covid tests at the london club. eight players and five staff have tested positive. spurs have also been advised to close the first team area of their training ground. uefa confirmed the postponement this morning, but that was after rennes strongly criticised spurs, accusing them of a lack of fair play. six—time world snooker champion ronnie o'sullivan has upset rivaljohn higgins after saying he wouldnt recommend children take up the sport as a career. higgins said the comments, made at the scottish open, were �*dreadful�* and �*a disgrace'. meanwhile o'sullivan is through to the last 16 of the competition. he beat china's liang wenbo in a tight match by four frames to three. a break of 90 in the final frame sealed the victory that's all the sport for now. you can find more
11:36 am
on all those stories on the bbc sport website, including reaction to the news that scottish premier league side hibs have sacked managerjack ross this morning after seven defeats in nine — it's just a week away from the league cup final. welcome to your questions answered on bbc news. we've compiled a list of the most popular search terms today on working from home, and the questions people have. you've been sending in your questions today on plan b and working from home, joining me is our health correspondent megan paterson. and i'm joined by benjamin braun who is vice—president of samsung europe. i know that you have carried out research into people working from home. we
11:37 am
research into people working from home. ~ ., ., , ., ., home. we wanted to understand how --eole are home. we wanted to understand how people are dealing — home. we wanted to understand how people are dealing with _ home. we wanted to understand how people are dealing with hybrid - people are dealing with hybrid working so we went out across europe and spoke to 1a,000 people to gauge what is working well and what the drawbacks are on the results are quite clear. it is 6% of us are embracing when we come to work from home. only 13% of people would like to do before covid and go back to how it was. other people hesitating the biggest drawback is erosion between what is personal time and what is what time and you can see 51% of people are using technology to delineate between work hours and home hours. so people are becoming much better at using, or switching off work notification when they start their personal time in the evening. and we have put in a couple of hacks to help people respect other peoples time a bit better. so if i am about to send a message to
11:38 am
someone currently not working i get a prompt that person is not in office hours and an action that says schedule this message to when that person is working again giving people a little more respect when they are during their personal time. there has been a lot of learning over the course of the last almost two years as people adapt. let's move on to questions that are generic most searched for issues online. megan, what are the new rules under plan b? lots online. megan, what are the new rules under plan b?— online. megan, what are the new rules under plan b? lots of people t in: to rules under plan b? lots of people trying to work _ rules under plan b? lots of people trying to work out _ rules under plan b? lots of people trying to work out exactly - rules under plan b? lots of people trying to work out exactly what - rules under plan b? lots of people trying to work out exactly what it i trying to work out exactly what it means _ trying to work out exactly what it means for— trying to work out exactly what it means for them. these rules will come _ means for them. these rules will come out — means for them. these rules will come out in _ means for them. these rules will come out in stages and we will see the first— come out in stages and we will see the first change on friday and will be asked — the first change on friday and will be asked to wear face maps and more indoor— be asked to wear face maps and more indoor venues and get the advice we should _ indoor venues and get the advice we should work from home if possible. dash-niac— should work from home if possible. dash—mac masks. this is when on
11:39 am
monday— dash—mac masks. this is when on monday the — dash—mac masks. this is when on monday the advice on covid passports or negative _ monday the advice on covid passports or negative lateral flow test, you will have — or negative lateral flow test, you will have to show these in order to -et will have to show these in order to get into— will have to show these in order to get into nightclub or are unsuited indoor— get into nightclub or are unsuited indoor venue with more than 5000 people _ indoor venue with more than 5000 people are — indoor venue with more than 5000 people are outdoor venue with more than 5000 _ people are outdoor venue with more than 5000 people are any venue with more _ than 5000 people are any venue with more than _ than 5000 people are any venue with more than 10,000. many of these nieasures— more than 10,000. many of these measures are already in place in other— measures are already in place in other parts— measures are already in place in other parts of the uk cities bringing _ other parts of the uk cities bringing many people into line with each other. ~ ., . " , each other. what is the likely im act each other. what is the likely impact on — each other. what is the likely impact on to _ each other. what is the likely impact on to be _ each other. what is the likely impact on to be of— each other. what is the likely impact on to be of plan - each other. what is the likely impact on to be of plan b - each other. what is the likely impact on to be of plan b for| impact on to be of plan b for businesses?— impact on to be of plan b for businesses? ., , ., ., ., , ., businesses? people who are able to are iioin businesses? people who are able to are going to — businesses? people who are able to are going to continue _ businesses? people who are able to are going to continue to _ businesses? people who are able to are going to continue to work - businesses? people who are able to are going to continue to work from i are going to continue to work from home as from monday and i find interesting the report that we commissioned, the research we saw across europe is that 83% of people across europe is that 83% of people across the uk say that employers are not giving them the technology they need to efficiently work from home
11:40 am
and for two years we have been doing hybrid working is, people are still on laptops with potentially small screens and with a webcam etc so employers need to think about how we will empower people to work effectively from home. do people need big monitors and more comfortable chairs because two years of leaning over a laptop, you might start to feel that in the shoulders and neck etc. a few other things that came up i found interesting was one in five of us have actually changed the background in our homes just to make sure that we come across as a little bit more professional when we do our video calls with our peers at work. it has one calls with our peers at work. it has gone from — calls with our peers at work. it has gone from bed _ calls with our peers at work. it has gone from bed is _ calls with our peers at work. it has gone from bed is most _ calls with our peers at work. it has gone from bed is most commonlyl calls with our peers at work. it has. gone from bed is most commonly in the background to books and you have an impressive array there. megan, down to some of the nitty—gritty. how do i get covid passport? you
11:41 am
down to some of the nitty-gritty. how do i get covid passport? you can iet one how do i get covid passport? you can get one digitally _ how do i get covid passport? you can get one digitally through _ how do i get covid passport? you can get one digitally through the - how do i get covid passport? you can get one digitally through the nhs - get one digitally through the nhs app get one digitally through the nhs app on _ get one digitally through the nhs app on your smartphone the nhs website — app on your smartphone the nhs website i— app on your smartphone the nhs website i can get a paper copy. if you download one onto your phone or through— you download one onto your phone or through the _ you download one onto your phone or through the website you need to enter— through the website you need to enter some personal information and id enter some personal information and go through— enter some personal information and go through a process so properly something you don't want to do on the door— something you don't want to do on the door of— something you don't want to do on the door of a nightclub should try to get— the door of a nightclub should try to get in — the door of a nightclub should try to get in. you will get an or code you can _ to get in. you will get an or code you can download and you can print yourself _ you can download and you can print yourself out — you can download and you can print yourself out a copy if you want to show _ yourself out a copy if you want to show it _ yourself out a copy if you want to show it and — yourself out a copy if you want to show it and you can on the phone. if you do— show it and you can on the phone. if you do not— show it and you can on the phone. if you do not have access to the technology you can request a paper copy _ technology you can request a paper copy we _ technology you can request a paper copy. we have been told the wait for the paper— copy. we have been told the wait for the paper certificates is at least ten days — the paper certificates is at least ten days so we need to think about that if— ten days so we need to think about that if you — ten days so we need to think about that if you want to have a paper copy. _ that if you want to have a paper copy. you — that if you want to have a paper copy, you want to apply for one now through— copy, you want to apply for one now through the — copy, you want to apply for one now through the government website because — through the government website because it is not a quick turn around — because it is not a quick turn around and there is no way fast—track it. around and there is no way fast-track it.— around and there is no way fast-track it. ., ., , , fast-track it. how do you submit evidence of— fast-track it. how do you submit evidence of a _ fast-track it. how do you submit evidence of a negative _ fast-track it. how do you submit evidence of a negative lateral. fast-track it. how do you submit i evidence of a negative lateral flow test? . . evidence of a negative lateral flow test? . , ., .. , test? this will be accepted if ou're test? this will be accepted if you're going _ test? this will be accepted if you're going out _ test? this will be accepted if you're going out and - test? this will be accepted if you're going out and you - test? this will be accepted if you're going out and you do| test? this will be accepted if i you're going out and you do not test? this will be accepted if -
11:42 am
you're going out and you do not have your covid _ you're going out and you do not have your covid past, you can show the result— your covid past, you can show the result of— your covid past, you can show the result of your lateral flow test by calling _ result of your lateral flow test by calling hundred 19 and registering your result by telephone and you can also drip— your result by telephone and you can also drip through the government website — also drip through the government website. “119. you will get details with the _ website. “119. you will get details with the date of your negative lateral— with the date of your negative lateral flow test and the result and details _ lateral flow test and the result and details. the 119 phone line is open from _ details. the 119 phone line is open from seven— details. the 119 phone line is open from seven in the morning to 11 at night _ from seven in the morning to 11 at night i_ from seven in the morning to 11 at niiht. from seven in the morning to 11 at nit ht, ., from seven in the morning to 11 at niiht. ., , ., , . from seven in the morning to 11 at niiht. , . ., , night. i saw a statistic that 'ust over half night. i saw a statistic that 'ust hair of �* night. i saw a statistic that 'ust over half of people i night. i saw a statistic that 'ust over half of people are i night. i saw a statistic that just i over half of people are travelling to work every day so there are a lot of people doing a mix or solely working from home. lip of people doing a mix or solely working from home.—
11:43 am
of people doing a mix or solely working from home. up until now and until monday — working from home. up until now and until monday hybrid _ working from home. up until now and until monday hybrid working - working from home. up until now and until monday hybrid working means i working from home. up until now and until monday hybrid working means if| until monday hybrid working means if you choose to promote work from home at someone else or choose to go to the office. we see people saving a lot of time by not commuting to the office and i would personally use up to two hours and committing to the office and is the father of three young kids i use that term to do nursery and school runs which is great. from my report that we have just done it shows that 56% of people are now using this extra time to invest in more exercise, 63% of people say that not doing this commute allows them to meet more with family and 56% of people say they are actually more effective working from home than they would be in a traditional office. haifa working from home than they would be in a traditional office.— in a traditional office. how does the uk compare _ in a traditional office. how does the uk compare with _ in a traditional office. how does the uk compare with other- in a traditional office. how does - the uk compare with other european countries? the the uk compare with other european countries? , ., , . the uk compare with other european countries? , . , . ., countries? the statistic that i mentioned — countries? the statistic that i mentioned before, _ countries? the statistic that i mentioned before, it- countries? the statistic that i mentioned before, it seems. countries? the statistic that i i mentioned before, it seems in countries? the statistic that i - mentioned before, it seems in the uk we expect more from our employers, we expect more from our employers, we expect more technologies to make us more effective working from home
11:44 am
but we also see that we are embracing the work from home culture. howeversome embracing the work from home culture. however some parts of europe, seem to have embraced a little more than the uk.— little more than the uk. megan, where do i _ little more than the uk. megan, where do i need _ little more than the uk. megan, where do i need to _ little more than the uk. megan, where do i need to wear- little more than the uk. megan, where do i need to wear a - little more than the uk. megan, l where do i need to wear a mask? little more than the uk. megan, - where do i need to wear a mask? from frida face where do i need to wear a mask? from friday face coverings _ where do i need to wear a mask? from friday face coverings will _ where do i need to wear a mask? from friday face coverings will be mandatory in many more public spaces indoor— mandatory in many more public spaces indoor such _ mandatory in many more public spaces indoor such as places of worship, theatres — indoor such as places of worship, theatres and cinemas as well as shops— theatres and cinemas as well as shops and — theatres and cinemas as well as shops and public transport. a lot of people _ shops and public transport. a lot of people already do that that will come _ people already do that that will come in — people already do that that will come in is mandatory from friday. masks— come in is mandatory from friday. masks will— come in is mandatory from friday. masks will not be needed in hospitality sectors so in pubs and restaurants you won't have to wear a niask_ restaurants you won't have to wear a mask and — restaurants you won't have to wear a mask and will not have to wear them in a venue _ mask and will not have to wear them in a venue but it is not practical to wear— in a venue but it is not practical to wear them so if you're in the gym doing _ to wear them so if you're in the gym doing exercise you don't have to wear— doing exercise you don't have to wear your— doing exercise you don't have to wear your facemask there. the british— wear your facemask there. the british medical association has told the bbc_ british medical association has told the bbc this morning there is a bit of an— the bbc this morning there is a bit of an inconsistency been told you have _ of an inconsistency been told you have to _ of an inconsistency been told you have to wear it in a place of
11:45 am
worship _ have to wear it in a place of worship but not a restaurant because coronavirus _ worship but not a restaurant because coronavirus spreads the same in both places _ coronavirus spreads the same in both places. more wearing of masks in indoor— places. more wearing of masks in indoor places but if you go to the pub are _ indoor places but if you go to the pub are quite familiar you do not have _ pub are quite familiar you do not have to — pub are quite familiar you do not have to wear one. white can christmas — have to wear one. white can christmas party _ have to wear one. white can christmas party go ahead? have to wear one. white can i christmas party go ahead? the messaie christmas party go ahead? the message from _ christmas party go ahead? the message from the government has been don't cancel _ message from the government has been don't cancel them, go out and have christmas _ don't cancel them, go out and have christmas parties but keep distance and wash— christmas parties but keep distance and wash your hands. there is confusion _ and wash your hands. there is confusion how that works in the four working _ confusion how that works in the four working from home rule. some critics say you _ working from home rule. some critics say you tell— working from home rule. some critics say you tell people they should work from home _ say you tell people they should work from home and can't go into the office _ from home and can't go into the office to — from home and can't go into the office to see that calling spec can io office to see that calling spec can go to— office to see that calling spec can go to the — office to see that calling spec can go to the pub to celebrate christmas, how does that work? i guess— christmas, how does that work? i guess these rules come into play next week— guess these rules come into play next week and we will see how it works _ next week and we will see how it works out — next week and we will see how it works out but there is still a little — works out but there is still a little bit _ works out but there is still a little bit of confusion is that this
11:46 am
type of— little bit of confusion is that this type of measure is introduced. benjamin. _ type of measure is introduced. benjamin, you mentioned about how people are getting better at the worklife balance as they work from home. tell us a bit more about that and how that is evolving and does the messaging have to come from the top down to ensure there is a healthy balance? i top down to ensure there is a healthy balance?— top down to ensure there is a healthy balance? i think leaders need to lead _ healthy balance? i think leaders need to lead and _ healthy balance? i think leaders need to lead and show- healthy balance? i think leaders need to lead and show you - healthy balance? i think leaders need to lead and show you can i healthy balance? i think leaders - need to lead and show you can work remotely from home for anyone else and in my office i see a lot of young people still coming in and they are hungry for social interaction and to learn on the job. i also see quite a few other senior people comment and people like myself who have young kids myself who have young and can help out more at home using this to their advantage. 86% of people are enjoying this new hybrid work lifestyle. people are enjoying this new hybrid work lifestyle-— work lifestyle. megan, a final question- _ work lifestyle. megan, a final question- a — work lifestyle. megan, a final question. a lot _ work lifestyle. megan, a final question. a lot of _ work lifestyle. megan, a final question. a lot of people - work lifestyle. megan, a final| question. a lot of people want work lifestyle. megan, a final- question. a lot of people want to know if there will be another lockdown. sound like a lot of people searching for that and particularly in the run—up to christmas particularly with what happened last
11:47 am
christmas. the film i had a definite answer— christmas. the film i had a definite answer on — christmas. the film i had a definite answer on that. these measures are being _ answer on that. these measures are being put— answer on that. these measures are being put in— answer on that. these measures are being put in place to try and limit the spread — being put in place to try and limit the spread of covid and particularly with the _ the spread of covid and particularly with the omicron variant which we know— with the omicron variant which we know spreads quickly and these measures— know spreads quickly and these measures are in place to try to stop that _ measures are in place to try to stop that crucial— measures are in place to try to stop that. crucialas measures are in place to try to stop that. crucial as the vaccination programme and boosters. these new rules are _ programme and boosters. these new rules are very important but still crucial— rules are very important but still crucial is — rules are very important but still crucial is the vaccination programme and as— crucial is the vaccination programme and as many— crucial is the vaccination programme and as many people as possible being vaccinated _ and as many people as possible being vaccinated and getting their boosters and third doses, particularly for the omicron variant _ particularly for the omicron variant. ., .. particularly for the omicron variant. ., ,, , ., , . and at 1a:30 we'll be again answering your questions
11:48 am
on the changes to restrictions, plan b. do send them in to us on twitter, using the hash tag bbc your questions, or by emailing yourquestions@bbc.co.uk. that's coming up at 1a:30. the uk is sending too much of its unwanted rubbish to romania — that's what the authorities in bucharest say. they're demanding that british officials step up export checks — to stop illegal waste from getting through. the uk government says it's pledged to bring in tougher controls. angus crawford reports. british household waste, a long way from home. tonnes and tonnes of it discovered by customs officers at a port in romania. it's a microwave. environmental police say it's worthless junk, which can't be recycled, illegal to export, but cheaper to send here than disposing of it properly in the uk. this is rubbish? this was one of many shipments, and other containers did get through.
11:49 am
the authorities believe some of the waste came here, a vast private landfill, now under police investigation. we can't get inside the site, so we've driven round the back. the mounds of rubbish stretch away into the distance. the operators say it's only romanian waste, but the environmental guard insist there's rubbish from across europe, and that includes from the uk. we head to a meeting with local campaigners. so, we're being followed and spotted the whole way? but when we get to the village, the head of dump security follows us and calls in the site manager. we want to talk about british waste at the landfill site. impossible. villagers say that's nonsense. i don't know in percent, but they are british waste, there.
11:50 am
and all the time, security is watching. so, what's the romanian government doing about british waste? we are shutting the door at all the amount of illegal waste. what more can the british government do to stop these illegal exports? i believe that the british government should have also increase the checkings at their border, regarding the exports. we are doing whatever we can, in our part. still the shipments come. this time it's old fridges from the uk. look at the dirt and mould, with no safety certificates, say the authorities. there's money to be made from broken electricals. we're on our way to a village that lives off the trade, burning them to extract copper and aluminium. but it's illegal, and they're hostile. we need a police escort.
11:51 am
in the fields around, mounds of waste, most of it from romania, but some from abroad. this is what's left over after a bonfire of plastic. we're told every night they set fires here, burning old television sets, cables, computers. there's still quite an unpleasant smell in the air. and we're told some of the things they burn here have been sent all the way from the uk. a dirty business polluting the land. it's destroying the quality of the water. quality of the soil, as you see. it's destroying the quality of the air and the quality of the life. and still the burning goes on. an environmental crisis made in romania, fuelled in part by waste from abroad. angus crawford, bbc news, romania. a former royal marine, who was the victim of an arson attack nine months ago, has returned to his home in county durham. sean ivey escaped the fire in wingate with his wife and two children. it's thought he was targeted
11:52 am
after posting videos on social media and speaking out about anti—social behaviour. jonathan swingler has more. have you been waiting to get back home all day? yeah! so finally the house is rebuilt and we're home. it's just great to be back. almost nine months since the arson attack on our property. sean is a former royal marine who served in iraq and afghanistan. life changed for him and his family when he stood up to yobs in his community. he posted a video online, then his home was targeted. i'm waiting for ya!
11:53 am
from standing from about eight months ago in a load of rubble to the way it's now, you couldn't see it coming, it just felt like it was never going to end, but it has, we're here. what's your favourite part of the new house? everything. donations to rebuild the home came from all over the world. just a huge, huge thanks to the public who donated and made this all possible. and then, in august, sean received a letterfrom prince william. for a person to be put in such a position simply due to having the moral courage to stand up for what is right is reprehensible. i stand beside you.
11:54 am
it's even got prince william r, his royal highness prince william r, duke of cambridge, prince william. the arson attack didn'tjust cause damage to the property. we've also had the kids' mental health, more so my little girl who's still receiving counselling at school, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. there were a number of arrests after the arson but nobody was charged. sean believes more should be done to tackle anti—social behaviour. there's not enough police, the police haven't got enough power, the fire brigade are just being totally exasperated. do you have any regrets about what happened in terms of standing up to yobs? no. and i'd do the same again. sean is now setting up a charity in county durham to keep youngsters out of trouble. a new milestone has been reached in the construction of barcelona's famous basilica, la sagrada familia. just in time for christmas, a 12—point star, with a width of more than 7 metres has been illuminated, perched on top of the newly completed tower of the virgin mary. tanya dendrinos reports.
11:55 am
an imposing icon of the barcelona skyline. and this the newest piece of the sagrada familia puzzle. the completed tower of the virgin mary adorned with 800 windows. on its pinnacle, a five and a half tonne 12—point star, illuminated for the first time. below, a sea of onlookers, thankful to witness history. translation: it is like - an opening for everyone, a light of hope for everyone, with no exception. translation: it was very emotional, because it has been under _ construction for such a long time and, little by little, it is coming to fruition. even the eyes of the vatican were on the occasion. translation: peace and good wishes _ and this cordial- franciscan greeting. i join all of you from . rome at this moment. sagrada familia is the masterpiece of architect antoni gaudi. construction began in 1882 and almost 1a0 years on, it's still going.
11:56 am
the aim was to have it complete by 2026, to mark the centenary of gaudi's death. but it's been further delayed after construction was halted due to the pandemic. when the elusive completion date does eventually roll around, it will be the tallest church in the world, bringing gaudi's vision to life. tanya dendrinos, bbc news. we are hearing that an unofficial tribunal has concluded that the beijing has committed crimes against humanity. the tribunal was set up in london to hear evidence of alleged abuses in a legal setting. it has no force in law but organisers are hoping asjudgment will
11:57 am
force in law but organisers are hoping as judgment will be used by states and companies and individuals to inform their relationship with china. now it's time for a look at the weather with carol. hello again. storm barra continuing to weaken today and the gusty winds will also continue to ease. now, for many of us, we'll see some sunny spells. there are some showers in the forecast and we've got some rain coming in from the west. so a lot of dry weather today, a fair bit of sunshine. this morning, showers drifting eastwards, taking the cloud with them before they clear away. and you can see already the rain coming in across northern ireland, sweeping across the irish sea into western parts of england and wales, and also getting into western scotland. a cold day more or less across the board, with the exception of parts of south west wales and south west england, where we're now, through this evening and overnight, our weatherfront takes its rain eastwards. behind it, we're looking at some showers coming in on the north westerly breeze. and also some of those could be wintry on the tops of the hills in scotland. a cold night, possibly a touch of frost across parts of north east england and also parts of eastern
11:58 am
scotland. so tomorrow, we start off with our weather front in the far east. that clears away and then we've got this straight northwesterly flow. so that's a cold direction for us and it will also bring in quite a lot of showers, especially to areas exposed to the northwesterly wind. so the north west of the country being a prime example, some of those wintry in the hills, but some of those showers will be blown further inland across north west england, into wales, down to the midlands and some parts of southern england. but in between, there will be a fair bit of sunshine. not as mild in the south west, looking at highs of nine, but generally, again, it's going to feel cool. now, on saturday, we've got this weather front coming our way. this is a warm front and as the name suggests behind it, the air will be that bit milder. and in fact, on saturday temperatures will rise as we go through the course of the day.
11:59 am
we're looking at a murky start, cloud, some fog, some mist, and then we've got the rain pushing in and the mild air continuing to drift eastwards. so at three o'clock in the afternoon, we're looking at 7s and 8s as the temperature. by five o'clock, those temperatures will have risen a bit more. and you can see that quite nicely on this air mass chart, where we've got the yellows and the ambers represent where the air is going to be that bit warmer, or milder in this case, and it's pushing northwards all the way into the north of scotland. so on sunday, temperatures between 10—1a degrees in our capital cities, cooler on sunday in the north, but still mild in the south.
12:00 pm
this is bbc news. the headlines: covid passes, working from home, and the wider use of facemasks. england braces for plan b rule changes. the health secretary says the measures are needed to delay the spread of omicron. if it carries on at that rate, you could have one million infections through community transmission by end of the month. an investigation into a christmas party in downing street last year will be widened to include two more gatherings, reported to have taken place amid covid restrictions. the number of people enduring "trolley waits" of more than 12 hours in england's a&e departments has reached a record high. the uk's chief veterinary officer has warned there is a "phenomenal level" of avian flu in the uk. a bbc investigation finds british rubbish is being illegally shipped to romania and dumped.
12:01 pm
good afternoon. the health secretary sajid javid says new restrictions in england are needed to buy time for people to get their boosters and protect against the spread of the omicron variant which he said could overwhelm the nhs if left unchecked. but the government faces a backlash to the plans from its own mps, with a substantial tory rebellion expected when the plans come to a vote in the commons next week. it follows the growing row over an alleged christmas party in downing street. it's been announced that an official investigation has now been expanded to look in to three separate events last year. more on that shortly. but first new plan b
12:02 pm
restrictions mean that from tomorrow, facemasks will be required in more public settings — including theatres and cinemas. from monday, people will be asked to work from home where possible. from wednesday, the nhs covid pass — or a negative lateral flow test — will also be required for visitors to nightclubs, indoor unseated venues with more than 500 people and larger unseated outdoor venues. ourfirst report from emma simpson. out on the town — the time of year for some festive fun. but hours earlier, the prime minister wasn't delivering much christmas cheer. while the picture may get better, and i sincerely hope that it will, we know that the remorseless logic of exponential growth could lead to a big rise in hospitalisations and, therefore, sadly, in deaths. and that's why it's now the proportionate and the responsible thing to move to plan b in england, while continuing to work closely with our colleagues in the devolved administrations, so we slow the spread of the virus. so, what does plan b mean?
12:03 pm
from friday, face coverings will be mandatory for most indoor public venues, including theatres and cinemas, but not pubs or restaurants. from monday, you should work from home if you can. an nhs covid pass will be needed to get into nightclubs and large venues. a negative lateral flow test will also be accepted and daily testing will replace self—isolation for people who come into contact with someone infected. the government says the measures are necessary. we estimated that the doubling rate is between 2.5 to three days which means the number of community infections is doubling in that time and what that means is that if it carries on at that rate, you could have 1 carries on at that rate, you could have1 million infections through community transmission by the end of the month. despite the fact people are tired and people are suffering.
12:04 pm
still, by and large, the levels of adherence are very high indeed. we live adherence are very high indeed. we. live in adherence are very high indeed. - live in scotland so used to them. i think to protect anyone, we have to do what _ think to protect anyone, we have to do what we — think to protect anyone, we have to do what we can. i�*m think to protect anyone, we have to do what we can-— think to protect anyone, we have to do what we can. i'm a dental student so it has been _ do what we can. i'm a dental student so it has been difficult. _ do what we can. i'm a dental student so it has been difficult. studying - so it has been difficult. studying is really— so it has been difficult. studying is really difficult. _ but it's come at the worst possible time many businesses. some are already asking for more government help. and yet again, we're back into open—ended restrictions with no end in sight, no financial support and absolutely no clarity on when any of this is going to be over. i urge the government now to put the support packages in place to support business through this really difficult period. the government says its existing £a00 billion support package will help businesses get through the winter. emma simpson, bbc news.
12:05 pm
an investigation by the cabinet office into allegations that staff in downing street broke covid restrictions by holding a christmas party has been expanded to look into three gatherings, in november and december last year. the announcement was made in the house of commons by the paymaster general, michael ellis. the cabinet secretary's investigation will establish the facts surrounding the following... allegations made of a gathering at number ten downing street on the 27th of november 2020. a gathering at the department for education on the 10th of december 2020. many: "a gathering"? and allegations made of the gathering at number ten downing street on the 18th of december 2020. now, the primary purpose of the cabinet secretary's investigation will be to establish swiftly a general understanding
12:06 pm
of the nature of the gatherings... laughter. ..including attendance, the setting, and the purpose and with reference to adherence to the guidance in place at the time. now, if required, the investigation will establish whether individual disciplinary action is warranted. but labour say there are still questions to answer about the prime minister's handling of the situation. the prime minister said yesterday, "i have been repeatedly ensured there was no party and no covid rules were broken but i have asked the cabinet secretary to establish these facts." who gave these repeated assurances? if there was no party, why did allegra stratton feel the need to resign? is she taking the fall instead of government ministers? if this government investigation finds out that the prime minister has misled the house, mr speaker, will he resign?
12:07 pm
i asked our political correspondent ben wright when the investigation might report back. it will take as long as it takes, said the paymaster general who you just heard from there, to howls of ridicule from the opposition benches. it was a week ago that number ten and borisjohnson maintained that there was no party, no rules have been broken, and that was a line repeated again by michael ellis, he will be now looking at the december the 18th party in downing street but also a gathering on november 27th, of which we believe the prime minister was in attendance, and also gathering at the department
12:08 pm
for education on december 10th. simon kay, the cabinet secretary, will be establishing precisely what those gatherings amounted to. were they parties or not? did they breach the rules or not? who was there? the terms of reference for this inquiry are being published today. they will be set out and laid in the house of commons. in terms of when it will report back, no indication from mr ellis about when that will happen. he did say, though, that if there cabinet secretary discovers there could have been action or activity that amounted to criminal activity, broke the law, then the investigation would be paused and the material handed over to the police. meanwhile, another old row around who paid for the refurbishment of the number ten flat, or number 11 flat, i suppose, more accurately, the prime minister's flat, that has resulted in a fine has resulted, we now hear, in a fine for the conservative party. yes. the electoral commission has been looking into this for about eight months actually. this has been smouldering away for a very long time. we knew that lord brownlow, a tory donor, had provided a lot of money to help cover the cost of the refurbishment of the number 11 flat. the prime minister's adviser
12:09 pm
on ministerial interests, lord geidt, published a report back in spring into this. what the electoral commission was doing was trying to establish whether that money from lord brownlow was properly declared by the conservative party and whether it broke any electoral donation rules. the electoral commission decided it wasn't properly declared, this was a loan, amounting in total to £67,000 of which £52,000 was used to cover the cost of the flat refurbishment. the electoral commission said that should have been declared as a loan, it wasn't, which is why they have fined the tory party £17,800. the conservative party, in response, have described this as a technical breach of the rules and have said that they are thinking about possibly launching an appeal against the electoral commission's conclusions but i don't think that is the end of the story. there is a big report that the commission have produced which we will look through. at one point, it talks about a whatsapp message from the prime minister to lord brownlow discussing the flat refurbishment.
12:10 pm
lord geidt�*s report, earlier this year, gave the impression that borisjohnson really didn't know about this arrangement and hadn't expressed any curiosity about it. is there a discrepancy there? we will see. we will look further into the report. for now, it is drawing a line under the downing street flat refurbishment saga. the flat is going to be welcoming a new resident. the prime minister and carrie, we hear this morning, have just had a new baby. they have. a second child for the couple. a baby girl born in a london hospital this morning. the prime minister was there and it is a sister for wilfred who is the couple's first child. the prime minister was there, don't know any more at the moment. no name, no idea when the family will be back in downing street but some happy news for the prime minister after what has been a very tumultuous few days. there is enormous pressure on him and number ten, particularly around this question of what was going on behind the front door of number ten last year as the rest of the country
12:11 pm
was in lockdown. there are huge questions now about whether the gatherings there broke the rules, had number ten been honest from the outset? is he likely to take paternity leave with all of this going on? he is entitled to, of course. we don't know. there is a briefing of the lobby journalists about to start now so presumably number ten will be asked what the prime minister's paternity leave plans are. he does, as you say, have an enormous amount on his plate to deal with at the moment, aside from having another child. the uk's chief veterinary officer has warned there is a "phenomenal level" of avian flu in the uk. tens of thousands of farmed birds have already been culled. officials say the risk to human health is low — there is no link to the covid—19 pandemic — but infected birds should not be touched. our correspondent claire marshall has the latest. the chief vet is really worried about what is happening. there has been half a million birds culledd.
12:12 pm
“there has been half a million birds culled. the first case of it was the 15th of october in a swan sanctuary and they all had to be killed. then it is spreading from migrating birds coming from the east and they are infected with avian flu which is a type of coronavirus, not to worry anybody, but that shows how transmissibe it is within the bird population. these birds fly in carrying it, they then pass it on to other wild birds and then, from time to time, it comes through into farms, turkeys, farmed geese and that kind of thing, and that's why you have so many birds that have had to be culled. is there any risk at all to human health from this? i have been really careful in how to talk about this because there is not zero risk, there is a little bit of a risk in terms of you could potentially get a kind of bad flu if you handle an infected bird for
12:13 pm
a long period of time, but it is a really, really small risk. that is why all the messaging from government is don't worry about it but to be very careful about not picking these birds up. i was just trying to get across how serious it is because it is sometimes hard for these kind of things forpeople to kind of grasp. i just spoke to a farmer who has given up breeding chickens. he said if you have to keep them in over the winter, you lose the status of free range eggs. if this happens every winter, as it seems to be, it could be that there is no free range eggs any more which is a very extreme point of view but it does show the impact in our households, as it were. that could be the impact. at the moment, everybody who keeps
12:14 pm
any birds at all is having to keep them under cover and some people don't have the space, they don't have sheds or anything like that. claire marshall reporting on the latest on avian flu. if you are watching on bbc two, it is time to say goodbye. good afternoon. now it is time for a sports update. australia are well in control of the first asset test in brisbane after day two. a late afternoon flurry of wickets gave the tories hope but an astonishing innings extinguish that. a century scored in just 85 balls. leaving australia on 3a3 for seven, a lead of 196. leaving australia on 343 for seven, a lead of tbs-— a lead of 196. been a great position. — a lead of 196. been a great position, enjoying - a lead of 196. been a great position, enjoying it, - a lead of 196. been a great| position, enjoying it, loving a lead of 196. been a great. position, enjoying it, loving it. a lead of 196. been a great - position, enjoying it, loving it. i wouldn't read too much into it. it comes out how it does and i'm representing my country and living doing it. it's an amazing feeling to get a test match 100. as it
12:15 pm
happened i couldn't believe what was going on. it definitely read my look in parts but i put australia in a great position and that's what i'm here to do. i'm privileged to be able to do that. tonight's europa conference game between tottenham and rennes has been postponed after a number of positive covid tests at the london club. eight players and five staff, have tested positive. spurs have also been advised to close the first team area of their training ground. uefa confirmed the postponement this morning, but that was after rennes strongly criticised spurs, accusing them of a lack of fair play. football fans have been urged to check with their clubs for information on how they will be impacted by a change in covid rules. from next wednesday, fans in england will need to show proof of double vaccination or a negative test to attend games with crowds of over 10,000. the government has made the nhs covid pass mandatory because of the spread of the omicron variant. similar conditions are already in place in scotland, wales and northern ireland. the football supporters association wants fans to familiarise themselves with new protocols ahead of matches.
12:16 pm
british cyclist mark cavendish, has appealed for help, as police investigate an attack by four armed men, during a burglary at his home last month, in which his wife and children were threatened at knifepoint. cavendish was at home at the time, recovering from two broken ribs and a collapsed lung, from a cycling crash when the break—in happened. a suitcase and two "high—value" watches were stolen, and as yet no arrests have been made. that's all the sport for now. i'll have more for you in the next hour. let's go to the hearing against genocide. a tribunal in london, probing china's treatment of the uyghur minority has found evidence of crimes against humanity. the findings detail systematic human rights abuses — including forced labour and torture. speaking in the last hour, the chair of the tribunal,
12:17 pm
sir geoffrey nice, explained how women were sterilised without their consent and families deliberately separated. witness statements also described rapes and assaults in detention camps and strict surveillance throughout xinjiang province. on the basis of evidence heard in public, the tribunal is satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the imposition of measures to prevent birds to destroy a significant part of the uighurs in xinjiang. as such has committed genocide. the tribunal is satisfied that resident xi jinping and other senior officials in the prc and ccp, their primary responsibility for acts that have occurred in xinjiang. the tribunal recognises that the perpetrating of individual criminal acts that may have occurred, rate or torture, will not have been carried out with the detailed knowledge of the president and others but the tribunal is satisfied that they have occurred as
12:18 pm
a direct result of policies, language and speech is promoted by the president and others will stop furthermore these policies could not have happened in a country with such rigid hierarchies as the prc without the implicit or explicit authority from the very top. let's go dolkun isa — president of world uyghur congress. hejoins me from here in london. welcome. thank you forjoining us. what is your reaction to these findings? what is your reaction to these findin . s? ~ what is your reaction to these findinis? ~ .., findings? well, we welcome the decision. findings? well, we welcome the decision- it _ findings? well, we welcome the decision. it comes _ findings? well, we welcome the decision. it comes as _ findings? well, we welcome the decision. it comes as great - decision. it comes as great encouragement, thejudgment decision. it comes as great encouragement, the judgment of the tribunal, which announced today that china's communist government committed crimes against the people that are amount to genocide and
12:19 pm
crimes against humanity. this that are amount to genocide and crimes against humanity. this has no force in law — crimes against humanity. this has no force in law but _ crimes against humanity. this has no force in law but what _ crimes against humanity. this has no force in law but what do _ crimes against humanity. this has no force in law but what do you - crimes against humanity. this has no force in law but what do you think - force in law but what do you think the potential impact could be of this report?— this report? well, this is... it is now the responsibility - this report? well, this is... it is now the responsibility of - now the responsibility of international institution and state but also company as private sectors to take steps that applies tribunal judgment in their dealings with china. we need the united nations to invoke the genocide convention to support establishment of an independent un mechanism to investigate and document. and the adoption of resolution. there is no excuse of the country. this is the
12:20 pm
finaljudgment by the independent judicial body. it is finaljudgment by the independent judicial body-— judicial body. it is an unofficial bod , judicial body. it is an unofficial body. though. _ judicial body. it is an unofficial body, though. you _ judicial body. it is an unofficial body, though. you said - judicial body. it is an unofficial body, though. you said now i judicial body. it is an unofficial. body, though. you said now that judicial body. it is an unofficial- body, though. you said now that you would like to put pressure on the un to take further action. what impact would it have come were that to happen? it would it have come were that to ha en? . . , ., would it have come were that to hauen? . . . ., . happen? it is their decision and the urient happen? it is their decision and the urgent reminder _ happen? it is their decision and the urgent reminder to _ happen? it is their decision and the urgent reminder to the _ happen? it is their decision and the urgent reminder to the united - urgent reminder to the united nations, all—party states for the genocide convention to fulfil their legal and moral obligation under international law to stop ongoing genocide. international law to stop ongoing ienocide. ., .. international law to stop ongoing ienocide. ., ,, , ., , international law to stop ongoing ienocide. ., ~' , . genocide. thank you very much indeed for “oinini genocide. thank you very much indeed forjoining us- — genocide. thank you very much indeed forjoining us. the _ genocide. thank you very much indeed forjoining us. the president— genocide. thank you very much indeed forjoining us. the president of- genocide. thank you very much indeed forjoining us. the president of the - forjoining us. the president of the world uighur congress. i forjoining us. the president of the world uighur congress. canada has become the latest country
12:21 pm
to announce that no government representatives will attend the games in beijing. first it was the us, then australia, the uk and now canada joins the names of countries using the beige and winter games to make a point about china and accusations of human rights violations. we are extremely concerned by the repeated human rights violations by the chinese government. that is why we are announcing today that we will not be sending any diplomatic representation to the beijing olympic paralympic games, this winter. but this isn't a sporting boycott, it's only diplomats who stay away, despite calls from human rights campaigners, the athletes will still get to go to beijing in february. earlier this week, the us accused china of genocide in its repression of the predominantly muslim uyghur minority in xinjiang province. speaking to the bbc, president biden's climate envoy, john kerry, denied the diplomatic boycott
12:22 pm
amounted to america trying to lecture china. we're not lecturing. what we're doing is something the united states has always done, which is stand up for human rights. china strongly denies the accusations about human rights abuse. it calls the boycotts a smear campaign and says the officials hadn't even been asked to come in the first place. translation: china has not invited any australian - government officials to attend the winter olympics, and no—one would care about whether they came or not. the australian politicians' political posturing and hyping for their own political interest will have no impact whatsoever on beijing's successful hosting of the olympic games. and the international olympic committee would prefer people to focus on athletes, not politics. we have been concerned with the athletes we welcome, that they can participate, that they are supported by their national governments and the rest is politics and their...
12:23 pm
uh, our political neutrality. the principle is applied. but with china threatening to retaliate and other countries considering whether or not to join the boycott, the ioc may not get its wish for the athletes to take centre stage any time soon. gail maclellan, bbc news. let's go back to the plan b restrictions. earlier i spoke to the independent economistjulianjessop — and asked him what impact he thought that might have. there are two things statistics show. one is how hard nhs staff are working. it is the largest number of 999 calls we have answered in the month of
12:24 pm
november, the second highest number of accident and emergency... we are going absolutely full pelt in terms of right across a whole number of different fronts. that is the first part of the story. the second part of the story is that because of the sheer demand that we are experiencing right across the system, performances really under pressure. unfortunately, this month it is the longest ever elected waiting list that we have had. we have also got an increase in the number of people who are having to wait more than 12 hours in terms of a&e access and we also have problems in terms of ambulance handover delays. it is a difficult picture. nhs staff running absolutely as fast as they can but being outpaced by the extra demand and the pressure
12:25 pm
that we are seeing. don't forget, this is before we are hitting our traditional winter peak in terms of early to mid january and it is also before what i think is increasingly likely to be a higher number of comecon cases coming into hospitals. again, as you know, we are still slightly in the dark. the light is beginning to show. we are getting some clarity. what we know now is this is a significantly more transmissible variant. what we're seeing is really rapid uptake in terms of the level of infection. the secretary of was talking about a doubling time of every two to three days. that is very significantly faster than the alpha delta variant. the bit where it is still unclear is how serious the symptoms are. we know that when you get a spike in infections, it is usually about a two week wait until we see with a
12:26 pm
hospitalisation in practice. “ we see what the hospitalisation in practice. it is when he reaches older people that you get a growth in hospitalisation. what we are waiting for is probably a week to ten days' time to really see about what that rate of hospitalisation looks like. in that environment, it makes complete sense to us for the government to basically start increasing the level of protection available. we have always been very clear that we don't have any nhs all of the data and all of the evidence and crucially you can't expect and wouldn't expect the nhs to make the trade—offs between the health factors and the economic and social factors. that has got to be the government's job. factors. that has got to be the government'sjob. clearly, what we're saying is if more protections are needed, government should
12:27 pm
introduce them as necessary. a major financial settlement paid to the actor sienna miller over phone hacking is "tantamount" to an admission of illegal activity by the sun newspaper, a court has heard. ms miller's settlement remains confidential but it may be one of the largest payouts by rupert murdoch's organisation to victims of phone hacking. joining me now with the latest on this verdict is our home and legal correspondent. tell us more. yes. this is one of the most — tell us more. yes. this is one of the most significant _ tell us more. yes. this is one ofj the most significant settlements tell us more. yes. this is one of. the most significant settlements we have had in this long—running phone hacking thing which dates back to the closure of the news of the world and the revelations of the legal activity there. ten years on, we have a situation where1a00 cases have a situation where1a00 cases have been settled by newspapers. the parent company of the sun and news of the world. claimants have been digging infora of the world. claimants have been digging in for a day in court and one of them had been sienna miller,
12:28 pm
the actor, because she said the evidence in her case showed clearly in her view specific illegal activity in relation to the sun. she has agreed today a major out—of—court... surrey, a major settlement to avoid going to trial. she said she has done that because of the enormous risk of legal bills going into the millions to fight it. in the settlement, she argued that she should be allowed to say some of the specific allegations about the sun and that is important because news group newspapers continues to deny that the sun newspaper was ever involved in any kind of illegal activity. in a statement read in read in court was that she was targeted from 2003 onwards and specifically she said that when she started to get disclosure, the court documents in her case, she said that
12:29 pm
she was horrified to see documents which she believed showed that there were expenses claimed by a senior journalist, nick parker, that he had met with medical records tracer in july and august 2005 to discuss miss miller's pregnancy. in essence, what she is saying is that this evidence which the sun and its parent group admits no liability to you, shows, in her view, that she was a target of unlawful activity. she goes on to talk about rebekah brooks, the then editor of the sun. she says it is her firm editor of the sun. she says it is herfirm belief editor of the sun. she says it is her firm belief that miss brooks, editor of the sun. she says it is herfirm belief that miss brooks, as a den editor, first called one of her publicists to discuss with her the fact that they knew miss miller was pregnant around this period. she feels, i will be this carefully, the denials by ms brooks, including under oath, that she, as editor, was involved in or was aware of unlawful activity was especially aggravating to miss miller. now, the newspaper
12:30 pm
denies liability and the settlement is on the basis that there is no liability admitted in "the she concluded her statement to court with given the fact that the publishers have paid a sum and shall sun the damages and avoid a public trial, notwithstanding the settlement was reached, this is tantamount to an admission of liability on the part of the sun. she therefore feels fully vindicated in bringing this case. she was very emotional in court, miss miller. she has flown in for a8 hours to try and resolve this case with her lawyer. she lives in new york at the moment. she lives in new york at the moment. she said that she felt vindicated and anyone in her situation should feel prepared to come to court and have their rights protected. as i say, the sun continues to deny liability but in this case, the judge said she was entitled to air her suspicions in public.
12:31 pm
now it's time for a look at the weather with carol. hello again. storm barra continuing to weaken through today and, as we go through the day, the gusty winds of this morning will also ease. now, we've got a line of showers pushing east, really fragmenting through the day, taking the cloud with them, though. a lot of dry weather, a fair bit of sunshine but a weather front coming into the west, introducing some rain. mild in the south—west but it is going to be a chilly day elsewhere. as we head on through the evening and overnight, this band of rain continues to journey eastwards. behind it, in the north—westerly breeze, we are looking at a lot of showers coming our way, some of which will be wintry on the tops of the hills and we could see a touch of frost in sheltered glens in scotland, possibly too across parts of north—east england. tomorrow, then, we start off with rain in the far east, that clears quite quickly, then they will be a lot of dry weather, a fair bit of sunshine but a noticeable breeze coming from the north—west blowing in all the showers, especially into the north—west,
12:32 pm
with some of them making it further south, and our top temperature reaching 9 celsius. hello this is bbc news with joanna gosling. the headlines: covid passes, working from home, and the wider use of facemasks: england braces for �*plan b” changes. the health secretary says the measures are needed to delay the spread of omicron. if it carries on at that rate, you could have one million infections through community transmission by end of the month. an investigation into a christmas party in downing street last year will be widened to include two more gatherings, reported to have taken place amid covid restrictions. the number of people enduring "trolley waits" of more than 12 hours in england's a&e departments has reached a record high.
12:33 pm
the uk's chief veterinary officer has warned there is a "phenomenal level" of avian flu in the uk. a tribunal in london, probing china's treatment of the uyghur minority has found evidence of crimes against humanity. the findings detail systematic human rights abuses — let's return to our top story — boris johnson's facing mounting criticism from conservative mps who are unhappy about the extra covid measures for england which include more face masks, covid passports for big venues and advice to work from home. some tory mps say they'll vote against the measures next week. it comes as the cabinet office investigates allegations that staff in downing street broke covid restrictions last year by holding christmas parties on three separate occasions in november and december. one conservative mp, chris green, was asked by bbc manchester about whether the prime minister could count on his support. asa as a conservative mp do
12:34 pm
you have i'm very concerned by what the prime minister is doing. do you have confidence in him? i the prime minister is doing. do you have confidence in him?— have confidence in him? i think the vote next week _ have confidence in him? i think the vote next week is _ have confidence in him? i think the vote next week is going _ have confidence in him? i think the vote next week is going to - have confidence in him? i think the vote next week is going to be - have confidence in him? i think the | vote next week is going to be pretty difficult and i think the pie minister will find it quite difficult to find people to vote alongside of him. do difficult to find people to vote alongside of him.— difficult to find people to vote alongside of him. do you have confidence _ alongside of him. do you have confidence in _ alongside of him. do you have confidence in him, _ alongside of him. do you have confidence in him, chris? - alongside of him. do you have confidence in him, chris? it'sl alongside of him. do you have | confidence in him, chris? it's a iood confidence in him, chris? it's a good question. _ confidence in him, chris? it's a good question. does _ confidence in him, chris? it's a good question. does that - confidence in him, chris? it's a i good question. does that silence seak good question. does that silence speak volumes, _ good question. does that silence speak volumes, should - good question. does that silence speak volumes, should i - good question. does that silence speak volumes, should i take - good question. does that silence i speak volumes, should i take that good question. does that silence - speak volumes, should i take that as i yes or no? i speak volumes, should i take that as l yes or no?— i yes or no? i think the silence does speak— i yes or no? i think the silence does speak volumes. - mo hussein is former special adviser to amber rudd as uk home secretary and former no10 downing st chief press officer under david cameron. what do you think of the state of things now? i
12:35 pm
what do you think of the state of things now?— things now? i think he quite a precarious — things now? i think he quite a precarious permission - things now? i think he quite a precarious permission and - things now? i think he quite a precarious permission and forj things now? i think he quite a - precarious permission and for the past six weeks or so a series of unforced errors from number ten and the wider government which have left mps scratching their heads and feeling quite embarrassed whether it was the owen paterson affair are overpromising and under delivering on hs2 or small boats, i think mps have felt they have been marched up the hill to defend something without perhaps been given the full facts and all the information and then the government u—turn or change its position and then they have to defend it in answer to their constituents so it does feel we are at a bit of a turning point now. there has always been a group of mps who do not like the covid
12:36 pm
restrictions until the government has been to interventionist in peoples lives so it doesn't surprise me they are unhappy with the plan b restrictions about the cumin but there are questions about the timing of this and the need for doing it now which i think it will probably need to be explored a bit further. in terms of what he was saying about mps having to go out and defend something and then the picture changes, what is your reading of how this is rolling out from the prime minister is saying from the start there were not parties, saying he had been given assurances that had not been parties are now terrorist investigations. sajid
12:37 pm
not been parties are now terrorist now, and we had from that tory mp leaving very long gaps between his answers deciding how frankie was prepared to be that actually there is some discomfort which is starting to seep through at one level or another. i to seep through at one level or another. .. to seep through at one level or another. ~' ., , , to seep through at one level or another. ~' . , , ., another. i think the really is and i think ou another. i think the really is and i think you have — another. i think the really is and i think you have had _ another. i think the really is and i think you have had a _ another. i think the really is and i think you have had a week - another. i think the really is and i think you have had a week or- another. i think the really is and i think you have had a week or so i another. i think the really is and i | think you have had a week or so of the government almost saying nothing to see here, there was not a party that's rules were followed. the question to me is who has been giving these assurances? it is interesting language ministers have been using and they have been told by someone else that the rules were followed and that is what they are repeating and understandably so too must protect themselves and give themselves a bit of wiggle room in this. but that line, i'm tion not sure it really holds much water no given the link to video and then there are other questions which add to the confusion about there was no
12:38 pm
party why is that an investigation and why has somebody resigned over it? so i'm afraid this is not going away, it is raising more questions and taking a slightly more transparent approach and talking about if something has gone wrong then that should be taken as dash—mac action should be taken as a pie minister did yesterday but that should have been done slightly earlier. i should have been done slightly earlier. .., �* should have been done slightly earlier. �* .. should have been done slightly earlier. �* ,, ., should have been done slightly earlier. �* ~' . earlier. i can't think what you miiht earlier. i can't think what you might have — earlier. i can't think what you might have been _ earlier. i can't think what you might have been involved - earlier. i can't think what you i might have been involved with earlier. i can't think what you - might have been involved with when you are in an advisory role. this is something that is different to what we have experienced before. but in terms of how much curiosity there is from a minister or a prime minister when something is alleged publicly on the way these allegations have been made through the newspapers and how many questions are asked about what exactly happened, and the assurances that our forthcoming and how much those assurances are accepted, what is the process, how much scrutiny is there? i
12:39 pm
accepted, what is the process, how much scrutiny is there?— accepted, what is the process, how much scrutiny is there? i spent four ears in much scrutiny is there? i spent four years in number— much scrutiny is there? i spent four years in number ten _ much scrutiny is there? i spent four years in number ten and _ much scrutiny is there? i spent four years in number ten and it's - much scrutiny is there? i spent four years in number ten and it's not - much scrutiny is there? i spent fourj years in number ten and it's not the biggest place to work. lots of things happen in that building. it is not reasonable for the pro—minister to be across every single thing happening in the building. ithink single thing happening in the building. i think in fairness he may not have known all the details but this is the kind of thing that is still making headlines seven days to ten days on it probably does want some further examination and you should trust your team if your team are telling you this is what happened. then i don't think there is any particular reason at the beginning to try to second guess that but if there are more allegations come to light and more descriptions of what may have happened then you probably would want to revisit those conversations and ask the questions again because ultimately this is not about people that no one is ever heard of, this is about the prime minister, this is about people at the top and it reflects on him, even if he is not
12:40 pm
directly involved, so there is a self interest here and find out what happened. you self interest here and find out what ha ened. ., . self interest here and find out what ha - ened. ., ., ., happened. you said that there have been tory mps _ happened. you said that there have been tory mps throughout - happened. you said that there have been tory mps throughout who - happened. you said that there have | been tory mps throughout who were opposed to the restrictions. in terms of what might happen when this vote comes through on the new covid restrictions, what is your sense of how much dissent there is in the party? does it go beyond what it was before? i party? does it go beyond what it was before? .. party? does it go beyond what it was before? ~' ., , ., , before? i think it does go beyond what it was _ before? i think it does go beyond what it was before. _ before? i think it does go beyond what it was before. there - before? i think it does go beyond what it was before. there are - before? i think it does go beyond what it was before. there are the usual suspects and you can look on twitter and read a lot into it but the proof will be coming to the vote next week but adding in all the other things in terms of where the government has made missteps and where that has impacted mps, i think you will see a slightly bigger rebellion. the real question is if this gets through on labour party thoughts. labour look likely to support this with some caveats but
12:41 pm
that does not leave the pro—minister and a good position either. this is really authority being drained away and if this carries on labour votes the credibility on his own side within the party was still be in question. within the party was still be in iuestion. �* within the party was still be in iuestion. . ., ., , , question. and on that, yesterday the pro-minister — question. and on that, yesterday the pro-minister said _ question. and on that, yesterday the pro-minister said it _ question. and on that, yesterday the pro-minister said it was _ question. and on that, yesterday the pro-minister said it was probably - pro—minister said it was probably time for the to be a national conversation on compulsory vaccinations. this morning on the radio sajid javid said he didn't think compulsory vaccinations would be right. it seems that was possibly a frank view. i do not know whether he would have been so frank before because it potentially takes away from what the pie minister was saying yesterday. do you get a sense that there is more of a gap with the authority and people might be more prepared to speak their minds? i think that definitely is more of a gap and ministers have of being
12:42 pm
marched up the hill several times will be much more circumspect in terms ofjust repeating the position number ten presents to them i will be thinking slightly longer term about their own futures and own careers and maybe not committing to something that they think is going to cause a big row. we saw lots of news from the government yesterday, whether it was dealing with the leaked video and the allegations and then moving quite quickly into plan b restrictions, and it feels like talking about mandatory vaccinations, i'm not sure the pitch has been ruled for this, i'm not sure mps have had briefings or conversations about what this means and that is a lot of anger about this as well so if this was some kind of strategy to perhaps move this conversation on, i'm not sure this conversation on, i'm not sure this is really what out well because it is creating even more pressure points and dividing lines for the government and its own backbenchers.
12:43 pm
what effect will working from home have an economy? earlier i spoke to the independent economistjulianjessop and asked him what impact he thought that might have. first of all, there is the direct impact of the new measures themselves and in some cases, that might be quite small. if you look at work from home, for example, i think many of us have got quite good at doing just as much as we were before in our bedrooms or in our studies as we were going into the office was not as you see, i am working from home now. in addition to the direct impact, there is also the indirect impact on sentiment and i think a lot of people would look at this increase in restrictions and say, well, the accumulative effect of that is starting to get quite big and the direction of travel, people are already speculating
12:44 pm
about a new lockdown in the new year. that could have quite a chilling impact on business and consumer confidence and therefore on spending. to the economy comes from. pricewaterhousecoopers estimates the economic impact of home—working all the way from lost custom to the benefit of people working together and the creativity that flows from that would be about £15 billion per annum. together and the creativity that flows from that would be about £15 billion per annum. how does a figure like that get arrived at and do you agree with that sort of figure? that is probably in the right ballpark. there are lots of things going into the picture here. one is that i think people by definition are not able to do as much work at home as they would do in the office. if they could, they would all be working from home all of the time. there is bound to be some disruption there. you are missing out on that important social contact, the conversations around the water cooler or whatever. there is some sort of productivity losses there as well. in addition, you're probably not spending as much money in the wider economy, so, you know, city centre office suppliers are going to be losing out and sandwich chains and so on, so there will be less money spent.
12:45 pm
in addition, i think there is everything else going on, it is notjust work from home, there is things like the vaccine passports which are finally being introduced. i think if you look at all of this measures cumulatively, it could have quite a big impact. one way to look at this is to look at what has happened in the past. in the semi lockdown last winter, gdp fell by close to a%. we might get a smaller impact this time around, perhaps only 2% but that is still about numeric £a—5 billion per month that is being lost to the economy. plus, the additional cost to the government of having to prop up various businesses and prevent big job losses through things like the reintroduction of the furlough scheme. there is an economic cost in the fiscal cost as well. what about wider aspects like the pound, for instance, fell against the dollar when plan b was announced. it is not clear what is going to happen, whether that will be a sustained issue or not, but what is the impact of aspects like that on the economy?
12:46 pm
well, until a couple of days ago, the financial markets had largely shrugged omicron off. there was a big fall last friday in the value of the uk stocks, the ftse drop sharply, but then it pretty much regained all of its losses. i think that is because investors at least were looking at some of the data coming out from south africa and that appeared to be quite reassuring. now it looks like the financial markets have gauged the wider sentiment in the economy and, as i said earlier in the one of the ways that these measures might dampen growth is by hitting consumer and business confidence, they certainly seem to be hitting investor confidence as well. the headlines on bbc news: covid passes, working from home, and the wider use of facemasks: england braces for �*plan b�* rule changes. an investigation into a christmas party in downing street last year will be widened to include two more gatherings, reported to have taken place amid covid restrictions. the uk�*s chief veterinary officer has warned there is a "phenomenal level" of avian flu in the uk.
12:47 pm
new zealand is looking to bring in legislation that will stop young people from ever buying cigarettes, with the aim of making the whole country smoke—free within four years. lucy grey has more. at the moment, you have to be 18 to buy cigarettes in new zealand, but under planned new laws, anyone under the age of 1a will never be able to buy cigarettes legally. the age limit will then be increased every year until the whole country is smoke—free. we want to make sure young people never start smoking. so, we are legislating for a smoke—free generation by making it an offence to sell or supply tobacco products to those aged 1a, when the law comes into effect. the government particularly wants to help maori smokers kick the habit. i reckon it�*s a good move, really. because, right now, there�*s a lot of young kids walking around with smokes. how are they getting these smokes?
12:48 pm
and it�*s also good for myself, too, so i can save more money. if people still want to smoke, well, they can just grow their own, which they are doing. maybe it's a good idea because, at the end of the day, _ smoking is bad for you - and it's really hard to quit. the new legislation, being introduced to parliament next year, will also only allow cigarettes with low levels of nicotine and reduce the number of shops selling them. vaping won�*t be affected. the aim is to get all ages to stub out the habit by 2025. lucy gray, bbc news. the uk is sending too much of its unwanted rubbish to romania — that�*s what the authorities in bucharest say. they�*re demanding that british officials step up export checks — to stop illegal waste from getting through. the uk government says it�*s pledged to bring in tougher controls. angus crawford reports. british household waste, a long way from home. tonnes and tonnes of it discovered by customs officers at a port in romania.
12:49 pm
it�*s a microwave. environmental police say it�*s worthless junk, which can�*t be recycled, illegal to export, but cheaper to send here than disposing of it properly in the uk. this is rubbish? this was one of many shipments, and other containers did get through. the authorities believe some of the waste came here, a vast private landfill, now under police investigation. we can�*t get inside the site, so we�*ve driven round the back. the mounds of rubbish stretch away into the distance. the operators say it�*s only romanian waste, but the environmental guard insist there�*s rubbish from across europe, and that includes from the uk. we head to a meeting with local campaigners. so, we�*re being followed and spotted the whole way? but when we get to the village, the head of dump security follows us
12:50 pm
and calls in the site manager. we want to talk about british waste at the landfill site. impossible. villagers say that�*s nonsense. i don't know in percent, but they are british waste, there. and all the time, security is watching. so, what�*s the romanian government doing about british waste? we are shutting the door on all the amount of illegal waste. what more can the british government do to stop these illegal exports? i believe that the british government should have also increase the checkings at their border, regarding the exports. we are doing whatever
12:51 pm
we can on our part. still the shipments come. this time it�*s old fridges from the uk. look at the dirt and mould, with no safety certificates, say the authorities. there�*s money to be made from broken electricals. we�*re on our way to a village that lives off the trade, burning them to extract copper and aluminium. but it�*s illegal, and they�*re hostile. in the fields around, mounds of waste, most of it from romania, but some from abroad. this is what�*s left over after a bonfire of plastic. we�*re told every night they set fires here, burning old television sets, cables, computers. there�*s still quite an unpleasant smell in the air. and we�*re told some of the things they burn here have been sent all the way from the uk. a dirty business polluting the land. it's destroying the quality of the water. quality of the soil, as you see. it's destroying the quality of
12:52 pm
the air and the quality of the life. and still the burning goes on. an environmental crisis made in romania, fuelled in part by waste from abroad. angus crawford, bbc news, romania. "always unwelcoming, and now apocalyptic" is how one architect describes nottingham�*s broadmarsh centre. the half—demolished 1970s concrete ruin has been victim to several failed renovation plans during the last 20 years — but things could be about to change. 3,000 people have responded to a consultation on how best to use the space, with suggestions including a rooftop garden, performance spaces and a nature reserve. our media and arts correspondent david sillito reports. broadmarsh. for more than a0 years it was the shopping gateway to nottingham city centre. but it is, at the moment, a partially demolished ruin, 20 acres of concrete wasteland,
12:53 pm
the pandemic, the final calamity after years of decline. the council asked the public for ideas, and was planning on tearing it all down and starting again. however, after months of consultation, a new idea has been proposed. thomas heatherwick, who created the olympic cauldron for the london games in 2012, has unveiled plans for a new green city centre. in amongst it will be places for sport, socialising, urban horticulture, as well as homes and shops and offices. but the remains of broadmarsh won�*t be demolished. instead, the old concrete skeleton, this retail ruin, will be preserved as a plant—festooned pergola. the obvious thing was to knock it down and build a bright new shiny
12:54 pm
building but when we looked at the goal of the city to be carbon neutral by 2028 without can we really knock this all down and make another soulless place? is the key to keeping the frame? we realise that no, the frame is like a pergola and we can grow greenery over it all and we can grow greenery over it all and make green space in a unique nottingham way rather than copying what other towns and cities do. there are many other shopping centres facing similar problems. broadmarsh is just one of the first to go, which is why nottingham has found itself at the forefront of retail reinvention. more than 3,000 people submitted ideas. rewilding was one of the most popular. no—one, it says, suggested building another shopping mall. david sillito, bbc news. a new milestone has been reached in the construction of barcelona�*s famous basilica, la sagrada familia. just in time for christmas, a 12—point star, with a width
12:55 pm
of more than 7 metres, has been illuminated, perched on top of the newly completed tower of the virgin mary. tanya dendrinos reports. an imposing icon of the barcelona skyline. and this the newest piece of the sagrada familia puzzle. the completed tower of the virgin mary adorned with 800 windows. on its pinnacle, a five and a half tonne 12—point star, illuminated for the first time. below, a sea of onlookers, thankful to witness history. translation: it is like - an opening for everyone, a light of hope for everyone, with no exception. translation: it was very emotional, because it has been under _ construction for such a long time and, little by little, it is coming to fruition. even the eyes of the vatican were on the occasion. translation: peace and
12:56 pm
good wishes _ with this cordial- franciscan greeting. i join all of you from . rome at this moment. sagrada familia is the masterpiece of architect antoni gaudi. construction began in 1882 and almost 1a0 years on, it�*s still going. the aim was to have it complete by 2026, to mark the centenary of gaudi�*s death. but it�*s been further delayed after construction was halted due to the pandemic. when the elusive completion date does eventually roll around, it will be the tallest church in the world, bringing gaudi�*s vision to life. tanya dendrinos, bbc news. in a moment, the bbc news at one with martine croxall, but first it�*s time for a look at the weather with chris fawkes. we have had a lovely start to the day. earlierthis we have had a lovely start to the day. earlier this morning some fine sunrises captured by our early morning weather watchers. this is one of those sunrises from the way
12:57 pm
my theory of dorset, some pretty fiery skies there. today we have got this area of cloud heaing and, weather fronts going to be bringing outbreaks of rain and a whole bunch of maori are associated with this in the south but there is not much of that milder air across more northern areas. this band of rain will edge into western areas as we go through the day. a bit of snow over the hills in scotland for a time before that turns back to rain but a milder bunch of air wafting into southern wales and england boosting temptress to 11 degrees for some later today whereas for most of us it is 5 degrees to 7 degrees. overnight outbreaks of rain pushed east, slowly clearing from the eastern coast of east anglia and kent. colder air follows and we will see some frost patches develop across scotland and northern england. for friday we have these north—westerly winds that will be streaming and bringing a day of sunshine and
12:58 pm
showers. there will be some sparkling sunshine to look forward to but those showers will be particularly widespread across the north—west of the uk for some will fall as sleet and maybe a bit of hill snow mixed in with these. shares will continue to work into the north west of england and wales and in the midlands and you might find one or two popping two down to the of england and westerly winds. that is the last of the cooler days because this weekend we will see this wave of milder air crashing over the uk and that will really boost the temperature significantly. it might be getting milder but it will also be quite wet for some of us. on saturday weather fronts will bring outbreaks of rain, particularly persistent across western areas. there will probably be mist and held fog patches developing here and there. still quite cool across the east but milder air working in westwards with temperatures of 10 degrees to 12 and thatis temperatures of 10 degrees to 12 and that is the start of the milder transition. on sunday winds picking up transition. on sunday winds picking
12:59 pm
up particularly across western areas and some gales picking up and rain at times but temperature rising, 13 in belfast and 1a in cardiff and london. that�*s your weather.
1:00 pm
under investigation — the three government staff gatherings that took place while coronavirus restrictions were in force on meeting indoors. the health secretary insists that the government hasn�*t lost credibility — as it announces tighter restrictions in england to prevent the increasing spread of the omicron variant. if it carries on at that rate you could have a million infections through community transmission by the end of the month. we�*ll be hearing reaction to the new rules. also this lunchtime: delays to many hospital treatments in england are the worst on record — nhs leaders say patients are being put at risk. the conservative party�*s fined nearly £18,000 over the prime minister�*s downing street flat refurbishment. anyone under the age of 1a in new zealand will face a lifetime
1:01 pm
ban on buying cigarettes, under a law to be enacted next year.

63 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on