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tv   Review 2021  BBC News  December 25, 2021 4:30am-5:01am GMT

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over christmas, as the surge in omicron variant cases sees thousands of flights cancelled due to staff shortages. united airlines says it's contacting those passengers affected before they arrive at the airport. china and the us are the worst affected countries. christmas celebrations have taken place in bethlehem, culminating in a mass at the church of the nativity, built at the site where jesus is said to have been born. earlier, in his christmas eve mass, pope francis called for more solidarity with those living in poverty around the world. and final preparations are under way for the launch of a rocket carrying a space telescope that could transform our understanding of the universe. the rocket carrying the james webb space telescope will take off from french guiana later on saturday. it's the successor to the hubble space telescope. now on bbc news, review 2021,
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the year in politics. from the battle against the coronavirus pandemic to the fight to slow climate change, and including some of the political controversies of the year, our political correspondent helen catt looks at the stories behind the headlines. three, two, one! big ben chimes 2021 was another extraordinary year in politics. the uk stopped following eu trading rules. the biggest vaccination programme the country has ever seen was rolled out. but we all spent months in lockdown while it happened. events in afghanistan tested british foreign policy. have you lied to the public, prime minister? at home, accusations of sleaze and rule breaking tested boris johnson's authority.
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disrupt this meeting. a woman named jacqui weaver shot to fame for exhorting hers. you have no authority here, jacqui weaver, no authority at all. 2021 started fresh off the back of a christmas that had been cancelled, virtually at the last minute, for millions of people. nobody quite knew what the new year would bring. apart from one thing. one hour before the end of 2020, midnight in europe, the brexit transition period came to an end. the uk's relationship with the eu was now governed by the terms of a deal finally reached just a week earlier on christmas eve. this is an amazing moment for this country. we have our freedom in our hands. and it is up to us to make the most of it. the deal allowed trade to continue, tariff—free, but there were problems. a row would develop over fishing licences, causing a rift between the uk and france. problems soon emerged
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with the arrangements for northern ireland. there were supply issues in supermarkets and suggestions that both the eu and the uk could trigger a clause that would rip up the agreement. a solution still hadn't been found by the end of the year when it became liz truss�*s problem, after lord frost, who had been leading the negotiations for the uk quit the government. we have never disagreed in any way about brexit policy, right up to the last day we've been absolutely aligned on that and liz truss and chris heaton harris i'm sure are going to do a greatjob. i left the government because as i think is well—known, i couldn't support certain policies, most recently on the covid restrictions and plan b. dealing with covid dominated 202i. january had brought another full lockdown which lasted until march in england, with many restrictions in place untiljuly and even beyond then
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in scotland, wales and northern ireland. across the country a massive effort continued to get everyone over 50 vaccinated by the spring. meanwhile in cheshire... you have no authority here, jacqui weaver. will you please let the chairman... a tense virtual meeting of handforth parish council went, well, viral. you have no authority here, jacqui weaver. no authority at all. in february, borisjohnson got a hard time over soft furnishings. it emerged a tory donor had initially covered the costs of a pricey refurbishment of his flat in downing street before the prime minister himself paid. the independent advisor on ministers�* interests lord geidt investigated. he said borisjohnson had acted unwisely but he hadn't broken the ministerial code. the issue would return, though, late in the year. wallpaper—gate, as it became known, was among the first of a series of stories that snowballed over the course
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of 2021 to take in donations, lobbying, how political influence is acquired. the opposition soon had a name for it. sleaze. a former prime minister, david cameron, found himself at the centre of a row about lobbying after he whatsapped ministers on behalf of his new employer, greensill capital. this is a painful day. nothing i did was in breach of the rules but on the wider test of what is appropriate, as i've said previously, it would be better to use only the most formal means of contact, via a letter. scottish politics was transfixed by a bitter row between two snp first ministers, nicola sturgeon and her predecessor, alex salmond. mr salmond accused his former protege of breaking the ministerial code in how she handled allegations against him but she was cleared by the independent advisor. a new political force, the alba party... mr salmond set up a new party, but it failed to win a single seat in may's elections. while the uk stayed under covid restrictions, elections were held notjust in scotland but in wales and across many parts of england.
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this guy looks like... the tories sought victory in a by—election in the traditionally labour held seat of hartlepool. it's a mandate for us to continue to deliver, not just for the people of hartlepool, notjust the people of the north—east but across the whole of the country. i take full responsibility for the result and i will take full responsibility for fixing things. we have changed as a party but we haven't set out a strong enough case to the country. brighter news for the party in west yorkshire, where tracy brabin was elected mayor. two months later, kim leadbeater won her batley and spen seat previously held by her sister, jo cox. the conservatives won mayoral races in deeside and the west midlands but injune the lib dems inflicted a shock defeat in what had become known as the tories�*s blue wall, see what they did there, in the chesham and
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amersham by—election. this wasn't another lib dem by—election victory, it was our best ever and on the swing we achieved, dozens of conservative seats would fault of the liberal democrats in the next election. in scottish parliament elections the snp emerged as the big winners with what they saw as a fresh mandate for a new referendum. we won the election on a commitment for a referendum when we're the crisis. we won the election overwhelmingly and in any normal democracy, that would be respected. in wales, labour remained in charge, agreeing a co—operation deal with plaid cymru. a pleasure to have the opportunity to sign formerly the agreement between our two parties. as northern ireland celebrated its centenary year, arlene foster stepped down as the leader of the dup.
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did you face a motion of no confidence? are you still the leader? her successor edwin poots lasted just 21 days. then the mp sirjeffrey donaldson took over. in may, dominic cummings, who quit as a number 10 aide in late 2020, made an explosive return to the headlines. in a marathon session at a parliamentary committee looking into the pandemic, the prime minister's former advisor accused his old boss of a list of failures. he described it as a swine flu. did you say it wasn't? certainly but the view of various officials inside number 10 was that if we have the prime minister chairing cobra meetings and he just tells everyone it is swine flu, don't worry, it's only chris whitty going on tv with coronavirus... the govermnment rhetoric was putting a shield around care homes,
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it was complete nonsense. quite the opposite, we sent people with covid back to the care homes. did you hear him say, "let the bodies pile high in their thousands" or "it's only killing 80—year—olds"? i heard that in the prime minister's study. downing street denied that he had said let the bodies pile high and said that they tried to minimise a loss of life. injune, a chance to cool off. the prime minister hosted leaders of the g7 nations at a summit in cornwall. meeting the new us president in person for the first time. i felt it wasn't about me, it was about america. i felt a genuine sense of enthusiasm, that america was back at the table and fully engaged. back in westminster, a good old—fashioned tabloid scoop by the sun was about to bring the career of one of the government's most prominent cabinet ministers to a swift end. the health secretary matt hancock was pictured kissing his aide, gina coladangelo in his office, breaking social distancing rules.
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i understand the enormous sacrifices that everybody in this country has made, that you have made, and those of us who make these rules have got to stick by them and that's why i've got to resign. he was replaced by sajid javid the next day. five, four, three, two, one... by the end ofjuly, england had lifted all remaining covid restrictions and the vaccination programme had offered a jab to all adults in the uk. in scotland, northern ireland and wales, some measures stayed in place. is everybody happy? injuly, guess who was back in the spotlight, giving an extraordinary interview to laura kuenssberg. of course when this emerged, though, and the public realised that one of the most senior people in government had left lockdown at a time when people were unable to go and see sick relatives, there was enormous public rage. why didn't you just tell
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the truth at the time? everything i said in the rose garden was true. but it wasn't the whole truth, not near it. everything i said was true but i didn't go into all of the security concerns in the background, no. it was a very different story, mr cummings, a very different story. you and borisjohnson decided it was better to give the public who many of whom were absolutely furious with what you'd done, you decided together it was better to give the public story that was not the 100% truth, than to keep silent or even for you to resign. that would have made it go away. i think there's absolutely no doubt that the way we handled the whole thing was wrong on monday. while westminster was on its summer recess a rapidly developing situation abroad but the government to the test.
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the taliban advanced after the us and its allies decided to pull out. there was a scramble to flee. an operation began that would successfully evacuate more than 15,000 people out of afghanistan, 0peration pitting was the raf�*s largest airlift in more than 70 years. some people won't get back and we will have to do our best in third countries, to process those people. questions soon surfaced about why the foreign secretary had stayed on holiday after kabul fell. first of all, with hindsight i wouldn't have gone away at all. the idea that i was lounging on a beach or that i was paddle boarding in the ocean, these things are nonsense. the sea wasn't open because there was a red flag. so no—one was
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so no—one was paddle—boarding. prime _ so no—one was paddle—boarding. prime minister, have you let down afghanistan? for many the fact that 20 years in afghanistan had ended like this was a source of deep regret. when a former soldier spoke in a recall commons you could almost heara pin drop. like many veterans the last week has been one that has seen me struggle through anger and grief, and rage. the feeling of abandonment, notjust of a country, but the sacrifice that my friends made. i've been to funerals from cornwall to dunblane. i've watched good men go into the earth. taking with them a part of me and a part of all of us. mr speaker, this is what defeat looks like. it's when you no longer have the choice as to how to help. this doesn't need to be defeat. but at the moment, it damn well feels like it. applause as autumn approached, life
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was feeling a bit more normal. some of the special financial scheme to set up for the pandemic such as furlough and the £20 uplift universal credit came to an end. the government broke a promise in its manifesto and put up national insurance by 1.25%. some of the money would go to fund social care. in order to deal with the problems with the nhs, the backlogs, you also have to fix social care. we are taking the tough decisions that the country wants to see. we are putting £36 billion in. the plan for social care was the first attempt by a government in decades to tackle the issue of social care funding. it was criticised as being unfair on people in less well off areas. just the latest on the government reshuffle which is under way. the education secretary gavin williamson has lost his job. in mid—september, it was all
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change at the cabinet table. are you expecting promotion? the big winner was liz truss, now the foreign secretary. dominic raab was moved to justice, with the consolation prize of being made deputy prime minister. are you happy? have you been demoted? as politicians headed off to their conferences, drivers found themselves going, well, nowhere. fuel supply issues led to panic buying and lengthy queues at petrol stations. in brighton, labour gathered for its first in—person conference under its new leader. he was determined to show the party was changing, right here, right now. i've waited 17 months, 25 days and two hours to appear in front of you in this hall as leader of our great party. not everyone was happy, though. shouting slogans or changing
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lives, conference? do you stand by your remarks? the deputy leader caused controversy when she used the word "scum" to describe conservative ministers. she stood by it at the time but apologised unreservedly a month later. in manchester, borisjohnson used his conference speech to buoy up supporters. after decades of drift and dither, this reforming government, this can—do government, the government that got brexit done, that is getting the covid vaccine roll—out done, is going to get social care done. green party got new co—leaders at their conference. across the country, concern was growing about rising energy prices and the cost of living. and then... tonight, the conservative mp sir david amess has died after being stabbed during a constituency surgery in essex. forensic teams and firearms officers at the methodist church, where the local mp had been holding his fortnightly surgery.
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sir david amess's meeting with constituents had been from 10am until 1pm butjust after midday he was stabbed multiple times. he was so nice. to be part of this occasion, to show... how much he was thought of. such a tragedy for the town, it really is. westminster was in shock as it mourned one of its own. sir david was not then the only mp who died in office this year. dame cheryl gillan died after a long illness. james brokenshire also. he passed away after the return of his lung cancer. the end of the month saw the prime minister in rome for the g20. hearing no objections it is so decided. followed immediately
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by the long—anticipated cop26 climate in glasgow. after a major diplomatic effort by the uk, an agreement was reached but it didn't go as far as had been hoped. i'm deeply sorry. i also understand the deep disappointment, but i think as you have noted, it's also vital that we protect this package. applause. meanwhile in westminster, a political storm had been brewing. parliament's standards committee said a tory mp had egregiously broken lobbying rules and recommended a 30—day suspension. the mp 0wen paterson denied all wrongdoing. downing street told tory mps to vote to pause the punishment and try and change the disciplinary process. this is the famous straw that has broken the much suffering, long—suffering camel's back. if the public believe
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we are marking our own homework our reputation individually and collectively will be tarnished. the government was forced into a screeching u—turn. i regret that the amendment conflated an individual case with more general concerns, which was a mistake. more than that, said a former prime minister. the attempt by members of this house, aided and abetted by the government, under cover of reform of the process, effectively to clear his name, was misplaced, illjudged and just plain wrong. 0wen paterson quit the commons, triggering a by—election. more on that later. the damage was done, other mps' outside jobs came under the microscope. former attorney—general geoffrey cox was criticised for using special covid rules to vote from the british virgin islands where he was working as a barrister. he said he had checked it was within the rules and appropriate. later in the month boris
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johnson gave a speech in which he... forgive me. oh, yes, slightly baffled business leaders by talking about a cartoon pig. forgive me. hands up anyone who has been to peppa pig world. not enough! which led some people to wonder... is everything 0k? i think that people got - the vast majority of the points i wanted to make. i think it went over well. it was the month of the government cancelled the leeds to birmingham leg of hs2 and a tragedy in the channel put ministers under pressure for an issue it had failed to solve through 2021. record numbers of migrants crossed into the uk from france in small boats this year. more than 23,000 by november. on monday late that month at least 27 people drowned when their dinghy deflated off the french coast. what happened yesterday was a dreadful shock.
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it was not a surprise, but it is also a reminder of how vulnerable people are put in peril when in the hands of criminal gangs. a few days later priti patel had a new opposite number to keep the pressure on when yvette cooper was made shadow home secretary. sir keir starmer had a second go at reshuffling his shadow cabinet although it looked like he might not have involved his deputy. oh, yes, the reshuffle, how could i forget? look, i don't know the details of any reshuffle. i've been concentrating on thejob i'm doing. then a coronavirus mutation showed the pandemic was far from over. i need to speak to you this evening because i'm afraid we are now facing an emergency in our battle with the new variant, 0micron. and we must urgently reinforce our wall of vaccine protection to keep our friends and loved ones safe. earlier today, the uk's four chief medical officers raised
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the covid alert level to four, its second—highest level. a massive programme of booster jabs was rolled out and england was to move to plan b measures. including covid passes for some venues. when that was put to the commons around 100 tory mps rebelled. the ayes to the right, 329, the noes to the left, 126. all: ooh! in scotland, the first minister urged everyone to cut back on socialising. in the run—up to and in the aftermath of christmas, i'm asking, i am appealing to everyone to cut down as far as possible our contacts with people in other households. my key request to all of you today is, as far as you can, please minimise your indoor social interactions with other households at this time. large hogmanay celebrations
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were cancelled for a second year after she brought in new restrictions. wales too announced it would close nightclubs and reintroduce some restrictions from boxing day. as the festive season arrived in downing street the new virus strain wasn't the only unwanted gift. the downing street flat refurbishment made a return. the electoral commission fined the conservative party nearly £18,000 for failing to properly declare the initial donation. events from last christmas were about to cause an almighty hangover too with allegations of covid rule breaking parties and quizzes. the prime minister said no rules were broken. downing street said there was no party. then itv showed this. there was a downing street christmas party on friday? i i went home. a mock press conference where the prime minister's then official spokesperson,
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allegra stratton and other aides appeared tojoke about a party coincidently on the same date. this fictional party was a business meeting. it was not socially distanced. miss stratton swiftly resigned. my remarks seemed to make light of the rules, rules that people were doing everything to obey. that was never my intention. i will regret those remarks for the rest of my days and i offer my profound apologies to all of you at home. claims of more potentially rule breaking gatherings came out. i understand and share the anger of the country at seeing number 10 staff seeming to make light of lockdown measures. and i can understand how infuriating it must be to think that the people who have been setting the rules have not been following the rules, mr speaker. because i was also furious to see that clip. the prime minister, the government, spent the week telling the british public there was no party.
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all guidance was followed completely. millions of people now think the prime minister was taking them for fools and that they were lied to. then, voters got a say in 0wen paterson's north shropshire seat which had been tory for 200 years until... three, two, one! cheering the lib dems took the seat by nearly 6000 votes. from true blue buckinghamshire to shropshire, we've heard time and time again that people feel they are being taken for granted by borisjohnson and his government and last night the win in north shropshire sent a clear message that enough is enough. clearly the vote in north shropshire is a very disappointing result and i totally understand people's frustrations. i hear what the voters are saying in north shropshire. as 2021 drew to a close, boris johnson found himself having to prove to at
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least some in his party that he should keep hisjob. in a year in which he also got married and his wife carrie had had their second child together, a daughter. after the shock of 2020 this year did show a return to a bit more politics as normal. for the good and not so good. the prime minister saw his authority tested in ways it hadn't been before and of course the virus proved its ability to throw everything in the air again. which points towards a new year which is no more certain than this one. hello there. merry christmas to you. some of us will see some snow during this christmas period, mainly across the hills of the northern half of the uk. further south, it'll tend to be milder, so any precipitation will be rain. and we've got areas of low pressure pushing into the south west and they're weather fronts bringing
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outbreaks of rain. as these weather fronts slowly push north—eastwards into that stubborn area of colder air which is sitting to the north—east of the country, then this is where we're likely to see some of that rain turn to snow. so, we're starting christmas day morning off on a very cold, frosty note across scotland, the far north of england, but less cold, milder for northern ireland in towards wales and the south west. but here, we have more of the cloud, outbreaks of rain, which will be slowly spilling northwards and eastwards through the course of the day. quite a bit of cloud for most of england but the far north of england, scotland off that cold, frosty start, will be dry and sunny throughout the day. maybe just the odd wintry shower around, some patchy cloud, but it will be windy, particularly across the northern half of the country, as you can see here. these are the mean wind speeds. so, when you factor in the wind with that cold air, it really will feel chilly — colder than these temperatures suggest, 3—5 degrees in the north, seven to maybe 11 degrees across the south and south west. now, as we head through
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christmas day evening, it looks like the rain will start to push its way northwards and eastwards and overnight, as it bumps into that cold air, we could see a bit of snow for north wales on the hills first and then into northern england, central, southern scotland, mainly over the pennines, across the southern uplands and the higher ground of central scotland. quite a covering here, maybe even some down to lower levels for a time. you can see it's going to be another cold night here, less so further south and west. so, some places on boxing day starting off with that snowfall across the north pennines, into the southern uplands, perhaps into central scotland but through the day, any snowfall will become reserved to the hills of northern scotland as the milder air begins to push its way northwards. quite a lot of cloud generally across the country. we could see some brightness, a few showers pushing into northern ireland, wales and the south—west quadrant of england, where it'll be mild again but still chilly across the far north east. then, as we move out of boxing day to the run—up to new year's eve, we can see some really mild air starts to move in and right across the uk on a south—westerly wind, pushes all that cold air well away from the uk, so, it turns mild or even very mild for a time in places in the run—up to new year's eve.
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but with that, it will be unsettled, some areas seeing some spells of wet and windy weather.
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this is bbc news. i'm simon pusey, with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. millions of travellers face disruption over christmas, as the world—wide record surge in 0micron cases means cancelled flights and staff shortages. i'm worried about the variant, 0micron and all that. at the same time i'm just — let's get back to living our lives a little bit. a christmas midnight mass at the church of the nativity in bethlehem. and a message from the pope calling for more solidarity with the poor. the queen is expected to give a very personal christmas message this year — her first since the death of her husband prince philip. final preparations are under way for the launch of a space telescope that could transform our understanding of the universe.
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and, provided you've been good, father christmas is coming to a chimney near you.


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