Skip to main content

tv   BBC News  BBC News  January 5, 2022 10:00am-11:31am GMT

10:00 am
hello, welcome to bbc news — i'm victoria derbyshire and these are the latest headlines in the uk and around the world. borisjohnson is currently meeting his top team and they're expected not to impose any further covid restrictions in england — that's despite the current high levels of infection in the country. it comes as the health service is under increasing strain from covid — more trusts in england declare critical incidents — and 17 hospitals in greater manchester put some non urgent surgery on hold. the government's finalising plans to drop the requirement in england that people who test positive on a lateral flow should get a pcr to confirm it. the teams are looking at testing and testing regimes. as i say, we have introduced so many lateral flow tests now that people are... they are very accurate, the lateral flow tests. what do you think of that idea?
10:01 am
do let me know @vicderbyshire on instagram or twitter or email victoria@bbc.co.uk. scotland's first minister nicola sturgeon is due to address parliament later today as covid cases continue to rise. people in australia are angry after tennis star novak djokovic is allowed to enter the country without a confirmed covid vaccination. prime minister scott morrison says the player will be on the �*next plane home�* if he can't provide evidence of a medical exemption. president macron warns he intends to make life difficult for people in france who have not been vaccinated against covid—19. police in kazakhstan use tear gas and stun grenades to stop a wave of protests over rising fuel prices, with 200 people arrested and dozens injured. and a judge in new york is considering whether to dismiss a civil case accusing prince andrew of sexual assault. he's said he'll reveal his decision "pretty soon".
10:02 am
hello and welcome if you're watching in the uk or around the world. uk government ministers are meeting to consider changing the rules on covid tests in england — to ease staffing shortages by reducing self isolation periods. the prime minister will ask his cabinet to back his decision not to impose any further covid restrictions in england, despite soaring levels of infection. last night, boris johnson said he hopes the country could "ride out" the current wave, but accepted that part of the nhs would feel overwhelmed. it comes as a string of hospital trusts in england have declared critical incidents. in scotland, nicola sturgeon is expected to announce whether she will be cutting self—isolation time for those testing positive from ten days as the scottish parliament holds a special virtual session. the french president has caused controversy by using a slang term to annoy unvaccinated people in france into getting jabbed. and amid fury in australia,
10:03 am
prime minister — scott morrison — has said tennis star novak djokovic would be "on the next plane home" if reasons for him being exempted from having a covid vaccine were "insufficient". the first of our reports from jon donnison is about the pressures facing the nhs in the uk. derriford hospital in plymouth is one of a growing number to declare a critical incident because of omicron pressures on staffing levels, as well as the growing burden of those needing care. hospitals in blackpool, norfolk, wiltshire, morecambe bay and lincoln have also raised the alarm. in plymouth, they are warning the situation is increasingly complex. we have got patients who are coming in who are absolutely covid positive and they need to be in a designated area of the hospital. and those numbers are increasing. and then we've got patients who are in hospital, who tested negative on admission but then don't have symptoms, and then develop symptoms and then are testing positive.
10:04 am
and in manchester last night, 17 hospitals a pause on non urgent surgery citing the rising impact of covid—19 and staff absence levels of around 15%. those hospitals are under pressure notjust because of the number of patients coming in with covid, but also because unfortunately, many of our staff are now isolating because they themselves have covid as well. and it's those two pressures, the patients coming in and the reduction in our staffing, staff being available, that is having the impact at present. although pressure on intensive care might be less severe than in previous waves, the omicron variant is so transmissible, it's seen the numbers with covid in hospital in england alone double in under a fortnight. the prime minister isn't thinking of more restrictions at the moment, but he admits the next few weeks will be hard. there will be a difficult period for our wonderful nhs for the next few weeks because of omicron. i just think that we have
10:05 am
to get through it as best as we possibly can. we will give the nhs all the support that we can. but in the meantime, the thing we've got to do as responsible members of the public is follow the guidance, try to stop transmission as much as we can and get boosted. there is some evidence that cases in young adults might be flattening off, but the worry now is that older adults are becoming infected, adding even more to the strain in the nhs. that's why government advisers are warning that hospital admissions could be going up for quite some time. jon donnison, bbc news. our chief political correspondent adam fleming gave me this update. there are a few meetings in whitehall today, the cabinet are meeting,
10:06 am
the covid operations are meeting and there are discussions about various things but one of those discussions is about changing guidance when it comes to testing. at the moment the rules are if you have symptoms you go and get a pcr test and then isolate if it is positive. lots of people are doing lateral flow tests when they don't have symptoms. the guidance for that is if you get a little red line for a positive lateral flow test then you should get that backed up with a confirmatory pcr test and isolate if you are positive. it's the second part that will change. ministers will say you do not have to get a pcr test to confirm your initial lateral flow test. that would mean there would be less demand on pcr tests. it's a bit of a change to the status of lateral flows as you implied with your question, because they have always been seen as second class. this would kind of give them almost parity with pcr tests. but also it would mean that many fewer people go into the official testing system. because you know what it's
10:07 am
like when you get a pcr test, it's bar codes this, qr code that, text message this and you are kept quite an eye on, with the lateral flow test it is left up to the individual person to scan the qr code on the test and then upload it. the government would have a lot less oversight of what is actually going on by relying more largely on lateral flow tests. the health and social care minister gillian keegan was doing interviews this morning and would not be drawn on the change because it is still to be finalised but she touched on some of the changes to the testing programme and the increasing confidence in the lateral flow testing programme that means you could make a decision like this. as i say, i don't have any official news on that. but i know the teams are looking at testing and testing regimes. as i say, we have introduced so many lateral flow tests now that people... you know, and they are very accurate, the lateral flow tests, you know, they are really accurate if people are infectious, so i guess they are looking
10:08 am
at the regimes all the time in terms of what makes sense. but i don't have any, as i say, official news. but the teams will announce it once they have come to their conclusions. we understand that the prime minister is meeting his top team right now to talk about the fact that he doesn't want any more restrictions in england. the first thing he will do is recommend to the cabinet that plan b just carries on as it is until the end ofjanuary because strictly speaking there is a review point of that today. quite interesting the way the prime minister phrased it at his press conference yesterday when he talked about recommending to the cabinet, i think that is borisjohnson trying to show a more collegiate side after all the criticism he got from his colleagues last year. so there's that. i'm sure there will be a discussion about does the government need to go further, because case numbers are going up massively? the hospitalisations are going up quite a lot, and there are voices out there saying we need a more precautionary approach with more restrictions.
10:09 am
this afternoon the action will move to parliament because parliament is back after christmas recess and the prime minister will do a statement to mps updating them on all of this stuff so that's where we will get a lot more detail. i think lots of conservative backbenchers will be looking for clues about, is there a plan b+ being worked on in the background that could potentially spell more restrictions in the near future? i think they will also be looking for that end point of plan b, because it is meant to expire on 26th january. but if you listen to the prime minister, he talks about pressure on the nhs for several weeks or longer which to me suggests a timeline that goes beyond the end of january, which would create potentially some political problems for the conservative party. the labour leader in the uk sir keir starmer has tested positive for coronavirus and will not be taking part in prime minister's questions today. his deputy angela rayner will stand in for him at the question session — which is taking place at 3pm today. we'll have live coverage let's talk more about the potential change in england to drop the need for confirmatory pcr tests after you've had
10:10 am
a positive lateral flow. you will still have to isoalte! with me now our head of statistics, robert cuffe. so, lateral flows are so, lateralflows are being so, lateral flows are being seen as good as ecrs?— so, lateral flows are being seen as good as ecrs? they haven't changed but theirjob — good as ecrs? they haven't changed but theirjob has _ good as ecrs? they haven't changed but theirjob has become _ good as ecrs? they haven't changed but theirjob has become much - but theirjob has become much easier, if you test 1000 people at random, lateralflowsjust easier, if you test 1000 people at random, lateral flows just like last summer may give you a false positive out of that, roughly, but last summer when the rates of the virus were so much lower you were just 1000 people and maybe catch two people who had the virus, whereas now if you tested the same number you would catch about a0 people, so of all of the positive tests you had last summer you'd have three positives, one of them is false, you'd probably want to confirm back then, the pcr is adding a lot of value, whereas now you've got a1 positive and only one of them is false so really you have to ask yourself what is the extra value that the pcr gives you? pcrs are still a bit better, they enable you to do sequencing and they are more precise but not adding value at a
10:11 am
time when the virus is so prevalent and widespread.— and widespread. essentially, assuming — and widespread. essentially, assuming the _ and widespread. essentially, assuming the government i and widespread. essentially, - assuming the government assigns this off, what we're saying is if you have a positive lateral flow you are very likely to get a positive pcr so you carry on, as you have got covid, start isolating immediately and that should reduce the time you are self—isolating because you're not waiting for the confirmation from the pcr? ., ., , , ., , ., the pcr? you are supposed to start self-isolating _ the pcr? you are supposed to start self-isolating from _ the pcr? you are supposed to start self-isolating from the _ the pcr? you are supposed to start self-isolating from the moment - the pcr? you are supposed to start| self-isolating from the moment you self—isolating from the moment you test positive in any sense. whatever?— test positive in any sense. whatever? . , , ., whatever? yeah, but starting with the pcr is what _ whatever? yeah, but starting with the pcr is what people _ whatever? yeah, but starting with the pcr is what people are - whatever? yeah, but starting with the pcr is what people are trying i whatever? yeah, but starting with l the pcr is what people are trying to address, but also its the demand. if you look back at the end of december, 200,000 people tested positive in one day, a quarter of those tested positive first on a lateral flow, those tested positive first on a lateralflow, three those tested positive first on a lateral flow, three quarters on pcr, and if that keeps going up and up and if that keeps going up and up and up eventually we are going to stretch what we can do with pcr tests, so why wait to hear from the pcr services when you can get a
10:12 am
quick lateral flow, pcr services when you can get a quick lateralflow, get pcr services when you can get a quick lateral flow, get it done, assuming supplies are there. a that is an issue from _ assuming supplies are there. a that is an issue from some of our viewers who say there are none in my local pharmacy have nothing of the website, but that is a separate issue and not your area of expertise, i know, robert. can i read you some e—mails from viewers? fixed distant on twitter says "bargain basement testing, test numbers hidden, no follow—up tests, so where has the 37 billion gone? andy says, "how does this impact the stats on positive cases because they won't be included if we are looking at lateral flows? won't be included if we are looking at lateralflows? " won't be included if we are looking at lateral flows? "— at lateral flows? " they can be included because _ at lateral flows? " they can be included because as _ at lateral flows? " they can be included because as i - at lateral flows? " they can be included because as i said - at lateral flows? " they can be included because as i said a i at lateral flows? " they can be - included because as i said a couple of days ago a quarter of the tests of days ago a quarter of the tests of the people who tested positive recorded on the government's dashboard are people who first tested positive on lateral flows. they can be by most people don't. you get a positive on lateral flow, well, i haven't ever tested positive for covid, but does everybody recorded on the nhs website? i can't seak for recorded on the nhs website? i can't speak for everyone _ recorded on the nhs website? i can't speak for everyone but _ recorded on the nhs website? i can't speak for everyone but i _ recorded on the nhs website? i can't speak for everyone but i would - recorded on the nhs website? i té�*u'ii speak for everyone but i would have
10:13 am
the same suspicions as you that not everyone does. but i think it's very hard to read into the numbers we get from the daily dashboard anyway. over christmas people stopped testing, first day back at work they start testing again, so you don't know, is it because omicron is spreading like wildfire or because people are getting tested so i'd make a plug for a survey to swap people at random, you go out to the population at large, pick a couple of thousand people and swab them and see how many have the virus which gives the best indication of what is happening with omicron and i think we are getting more information on that from the office for national statistics at two o'clock today. can i 'ust ask, statistics at two o'clock today. can ijust ask, when most media reports over 200,000 cases yesterday, it is a record, how valuable is it to report that?— a record, how valuable is it to re-ort that? z: z: ., ':: z: 1: g; 3 a record, how valuable is it to re-ortthat? :: i: ., ':: i: :: ,': j~ ., report that? 200 and 1000, 328, not very valuable — report that? 200 and 1000, 328, not very valuable but _ report that? 200 and 1000, 328, not very valuable but 200,000 _ report that? 200 and 1000, 328, not very valuable but 200,000 is - report that? 200 and 1000, 328, not very valuable but 200,000 is a - report that? 200 and 1000, 328, not very valuable but 200,000 is a big i very valuable but 200,000 is a big number —— 200,328. you very valuable but 200,000 is a big number -- 200,328.— very valuable but 200,000 is a big number -- 200,328. you have to take into account — number -- 200,328. you have to take into account the _ number -- 200,328. you have to take into account the bank _ number -- 200,328. you have to take into account the bank holiday, - number -- 200,328. you have to take into account the bank holiday, the - into account the bank holiday, the lag and all the rest of it. we cannot use _
10:14 am
lag and all the rest of it. we cannot use it _ lag and all the rest of it. we cannot use it as _ lag and all the rest of it. we cannot use it as a _ lag and all the rest of it. - cannot use it as a precise indicator of how many people have the virus right now, but it's useful as a rough indicator as long as you are reporting around that things like the surveys that give you a more precise estimate of the growth rate, what is going on in hospitals because infections don't matter as much a sickness. so you've got to do the whole picture. i think the case numbers are useful as long as you take them with the pinch of salt but you are describing, be aware of the lags and the issues that we are picking up more now because of lateral flows than we were in january, february and march last year. january, february and march last ear. ., ~' january, february and march last ear. . ~ , ., january, february and march last ear. ., ~ , ., y january, february and march last ear. . ~ , . year. thank you very much, robert. robert cuffe — year. thank you very much, robert. robert cuffe is _ year. thank you very much, robert. robert cuffe is our _ year. thank you very much, robert. robert cuffe is our head _ year. thank you very much, robert. robert cuffe is our head of- robert cuffe is our head of statistics. the scottish parliament will hold a special virtual session later, in response to the rise in omicron cases. a cabinet meeting before the session is expected to discuss whether to reduce the period that people are required to isolate after contact with someone who has the virus. it's not thought that the first minister will announce any further restrictions, but she may give more details on financial help to businesses affected by the measures already in place. the welsh government is providing schools and colleges with £103 million in funding
10:15 am
as the new term gets under way. nearly half will be earmarked for capital repair and improvement work on school buildings, with a focus on health and safety measures, including improving ventilation. the bulk of the remainder will help schools deal with the impact of the pandemic. the french president has warned he intends to make life difficult for people in france who have not been vaccinated against covid—19. emmanuel macron said he wanted to tighten measures, including requiring people to show proof of vaccination to access public venues and transport. more than 90% of its adult population are double—jabbed. joining me now is our paris correspondent hugh schofield. what did president macron actually say? he what did president macron actually sa ? ., , what did president macron actually sa ? . , ., what did president macron actually sa ? ., , ., ., say? he was giving an interview to les parisiens. _ say? he was giving an interview to les parisiens, a _ say? he was giving an interview to les parisiens, a newspaper, - say? he was giving an interview to les parisiens, a newspaper, a - les parisiens, a newspaper, a wide—ranging interview very much anchored on his likely presidential bid again in the elections coming up and was asked about covid, and a
10:16 am
nurse was on the panel had asked him to react to the fact there were more and more people non—vaccinated who were clogging up beds in intensive care units and as a result, she said, cancer patients, for example, were having operations put off and he said in reply, "well, what i can't do is force people to get vaccinated. we will not introduce a law that makes it a legal requirement. but what we can do is make life as difficult as possible for the non—vaccinated." and he assumes this policy very clearly, he said what we can do is make life difficult by making sure they can't go to the bar, they can't go to the cafe, they can't go to the restaurant, they can't go on trains because they need the certificate which is going through parliament now, this vaccination certificate, to do those things and he used the word emmerder, which while not being a rare word or particularly abusive word, still has a slightly kind of
10:17 am
rude overtone, "make like difficult", or merde is a word people may know. we are in a pre—election period and the opposition havejumped on this pre—election period and the opposition have jumped on this to make sure they say to look at this president who is divisive, claims to be speaking for all of the french, but here he is casting this cloak of opprobrium on the 5 million people, not an insubstantial minority, they don't want to get vaccinated. this is terrible, he is an awful president. but the president knew perfectly well what he was doing, this was a calculated manoeuvre and as i say it has to be seen through the prism of the upcoming elections. just tell us what this vaccination certificate plan going through parliament would mean in practical terms if it goes through. it parliament would mean in practical terms if it goes through.— terms if it goes through. it would be a tightening — terms if it goes through. it would be a tightening up _ terms if it goes through. it would be a tightening up of _ terms if it goes through. it would be a tightening up of the - terms if it goes through. it would be a tightening up of the existing certificate or document which people are required to have. right now there is something called a health pass which we have reported on
10:18 am
extensively which requires people to produce something on their phones normally, and that is in order to get access to bars, cinemas etc. there are two options, either you can be vaccinated or you could show you had a recent negative test in the last 2a hours and that would do the last 2a hours and that would do the trick as well, you would be able to get your drink then. what he's doing now with the bill going through parliament is removing the second option so the recent negative test will not be there any more. that was the weight for which people who did not want to get vaccinated could lead normal lives and go on trains and so on and that will be foreclosed. —— that was the way. it will be purely a vaccination certificate, you have to be vaccinated to do a lot of basic things, that while supported by a majority in the country is viscerally opposed by a minority. and it is certainly going to radicalise opinion in the run—up to the election. he's quite happy accept that because he's made his calculation that 90% of the population is vaccinated and most of them are annoyed when they see the number of non—vaccinated clogging up
10:19 am
health care and so on. he reckons it will work to his advantage. but in the short term the result is going to be a very much more radicalised and loud and angry public debate over this. itruiiiiii and loud and angry public debate over this. ~ ., over this. will it get through parliament? _ over this. will it get through parliament? will— over this. will it get through parliament? will it - over this. will it get through parliament? will it pass? i over this. will it get through i parliament? will it pass? yes, it will because _ parliament? will it pass? yes, it will because he _ parliament? will it pass? yes, it will because he has _ parliament? will it pass? yes, it will because he has a _ parliament? will it pass? yes, it will because he has a clear i parliament? will it pass? yes, it i will because he has a clear majority with his party behind him. what he's done very cleverly, really, it's put the opposition but at least the mainstream opposition, the conservatives, in an embarrassing position because although they have come back shrilly coming out against president macron and what he's saying but it makes it look like they are siding with the anti—vaxxers but they are not, they actually support this bill broadly, so his expose their weaknesses rather cleverly and his view is that this is all going to be in his favour ultimately.- this is all going to be in his favour ultimately. thank you very much, favour ultimately. thank you very much. hugh _ favour ultimately. thank you very much, hugh schofield. _ ajudge in new york is still considering whether to dismiss a civil case accusing prince andrew of sexual assault. he's said he'll reveal his decision "pretty soon", after hearing legal
10:20 am
arguments from both sides yesterday. the prince's lawyers say the case should be thrown out because his accuser, virginia giuffre, accepted damages in 2009 from the paedophile, jeffrey epstein, in return for dropping her claims against him and any other potential defendant. prince andrew has consistently denied her allegations, as our royal correspondent jonny dymond reports. she says she was sexually assaulted by prince andrew three times. he denies every allegation and says he can't remember meeting her. his lawyers argued the whole case should be dismissed. the civil case rests partly on this meeting in london, a night when virginia giuffre, here aged 17, says she was forced to have sex with prince andrew. when he spoke to the bbc in 2019, he denied the allegations again and again. you can say categorically that you don't recall meeting virginia roberts, dining with her, dancing with her at tramp or going on to have sex
10:21 am
with her in a bedroom in a house in belgravia? yes, i can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened. do you recall any kind of sexual contact with virginia roberts, then or at any other time? none, none whatsoever. in new york, the lawyers battled in court for the first time. at the centre of their arguments, a deal struck between andrew's accuser and his formerfriend, jeffrey epstein. epstein paid virginia giuffre $500,000. their deal released any other person who could have been included as a potential defendant from further legal challenge by virginia giuffre. prince andrew's lawyers needed to persuade the judge that the 2009 deal covered the prince. it is unquestionable, the court heard, that prince andrew could have been sued in the 2009
10:22 am
florida action but was not. he was a potential defendant. the prince's lawyers demanded details of the allegations against their client, but they were slapped down by thejudge. "that's not a dog that's going to hunt here," he said. finally questions were raised as to whether the prince could even use the 2009 deal. he is a third party, the court heard. the judge said, "the only people who could enforce it werejeffrey epstein and virginia giuffre". thejudge was quite aggressive in his questioning of prince andrew's attorneys as they raised technical argument after technical argument, trying to get virginia's case dismissed. the judge did not seem to be having any of it. even if this case is dismissed, prince andrew will, say veteran royal watchers, struggle to return to his previous public life.
10:23 am
when it comes to the monarchy, the monarchy is obviously an institution that is big enough to rise above what has happened. but when it comes to prince andrew, one has to say that one can see no role in royal life for him in the immediate future or the intermediate feature. just getting this far has damaged prince andrew, and if the case is not dismissed, it will hang over thisjubilee year. the queen's second son threatened with having to testify in a new york court. now they wait. the judge in new york says a decision will come pretty soon. jonny dymond, bbc news. mark stephens, a lawyer with expertise in defamation and reputation management. we spoke before the hearing yesterday. now you have heard what was said and what would you draw from it? i
10:24 am
was said and what would you draw from it? ., ., was said and what would you draw from it? ~ ., , was said and what would you draw from it? ~ . , , , from it? i think that they sum up from it? i think that they sum up from jonny _ from it? i think that they sum up from jonny dymond _ from it? i think that they sum up from jonny dymond was - from it? i think that they sum up l from jonny dymond was absolutely right. i think andrew is going to lose this first round. i think not necessarily because his legal case isn't a good one, i said yesterday i think he had a 60—a0 chance of winning this. perhaps on appeal. i think this will have to go to appeal, this was not a well argued case. this is a case about the interpretation of an agreement, and finally passing out the words i'm going to their meaning. and i think it's unfortunate that that didn't happen yesterday. i think the judge saw how poorly the argument was laid out, saying his lawyer wasn't his best advocate and i think we are now in a position where it is a 60% plus chance that virginia roberts now wins this case at first instance. but of course whoever loses it is going to go to appeal.— going to go to appeal. yes. the “udue going to go to appeal. yes. the judge seemed _ going to go to appeal. yes. the judge seemed to _ going to go to appeal. yes. the judge seemed to think - going to go to appeal. yes. the judge seemed to think that i going to go to appeal. yes. the judge seemed to think that the | judge seemed to think that the
10:25 am
wording of the document from 2009 in the end becausejeffrey epstein is dead,it the end becausejeffrey epstein is dead, it is down to virginia giuffre to decide essentially who benefits from this settlement or doesn't. i think that was what the judge was going for. there are abilities in the law in this country and in florida which is the governing law of this, where third parties can enforce agreements of this kind. but in new york the law is slightly different, so it may mean that there needs to be an expert on floridian law to come in at the appellant level. i was slightly surprised there was no real substance of argument about what the law was in florida at that time. i think one has to go back to the beginning of this because one of the key issues here that has been kind of overlooked is the fact that this
10:26 am
agreement in 2009 came at a time after the statute of limitations for civil claims, not criminal matters, but civil claims, had expired againstjeffrey epstein and indeed everybody else, and so she uppishly got $500,000 at that time effectively buying off the potential for those claims, the agreement i think it's pretty clear that that is the intention. of course the new york legislature post weinstein restarted for a window of one year the rightful historical sex abuse claims to be made and virginia giuffre signed in that period. so as a consequence she has uppishly got a valid claim and the question here is can she show that it was compromised, orwas can she show that it was compromised, or was not compromised, because andrew could not have been a person who was a potential defendant in that, we know andrew was referenced in the public proceedings
10:27 am
and we believe he was named in the actual proceedings which are still under seal, and so as a consequence it is difficult to see how he was not in contemplation. but i think the public distaste for this case, including the judicial case for which dominic the way this case is being argued, essentially avoiding the points, by taking these technical points, reasonable legal technical points, reasonable legal technical points, reasonable legal technical points but many people think the worse of prince andrew for taking them, i think that has laden this case with quite a lot of opinions. you just have to look at the media and the way in which this is being reported stop nobody seems to be that interested in what the law actually is. they are much more concerned in seeing prince andrew give a full account of himself in trial. , ., ., ., , trial. he denies the allegations vir: inia trial. he denies the allegations virginia giuffre _ trial. he denies the allegations virginia giuffre has _ trial. he denies the allegations virginia giuffre has made. i trial. he denies the allegations i virginia giuffre has made. yesterday we talked about the fact that another man alan dershowitz had used
10:28 am
this same document to protect him, and that worked in his case, virginia giuffre accused him of sexual abuse and he denies those allegations. why isn't it a formality for prince andrew's lawyers to use the document in the same way as alan dershowitz did? i think it is a good arguable case. i don't think that that arguable case was put forward yesterday by andrew's advocate in the way that alan dershowitz did, and i think it's worth remembering she made allegations against alan dershowitz. he called her a liar and said sue me for libel if i'm not telling the truth. so she sued him for libel but after he took her deposition she settled not only the libel case but also the claim she had made of sexual assault against him. and essentially alan dershowitz was not found to have committed any wrong. and so i think the advice that alan
10:29 am
dershowitz has been giving is if you are innocent, if you did not do anything, then you should go to court and depose her. but of course that's not the strategy which the lawyers for prince andrew have taken. ~ ., ., , ., lawyers for prince andrew have taken. ., ., , ., ., lawyers for prince andrew have taken. . . . ., taken. what does that mean? you should no taken. what does that mean? you should go to _ taken. what does that mean? you should go to court _ taken. what does that mean? you should go to court and _ taken. what does that mean? you should go to court and depose i taken. what does that mean? you | should go to court and depose her. what does that mean in layman's terms? in what does that mean in layman's terms? �* .., what does that mean in layman's terms? �* , ,, , terms? in america the process is you take the evidence _ terms? in america the process is you take the evidence in _ terms? in america the process is you take the evidence in advance - terms? in america the process is you take the evidence in advance of i terms? in america the process is you take the evidence in advance of the l take the evidence in advance of the trial, so you have a video deposition where witnesses come and answer questions from the other side under oath and say the next stage in this particular case, after discovery, would be for prince andrew and indeed other witnesses including virginia giuffre to come along and give evidence and subject themselves to cross—examination, and then those testimonies stand to be examined and picked over at the trial, which of course in america would be in front of a judge and jury. would be in front of a “udge and 'u . ., ., would be in front of a “udge and
10:30 am
the president of kazakhstan has dismissed the country's government and appointed an acting pm in the wake of nationwide protests over surging fuel costs. a two—week state of emergency has been declared in the country's biggest city — and police used tear gas to contain crowds after vehicles were set on fire. the emergency measures will reportedly include an overnight curfew and a ban on mass gatherings. dissent and protests are rare in kazakhstan, which declared independence in 1991 amid the collapse of the soviet union. sylvia lennan—spence reports. this is not a sight you often see on the streets of almaty. thousands of protesters voicing their anger at price rises in the centre of kazakhstan's financial capital. in a country where most public demonstrations are illegal, protesters don't normally storm the mayor's office, but that's exactly what these people are doing.
10:31 am
it didn't take the authorities long to react. police moved in and moved the protesters out of the main square with tear gas and grenades. the protests started in provinces. here in mangystau demonstrators took to the streets after the authorities lifted price caps on vehicle fuel, causing prices to surge. since then there have been big demonstrations in several cities and towns. internet services are down in the country. the president went on television with this warning. translation: those calls to attack the government and military - buildings are completely illegal. this is a crime that could be followed by punishment. the government will not fall. but we want mutual trust and dialogue rather than conflict. but mutual trust seems a long way off here. although the president has now ordered the government to regulate the price of fuel and other important goods stop increases
10:32 am
increases in fuel costs are likely to affect the price of food, which has already seen steep increases since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. sylvia lennan—spence, bbc news. the headlines on bbc news. borisjohnson is currently meeting his top team and they're expected not to impose any further covid restrictions in england — that's despite the current high levels of infection in the country. the health service is under increasing strain from coronavirus — more trusts in england declare critical incidents — and 17 hospitals in greater manchester put some non urgent surgery on hold. the government's finalising plans to drop the requirement in england that people who test positive on a lateral flow test should get a pcr to confirm it. scotland's first minister nicola sturgeon is due to address parliament later today as covid cases continue to rise. the australian prime minister scott morrison has warned tennis star novak djokovic will be "on the next plane home" without sufficient evidence to support his covid vaccination exemption to play at
10:33 am
the australian open. president macron warns he intends to make life difficult for people in france who have not been vaccinated against covid—19. police in kazakhstan use tear gas and stun grenades to stop a wave of protests over rising fuel prices, with 200 people arrested and dozens injured. there's been anger in australia at the decision to allow the world's top men's tennis player, novak djokovic, to play in the australian open. players have to be fully vaccinated or receive a medical exemption, which the player has been granted. it's a decision that's been widely criticised by tennis fans, commentators and politicians. the australian tennis authorities say he was not given special treatment but prime minister, scott morrison, said if the reason for the exemption was not sufficient, djokovic would be on the next plane home. my view is that any individual
10:34 am
seeking to enter australia must comply with our border requirements. now, novak djokovic, when he arrives in australia — i'm not quite sure when he's going to turn up, but i don't think it's too far away — he has to, because if he is not vaccinated, he must provide acceptable proof that he cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, to be able to access the same travel arrangements as fully vaccinated travellers. so we await his presentation and what evidence he provides to support that. if that evidence is insufficient, and he won't be treated any different to anyone else and he will be on the next plane home. here's what the british doubles playerjamie murray had to say at a press conference earlier. i think if it was me that wasn't vaccinated i wouldn't be getting an exemption. and that's, you know, but well done to him for getting cleared to come to australia and compete.
10:35 am
here's what some of the melbourne public had to say about it all. i think it's a disgrace. we've all done the right thing and we've all gone out and got ourjabs and our boosters, and we have someone that's come from overseas, and all of a sudden he's been exempt and can play, and i think it's an absolute disgrace and i won't be watching it. i guess he might even get booed when he gets up onto the court. he shouldn't be allowed to come. it's his choice not to be l vaccinated, which is fine, and i think the government here has made the choice that _ you should be vaccinated. my first instinct was that it's not fair but i did read that it was a double—blind sort of assessment so who knows? on the basis it seems unfair. joining me now from melbourne is matt walsh, an assistant editor at espn australia. hello. should he be allowed in? well, ultimately that's up to the authorities and they've made the decision that he is to be allowed in. as we heard from some citizens
10:36 am
of melbourne, it hasn't gone down well. ~ , ., , of melbourne, it hasn't gone down well. ~ , . , , of melbourne, it hasn't gone down well. . , . , , , well. why has he been given this exemption? _ well. why has he been given this exemption? we _ well. why has he been given this exemption? we already - well. why has he been given this exemption? we already know i well. why has he been given this exemption? we already know he j well. why has he been given this i exemption? we already know he has voiced scepticism about vaccinations. what is his medical reason? we vaccinations. what is his medical reason? ~ ., �* ~ ., vaccinations. what is his medical reason? ., �* ~ ., ., vaccinations. what is his medical reason? ~ ., ., , , reason? we don't know for sure but the victorian _ reason? we don't know for sure but the victorian state _ reason? we don't know for sure but the victorian state government i reason? we don't know for sure but the victorian state government and | the victorian state government and tennis australia today have urged him to come clean and explain what the exemption might be for, despite the exemption might be for, despite the fact is under no obligation to do so. we don't know, it could be that he's had covid recently, that would satisfy the australian technical advisory group on immunisation. but ultimately, his medical information is up to him to be kept secret and if he doesn't want to share it, he doesn't have too but he seems to have satisfied the criteria. but as we heard, if you can't prove it when he gets here which is quite shortly, he may be on the flight home. i which is quite shortly, he may be on the flight home.— the flight home. i don't know an hinu the flight home. i don't know anything about _ the flight home. i don't know anything about the _ the flight home. i don't know| anything about the australian the flight home. i don't know- anything about the australian tennis authorities but can you imagine a scenario where they might grant
10:37 am
someone an exemption for vaccination to play in the australian open when there wasn't really badly at medical reasons? —— really valid medical reasons? —— really valid medical reasons? i reasons? -- really valid medical reasons? ., ., reasons? -- really valid medical reasons? ~ ., , reasons? -- really valid medical reasons? ~ . , ., reasons? i think that is what the prime minister _ reasons? i think that is what the prime minister is _ reasons? i think that is what the prime minister is concerned i reasons? i think that is what the prime minister is concerned by. | reasons? i think that is what the i prime minister is concerned by. we know that a handful of exceptions have been handed to players, coaches and support staff but many have been knocked back as well. three dozen applied and i think only a handful, maybe five or six, have been approved. the process might be more rigorous going forward but we don't know what's going to happen until he deals with border force, which is run by the commonwealth government. we don't know until we hear back from them. ii we don't know until we hear back from them-— from them. if he has to prove himself to — from them. if he has to prove himself to the _ from them. if he has to prove himself to the border - from them. if he has to prove himself to the border force, | from them. if he has to prove i himself to the border force, then the other tennis players who have been given exemptions would have to as well? , ., ., , , as well? they would have, yes, upon their arrival — as well? they would have, yes, upon their arrival they _ as well? they would have, yes, upon their arrival they probably _ as well? they would have, yes, upon their arrival they probably have i as well? they would have, yes, upon their arrival they probably have but i their arrival they probably have but they are under no obligation to share the information with the
10:38 am
public. do share the information with the ublic. ,., ,, share the information with the ublic. ,., , ., ~' share the information with the ublic. ~ ~ , ., ., public. do you think the australian ublic public. do you think the australian -ublic will public. do you think the australian public will boo _ public. do you think the australian public will boo him _ public. do you think the australian public will boo him at _ public. do you think the australian public will boo him at the - public. do you think the australian public will boo him at the open? i | public will boo him at the open? i think he will get a really hostile reception. he is a nine time winner, he is popular in the sense that he's a great player and i think people respect what he does on the tennis court. australians in general actually quite like the underdog and the fact he's won the event nine times, he might see the crowds might start supporting other players who might play against him, may be possibly to see someone else win but also because of his stance on vaccines and all of that going forward. , ., , ._ vaccines and all of that going forward. , ., , ., ., vaccines and all of that going forward. , . , ., forward. he is a player who can feed off negative — forward. he is a player who can feed off negative energy _ forward. he is a player who can feed off negative energy sometimes, i forward. he is a player who can feed off negative energy sometimes, it i off negative energy sometimes, it actually boosts him.— off negative energy sometimes, it actually boosts him. absolutely. if it's actually boosts him. absolutely. if its negative. _ actually boosts him. absolutely. if it's negative, we've _ actually boosts him. absolutely. if it's negative, we've seen - actually boosts him. absolutely. if it's negative, we've seen in i actually boosts him. absolutely. if it's negative, we've seen in the i it's negative, we've seen in the past he feeds off it and when he gets break points with the crowd urging the opposition player on, he roars and beats his chest and he
10:39 am
loves that sort of stuff. it's not going to go down well. we've already had former tennis players, one has come out and described the exemption as a spit in the face to australians. melbourne has injured one of the harshest lockdown is the world has seen in terms of major cities. i expect his reception to be very hostile. he does have crowd support from local serbian immigrants so he will have some support but it is wearing thin with a lot of australians now. what support but it is wearing thin with a lot of australians now. what did the spectators _ a lot of australians now. what did the spectators have _ a lot of australians now. what did the spectators have to _ a lot of australians now. what did the spectators have to prove i a lot of australians now. what did the spectators have to prove in i the spectators have to prove in order to go and watch the matches at the open? order to go and watch the matches at the 0 en? , ., order to go and watch the matches at the gen? , ., ., , , the open? they have to be fully vaccinated _ the open? they have to be fully vaccinated in _ the open? they have to be fully vaccinated in order _ the open? they have to be fully vaccinated in order to _ the open? they have to be fully vaccinated in order to attend i the open? they have to be fully| vaccinated in order to attend the tournament. if you want to be in the stands, you have to be at least double—jabbed in victoria. stands, you have to be at least double-jabbed in victoria. double-“abbed in victoria. thank ou. this year will mark the a0th anniversary
10:40 am
of the falklands conflict — which claimed the lives of 255 british and 6a9 argentinian troops. our defence correspondentjonathan beale has been looking back at the events of 1982 — and speaking with some of the veterans who fought in the conflict. it was a war on the other side of the world. on april the 2nd,1982, argentine forces invaded the falkland islands and claimed it as their own. the task force, with all its power, is ready. britain has gathered its might, it must set its course. accompanied by the late brian hanrahan for the bbc, a task force of more than 100 ships had set sail within days to make the 8,000 milejourney. their task — to liberate the islands. i thought we had better get ready and take it seriously, but i'm not quite sure that i absolutely believed we would do it. but as they sailed south, resolve hardened. first with the controversial sinking of the argentine cruiser
10:41 am
the general belgrano with the loss of 323 lives. we didn't cheer when she was sunk, because we were in a ship, as well. we knew there were argentine submarines. we could have ended up in the same boat, or the same water. so we suddenly realised that it was going to be a proper hot war. notjust a hot war, it would be the largest air and sea battle involving british forces since the second world war. 100 aircraft and more than 20 ships would either be destroyed or damaged. julian thompson was the man charged with the initial british landings at san carlos on the 21st of may. luckily it was thick fog. so the argentine air force never found us. we knew they were trying to find us. we could hear them zooming around and trying to find us. they might have created a bit of mayhem had they have done so. that was the bit i was really worried about. once we had ourfeet
10:42 am
on the ground, i knew we were on our way to winning. so great was the scale of victory that, four days after the surrender, nobody has had time to tidy up. goose green was the first time british paratroopers came face—to—face with the enemy. the british lost 18 men, among them friends of paul bishop, who was just 21. after we took casualties and friends had been killed, my feelings was hate towards them. we wanted to take out as many as we could. we wanted to remove them from the islands. later, paul witnessed this — the argentine attacks at bluff cove, where the british lost more than 50 men. he tried to help the dozens injured ashore, but the argentines weren't the only enemy to contend with. winter was coming. a lot of the guys, we just cuddled up together to keep warm at night, and when you woke up,
10:43 am
you would do running on the spot or sit ups or press ups to try and get warm and fall back asleep for ten minutes again, wake up freezing cold. so, that's how difficult it was. we're now between the two gun lines and there's a right old artillery duel going on between them. the battle on the ground tookjust over a month. short, but victory would be bittersweet for robert lawrence, a young lieutenant in the scots guards who fought in one of the last battles at tumbledown. it became gutter fighting. ammunition, you know, re—supplies aren't going to happen in the middle of a battle, so once you are using up your ammunition, you start using whatever you can lay your hands on, including enemy weapons, and your bayonet. towards the end of the battle, robert was shot in the head by a sniper. the bullet had hit me in the back of the head and came out up here, just in my hairline above my right
10:44 am
eye, removing four by three inches of skull and damaging the brain quite severely. on the 1ath ofjune, the argentines surrendered. 6a9 of them lost their lives. the british had lost 255 men. so what will the a0th anniversary mean for these three veterans? i have great pride in what i've done. and i've always acknowledged that the injury i have is easier to live with emotionally because i did it in a sort of glorious event than i fell out of a hotel window or, you know, fell off a moped. i personally don't expect anything from the country, from the government. we just volunteered to do it and we did it. it would be nice to be remembered. i visit the san carlos cemetery and usually shed a tear there. | and look out over that -
10:45 am
peaceful water and remember what it was like with guns firing and ships being hit _ and aeroplanes bombing. the contrast is really quite remarkable. i yeah. you still shed a tear about it? yeah, one does, yeah. a0 years on from a war on the other side of the world — but they are still remembered. jonathan beale, bbc news. the headlines on bbc news. borisjohnson is currently meeting his top team and they're expected not to impose any further covid restrictions in england — that's despite the current high levels of infection in the country. the health service is under increasing strain from coronavirus — more trusts in england declare critical incidents — and 17 hospitals in greater manchester put some non urgent surgery on hold. the australian prime minister scott morrison has warned tennis star novak djokovic will be "on the next plane home" without sufficient evidence to support his covid vaccination exemption to play at the australian open.
10:46 am
the airline industry has urged the uk government to remove all covid travel restrictions when a review of the emergency rules takes place today. the trade body, airlines uk, argues that continuing with tests for any longer would be financially disastrous. the department for transport says the temporary measures were introduced to prevent additional omicron cases from entering the uk. tim hawkins is from the manchester airports group. thanks for talking to us. tell us exactly what you and your colleagues want. ~ �* ., ., , ., exactly what you and your colleagues want. �* ., ., want. we've done a bit of research and submitted _ want. we've done a bit of research and submitted it _ want. we've done a bit of research and submitted it to _ want. we've done a bit of research and submitted it to government i want. we've done a bit of research and submitted it to government as part of this review, which demonstrates that we are now past the point where international travel testing is playing a useful role in preventing or limiting the spread of omicron in the uk. and that the domestic transmission and the domestic transmission and the domestic spread is now the dominant
10:47 am
factor in that and that given international travel testing isn't playing a useful role but is having a negative impact on passengers and on the industry, we are asking government to look carefully at removing those tests and to communicate that and confirm it as soon as possible. pare communicate that and confirm it as soon as possible.— communicate that and confirm it as soon as possible. are you saying its not havin: soon as possible. are you saying its not having an _ soon as possible. are you saying its not having an effective _ soon as possible. are you saying its not having an effective role - soon as possible. are you saying its not having an effective role any i not having an effective role any more? ~ �* .,. not having an effective role any more? ~ �* .. ,., more? we've reached the point where there are thought _ more? we've reached the point where there are thought to _ more? we've reached the point where there are thought to be _ more? we've reached the point where there are thought to be over- more? we've reached the point where there are thought to be over 2 - there are thought to be over 2 million cases in the uk, one in people has omicron and that is driving domestic transmission. it's that factor that will determine the peak of cases in the uk and also hospitalisations. it's not people are writing internationally. people travelling internationally are no different from people travelling through the uk. so, the testing isn't having a useful impact, with or without testing the situation would be the same and we are asking government to take this further
10:48 am
step. the health secretary confirmed these are temporary measures and would be removed as soon as they stopped having a positive impact on the spread. we've reached that point already. the spread. we've reached that point alread . ., ., , ., already. you want people coming into the uk, international— already. you want people coming into the uk, internationaltravellers, i the uk, international travellers, not to have to do the predeparture test before you get on the plane, is that what you're saying? yes. test before you get on the plane, is that what you're saying?— that what you're saying? yes. we should have _ that what you're saying? yes. we should have controls _ that what you're saying? yes. we should have controls and - should have controls and restrictions —— we shouldn't have restrictions —— we shouldn't have restrictions in place where they have no benefit. we think that's the right approach. what we've done to date and provided to government is the evidence that shows we are at that point where international travel testing doesn't have a benefit in managing the spread of omicron in the uk. we think that the government should take those tests away. i government should take those tests awa , , , ., away. i suppose it might mean somebody _ away. i suppose it might mean somebody who _ away. i suppose it might mean somebody who is _ away. i suppose it might mean somebody who is infectious i away. i suppose it might mean i somebody who is infectious gets on a plane and every plane becomes a super spreader event.—
10:49 am
plane and every plane becomes a super spreader event. well, on every train between — super spreader event. well, on every train between london _ super spreader event. well, on every train between london and _ super spreader event. well, on every | train between london and manchester or between london and edinburgh or in the supermarket, omicron is prevalent in the uk in large numbers, as the prime minister talked about last night. on that basis, international travel is being singled out for additional uncertainty and that anxiety is driving a big reduction in international travel, it's restricting people's freedoms of movement and on the basis it has no benefit we think it's the right step at the right time for government to take. . .. at the right time for government to take. . ,, i. at the right time for government to take. . ~' ,, , at the right time for government to take. . ,, i. , . now, what advancements can we expect from the scientific community in 2022? well, mega rockets will be launched in space, there will be another climate summit — cop27 — in egypt, the large hadron collider will be restarted in cern, antarctica will be further explored and the most advanced pictures of the universe will be taken. rebecca morelle, our science editor, has more. it's a big year for space, and we should see the launch of two
10:50 am
mega rockets as america prepares to take astronauts back to the moon and beyond. there's starship from spacex. at 120 metres high, it's the tallest rocket ever built, and in 2022 it will attempt to fly around the earth. then there's nasa's ultra powerful space launch system, which will blast off and send a crew capsule called orion into orbit. no people will be on board for either of these test flights, but if they're a success, astronauts could soon be taking a ride. back on earth and it will be another critical year for climate change. at november's climate summit in glasgow a deal was reached to try and limit global warming. but it was clear that plans to cut emissions didn't go far enough, so in 2022 the world will meet again, this time in egypt. nations have been asked to return with more ambitious pledges. the question is, will this be enough to stop the worst impacts of climate change? and — remember the
10:51 am
large hadron collider? it's the world's most powerful particle accelerator and its discoveries of the higgs boson and dozens of other subatomic particles have changed our understanding of physics. but for the last three years, it's not been operating. the shutdown was planned to undertake vital repairs and upgrade work, but the pandemic meant it's taken longer than expected. soon, the collider will be switched on again to start the next phase of experiments. and the uk's new polar research ship has arrived in antarctica, and soon it will be undergoing trials to see how it copes with the thick ice there. the vessel, which was almost called boaty mcboatface after a public vote, is now named after the british naturalist sir david attenborough. it's the most advanced polar vessel ever to set sail, and scientists will use it to study every aspect of this remote and rapidly changing ecosystem.
10:52 am
and 2022 should be a dazzling year for the james webb space telescope — the most ambitious astronomy mission ever attempted. after its recent launch, the huge eye in the sky has been slowly unfurling in space to open up its giant sun shield and 6.5 metre wide mirror. by the summer it should be ready to send back its first images — giving us our best—ever view of the universe. rebecca morelle, bbc news. a british army officer has spoken of her delight at becoming the first woman of colour to complete a solo expedition to the south pole. captain preet chandi trekked 700 miles in a0 days, facing temperatures of —a5 degrees celsius. the 32—year—old said she set herself the challenge because she wanted to inspire others to "push boundaries". thailand's historic hua lamphong central train station is scaling back most of its operations after more than 100 years of service.
10:53 am
the move to a newly—built station in northern bangkok marks the end of an era of an iconic terminal that has served as a hub for backpackers for decades. bangkok—based author of lonely planet thailand guidebook joe cummings reminisces how significant the station has been for nostalgic tourists and train travellers. when i heard about this place closing, it was just... of all the things that have changed, this was the first one that to me felt personal. i started doing the lonely planet guide in 1981. i just thought the place was amazing. i think it was the first overnight train trip i'd ever taken anywhere. people are going long distances. it is the place. it's where it all happens. suppose you're taking a train for sightseeing, having that train leave and arrive would just add so much nostalgia. i tell people i take the train, and they say flying is so much faster. well, i don't have
10:54 am
to go to the airport. i don't have to go through these x—ray machines. you just feel like a criminal going to the airport, constantly being checked. it's a nostalgic way to travel. i love the sound, i think people who like travel, they're into all that stuff, all the arcane details about train travel. the movement and the sound. some people say they can't sleep on a train. i sleep like a baby. it rocks me to sleep. after the italian architects designed it, it was opened in 1916. i really hope they preserve the station because they shouldn't lose this. absolutely, this is the busiest station. nothing comes close. it's been such a hub for tourists.
10:55 am
average 60,000 passengers a day up until two years ago. the thing about coming to a station like this is that you immediately feel like you're in thailand. it's notjust some modern building. it has a cultural legacy. the new station, just glass and steel, square box — it could be anywhere. not much of a thai experience, really. london zoo they've been counting up the species that they have. there they are counting up exactly what they are counting up exactly what they have got. it's their annual stock—take.
10:56 am
they worked together to tally up more than a00 species that call the zoo home. it'll take them about a week to complete the count. that is a very pleasurable task, although it's absolutely freezing in london at the moment. now it's time for a look at the weather. hello again. the cold and frosty started the day. some ice issues as well. as the ridge of high pressure moves across, things will calm down. wintry showers tending to ease. there will still be some wintry showers drifting in land and showers coming in from the west as well. some of those will be wintry but a lot of dry weather and a lot of sunshine. feeling cold. temperatures for — eight. in an area with lying snow, the temperature may not get higher than freezing. through the evening, still a few wintry showers around the coasts but a lot of dry weather and clear skies. by the end
10:57 am
of the night, when strengthening towards the west, the cloud building and weather front bringing in some rain. it won't be as cold as it's going to be elsewhere, —7 across sheltered areas of north—east england. here's the front coming in in the morning, pitching steadily from the west to the east. it's a warm front and behind it a wedge of warmer air. warm front and behind it a wedge of warmerair. but warm front and behind it a wedge of warmer air. but right behind that a cold front, so gradually turning colder. we start off on a cold and frosty note with the risk of ice. when strengthening towards the west as the weather front moves steadily eastwards bringing rain with it. bumping into the cold air. for a time we will see snow at low levels. more likely to be in the hills as we push further south. the wind will be a feature, especially in the west and north—west. then it will turn back to rain and turn colder from the west. in that colder air on
10:58 am
friday, more showers coming in, still wintry with a lot of dry weather. a fair bit of sunshine around on friday. some of the showers making it through the english channel. into the weekend, a clutch of weather fronts coming bringing some rain, hail snow in the north and it's also going to be windy. during the course of saturday, rain in the west travelling east and on sunday a drier note but rain coming in from the west and pushing east again.
10:59 am
11:00 am
this is bbc news, i'm annita mcveigh. the headlines at 11... borisjohnson is currently meeting his top team, and they're expected not to impose any further covid restrictions in england. that's despite the current high levels of infection in the country. the nhs is under increasing strain from coronavirus — more trusts in england declare critical incidents — and 17 hospitals in greater manchester put some non urgent surgery on hold. the government's finalising plans to drop the requirement in england that people who test positive on a lateral flow test should get a pcr to confirm it. the teams are looking at testing and testing regimes. as i say, we have introduced so many lateral flow tests now that people are... and they are very accurate,
11:01 am
the lateral flow tests. scotland's first minister, nicola sturgeon, is due to address parliament later today, as covid cases continue to rise. president macron warns he intends to make life difficult for people in france who have not been vaccinated against covid—19. the australian prime minister, scott morrison, has warned tennis star novak djokovic will be "on the next plane home," without sufficient evidence to support his covid vaccination exemption to play at the australian open. good morning and welcome to bbc news. the prime minister has been meeting his cabinet to ask them to back his decision not to impose any further covid restrictions in england, despite soaring levels of infection. ministers are also considering onsidering changing the rules on covid tests in england, to ease staffing shortages
11:02 am
by reducing self—isolation periods. the prime minister wants his cabinet to back his decision not to impose any further covid restrictions in england, despite soaring levels of infection. last night, borisjohnson said he hopes the country could "ride out" the current wave, but accepted that part of the nhs would feel overwhelmed. it comes as string of hospital trusts in england have declared critical incidents. in scotland, nicola sturgeon is expected to announce whether she will be cutting self—isolation time for those testing positive from 10 days to 7, as the scottish parliament holds a special virtual session. the french president, emmanuel macron, has caused controversy by using a slang term for "annoy", to try to get unvaccinated people in france to have a covid vaccine. and novak djokovic will be "on the next plane home," if reasons for him being exemptioned from having a covid vaccine were "insufficient." that's according to the australian prime minister, scott morrison,
11:03 am
amid rising anger over a exemption granted by australia open organisers. the first of our reports from jon donnison is about the pressures on nhs. derriford hospital in plymouth is one of a growing number to declare a critical incident because of omicron pressures on staffing levels, as well as the growing burden of those needing care. hospitals in blackpool, norfolk, wiltshire, morecambe bay and lincoln have also raised the alarm. in plymouth, they are warning the situation is increasingly complex. we have got patients who are coming in, who are absolutely covid positive and they need to be in a designated area of the hospital. and those numbers are increasing. and then we've got patients in hospital, who have tested negative on admission, but then don't have symptoms, and then develop symptoms and then
11:04 am
are testing positive. and in manchester last night, 17 hospitals put a pause on non—urgent surgery citing the rising impact of covid—19 and staff absence levels of around 15%. those hospitals are under pressure, notjust because of the number of patients coming in with covid, but also because, unfortunately, many of our staff are now isolating because they themselves have covid as well. and it's those two pressures, the patients coming in and the reduction in our staffing, staff being available, that is having the impact at present. although pressure on intensive care might be less severe than in previous waves, the omicron variant is so transmissible, it's seen the numbers with covid in hospital in england alone double in under a fortnight. the prime minister isn't thinking of more restrictions at the moment, but he admits the next few weeks will be hard. there will be a difficult period i for our wonderful nhs for the next few weeks because of omicron.
11:05 am
ijust think that we have j to get through it as best as we possibly can. we will give the nhs - all the support that we can. but in the meantime, i the thing we've got to do, as responsible members of- the public, is follow the guidance, try to stop transmission as much as we can and get boosted. i there is some evidence that cases in young adults might be flattening off, but the worry now is that older adults are becoming infected, adding even more to the strain in the nhs. that's why government advisers are warning that hospital admissions could be going up for quite some time. jon donnison, bbc news. well, as we heard, the government is looking at removing the requirement for people in england who test positive for covid on a lateral flow device, but don't have symptoms, to get a follow up pcr test. here's the health minister gillian keegan speaking to bbc breakfast this morning. as i say, i don't have any
11:06 am
official news on that. but i know the teams are looking at testing and testing regimes. as i say, we have introduced so many lateral flow tests now that, you know, people are... and they are very accurate, the lateral flow tests, you know, they are really accurate if people are infectious, so i guess they are looking at the regimes all the time in terms of what makes sense. but i don't have any, as i say, official news. but teams will announce it once they have come to their conclusions. our political correspondent helen catt is at westminster. borisjohnson has said restrictions are about — boris johnson has said restrictions are abou- . ,, ., are about preventing the nhs from bein: are about preventing the nhs from being overwhelmed. _ are about preventing the nhs from being overwhelmed. it _ are about preventing the nhs from being overwhelmed. it was - are about preventing the nhs from being overwhelmed. it was striking to hear him say that parts would be temporarily overwhelmed. it is today about defending plan b and defending his plan not to introduce further restrictions? i his plan not to introduce further restrictions?— his plan not to introduce further restrictions? i think certainly that what we are _
11:07 am
restrictions? i think certainly that what we are expecting _ restrictions? i think certainly that what we are expecting to - restrictions? i think certainly that what we are expecting to hear i restrictions? i think certainly that i what we are expecting to hear later today. the prime minister is due to give a statement to parliament, he was meeting his cabinet this morning and made it clear yesterday that what he would be recommending to the cabinet and asking them to get on—board with is this idea of continuing with plan b, he felt that was the right course to carry on without into any further restrictions in england. as you said, he talked about the possibility or, that the nhs would be facing a difficult time over the coming weeks. at the moment, there is a review point, so we expect those plan b measures will continue. they are due to expire on the 26 of january, so there will be perhaps a lot of focus today on how long they might stay in place, whether they would be extended beyond that. the government has consistently wants to keep watching the data and see what's happening but certainly that's one of the questions that
11:08 am
will be asked. these plans that we understand are being finalised on testing because we know there has been massive testing pressure, a massive increase in demand, so possible changes which may be we will hear more detail on later for people who do not have symptoms assure positive on a lateral flow test too, so lots of meetings happening this morning but we should get a clearer idea in parliament later. , ., ., , ., get a clearer idea in parliament later. , ., ., , later. plenty for opposition parties to question _ later. plenty for opposition parties to question the _ later. plenty for opposition parties to question the prime _ later. plenty for opposition parties to question the prime minister i later. plenty for opposition parties i to question the prime minister about at pmoss. the later time today, 3pm rather than at noon. it will be keir starmer —— not be keir starmer, will it? starmer -- not be keir starmer, will it? ,, ,, ., ., , , it? sir keir starmer has tested ositive it? sir keir starmer has tested positive for — it? sir keir starmer has tested positive for the _ it? sir keir starmer has tested positive for the second - it? sir keir starmer has tested positive for the second time i it? sir keir starmer has tested i positive for the second time today, lasting was back in october. he has had to self—isolate four times, so this is not the first time he will be missing from pmqs, it will be his deputy, angela rayner, who will lead
11:09 am
the questioning for labour. thank ou ve the questioning for labour. thank you very much- — the questioning for labour. thank you very much. pmqs _ the questioning for labour. thank you very much. pmqs at - the questioning for labour. thank you very much. pmqs at dpm, i the questioning for labour. thankl you very much. pmqs at dpm, just the questioning for labour. thank you very much. pmqs at dpm, just to repeat that for you. the scottish parliament will hold a special virtual session this afternoon, in response to the rise in omicron cases. a cabinet meeting before the session is expected to discuss whether to reduce the period that people are required to isolate after contact with someone who has the virus. it's not thought that the first minister will announce any further restrictions, but she may give more details on financial help to businesses affected by the measures already in place. live to glasgow and our correspondent, james shaw. good morning to you. given that england, wales and northern ireland are allowing people with covid to stop isolating if they have negative lateral flows on days six and seven, is scotland going to follow suit? it seems to be the case that all the pressure or a lot of the pressure, is in that direction, given that the other uk nations have made that move. there is also pressure from
11:10 am
business and from the main opposition party in scotland, against the snp government, the scottish conservatives. we have argued that omicron, the indications are it is a milder variant of coronavirus, so it poses less of a risk, and also they see this requirement to isolate for an extended period of time is putting extraordinary pressure on key services and businesses. we have certainly seen that services have changed the timetables have changed, ferry services have been cancelled, other key parts of the economy have been affected, so a lot of the pressure at the moment the scottish government in the cabinet meeting this morning discussing will be around that issue. we will have to wait until after 2pm to find out what the decision is. is it possible et to see what the decision is. is it possible yet to see how— what the decision is. is it possible yet to see how the _ what the decision is. is it possible yet to see how the strategy i what the decision is. is it possible yet to see how the strategy in - yet to see how the strategy in scotland with more restrictions is shaping up, versus the strategy in
11:11 am
england, with fewer restrictions and how much pushback is nicola sturgeon getting from businesses who are greater restrictions in scotland? that are really interesting question, and a really important question. certainly the deputy first ministerjohn swinney has tried to make the case that scotland has done better, because it has tighter restrictions. in reality, ithink better, because it has tighter restrictions. in reality, i think he was talking about a period of the pandemic a couple of weeks ago when the full impact of omicron had not become apparent in scotland. i think that's really a live and urgent question for the scottish government. did they make the right decision in terms of going forward with tighter restrictions than some other parts of the uk? certainly cases have gone up dramatically in scotland, doubling over a fairly short period of time here. and also increases in people in hospital, although interestingly, not large increases in people in intensive
11:12 am
care. i think that's a key question that nicola sturgeon is going to face this afternoon. the welsh government is providing schools and colleges with £103 million in funding, as the new term gets under way. nearly half will be earmarked for capital repair and improvement work, with a focus on health and safety measures, including improving ventilation. the bulk of the remainder will help schools deal with the impact of the pandemic. well, the cabinet is meeting to discuss whether to carry on with plan b, and not introduce further covid restrictions in england. borisjohnson says the booster vaccine roll—out and current measures mean there's a chance to "ride out" the latest wave. dr deepti gurdasani is a clinical epidemiologist at queen mary university of london. very good to have you with us. it was really interesting as i was reflecting a moment ago to hear the
11:13 am
prime minister see in his briefing yesterday that parts of the nhs would be temporarily overwhelmed, given that throughout this pandemic, prior to this point, he has been talking about preventing the nhs from being overwhelmed, but to balance that out, the data on omicron seems to suggest it's less severe and clearly there are economic and mental health considerations to look at as well, so taking all of that into account, what are your thoughts on restrictions at this point? to be clear, restrictions at this point? to be clear. the _ restrictions at this point? to be clear, the prime _ restrictions at this point? to be clear, the prime minister- restrictions at this point? to be - clear, the prime minister yesterday said the nhs is on warfooting. front line workers, the royal couege front line workers, the royal college of nursing, the nhs confederation are talking about the nhs being overwhelmed. people with heart attacks cannot get access to ambulances. these are signs of the nhs being overwhelmed and potentially unsafe even for treatment of life—threatening conditions and all of this was warned about by scientific advisers,
11:14 am
sage and the modelling group both warned about this and said by the time hospitalisations start increasing it will be too late to take action. the earlier action we take action. the earlier action we take the more effective in preventing huge disruption to service of the nhs which is happening now. when you are calling on the military to support the nhs and the nhs is well past overwhelmed, it's quite interesting we have been told repeatedly the nhs was not going to come under unsustainable pressure despite scientists saying this would happen and now it has happened. and i don't see the government taking any responsibility or action for what was certainly not inevitable. i5 was certainly not inevitable. is there anything the government could do at this point to help the nhs? you do not out of nowhere especially when staff are already off ill or isolating themselves. i when staff are already off ill or isolating themselves.- isolating themselves. i think there's a lot _ isolating themselves. i think there's a lot they _ isolating themselves. i think there's a lot they could - isolating themselves. i think there's a lot they could do. i isolating themselves. i think- there's a lot they could do. they could provide health care workers with adequate ppe. health care workers in the nhs still don't have the masks which are provided in many
11:15 am
other places across the world and this would protect workers as well as patients. they could reduce transmission, putting in mitigation in school. masks at secondary school is unlikely to be adequate dealing with the levels of infection we have in children which is one into children every classroom, so i think a lot could be done but of course the effectiveness of measures now is going to be much lower than two weeks ago and fact even if we do, hospitalisation will go up. this is the impact of infection suits ago. we have not seen the impact of over 100,000 or 200,000 cases we have seen which will come in the next two or three weeks. seen which will come in the next two or three weeke— or three weeks. even if the government _ or three weeks. even if the government introduced - or three weeks. even if the - government introduced measures or three weeks. even if the _ government introduced measures and we're not hearing there any plans to add restrictions, even if they were, would it be in one sense too late to deal with the worst of the impact on
11:16 am
the nhs? i deal with the worst of the impact on the nhs? 4' , ., ., the nhs? i think it might be too late to reduce _ the nhs? i think it might be too late to reduce the _ the nhs? i think it might be too late to reduce the peak - the nhs? i think it might be too late to reduce the peak of - the nhs? i think it might be too late to reduce the peak of nhs, | the nhs? | think it might be too | late to reduce the peak of nhs, in fact it could go a long way to lowering transmission numbers which is important. we had 2 million people infected in one week in the last week of december. if you are looking at how they are translating to long covid, we don't know very much, even if it is io%, that's 200,000 people in a week. if it is 1%, that's 20,000 people in a week. we should not look at hospitalisations. people are having severe impacts from disease long—term and we should be looking to prevent that as well as longer term pressures. routine care has been put aside and we need... health care workers are burnt out. we need to protect health services and care homes which are also reporting very high levels of staff absences. what high levels of staff absences. what do ou sa high levels of staff absences. what do you say to _ high levels of staff absences. what do you say to those _ high levels of staff absences. what do you say to those other- high levels of staff absences. what do you say to those other arguments, the economic arguments, mental health arguments, allowing people to perhaps get involved in more
11:17 am
activities than they were able to at the peak of the pandemic? i activities than they were able to at the peak of the pandemic?- the peak of the pandemic? i don't understand _ the peak of the pandemic? i don't understand how _ the peak of the pandemic? i don't understand how giving _ the peak of the pandemic? i don't understand how giving things - the peak of the pandemic? i don't understand how giving things like | understand how giving things like hydrate ppe or mitigations is affecting or putting ventilation in workplaces is negatively affecting mental health. what will is health care services and being overwhelmed and not getting care for chronic illness and i don't see how the burden of more than i illness and i don't see how the burden of more than 1 million people live on with long covid will help our economy long—term people being worried about being able to be out and socialising, because 200,000 infections a day frankly, i don't see how any of that is helping mental health or economy. thank you for our mental health or economy. thank you for your thoughts. _ let's return to the news that ministers in england are finalising plans to scrap pcr tests after someone gets a positive lateral flow. it's so that people won't have to isolate for as long as they don't have symptoms and can get back to work quicker to ease staff shortages. let's talk to irene petersen.
11:18 am
she's a professor of epidemiology at university college london, and has published a paper on the effectiveness of lateral flows. are lateral flows as good as pcr is at showing someone has covid? this is what the government is saying, the direction of travel.— the direction of travel. yes, i think they — the direction of travel. yes, i think they are _ the direction of travel. yes, i think they are better - the direction of travel. yes, i think they are better at - the direction of travel. yes, i l think they are better at telling whether you are infectious and that's what matters right now. they are also good in the way that they give you a very rapid answer. if you get a positive lateral flow test, it's very, very likely that you are infectious and you should stay at home and start isolating. fin infectious and you should stay at home and start isolating. on that round home and start isolating. on that ground is. _ home and start isolating. on that ground is. good _ home and start isolating. on that ground is, good so _ home and start isolating. on that ground is, good so far, _ home and start isolating. on that ground is, good so far, but - home and start isolating. on that ground is, good so far, but they i ground is, good so far, but they cannot be sequenced in the way that pcr tests can be sequenced to show exactly what type of covid, what variant you have.—
11:19 am
exactly what type of covid, what variant you have. now, but don't wor , variant you have. now, but don't worry. there _ variant you have. now, but don't worry, there are _ variant you have. now, but don't worry, there are plenty - variant you have. now, but don't worry, there are plenty of- variant you have. now, but don't worry, there are plenty of pcr i variant you have. now, but don't i worry, there are plenty of pcr tests taken still in the week leading up to christmas, there was about 500,000 pcr tests taken, so we have plenty of tests sequence. ok. 500,000 pcr tests taken, so we have plenty of tests sequence.— plenty of tests sequence. ok, but if more people _ plenty of tests sequence. ok, but if more people are — plenty of tests sequence. ok, but if more people are moving _ plenty of tests sequence. ok, but if more people are moving to - plenty of tests sequence. ok, but if more people are moving to lateral. more people are moving to lateral flows and not taking pcr tests, is it the logical conclusion that the government will have less information about what's happening with covid in the country? find information about what's happening with covid in the country?— with covid in the country? and not sure, with covid in the country? and not sure. because _ with covid in the country? and not sure, because there _ with covid in the country? and not sure, because there will— with covid in the country? and not sure, because there will still- with covid in the country? and not sure, because there will still be i with covid in the country? and not sure, because there will still be a| sure, because there will still be a lot of people, a lot of information and not everybody is reporting their test already, so we would have a good indication, but even if you don't know every single case, it doesn't really matter. what matters is that people know that they are infectious and they isolate when they are infectious.— infectious and they isolate when they are infectious. would there be enou:h they are infectious. would there be enough data _ they are infectious. would there be enough data people _ they are infectious. would there be enough data people are _ they are infectious. would there be enough data people are moving - they are infectious. would there be enough data people are moving to| enough data people are moving to lateral flows, would enough data people are moving to lateralflows, would be enough enough data people are moving to lateral flows, would be enough data to telephone you variant is
11:20 am
emerging?— to telephone you variant is emerauin? , ., , . emerging? yes. you don't sequence all the pcr tests — emerging? yes. you don't sequence all the pcr tests and _ emerging? yes. you don't sequence all the pcr tests and if _ emerging? yes. you don't sequence all the pcr tests and if you - emerging? yes. you don't sequence all the pcr tests and if you had - all the pcr tests and if you had them all taken in have more than enough. we don't need to worry about that at all. ok. have more than enough. we don't need to worry about that at all.— to worry about that at all. ok, so, man of to worry about that at all. ok, so, many of us _ to worry about that at all. ok, so, many of us have _ to worry about that at all. ok, so, many of us have become - to worry about that at all. ok, so, many of us have become used - to worry about that at all. ok, so, many of us have become used to l to worry about that at all. ok, so, i many of us have become used to the idea that if you have a lateral flow test, positive test, you become pcr tests confirmation. if these rules change, in what situation would someone still need to take a pcr? there will not be many. it depends on the government policy, because it might be that you still have to do it if you need the payment, i don't know what the government plans are in that respect. otherwise, you would not need to have a pcr. ok. in that respect. otherwise, you would not need to have a pcr. ok, so someone, would not need to have a pcr. ok, so someone. if — would not need to have a pcr. ok, so someone. if they _ would not need to have a pcr. ok, so someone, if they wanted _ would not need to have a pcr. ok, so someone, if they wanted want - would not need to have a pcr. ok, so someone, if they wanted want to - would not need to have a pcr. ok, so someone, if they wanted want to be l someone, if they wanted want to be sure, if they were not convinced by the lateral folk, someone could still book one? the lateralfolk, someone could still book one?— the lateralfolk, someone could still book one? ., , , ., still book one? perhaps. i would say it's a waste — still book one? perhaps. i would say it's a waste of _ still book one? perhaps. i would say it's a waste of your _ still book one? perhaps. i would say it's a waste of your time _ still book one? perhaps. i would say it's a waste of your time and - still book one? perhaps. i would say it's a waste of your time and a -
11:21 am
it's a waste of your time and a waste of resources. we know that lateral flow tests flow tests, a positive is very likely the person is infectious. it's really a waste of money and time. to is infectious. it's really a waste of money and time.— is infectious. it's really a waste of money and time. to you think lateral flow _ of money and time. to you think lateral flow test _ of money and time. to you think lateral flow test tests _ of money and time. to you think lateral flow test tests will - of money and time. to you think lateral flow test tests will be - of money and time. to you think lateral flow test tests will be the direction of travel when it comes to testing covid for the foreseeable future? i testing covid for the foreseeable future? .. testing covid for the foreseeable future? ~ , ., , future? i think so. in the beginning ofthe future? i think so. in the beginning of the pandemic— future? i think so. in the beginning of the pandemic we _ future? i think so. in the beginning of the pandemic we did _ future? i think so. in the beginning of the pandemic we did not - future? i think so. in the beginning of the pandemic we did not have i of the pandemic we did not have lateral flow tests, we only had pcr tests but now we have a lateral flow test, they are much faster and cheaper and you can do the test at home so they have all the advantages we need is a person. the only thing cannot do is sequencing, but you can have a small sample of people who continue to take pcr tests and who then keep an eye out on what variants will be on.— then keep an eye out on what variants will be on. finally, what --eole variants will be on. finally, what people will _ variants will be on. finally, what people will need _ variants will be on. finally, what people will need is _ variants will be on. finally, what people will need is a _ variants will be on. finally, what people will need is a secure - variants will be on. finally, what people will need is a secure and| people will need is a secure and steady supply of these tests. do you
11:22 am
have concerns about the ability of the government to make sure that people can get access to as many of these tests as are required? yes. these tests as are required? yes, that is really _ these tests as are required? yes, that is really a _ these tests as are required? yes, that is really a major— these tests as are required? yes, that is really a major concern. - these tests as are required? ike: that is really a major concern. my understanding is the government are now increasingly supply so there will be 300 million this month. but it's going to be difficult to have enough. so also, i would it's going to be difficult to have enough. so also, iwould really encourage people to think carefully about when they are using the test and not to hoard the test in the cupboard. i and not to hoard the test in the cu - board. .. and not to hoard the test in the cupboard-— and not to hoard the test in the cuboard. ~ ., ., , ., , cupboard. i think from a previous conversation _ cupboard. i think from a previous conversation with _ cupboard. i think from a previous conversation with you _ cupboard. i think from a previous conversation with you you - cupboard. i think from a previous conversation with you you had . conversation with you you had advised if someone is going to a particular event, work—related, social, whatever, they should take that test as soon as possible beforehand, not do it too far in advance? .. , beforehand, not do it too far in advance?— beforehand, not do it too far in advance? , ., advance? exactly. i would even say ou can't advance? exactly. i would even say you can't take _ advance? exactly. i would even say you can't take it — advance? exactly. i would even say you can't take it in _ advance? exactly. i would even say you can't take it in your _ advance? exactly. i would even say you can't take it in your back- advance? exactly. i would even say you can't take it in your back and i you can't take it in your back and do it on the doorstep. because you may not be infectious in the morning but might be infectious in the
11:23 am
evening. it's important to do it just before you go. ok. evening. it's important to do it just before you go.— evening. it's important to do it just before you go. ok, good advice. thank ou just before you go. ok, good advice. thank you for— just before you go. ok, good advice. thank you for your _ just before you go. ok, good advice. thank you for your time. _ just before you go. ok, good advice. thank you for your time. thank - just before you go. ok, good advice. thank you for your time. thank you i thank you for your time. thank you very much- — and you can find out how the nhs is coping in your area via the bbc�*s online nhs tracker. for an indication of a&e waiting times and how busy local services are in england, wales and scotland, visit bbc.co.uk/nhstracker. the french president has warned he intends to make life difficult for people in france who have not been vaccinated against covid—i9. emmanuel macron said he wanted to tighten measures, including requiring people to show proof of vaccination to access public venues and transport. more than 90% of its adult population are double—jabbed. earlier, we spoke with our paris correspondent, hugh schofield. he was giving an interview to les parisiens, a newspaper, a wide—ranging interview very much
11:24 am
anchored on his likely presidential bid again in the elections coming up and was asked about covid, obviously, and a nurse who was on the panel had asked him to react to the fact there were more and more people non—vaccinated who were clogging up beds in intensive care units and as a result, she said, cancer patients, for example, were having operations put off and he said in reply, "well, what i can't do is force people to get vaccinated. we will not introduce a law that makes it a legal requirement. but what we can do is make life as difficult as possible for the non—vaccinated." and he assumes this policy very clearly, he said what we can do is make life difficult by making sure they can't go to the bar, they can't go to the cafe, they can't go to the restaurant, they can't go on trains because they need the certificate which is going through parliament now, this vaccination certificate, to do those things and he used the word "emmerder," which while not
11:25 am
being a rare word or particularly abusive word, still has a slightly kind of rude overtone, "make life difficult", or merde is a word people may know. the reaction has been very loud. we are in a pre—election period and the opposition have jumped on this to to say to look at this president who is divisive, claims to be speaking for all of the french, but here he is casting this cloak of opprobrium on the 5 million people, not an insubstantial minority, who don't want to get vaccinated. this is terrible, he is not fit to be president. but the president knew perfectly well what he was doing, this was a calculated manoeuvre, and as i say it has to be seen through the prism of the upcoming elections. ajudge in new york is considering whether to dismiss a civil case accusing prince andrew of sexual assault. the prince's lawyers say his accuser, virginia giuffre, can't sue because of a deal she made in 2009, when she accepted damages
11:26 am
from jeffrey epstein in return for dropping her claims against him and any other "potential defendant. " prince andrew has consistently denied her allegations. joining us is the former chief prosecutor for the north west of england, and specialist in sexual abuse cases, nazir afzal. he's previously called for prince andrew to be investigated by the metropolitan police in london. thank you very much forjoining us today. we are waiting on this judgment coming through from new york. remind reviewers first of all about the points being considered by thejudge. the about the points being considered by the we ., , about the points being considered by the 'ude. , the 'udge. the 'udge was considering an the judge. the 'udge was considering an application — the judge. the judge was considering an application by _ the judge. the judge was considering an application by prince _ the judge. the judge was considering an application by prince andrew's - an application by prince andrew's lawyers that the case would be stopped because of an agreement reached byjeffrey epstein back in 2009 in relation to allegations that he faced. involving virginia giuffre, the complainant in this
11:27 am
case, that agreement purported to say that nobody related in anyway shape or form tojeffrey epstein should be, shape or form tojeffrey epstein should he, could be, actions could be brought against. that agreement basically stop virginia giuffre bringing this action. the judge yesterday poured scorn on that. obviously we will not know exactly what he thinks until the judgment is brought forward, but he basically took apart every argument the prince's lawyers put forward, firstly saying the complainant had made a very vague complaint, without dates etc, but there is no requirement in us law for that to happen. he then took apart another allegation that somehow the actual fact that she brought this complaint was unconstitutional, because of a bit of new york law that was introduced to or three years ago. thejudge said that's introduced to or three years ago. the judge said that's not true. that law is constitutional. then the broader point which is that point i
11:28 am
made at the outset, namely that jeffrey epstein's agreement somehow gave immunity to potential defendants. thejudge had a number of points to make on that. virginia giuffre's lawyers did not have to see a great deal. the judge simply said that agreement says it, that agreement cannot be used by anybody else, any other court at any other time, so why are we thinking about it now? secondly the agreement was secret. how is it possible for prince andrew or anybody else for that matter to be able to use that in these proceedings? so i think objectively looking at this, the judge has basically said will say i suspect, the case is to proceed. so we await the judge's decision. until that decision is made, while i don't want to get too much into the realms of speculation, what are the legal options for both sides in this civil
11:29 am
case? depending on that decision. thejudge has ordered disclosure, that means documents or information or evidence filed by either party needs to be served upon the other party. anything that prince andrew has or his lawyers, legal team has to be served on virginia 23's vice versa. potentially we need to prepare for a trial that may happen in the autumn. i think that the original anticipated date. there are many things that could happen before that. i have no doubt prince andrew's lawyers if this decision goes against them, may go to other legal technicalities are not aware of but they may pursue those. of course there's the potential that virginia giuffre might withdraw. i can't imagine that happening. the potential prince andrew might settle. again, i can't imagine that happening. then of course we have got the potential of a trial in the autumn work virginia giuffre is able
11:30 am
to outline what her allegations are against prince andrew. he has the opportunity to present a defence. if he chooses not to, the judge will find in favour of virginia giuffre or alternatively if defence is provided, thejudge can make a judgment as to the validity or veracity of her complaint. still a lot more to do, a lot, i think this is a pivotal moment, because if it goes against prince andrew, we are looking at a trial in the autumn. $5 looking at a trial in the autumn. as we have pointed out in the introduction, he denies these allegations being made by virginia giuffre. on this particular decision, you see it's a pivotal moment, if it goes against prince andrew, can he appeal and with that appeal he andrew, can he appeal and with that appeal be pretty fast? arguably he can appeal on the constitutional point, which is the point that the legislation allows him to bring this complaint was somehow unconstitutional, but unfortunately for him it has found
11:31 am
to be constitutional by other cases.

41 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on