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tv   BBC News  BBC News  January 13, 2022 2:00pm-4:59pm GMT

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this is bbc news, i'm annita mcveigh. the headlines: no let up in the pressure on borisjohnson, as some tory mps say he should resign for attending 3 drinks party during the first lockdown. cabinet ministers rally round him, while labour says the facts are already clear. he accepts he ought not to have done that, looking back, but it was done in good faith. there was no possible malice or intention to do anything other than to give a heartfelt thank you to people who had been working incredibly hard. do they really think this behaviour is excusable? are they really going to defend him? are they really going to stand by him? because in the end, it's notjust the prime minister the voters will conclude is unfit to govern, it's conservative mps who stand by him. nhs waiting times in england reach a record high.
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six million people were waiting for planned operations and procedures in november. england's isolation period for coronavirus is reduced to five full days, if there are two negative covid test results on days five and six. vaccinated uk travellers will be allowed back to france from tomorrow as the government in paris relaxes restrictions. a rare �*interference alert�* is issued by mi5 to parliamentary offices. it warns of �*political interference activities�* on behalf of the chinese communist party. a former syrian colonel is found guilty of the torture of thousands of people at a prison in damascus during syria�*s civil war. the scale of our river pollution. mps call for a step change in efforts to clean up rivers in england.
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borisjohnson�*s future as prime minister remains in the balance, despite his apology for attending a drinks party during the first coronavirus lockdown in 2020. some senior conservatives are calling for him to resign. but members of the cabinet have rallied to his defence, after he said yesterday he understood the public�*s "rage" at his actions. he pulled out of a planned visit to a vaccination clinic today, following a family member testing positive for coronavirus. with all the latest, here�*s our political correspondent, helen catt. westminster is waiting. as the fallout from the prime minister�*s apology for how he handled what he maintains was a work event continues. borisjohnson should have been out in front of the cameras in
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lancashire today but the visit was cancelled. one of his family members tested positive for covid. some of his own mps have been on the airwaves. the prime minister, the dispatch box yesterday, first of all made an apology, which was the right thing to do, i accept that. but unfortunately, then went onto say that he spent 25 minutes a day, what he described as a work event, which was in fact a party. having said on the 8th of december, at the dispatch box, that it was not aware of any parties in downing street. when he clearly attended one, which means he misled the house. the mood isn't great. there is a lot of concern among colleagues about the damage that these revelations are doing to the conservative party. but i do think yesterday there was a bit of a turning of colleagues's opinion. it was a very contrite, a very heartfelt apology. do you still support borisjohnson? absolutely, 100%. the cabinet is backing borisjohnson. he said he had been right to apologise and agreed there should
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be patient while an enquiry is carried out. other ministers have given more full throated backing. there is no question in my mind borisjohnson was acting in good faith to thank the people who had been helping to guide the country through the crisis, working incredibly hard. he accepts the oughtn�*t to have done that looking bad but it was done in good faith. one minister�*s defense sparked a backlash after he said this about the leader of the scottish conservative. douglas ross has always been quite a lightweight figure so i don't think he is not a micro hang on. the leader of the scottish conservatives, and msp, is a lightweight figure? mr ross is one of four conservative mps who are publicly called on mrjohnson to go. meanwhile, the opposition is increasing the pressure on tory mps. do they really think this behaviour is excusable? are they really going to defend him? are they really going to stand by him? because in the end it�*s notjust the prime minister that voters
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will conclude is not fit to govern, it is conservative mps who stand by him. many conservative mps appear to be holding off passing judgment until the senior civil servant sue gray finishes her report. that is expected in the next week. helen catt, bbc news, westminster. let�*s speak to our political correspondent, nick eardley. do you expect the prime minister to keep a relatively low profile over the coming days as he gauge his reaction to what he said at the commons yesterday? i reaction to what he said at the commons yesterday?- reaction to what he said at the commons yesterday? i think that's a fairl safe commons yesterday? i think that's a fairly safe bet. _ commons yesterday? i think that's a fairly safe bet. he _ commons yesterday? i think that's a fairly safe bet. he won't _ commons yesterday? i think that's a fairly safe bet. he won't want - commons yesterday? i think that's a fairly safe bet. he won't want to - commons yesterday? i think that's a fairly safe bet. he won't want to be i fairly safe bet. he won�*t want to be answering many more questions on what went on in may 2020 after his statement yesterday. you heard for the last 12 hours or so various government ministers coming out and throwing their weight behind boris johnson�*s explanation in saying we need to wait a while and we need to
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give the senior civil servant looking into all of this space to come up with the result. basically they are trying to take the immediate pressure off and kick the can down the road by a few days. there are some tory mps who have called for mrjohnson to resign. about a handful have come forward. there are many more who have serious concerns and i do think the next few days are still pretty dangerous for borisjohnson for a days are still pretty dangerous for boris johnson for a few days are still pretty dangerous for borisjohnson for a few reasons. one is that there will be many conservatives going home to their constituencies this weekend to judge the mood and see how borisjohnson�*s explanation went down with voters. speaking to one former cabinet minister last night, he said they�*d had a deluge of e—mails after boris johnson�*s statement yesterday. so it will be interesting to see if that is reflected in the views of others. there are also those mps who don�*t really like borisjohnson and never
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really like borisjohnson and never really have but stood by him because they think he is a vote winner and he led them to that result in 2019 and that he sits well with the public. if that starts to change, they calculation might start to change as well. and then there is that report to come back potentially in the next few days from the civil servant who is looking into all of this and if that is critical, if that says that boris johnson this and if that is critical, if that says that borisjohnson didn�*t follow the rules or if it talks about other events that the prime minister was involved in, another former cabinet minister told me last night that could be terminal territory. so it�*s an eye of the storm today today but that could change at any minute. fix, storm today today but that could change at any minute. pa. 11th storm today today but that could change at any minute.— storm today today but that could change at any minute. a lot of mps miaht not change at any minute. a lot of mps might not want _ change at any minute. a lot of mps might not want to _ change at any minute. a lot of mps might not want to go _ change at any minute. a lot of mps might not want to go on _ change at any minute. a lot of mps might not want to go on the - change at any minute. a lot of mps might not want to go on the record| might not want to go on the record but is it your sense that once that report emerges and if mps are not happy with it, is there a sizeable number or a decisive number of them who might be willing to be part of a
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process to trigger the removal of borisjohnson? process to trigger the removal of boris johnson?_ process to trigger the removal of boris johnson? , ., , ., ., boris johnson? there is no shortage of mps who — boris johnson? there is no shortage of mps who are _ boris johnson? there is no shortage of mps who are unhappy. _ boris johnson? there is no shortage of mps who are unhappy. they - boris johnson? there is no shortage | of mps who are unhappy. they would tell you they have misgivings. a great number are saying let�*s see what the report says. if that report is damaging for the prime minister in some way, if it criticises him, if there is some suggestion he has broken the ministerial code, all bets are off. at that point many tory mps might feel they have to stick their heads above the parapet. would it lead to the 5a you need to trigger a confidence vote? it�*s hard to tell. that number is always guesswork. i have been in the situation too many times to make a firm guess on how many have gone in but be under no illusion, many conservative mps are really unhappy with what�*s gone on, they are worried about the lines from opposition parties and this idea they are not doing theirjobs
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properly if they are not holding the prime minister to account. because of all of that and public opinion and public pressure, it�*s quite possible that in the next few days they could be more who say mr johnson needs to go. our south asia correspondent, rajini vaidyanathan, has been speaking to the international trade secretary, anne—marie trevelyan, who is on a trade mission in delhi. she was asked if she still stands by the prime minister. do you think that boris johnson should — do you think that boris johnson should resign? no i don't. as i commented yesterday i am pleased he was able _ commented yesterday i am pleased he was able to— commented yesterday i am pleased he was able to give a heartfelt apology for the _ was able to give a heartfelt apology for the problems that have gone on in the _ for the problems that have gone on in the gardens of downing street and i am glad _ in the gardens of downing street and i am glad that he did. for my constituents, it would have been a reassurance. as far as i'm concerned he has _ reassurance. as far as i'm concerned he has been — reassurance. as far as i'm concerned he has been doing an incredible
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effective — he has been doing an incredible effective set of decisions through some _ effective set of decisions through some incredibly hard times in the pandemic — some incredibly hard times in the pandemic. did some incredibly hard times in the andemic. , , ., ~' some incredibly hard times in the andemic. , ~' some incredibly hard times in the andemic. , ~ ., pandemic. did you think it was a -a or pandemic. did you think it was a party or a _ pandemic. did you think it was a party or a work— pandemic. did you think it was a party or a work event? - pandemic. did you think it was a party or a work event? i - pandemic. did you think it was a party or a work event? i wasn't i party or a work event? i wasn't there so i — party or a work event? i wasn't there so i have _ party or a work event? i wasn't there so i have no _ party or a work event? i wasn't there so i have no idea. - party or a work event? i wasn't there so i have no idea. if- party or a work event? i wasn't there so i have no idea. if you | party or a work event? i wasn't - there so i have no idea. if you were civen an there so i have no idea. if you were given an e-mail_ there so i have no idea. if you were given an e-mail saying _ there so i have no idea. if you were given an e-mail saying give - there so i have no idea. if you were given an e-mail saying give up -- l given an e—mail saying give up —— bring your own booze, how would you interpret that? i bring your own booze, how would you interpret that?— interpret that? i have done nothing be ond interpret that? i have done nothing beyond seeing _ interpret that? i have done nothing beyond seeing my _ interpret that? i have done nothing beyond seeing my family _ interpret that? i have done nothing beyond seeing my family because l interpret that? i have done nothing beyond seeing my family because i | beyond seeing my family because i was conscious of not wanting... so you wouldn't — was conscious of not wanting... so you wouldn't have gone? i would not have been— you wouldn't have gone? i would not have been invited because it was a group _ have been invited because it was a group who— have been invited because it was a group who are working together who needed _ group who are working together who needed to _ group who are working together who needed to. my staff and i were in very nruch— needed to. my staff and i were in very much of the time in a distanced way because — very much of the time in a distanced way because it was necessary in the heart _ way because it was necessary in the heart of— way because it was necessary in the heart of government and its necessary often for us to be in the same _ necessary often for us to be in the same place — necessary often for us to be in the same place to make those difficult decisions — same place to make those difficult decisions. but same place to make those difficult decisions. �* . decisions. but in the garden drinkin: decisions. but in the garden drinking alcohol? _ decisions. but in the garden drinking alcohol? the - decisions. but in the garden drinking alcohol? the prime decisions. but in the garden - drinking alcohol? the prime minister has set out his _ drinking alcohol? the prime minister has set out his view— drinking alcohol? the prime minister has set out his view that _ drinking alcohol? the prime minister has set out his view that this - drinking alcohol? the prime minister has set out his view that this was - has set out his view that this was not the _ has set out his view that this was not the way— has set out his view that this was not the way to do it and he has apologised clearly and honestly and
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i'm apologised clearly and honestly and i'm glad _ apologised clearly and honestly and i'm glad that he has. what apologised clearly and honestly and i'm glad that he has.— apologised clearly and honestly and i'm glad that he has. what would you sa to our i'm glad that he has. what would you say to your constituents _ i'm glad that he has. what would you say to your constituents and other . say to your constituents and other people watching this who were not able to see the loved ones in may 2020, who are grieving for their loved ones in may 2020, who are incredibly angry and don�*t believe the prime minister�*s apology went far enough? i the prime minister's apology went far enough?— far enough? i thought the apology was heartfelt _ far enough? i thought the apology was heartfelt and _ far enough? i thought the apology was heartfelt and set _ far enough? i thought the apology was heartfelt and set out - far enough? i thought the apology was heartfelt and set out exactly i was heartfelt and set out exactly those _ was heartfelt and set out exactly those anxieties and i think all of us know— those anxieties and i think all of us know people who have been in difficult _ us know people who have been in difficult situations throughout the pandemic and our hearts have gone out to— pandemic and our hearts have gone out to them. we have tried as mps to support— out to them. we have tried as mps to support them as best we can and make sure within _ support them as best we can and make sure within the restrictions that policy— sure within the restrictions that policy could we could give them the support _ policy could we could give them the support and the care and the financiat— support and the care and the financial support were required. to think financial support were required. think the financial support were required. trr think the government has lost touch with the public? you are defending an apology that most people think was completely off the mark. i am was completely off the mark. i am very pleased _ was completely off the mark. i am very pleased with _ was completely off the mark. i am very pleased with the _ was completely off the mark. i am very pleased with the prime minister set out _ very pleased with the prime minister set out and — very pleased with the prime minister set out and made his apology
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yesterday and the important thing is we move _ yesterday and the important thing is we move forward, the enquiry will reveat— we move forward, the enquiry will reveal whether there are breaches, and that— reveal whether there are breaches, and that should be completed in a timely— and that should be completed in a timely manner but we are getting on with making sure the economy rebounds— with making sure the economy rebounds well, that all the difficult issues from the global gas spikes— difficult issues from the global gas spikes and how we support families in those _ spikes and how we support families in those areas through to making sure the — in those areas through to making sure the talks on the fta ning —— india _ sure the talks on the fta ning —— india continue. it ensures we see that economic growth across the uk. we have _ that economic growth across the uk. we have managed to keep the economy open and _ we have managed to keep the economy open and we need to continue that growth _ open and we need to continue that growth and ensure that our citizens see the _ growth and ensure that our citizens see the benefits and are able to recover — see the benefits and are able to recover from what has been a really tough _ recover from what has been a really tough couple of years. during the first lockdown, thousands of families were forced to say their final goodbyes to loved ones via video link.
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andy rhind—tutt�*s father, george, died and was buried on the day of the downing street party, back in may 2020. fiona lamdin, has been speaking to him. # where the blue of the night...# this is 89—year—old george. his family say he was always singing. but during lockdown, when george couldn�*t see his family, he started to deteriorate. on may the 4th, he died, and we were — just me and my brother and sister — were able to be with him at the moment he died, and it was very moving, very sad. the funeral was the 20th of may. it was very difficult for us again. pretty emotional, as you can imagine, to not be able to celebrate his life, and to watch his coffin being lowered into the ground with just, around the grave, the immediate family. so to hear the news that there was a law passed that we all abided to, and on the day that
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we buried my father, there was a party in downing street and that the prime minister was there, itjust leaves such a bitter taste. do you feel you can trust the prime minister? i don�*t, at the moment. and the other end of the country, in bolton, suleman is also struggling with the prime minister�*s apology. you know, when they're having parties, i couldn't visit my wife. his wife, nicola, was a2. this was her being treated for sepsis in march 2020. he didn�*t see her again till the night before she died. i hadn't seen her for seven weeks, because of all these flippin' rules. and i thought i was doing the right thing. while borisjohnson was in the garden at downing street in may 2020, 36—year—old graham was in intensive care. his sister is haunted by it. only lisa and her mum were allowed in the room as graham passed away.
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they had to video call her dad and sister. i can�*t describe how wrong it felt, and how disrespectful it felt to... ..hold a camera up to my brother�*s face. but i had to do it, because it was the only way that my dad, or my sister, would see him again. # at the corner of the street...# this is how george�*s family will remember him. but they — like many others — feel they haven�*t had their chance to gather and say their goodbyes. # she were absolutely wonderful, and marvellous and beautiful.# fiona lamdin, bbc news. all this comes as a poll by yougov, which was carried out before mrjohnson�*s statement yesterday, puts labour at a 10—point lead
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ahead of the tories, the party�*s biggest lead since december 2013. patrick english is yougov�*s political research manager. just take us through the key headlines from this pool. brute headlines from this pool. we surveyed _ headlines from this pool. we surveyed people before boris johnson's apology so what we found is a ten _ johnson's apology so what we found is a ten point lead for labour in terms of— is a ten point lead for labour in terms of voter intention. the most important — terms of voter intention. the most important finding was 26% of those who voted — important finding was 26% of those who voted in conservative in 2019 were _ who voted in conservative in 2019 were telling us they do not know who they would _ were telling us they do not know who they would vote for now. that is as well as _ they would vote for now. that is as well as photos voted for other parties — well as photos voted for other parties. keir starmer now has a double—digit lead in terms of who would _ double—digit lead in terms of who would make the best prime minister. 60% of—
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would make the best prime minister. 60% of the _ would make the best prime minister. 60% of the public before the pub apology— 60% of the public before the pub apology said boris johnson should resign _ apology said boris johnson should resin. �* ., ., ., resign. and i wonder what sort of difference that _ resign. and i wonder what sort of difference that apology _ resign. and i wonder what sort of difference that apology might - resign. and i wonder what sort of - difference that apology might make? it's difference that apology might make? it�*s difficult to tell. we do it's difficult to tell. we do askwhether if boris johnson had it's difficult to tell. we do askwhether if borisjohnson had been found _ askwhether if borisjohnson had been found by— askwhether if borisjohnson had been found by the investigation that he went to _ found by the investigation that he went to the party that should resign and that— went to the party that should resign and that does not reach the 65% but given— and that does not reach the 65% but given that _ and that does not reach the 65% but given that borisjohnson has provided _ given that borisjohnson has provided some explanation, that figure _ provided some explanation, that figure might not stand. we will do much _ figure might not stand. we will do much more — figure might not stand. we will do much more pulling and ask people what they— much more pulling and ask people what they think. it is certainly something we will be looking into. looking _ something we will be looking into. looking in — something we will be looking into. looking in more detail at the question of whether borisjohnson should stay as prime minister or whether he should resign and indeed that question before yesterday when he said he was at the event on the 20th of may 2020, the question of whether he did go not. at that point we didn�*t have a statement. what did people say on that specifically? flan
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people say on that specifically? can ou re eat people say on that specifically? can you repeat that? i'm _ people say on that specifically? can you repeat that? i'm not _ people say on that specifically? can you repeat that? i'm not sure - people say on that specifically? can you repeat that? i'm not sure if- you repeat that? i'm not sure if it's the same — you repeat that? i'm not sure if it's the same poll— you repeat that? i'm not sure if it's the same poll but _ you repeat that? i'm not sure if it's the same poll but i - you repeat that? i'm not sure if it's the same poll but i believe | you repeat that? i'm not sure if. it's the same poll but i believe you it�*s the same poll but i believe you did another poll prior to prime minister�*s questions yesterday and asked the public do you think there was a party in downing street in may 2020 that borisjohnson attended? the findings of that with very interesting as well.— the findings of that with very interesting as well. yes. we did ask that question _ interesting as well. yes. we did ask that question in _ interesting as well. yes. we did ask that question in the _ interesting as well. yes. we did ask that question in the same _ interesting as well. yes. we did ask that question in the same poll - interesting as well. yes. we did ask that question in the same poll and i that question in the same poll and found _ that question in the same poll and found that — that question in the same poll and found that over 80% think he probably did attend the garden party~ — probably did attend the garden party. so the public thought he was there _ party. so the public thought he was there before he admitted it. they are concerned about it. that 60% resignation — are concerned about it. that 60% resignation figure that includes full intent conservative voters from 2019 so _ full intent conservative voters from 2019 so this isn't just a full intent conservative voters from 2019 so this isn'tjust a partisan thing _ 2019 so this isn'tjust a partisan thing it's— 2019 so this isn'tjust a partisan thing. it's cutting across party lines — thing. it's cutting across party lines and _ thing. it's cutting across party lines and it puts pressure on the prime _ lines and it puts pressure on the prime minister from the people backed — prime minister from the people backed him in 2019. conservative mps will be looking — backed him in 2019. conservative mps will be looking at _ backed him in 2019. conservative mps will be looking at it _
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backed him in 2019. conservative mps will be looking at it when _ backed him in 2019. conservative mps will be looking at it when they - will be looking at it when they consider whether he is an electoral asset out is it possible to characterise this as a blip in the polling or is this part of a longer term trend?— polling or is this part of a longer term trend? that's an important ruestion. term trend? that's an important question- i _ term trend? that's an important question. i certainly _ term trend? that's an important question. i certainly think - term trend? that's an important question. i certainly think we - term trend? that's an important| question. i certainly think we can characterise this as a big moment in the polling. — characterise this as a big moment in the polling, labour being ten points ahead _ the polling, labour being ten points ahead it's — the polling, labour being ten points ahead. it's important though to recognise — ahead. it's important though to recognise this is part of a long—term trend in public opinion. the vote _ long—term trend in public opinion. the vote showed the conservatives have been— the vote showed the conservatives have been going down since the autumn— have been going down since the autumn and boris johnson's have been going down since the autumn and borisjohnson's personal ratings _ autumn and borisjohnson's personal ratings have been getting more negative — ratings have been getting more negative since the summer and all of this is— negative since the summer and all of this is a _ negative since the summer and all of this is a pressure cooker. people are getting — this is a pressure cooker. people are getting increasingly frustration —— frustrated with the government and you _ —— frustrated with the government and you add to this repeated stories in the _ and you add to this repeated stories in the news — and you add to this repeated stories in the news about boris johnson and the conservatives and it leads us to where _ the conservatives and it leads us to where we _ the conservatives and it leads us to where we are today.—
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the conservatives and it leads us to where we are today. thank you very much for that. _ the health secretary, sajid javid, has confirmed he�*s cutting the isolation period for people testing positive for covid in england. from monday, those with a positive result will be freed from isolation at the start of day six if they�*ve had negative tests on days five and six. it�*s hoped the move will ease pressure on employers hit by staff absences, including the nhs. it comes as the number of people in england waiting to start routine hospital treatment has risen to another record high during the pandemic. our health corresponent, dominic hughes, reports now from warrington hospital in cheshire. you did say there was a space in here a while ago. in the emergency department at warrington hospital, staff are having to manage competing pressures. the omicron wave is sweeping across north—west england with a fast—growing number of covid patients. we are running on escalation numbers every day, just to ensure we are safe. staff are falling sick, and all this while non—covid patients also need urgent care. it�*s almost a perfect winter storm.
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across the region our numbers of covid inpatients are almost as high as they were in previous waves. now, we're also dealing with our usual winter pressures and the need to catch up with all that elective work that we wanted to do in previous years, so we've never felt the pressure so much. keep an eye on it, press on it. the latest data shows more than 40,000 nhs hospital staff in england — around 5% — were absent because of covid sickness or isolation last week. four patients waiting. and as more staff fall sick, it�*s needed everyone to get involved. we�*ve got support from across the organisation of admin staff coming to help is in the mornings, to support with comfort with the patients. so it�*s a real team effort. absolutely, it�*s been like that from day one. to ease the pressure on understaffed hospital departments, the government has just changed the rules so isolation can end on day six. uk hsa data shows that around two thirds of positive cases are no
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longer infectious by the end of day five, and we want to use the testing capacity that we've built up to help these people leave isolation safely. new figures from nhs england show the havoc the pandemic has played with waiting times. in november 2021, 6 million people were waiting for planned surgery. 307,000 people have been waiting more than a year for their treatment. and december saw a record number of ambulance call—outs for the most urgent cases, but average response times failed to meet current targets. fraser knows first—hand the impact a delayed ambulance can have. when he had a heart attack six years ago, an ambulance was there within minutes. on new year�*s day he experienced the same symptoms, but this time he was told it would be at least two hours before an ambulance could get to him. this time it was going through my mind of if it�*s two hours for the ambulance just to get here,
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i haven�*t got a chance. who�*s going to look after my partner and my kids if this doesn�*t get sorted in time? in winter the nhs is running hot. this is shaping up to be one of the toughest periods the health service and those patients waiting for treatment have experienced. dominic hughes, bbc news, warrington. with pressure on hospitals growing, take a look at the bbc�*s nhs tracker, which has the latest data on emergency waiting times for services in your area, and how that compares to pre—pandemic demand. he�*s been one of the faces of the government�*s battle against coronavirus. but now, professor sirjonathan van—tam, is stepping down from his role as england�*s deputy chief medical officer. borisjohnson has thanked him for what he called his "extraordinary contribution to our country," and the professor became well known for his colourful analogies at downing street news conferences.
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don�*t tear the pants out of it. i think the mum test is very important. my mum is 78, she will be 79 shortly. and i have already said to her, "mum, make sure, when you�*re called, you�*re ready." it�*s clear that in the first half the away team gave us an absolute battering. they got a goal. and in the 70th minute we�*ve now got an equaliser. this is a complex product with a very fragile culture. it�*s not a yoghurt that can be taken out of the fridge and put back in multiple times. it�*s the third goal in the back of the net now in my penalty shoot—out. it�*s the third vaccine with a positive readout. the train has now slowed down safely. it has now stopped and the station and the doors have opened. what we need now is for people to get on that train. the strikers who score the wonder goals are the ones who make the headlines, actually the hard yards are done by the defenders and by the defensive midfielders
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tracking back, tracking back. it�*s a bit like being 3—0 up in a game and thinking, "well, we can�*t possibly lose this now," but how may times have you seen the other side take it 4—3? do not wreck this now. france is relaxing its travel rules for vaccinated brits. travellers will no longer need a compelling reason to visit the country, and won�*t be required to self—isolate on arrival. but a negative covid test, taken 2a hours before leaving the uk, is required. our transport correspondent katie austin explained a little earlier what this means for the travel industry regardless of vaccination status people will still have to have a negative covid test, either pcr or lateral flow,
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negative covid test, either pcr or lateralflow, in the previous negative covid test, either pcr or lateral flow, in the previous 2a hours. but this change does mean that vaccinated people can now go to france on holiday or to visit friends or family. france on holiday or to visit friends orfamily. when france on holiday or to visit friends or family. when the restrictions were introduced it came just in time to cancel lots of people�*s christmas plans and the travel industry so this is a huge blow. france is a popular holiday destination. so today�*s move has been welcomed by businesses including eurostar, brittany ferries and airline companies which have seen a spike in bookings. this will also be music to the ears of firms in the french alps because it means british tourists can go this game. the lawyer representing virginia giuffre, the woman who�*s accused prince andrew of sexually assaulting her when she was 17, has told the bbc, he doesn�*t think she would accept a purely financial settlement. ajudge in new york has rejected the duke�*s attempts to dismiss the civil case. prince andrew has consistently denied the allegations. our royal correspondent sarah campbell has been
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following the story near the duke�*s home in windsor. i think we can say the options are limited. he could appeal the decision that most people agree it was a fairly definitive judgment and so his chances on that front are considered slim. he could refuse to engage with the court case altogether but that would mean he would lose by default. so he could fight the case which would mean before july of this year fight the case which would mean beforejuly of this year he and his accuser would have to sit down with opposition lawyers and give testimony under oath. this would be recorded and would be open to any other witnesses which could include members of the duke�*s family and thatis members of the duke�*s family and that is before the case even gets to trial. or he could try to settle, an option that would undoubtedly prove to be expensive and virginia giuffre may refuse to settle. the statement that was released on behalf of her
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lawyer suggested she wants her day in court. prince andrew denies any wrongdoing and has been —— there has been no comments from his legal team today. there is no comment either from buckingham palace but i think we can say with certainty allegations have been circling for years and now will cast a cloud over this year�*s platinum jubilee celebrations. now it�*s time for a look at the weather with stav. it was a cold start of the day with a lot of frost and fog across parts of england and wales. further north, much of scotland, it has been mild and breezy. the next few days, a similar story. staying largely dry and settled but they will be some issues with some mist and fog across the south. tonight, that fog will return across parts of england and wales and it could be dense in places. another cold night to come.
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much of england and is with widespread frost but much milder across scotland. as we head into friday, the high pressure still dominating the scene. this weather front would bring thicker cloud and patchy rain for scotland. it will be breezy with rain at times. some sunshine for southern scotland and northern ireland. england and wales starting of cold and frosty. temperatures struggling to get much above freezing. but for most temperatures reaching 8
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hello this is bbc news, the headlines. no let up in the pressure on borisjohnson, as some tory mps say he should resign, for attending a drinks party, during lockdown. nhs waiting times in england reach a record high. six million people were waiting for planned operations and procedures in november. the self—isolation period for people who test positive for covid is being cut in england. from monday, people will be freed on day six if they�*ve had negative tests on days five and six. vaccinated uk travellers will be allowed back to france from tomorrow — as the government in paris relaxes restrictions. a rare �*interference alert�* is issued by m15 to parliamentary offices. it warns of �*political interference activities�* on behalf of the chinese communist party.
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and a former syrian colonel is found guilty of the torture of thousands of people at a prison in damascus during syria�*s civil war. and the scale of our river pollution. mps call for a step change in efforts to clean up rivers in england. sport now...and a full round up, from the bbc sport centre. a novak djokovic sag are continuing to dominate. no confirmation yet on whether he will be able to play with no confirmation yet on his covid—19 exemption. the australian immigration minister yet to decide whether to revoke his visa again. the world number one and defending
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champion was named in the drop made earlier and he will face a fellow serbian in the first round. in serbian in the first round. in keeping with this australia open, the draw was not without a hint of drama when it was postponed indefinitely two minutes before it was due to start and with the australian prime minister scott morrison due to give a press conference people started to put two and two together and perhaps we made five because the draw took place 75 minutes later with novak djokovic in it and his opponent is a fellow serbian should he be allowed to play by the australian government so a relatively friendly face on the first round match. other highlights from a british point of view, andy murray against basilashvili and cameron norrie will play sebastian corder, the american who has been
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stuck in isolation, testing positive upon arrival in adelaide, and a very tough draw for raducanu against sloane stephens. little preparation for the australian open having cut covid but stevens got married. and? covid but stevens got married. andy murray faced — covid but stevens got married. andy murray faced basilashvili at the sydney international this week and now through to the semifinal after his latest opponent was forced to retire due to a knee injury, the first time in two years he has won three tournament matches in a row. david coffin is dan evans�*s first round opponent at the australia open. also the ruins in sydney and continued his unbeaten run with a straight set winds over
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basilashvili. liam brody and harriet dart have both reached the final round of qualifying for this really no pain. graham stokes and jonny bairstow are desperate to prove their fitness in time for the final ashes test in hobart. it is indicated the pair could be used as specialist batters leaving stokes unable to bow all and jonny bairstow, both key figures in the england dressing room. thea;t bairstow, both key figures in the england dressing room. they are still in good _ england dressing room. they are still in good spirits, _ england dressing room. they are still in good spirits, seem - england dressing room. they are still in good spirits, seem greati still in good spirits, seem great around the group andhappy, a great indication they are still in a good mindset to potentially play the game. i am sure they will both be desperate to play butjust picking up desperate to play butjust picking up the ball forjohnny and little things like that, i hope it doesn�*t cause future damage and i�*m sure there will be weighed up by the
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medical team.— there will be weighed up by the medicalteam. �* , ., , ., medical team. british athletes and para-athletes _ medical team. british athletes and para-athletes are _ medical team. british athletes and para-athletes are being _ medical team. british athletes and para-athletes are being for - medical team. british athletes and para-athletes are being for medal| para—athletes are being for medal success at next month�*s winter games in china. it is thought great britain have the potential to —— lizzy yarnold became britain�*s most successful winter olympian. that is all your support for now and over on the bbc sport website you can watch the bbc sport website you can watch the masters snicker. newcastle united have signed new zealand striker chris wood from burnley for £22 million and the french left back digne hasjoined £22 million and the french left back digne has joined aston villa £22 million and the french left back digne hasjoined aston villa on £22 million and the french left back digne has joined aston villa on a dealfrom everton. back to digne has joined aston villa on a deal from everton. back to you digne has joined aston villa on a dealfrom everton. back to you now. a court in germany has sentenced a syrian colonel to life for crimes against humanity. anwar raslan who�*s 58, was linked to the torture of 4,000 people, at a prison in damascus known as "hell on earth".
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a former officer under president bashar al—assad, he was arrested in germany, where he�*d claimed asylum, two years ago. our correspondent, jenny hill, has that story.. those who oppose the syrian president paid a terrible price. basher al—assad�*s regime violently crushed street protests in 2011. civilians rounded up, detained, tortured, killed. by people like this, a former secret service officer. anwar raslan presided over the torture of 4000 people at a notorious prison in damascus. he had claimed asylum in germany but today was jailed for life here for crimes against humanity. it is was jailed for life here for crimes against humanity.— against humanity. it is like hell, reall . against humanity. it is like hell, really- this _ against humanity. it is like hell, really. this man _ against humanity. it is like hell, really. this man survived - really. this man survived incarceration _ really. this man survived incarceration and - really. this man survived - incarceration and interrogation.
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late on your stomach and raise your feetin late on your stomach and raise your feet in the air, so a stress position. and i should answer the questions and whenever he didn�*t like the answers i gave he ordered somebody next to me to start to hit me. it somebody next to me to start to hit me. , . somebody next to me to start to hit me, , ., , ., , . somebody next to me to start to hit me. it is a painful 'ustice. many were tortured _ me. it is a painful 'ustice. many were tortured to _ me. it is a painfuljustice. many were tortured to death - me. it is a painfuljustice. many were tortured to death and - me. it is a painfuljustice. manyj were tortured to death and over me. it is a painfuljustice. many - were tortured to death and over two years the courts heard terrible stories, using special tools, electric shocks, operate. crime so serious they could be tried outside syria in a german court. the verdict matters, it isjust syria in a german court. the verdict matters, it is just as of course for the families of those killed and those who survive the torture. it is also a criminal court acknowledging that the regime of basher al—assad committed crimes against humanity against his own people. this man was himself arrested by anwar raslan and recognised him after both men came
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to germany. i recognised him after both men came to germany-— to germany. i am so happy, it is historical. _ to germany. i am so happy, it is historical, in _ to germany. i am so happy, it is historical, in fact. _ to germany. i am so happy, it is historical, in fact. a _ to germany. i am so happy, it is historical, in fact. a historical. historical, in fact. a historical step— historical, in fact. a historical step happened here today. it is victory~ — step happened here today. it is victo . �* ., , step happened here today. it is victo . �* ~ ., step happened here today. it is victo .�* ., victory. but even as anwar raslan starts a sentence, _ victory. but even as anwar raslan starts a sentence, survivors, - starts a sentence, survivors, relatives and campaigners want the world to know this is still happening. marks and spencer and tesco, have reported bumper sales in the run up to christmas, and both companies are forecasting strong full year profits. they�*re the latest big retailers to report healthy trading. our business correspondent emma simpson is here. i guess people in the run—up to christmas going out less still and perhaps deciding if we are going to be at home let�*s make sure we have lots of food in. be at home let's make sure we have lots of food in.— lots of food in. that is right but rroin lots of food in. that is right but going back _ lots of food in. that is right but going back a — lots of food in. that is right but going back a few _ lots of food in. that is right but going back a few months - lots of food in. that is right but going back a few months it - lots of food in. that is right but i going back a few months it wasn't going back a few months it wasn�*t that long ago there were fears about empty shelves. although supply chain
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problems, labourshortages, empty shelves. although supply chain problems, labour shortages, which were real, despite all of this, overall christmas has been a pretty decent one for retailers. and as for marks & spencer, after years of falling sales and business in the doldrums, it is how a very good christmas. i think food has done particularly well, up by more than 12% from before the pandemic. it was saying it had its best ever week on food just before christmas. tesco�*s uk sales were up more than 7% on a two—year basis so as you said the supermarkets have benefited from as eating, drinking, entertaining at home, because the pubs and restaurants were deserted because of the spread of the omicron variant.
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and staying with the high street, next has announced it is cutting sick pay for unvaccinated staff who have to self—isolate. following on from a number of other businesses doing something similar. brute from a number of other businesses doing something similar. we reported this week that — doing something similar. we reported this week that ikea _ doing something similar. we reported this week that ikea had _ doing something similar. we reported this week that ikea had made - doing something similar. we reportedj this week that ikea had made changes to sick pay policy, and to be clear with next than these other businesses, whether you are jabbed or not and you get covid you will get full sick pay, but the changes if you are unvaccinated and you comment to that it might have to self—isolate, then it is likely that you will get the minimum statutory sick pay, £96 a week, unless there are mitigating circumstances, so a financial penalty, but clearly this could be the start of a bit of a trend because the backdrop to all this is that businesses have rising
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costs and of course there watching staff absences very closely. it is an emotive topic and next thing to have to balance staff and shareholder needs. b5 have to balance staff and shareholder needs. �* , ., shareholder needs. as to whether it serves as a — shareholder needs. as to whether it serves as a nudge _ shareholder needs. as to whether it serves as a nudge to _ shareholder needs. as to whether it serves as a nudge to get _ shareholder needs. as to whether it serves as a nudge to get people - shareholder needs. as to whether it | serves as a nudge to get people who haven�*t decided to get a vaccination to go and have one, i guess that is not any data on this sort of thing yet? it not any data on this sort of thing et? . , not any data on this sort of thing et? ., , ., , ., not any data on this sort of thing et? ., .,, ,, yet? it adds a bit of pressure because it — yet? it adds a bit of pressure because it is _ yet? it adds a bit of pressure because it is a _ yet? it adds a bit of pressure because it is a financial - yet? it adds a bit of pressure i because it is a financial penalty. statutory sick pay is £96 a week. a woman suspected of working for the chinese come in as parties suspected of trying to influence members of parliament. they say that the women has been found to have engaged in political interference activities on behalf of the commonest party in china, engaging with members at parliament here. iain china, engaging with members at parliament here.— china, engaging with members at parliament here. iain duncan smith, sanctioned by _ parliament here. iain duncan smith,
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sanctioned by china _ parliament here. iain duncan smith, sanctioned by china for _ parliament here. iain duncan smith, sanctioned by china for alleging - sanctioned by china for alleging human rights abuses has expressed concern. i rise on the point of order literally— i rise on the point of order literally is a letter from the speaker _ literally is a letter from the speaker has arrived in our offices. i understand that mr speaker has been _ i understand that mr speaker has been contacted by mi5 and is no warning — been contacted by mi5 and is no warning members of parliament that there has— warning members of parliament that there has been an agent of the chinese — there has been an agent of the chinese government active here in parliament— chinese government active here in parliament working with a member of parliament, obviously to subvert the processes _ parliament, obviously to subvert the processes here. i say as a member of parliament_ processes here. i say as a member of parliament sanctioned by the chinese government as others that this is a matter— government as others that this is a matter of— government as others that this is a matter of grave concern and they would _ matter of grave concern and they would therefore rise on three points which _ would therefore rise on three points which are _ would therefore rise on three points which are important. number one, will this— which are important. number one, will this now lead to a serious overhaul— will this now lead to a serious overhaul of the accreditation procedures here in the house of commons, _ procedures here in the house of commons, because it is clearly to select— commons, because it is clearly to select that — commons, because it is clearly to select that these people get in. is it possible that we will have a
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statement from the speaker, from the chair, _ statement from the speaker, from the chair. about— statement from the speaker, from the chair, about the risks? i have one of those _ chair, about the risks? i have one of those who— chair, about the risks? i have one of those who has done a lot to try to help _ of those who has done a lot to try to help hong kong chinese fleeing the communist regime here in the uk. we have _ the communist regime here in the uk. we have names and numbers of people and that— we have names and numbers of people and that leaves me worrying that some _ and that leaves me worrying that some of— and that leaves me worrying that some of these are being accessed by such an _ some of these are being accessed by such an individual. these would be their— such an individual. these would be their lives— such an individual. these would be their lives and families at risk and i their lives and families at risk and i am _ their lives and families at risk and i am deeply concerned about this because — i am deeply concerned about this because my activity therefore may well have — because my activity therefore may well have been traced as those from my colleagues and friends. i understand that the latest news that i understand that the latest news that i hear _ understand that the latest news that i hear is _ understand that the latest news that i hear is that this individual is not to— i hear is that this individual is not to be _ i hear is that this individual is not to be deported then no further action— not to be deported then no further action to _ not to be deported then no further action to be taken. how can it be that an _ action to be taken. how can it be that an agent of a foreign the spot a canned _ that an agent of a foreign the spot a canned despicable power that is hell-bent — a canned despicable power that is hell—bent on reducing many of those people _ hell—bent on reducing many of those people and _ hell—bent on reducing many of those people and tip injury, how can they put someone into parliament and then that individual have nothing done to them _ that individual have nothing done to
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them other than not being allowed back in _ them other than not being allowed back in. can there be a statement from _ back in. can there be a statement from the — back in. can there be a statement from the government has to have what they plan _ from the government has to have what they plan to _ from the government has to have what they plan to do and possibly with respect _ they plan to do and possibly with respect from the chair, mr speaker? i'd respect from the chair, mr speaker? i'd like _ respect from the chair, mr speaker? i'd like to— respect from the chair, mr speaker? i'd like to thank the right i�*d like to thank the right honourable memberfor i�*d like to thank the right honourable member for his i�*d like to thank the right honourable memberfor his point of order and giving me forward notice. it is not the policy of the chair to comment in detail in any security matters and i will certainly not be doing so today. as far as any statement either from the chair or indeed from a government minister, i have been given no notification whatsoever that it is happening but should that change, and i am certain members will be notified in the usual way. and as far as the start point, we don�*t discuss the detail of security issues on the floor but i can assure the right honourable member that house authorities are in regular contact with appropriate agencies on this matter and we will update our advice and activities as
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necessary. the first patients in wales have received antiviral tablets for covid to take at home. they�*ve been shown to reduce symptoms, and could cut the number of people needing hospital treatment. gemma dunstan has the story: it was greeted with a flurry of excitement. the first antiviral drug for covid proved in the uk with hopes it would change the course of the pandemic. the oxford university led trial is being rolled out across wales. it is the first antiviral specifically for covid which makes it different from other studies. this right here is my negative lateral flow test that i have kept as evidence that i survived covid—19. as evidence that i survived covid-19-_ as evidence that i survived covid-19. �* , , ., covid-19. amy tested positive for covid-19. amy tested positive for covid over— covid-19. amy tested positive for covid over the _ covid-19. amy tested positive for covid over the christmas - covid-19. amy tested positive for| covid over the christmas holidays. she is one of around 1500 in wales who have now taken the antiviral. they just who have now taken the antiviral. theyjust made such a huge
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difference. i started to feel better within 24 hours of starting them and i genuinely think if i hadn�*t taken them i would have ended up being hospitalised. them i would have ended up being hospitalised-— hospitalised. amy was given the tablets due _ hospitalised. amy was given the tablets due to _ hospitalised. amy was given the tablets due to complex - hospitalised. amy was given the tablets due to complex health . hospitalised. amy was given the - tablets due to complex health issues rather than through the trial but it is hoped the study running since the 8th of december will continue to see people sign up. to take part you need to be over 50 or 18—49 with an underlying health condition. you need a positive test and start within five days of symptoms. the trial requires no face—to—face contact. the tablets are delivered and you will receive a phone call from a gp about how they work. the dru: is from a gp about how they work. ii;e: drug is absorbed by from a gp about how they work. ti;e: drug is absorbed by covid infected cells and blocks how the virus replicates in the body. this should make it harder for the covid virus to reproduce and reduce the risk of developing serious disease. the
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stud is developing serious disease. the study is being delivered here by public health wales, health and care research wales and cardiff university, with a focus on making sure it is open to everyone.- sure it is open to everyone. often clinical trials _ sure it is open to everyone. often clinical trials are _ sure it is open to everyone. often clinical trials are done _ sure it is open to everyone. often clinical trials are done in - sure it is open to everyone. often clinical trials are done in very - clinical trials are done in very specialised centres and it is a very particular type of person who goes into them and so we are really keen on for example making sure people who live in rural areas have a chance to get involved and if we just worked in the hospital they wouldn�*t. just worked in the hospital they wouldn't. �* . , just worked in the hospital they wouldn't. �* ., , , ., just worked in the hospital they wouldn't. , ., , wouldn't. antivirals may be a useful tool in the fight _ wouldn't. antivirals may be a useful tool in the fight against _ wouldn't. antivirals may be a useful tool in the fight against covid - tool in the fight against covid about vaccines and the blister programme still remain the most effective way to protect from the virus. not a single river in england is free from pollution, according to the findings of an influential group of mps. the environmental audit committee, says it�*s uncovered a "chemical cocktail" of sewage, agricultural waste and plastic, in our waterways. the mps are calling for tougher enforcement of rules on dumping, and better monitoring of the problem. here�*s our environment
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correspondent, jonah fisher. then there, i don�*t know what that is. then there, i don't know what that is. �* , , ,, , then there, i don't know what that is. ashley smith is searching throu . h is. ashley smith is searching through sewage. _ is. ashley smith is searching through sewage. this - is. ashley smith is searching through sewage. this is - is. ashley smith is searching l through sewage. this is shown is. ashley smith is searching - through sewage. this is shown brick in oxfordshire, a stream that receives the outflow from two water treatment plants. iitiui’ith receives the outflow from two water treatment plants.— treatment plants. with this camera we have seen _ treatment plants. with this camera we have seen basically _ treatment plants. with this camera we have seen basically untreated i we have seen basically untreated sewage _ we have seen basically untreated sewage coming out. he we have seen basically untreated sewage coming out.— we have seen basically untreated sewage coming out. he comes here often to monitor— sewage coming out. he comes here often to monitor the _ sewage coming out. he comes here often to monitor the water- sewage coming out. he comes here often to monitor the water quality. | often to monitor the water quality. his videos evidence of an ecosystem being steadily poisoned. that his videos evidence of an ecosystem being steadily poisoned.— being steadily poisoned. that is visible but in _ being steadily poisoned. that is visible but in sewage, _ being steadily poisoned. that is visible but in sewage, you - being steadily poisoned. that is visible but in sewage, you can i visible but in sewage, you can imagine — visible but in sewage, you can imagine everything that goes into your drains at home, through your shower— your drains at home, through your shower and — your drains at home, through your shower and sink and toilet, all the chemicals — shower and sink and toilet, all the chemicals you see in the supermarkets, all of that goes into this. untreated and not even affected _ this. untreated and not even affected in any way. we have done some _ affected in any way. we have done some river— affected in any way. we have done some river monitoring and in this area _ some river monitoring and in this
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area we _ some river monitoring and in this area we found virtually nothing in the invertebrate department apart from some blood worms which will live in— from some blood worms which will live in virtually anything. it is dreadful- _ live in virtually anything. it is dreadful. for— live in virtually anything. it is dreadful. for the _ live in virtually anything. it is dreadful. for the last - live in virtually anything. it 3 dreadful. for the last year parliament�*s environmental audit committee has been putting together a report into the state of england�*s�*s rivers and it is published today. the mps report blames pretty much everyone for what it calls the mess of england�*s�*s rivers. water companies, farmers, inadequate testing and monitoring, years of complacency by policymakers and also you and i, for all the things we throw down the toilet every day that go on to block the sewers. it every day that go on to block the sewers. , . , every day that go on to block the sewers. , ., , .., , every day that go on to block the sewers. ,., ,~~ , sewers. it is a very complex system that we have _ sewers. it is a very complex system that we have but _ sewers. it is a very complex system that we have but in _ sewers. it is a very complex system that we have but in essence - sewers. it is a very complex system that we have but in essence for - sewers. it is a very complex system that we have but in essence for the | that we have but in essence for the last 60 years we have not as a nation invested in our water treatment assets to the same extent as we have invested above ground.
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underground, it is unseen, people don�*t know it is there until there is a problem at which time it is too late. ., ., ., .., , is a problem at which time it is too late. ., ., ., , , late. the role of water companies is also scrutinised _ late. the role of water companies is also scrutinised with _ late. the role of water companies is also scrutinised with mps _ late. the role of water companies is also scrutinised with mps saying - also scrutinised with mps saying they have to invest more and become more transparent about when they allow raw sewage to flow into rivers. ~ ., ., , . rivers. were we wrong to expect rivate rivers. were we wrong to expect private water — rivers. were we wrong to expect private water companies - rivers. were we wrong to expect private water companies to - rivers. were we wrong to expect private water companies to put i rivers. were we wrong to expect i private water companies to put the quality _ private water companies to put the quality of _ private water companies to put the quality of water ahead of profits? i don't _ quality of water ahead of profits? i don't believe so at all. it is not a question— don't believe so at all. it is not a question of— don't believe so at all. it is not a question of public or private, it is about— question of public or private, it is about doing a good job, getting incentives right and the regulation i’ili'it incentives right and the regulation right and — incentives right and the regulation right and having the right people with the — right and having the right people with the right equipment and the i’ili'it with the right equipment and the right investment. we regard all discharges of untreated sewage is unacceptable but it will take a long time to— unacceptable but it will take a long time to get that problem completely solved _ time to get that problem completely solved |t— time to get that problem completely solved. ., ,., ., ,, ., , time to get that problem completely solved. ., ., ,, ., , ., solved. it will also take money and olitical solved. it will also take money and political will- _ solved. it will also take money and political will. but _ solved. it will also take money and political will. but at _ solved. it will also take money and political will. but at least - solved. it will also take money and political will. but at least the - political will. but at least the pollution of our reverence is no longer a dirty secret.
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as one of the oldest gothic cathedrals in the world is rebuilt after a devastatnig fire, visitors can now view notre dame virtually. it�*s a welcome distraction to a simmering row amongst many public figures in france who accuse designers of planning to turn the cathedral�*s insides into a woke disneyland, as mark lobel reports. after the fire, where great coronations and weddings occurred, the reconstruction. this tree felled for the spire to be restored faithfully within an inch of its former life. but look inside notre dame, as president macron did on the fire�*s second anniversary, and that�*s where things are beginning to heat up again. the archbishop of paris has plans for at installations to replace altars, classical sculptures to replace conventional boxes, and a biblical themed discovery trail to bring the cathedral into the 21st century, are being cast by some critics as a politically correct disneyland.
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but for the nostalgic, there is always the option of burying their heads in the sand of time through a virtual reality headset. how notre dame looked throughout history. it is quite impressive. i would say that you are a bit anxious at the start, and then you completely forget about the fact that you are in an enclosed space, as the environment is absolutely magnificent. you had better not be afraid of heights, however. it gives quite an unusual feeling. the cathedral has been closed for three years, sojust imagine. that means 40 million frustrated visitors. if we open in 2024, we are going to wait for another three years, so this is the occasion for believers and tourist
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to be able to say, well,
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and surprises. we up the ante every time we come back with more spectacular, originalacrobatics, more special effects, a whole different concept, a whole different story, new costumes. and really they can expect to be moved off their seats. this year, cirque de soleil celebrate 25 years of performing at the royal albert hall, and it coincides with the venue�*s 150th anniversary celebration. it is really special to be here in the royal albert hall. for many of us it is the highlight of our career.
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i think it is something that a lot of us will look back on, and it is going to be that really special moment and one of the few we will have and really remember as the biggest. the company opened to a royal gala last time they were at the royal albert hall, but then coronavirus hit, which led to shows around the world being cancelled, 95% of staff being laid off and near bankruptcy for the company. we actually did a run through for the first time yesterday and we all wept a little bit. i don't think you expect how much it did hurt, how much it hurt... you come back to work, it's another day on the job, but to see the show come back to life, all of us come back to life after two years was quite an emotional moment for all of us. the global circus brand is hoping its return to the capital is a bright light during
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a challenging time for theatres. looks like a spectacular show. now it�*s time for a look at the weather with stav danaos. it has been a cold start from any particular across england and wales with widespread frost and some fog patches but mild across north of scotland and quite breezy. high pressure keeps things largely dry and settle down fog will continue particularly across england and wales, some quite dense in places. for the rest of today looks like it will stay dry for most with plenty of sunshine, more cloud and a stronger breeze across the north of scotland and here we have the highest temperature up to around 12 celsius but for most around 6—8 but cold where the rain and mist and fog lingers. fog returning to england and wales becoming quite extensive and wales becoming quite extensive and the dense in places. further north, staying mild and breezy so
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here for— seven but quite a widespread hard frost in places for england and wales and parts of northern ireland. an area of high pressure still wet is for friday, this where front across the north of the country brings thicker cloud and outbreaks of rain to northern scotland, quite breezy for the northern isles but further south the chilly start with frost and foreground, plenty of sunshine but we the fog lingers pretty cold down the temperature struggling to get above freezing but with the sunshine the temp are generally 4—8. still quite mild across the far north of scotland. subtle change into the start of the weekend with the area of high pressure beginning to ease away allowing the weather front to slowly push on from the atlantic but wyms still light in england and wales to start again with frost and fog. for scotland and northern ireland that will be breezy with showers pushing and later in the
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day. the temperature for most around 4-8, day. the temperature for most around 4—8, quite a bit of cloud around but also brightness. into sunday we see this weather front move south eastwards, more isobars on the chart so a breezy day and we should not have any problems with fog across england and wales for sunday. sunshine makes a return and further showers pushing to the north—west of scotland and eight breezy day generally, the temperature not too bad in the sunshine, around 7—11.
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this is bbc news. the headlines: no let up in the pressure on borisjohnson, as some tory mps say he should resign for attending a drinks party during the first lockdown. cabinet ministers rally round him, while labour says the facts are already clear. he accepts he ought not to have done that, looking back, but it was done in good faith. there was no possible malice or intention to do anything other than to give a heartfelt thank you to people who had been working incredibly hard. do they really think this behaviour is excusable? are they really going to defend him? are they really going to stand by him? because in the end, it's notjust the prime minister the voters will conclude is unfit to govern, it's conservative mps who stand by him. a rare �*interference alert�* is issued by m15 to parliamentary offices.
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it warns of �*political interference activities�* on behalf of the chinese communist party. nhs waiting times in england reach a record high. six million people were waiting for planned operations and procedures in november. the self—isolation period for people who test positive for covid is being cut in england. from monday, people will be freed on day 6 if they�*ve had negative tests on days 5 and 6. a former syrian colonel is found guilty of the torture of thousands of people at a prison in damascus during syria�*s civil war. and the scale of our river pollution. mps call for a step change in efforts to clean up rivers in england.
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borisjohnson�*s future as prime minister remains in the balance, despite his apology for attending a drinks party during the first coronavirus lockdown in 2020. some senior conservatives are calling for him to resign. but members of the cabinet have rallied to his defence, after he said yesterday, he understood the public�*s "rage" at his actions. he pulled out of a planned visit to a vaccination clinic today, following a family member, testing positive for coronavirus. with all the latest, here�*s our political correspondent, helen catt. westminster is waiting. as the fallout from the prime minister�*s apology for how he handled what he maintains was a work event continues, borisjohnson should have been out in front of the cameras in lancashire today, but the visit was cancelled. one of his family members tested positive for covid.
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some of his own mps have been on the airwaves. the prime minister, at the dispatch box yesterday, first of all made an apology, which was the right thing to do, i accept that. but unfortunately, then went on to say that he spent 25 minutes at what he described as a work event, which was in fact a party. having said on the 8th of december, at the dispatch box, that he was not aware of any parties in downing street when he clearly attended one, which means he misled the house. the mood isn't great. there is a lot of concern among colleagues about the damage that these revelations are doing to the conservative party. but i do think yesterday there was a bit of a turning of colleagues' opinion. it was a very contrite, a very heartfelt apology. do you still support borisjohnson? absolutely, 100%. the cabinet is backing borisjohnson. he said he had been right to apologise and agreed there should be patient while an enquiry is carried out. other ministers have given more full throated backing.
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there is no question in my mind borisjohnson was acting in good faith to thank the people who had been helping to guide the country through the crisis, working incredibly hard. he accepts the oughtn�*t to have done that looking bad but it was done in good faith. one minister�*s defense sparked a backlash after he said this about the leader of the scottish conservative. douglas ross has always been quite a lightweight figure so i don't think he is not a micro hang on. the leader of the scottish conservatives, and msp, is a lightweight figure? mr ross is one of four conservative mps who are publicly called on mrjohnson to go. meanwhile, the opposition is increasing the pressure on tory mps. do they really think this behaviour is excusable? are they really going to defend him? are they really going to stand by him? because in the end it�*s notjust the prime minister that voters will conclude is not fit to govern, it is conservative mps who stand by him. many conservative mps appear to be
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holding off passing judgment until the senior civil servant sue gray finishes her report. that is expected in the next week. helen catt, bbc news, westminster. let�*s speak to our political correspondent, nick eardley. i guess the days ahead as everyone waits on the report and the outcome of that investigation will be, it will be an intense period as the prime minister and his mps try to gauge the reaction both from politicians and the public to what borisjohnson had to say yesterday? yes. that�*s absolutely right. we�*ve heard various ministers being rolled out over the last 24 hours to say they agree with what the prime minister said, they think they should be spaced now for that senior civil servant to look into all the various claims of parties or
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gatherings in downing street during lockdown. in a way, they have bought themselves a bit of time with that but the question is how long? there are three things that matter here. as you say, there are many who will be going back to their constituents this weekend to basically gauge the mood to see what the public thinks, to see how that apology had gone down. i was speaking to one former cabinet minister last night who said they got a deluge of e—mails, 45 in 30 minutes, after borisjohnson�*s apology in the commons yesterday basically saying it wasn�*t good enough. this person suggested it was a really bad sign for the prime minister. the second thing is there are many conservative mps who holding fire now and basically figuring out what�*s going on with borisjohnson. they may not like him some of them but they have seen him
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as a vote winner. if that starts to change and if the polls show the tories have taken a hit from what�*s happened over the last few weeks it�*s possible some will put their head above the parapet and say we need a change of leader. the third thing is that report. we don�*t know exactly when it�*s coming. they have been some ministers are suggesting it could be within days or next week. if that is critical in any way of the prime minister, if it finds any other events, if it suggests the pm knew more than he is let on about what was going on, that�*s a problem. there are some conservative mps who have suggested to me that that could be terminal. so there is a bit of a calm between the storm element to westminster today but that could change pretty quickly if any of those things happen.- change pretty quickly if any of those things happen. thank you very much for that. _
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those things happen. thank you very much for that. in _ those things happen. thank you very much for that. in a _ those things happen. thank you very much for that. in a few _ those things happen. thank you very much for that. in a few minutes - those things happen. thank you very much for that. in a few minutes i - much for that. in a few minutes i will talk to doctor hannah white the deputy director for the institute for government about this story. a woman suspected of working on behalf of the chinese communist party has been attempting to improperly influence members of parliament, the speaker of the house of commons said in a letter. speaker lindsay hoyle said m15 had found that the woman "has been engaged in political interference activities on behalf of the chinese communist party, engaging with members here at parliament". iain duncan smith, who has been sanctioned by china for highlighting alleged human right abuses in xinjiang, has expressed concern. i rise on a point of order literally is an— i rise on a point of order literally is an e-mail_ i rise on a point of order literally is an e—mailfrom i rise on a point of order literally is an e—mail from the speaker has arrived _ is an e—mail from the speaker has arrived in — is an e—mail from the speaker has arrived in our— is an e—mail from the speaker has arrived in our offices. the key issue — arrived in our offices. the key issue here _ arrived in our offices. the key issue here is that i understand that mr speaker has been contacted by mi5 and is _ mr speaker has been contacted by mi5 and is now— mr speaker has been contacted by mi5 and is now warning members of parliament that there has been an agent— parliament that there has been an agent of— parliament that there has been an agent of the chinese government active _ agent of the chinese government active here in parliament working
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with a _ active here in parliament working with a member of parliament obviously to subvert the processes here _ obviously to subvert the processes here i_ obviously to subvert the processes here i say — obviously to subvert the processes here. i say is a member of parliament was sanctioned by the chinese _ parliament was sanctioned by the chinese government but this is a matter— chinese government but this is a matter of— chinese government but this is a matter of grave concern and i therefore _ matter of grave concern and i therefore rise on three points which are really— therefore rise on three points which are really important. number one, will this— are really important. number one, will this now lead to a serious overhaul— will this now lead to a serious overhaul of the accreditation procedures here in the house of commons — procedures here in the house of commons because it's clearly too slack— commons because it's clearly too slack that — commons because it's clearly too slack that these people getting? is it possible that we will have a statement from the speaker or from the risks? _ statement from the speaker or from the risks? i— statement from the speaker or from the risks? lam statement from the speaker or from the risks? i am one of those who has done _ the risks? i am one of those who has done a _ the risks? i am one of those who has done a lot— the risks? i am one of those who has done a lotto — the risks? i am one of those who has done a lot to try and help fleeing hong _ done a lot to try and help fleeing hong kong chinese fleeing the communist regime here in the uk. we have names _ communist regime here in the uk. we have names and numbers of people and that leaves— have names and numbers of people and that leaves me worrying that some of these _ that leaves me worrying that some of these have _ that leaves me worrying that some of these have been accessed by such an individuat _ these have been accessed by such an individual. these would be their lives _ individual. these would be their lives and — individual. these would be their lives and their families at risks and i_ lives and their families at risks and i am — lives and their families at risks and i am deeply concerned about this because _ and i am deeply concerned about this because my— and i am deeply concerned about this because my activities may well have been traced. and i understand the
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latest _ been traced. and i understand the latest news i hear is that this individual— latest news i hear is that this individual is not to be deported and no further— individual is not to be deported and no further action to be taken. how can it _ no further action to be taken. how can it be _ no further action to be taken. how can it be that an agent of a foreign despicable — can it be that an agent of a foreign despicable power that is hell—bent on reducing many of those people into ten— on reducing many of those people into ten eerie it seems, how can they— into ten eerie it seems, how can they put— into ten eerie it seems, how can they put somebody into parliament and then— they put somebody into parliament and then that individual have nothing _ and then that individual have nothing done to them. this is surely nothing done to them. this is surely not good _ nothing done to them. this is surely not good enough and could there be a statement _ not good enough and could there be a statement from the government as to what they— statement from the government as to what they plan to do and possibly with respect from the chair and mr speaker~ _ with respect from the chair and mr speaker~ |— with respect from the chair and mr seaker. ., ~' with respect from the chair and mr seaker. ., ~ ., ., ,, speaker. i would like to thank the ri . ht speaker. i would like to thank the right honourable _ speaker. i would like to thank the right honourable member- speaker. i would like to thank the right honourable member for - speaker. i would like to thank the right honourable member for his i right honourable member for his point _ right honourable member for his point of— right honourable member for his point of order— right honourable member for his point of order and _ right honourable member for his point of order and giving - right honourable member for his point of order and giving me - right honourable member for his - point of order and giving me forward notice _ point of order and giving me forward notice of— point of order and giving me forward notice of it — point of order and giving me forward notice of it it's _ point of order and giving me forward notice of it. it's not _ point of order and giving me forward notice of it. it's not the _ point of order and giving me forward notice of it. it's not the policy- point of order and giving me forward notice of it. it's not the policy of- notice of it. it's not the policy of the chairs— notice of it. it's not the policy of the chairs is— notice of it. it's not the policy of the chairs is a _ notice of it. it's not the policy of the chairs is a comment - notice of it. it's not the policy of the chairs is a comment in - notice of it. it's not the policy of| the chairs is a comment in detail notice of it. it's not the policy of. the chairs is a comment in detail on any security — the chairs is a comment in detail on any security matter— the chairs is a comment in detail on any security matter and _ the chairs is a comment in detail on any security matter and i _ the chairs is a comment in detail on any security matter and i will - the chairs is a comment in detail on any security matter and i will not i any security matter and i will not be doing — any security matter and i will not be doing so— any security matter and i will not be doing so today. _ any security matter and i will not be doing so today. as— any security matter and i will not be doing so today. as far- any security matter and i will not be doing so today. as far as - any security matter and i will not be doing so today. as far as anyl be doing so today. as far as any statement — be doing so today. as far as any statement either— be doing so today. as far as any statement either from - be doing so today. as far as any
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statement either from the - be doing so today. as far as any statement either from the chair| be doing so today. as far as any. statement either from the chair or indeed _ statement either from the chair or indeed from — statement either from the chair or indeed from a _ statement either from the chair or indeed from a government- statement either from the chair or. indeed from a government minister, statement either from the chair or- indeed from a government minister, i have been— indeed from a government minister, i have been given — indeed from a government minister, i have been given no _ indeed from a government minister, i have been given no notification - indeed from a government minister, i have been given no notification that. have been given no notification that is happening — have been given no notification that is happening but— have been given no notification that is happening. but should _ have been given no notification that is happening. but should that- have been given no notification that. is happening. but should that change i am is happening. but should that change i am certain— is happening. but should that change i am certain that _ is happening. but should that change i am certain that members _ is happening. but should that change i am certain that members will- i am certain that members will be notified _ i am certain that members will be notified in— i am certain that members will be notified in the _ i am certain that members will be notified in the usual— i am certain that members will be notified in the usual way. - i am certain that members will be notified in the usual way. and - i am certain that members will be notified in the usual way. and as. notified in the usual way. and as far as _ notified in the usual way. and as far as the — notified in the usual way. and as far as the third _ notified in the usual way. and as far as the third point, _ notified in the usual way. and as far as the third point, we - notified in the usual way. and as far as the third point, we don't. far as the third point, we don't discuss — far as the third point, we don't discuss the _ far as the third point, we don't discuss the detail— far as the third point, we don't discuss the detail of— far as the third point, we don't discuss the detail of security . discuss the detail of security issues — discuss the detail of security issues on _ discuss the detail of security issues on the _ discuss the detail of security issues on the floor— discuss the detail of security issues on the floor but - discuss the detail of security issues on the floor but i- discuss the detail of security issues on the floor but i can| discuss the detail of security - issues on the floor but i can ensure the right— issues on the floor but i can ensure the right honourable _ issues on the floor but i can ensure the right honourable member- issues on the floor but i can ensure the right honourable member at. issues on the floor but i can ensurel the right honourable member at the house _ the right honourable member at the house authorities— the right honourable member at the house authorities are _ the right honourable member at the house authorities are in _ the right honourable member at the house authorities are in regular- house authorities are in regular contact — house authorities are in regular contact with _ house authorities are in regular contact with appropriate - house authorities are in regular- contact with appropriate government agencies _ contact with appropriate government agencies on — contact with appropriate government agencies on this _ contact with appropriate government agencies on this matter— contact with appropriate government agencies on this matter and - contact with appropriate government agencies on this matter and we - contact with appropriate government agencies on this matter and we will. agencies on this matter and we will update _ agencies on this matter and we will update our— agencies on this matter and we will update our advice _ agencies on this matter and we will update our advice and _ agencies on this matter and we will update our advice and activities - agencies on this matter and we will update our advice and activities asi update our advice and activities as necessary — our security correspondent gordon corera is here. let�*s begin with this interference alert, what do we know about it? it's alert, what do we know about it? it�*s a 1—page alert which was sent to a parliamentary offices today. we have seen a copy of it and it basically is from the security service m15 and it has a picture on —— of this woman and it is a warning to parliamentarians to say this
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individual m15 believes is acting on behalf of something called the united front work department which is in itself a front for the chinese communist party. the allegation in it is that this has been clandestine activity on behalf of the chinese communist party to influence british politics. it looks like through donations so the claim is that this individual was seeing these donations were coming from the chinese community in the uk but were actually coming from individuals in china with the purpose of trying to influence british politics for instance to have a more positive view of the chinese communist party or to limit criticism of chinese human rights issues and the security service has taken the pretty unusual move of going public to try and disrupt that activity by issuing this alert. ., ., ., ., ., , this alert. you mentioned donations and we've had _ this alert. you mentioned donations and we've had a _ this alert. you mentioned donations and we've had a statement - this alert. you mentioned donations and we've had a statement from - this alert. you mentioned donations l and we've had a statement from barry and we�*ve had a statement from barry gardiner, the mp for brent north,
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about this. donations she made to fund research is in his office. what else is he saying? the fund research is in his office. what else is he saying?— else is he saying? the alert itself doesnt else is he saying? the alert itself doesn't name _ else is he saying? the alert itself doesn't name any _ else is he saying? the alert itself doesn't name any particular- doesn�*t name any particular individuals and says it was across political parties but we do know that from barry gardner who is himself but he says he�*s been liaising with the security service for a number of years about this individual, christine lee, and that she was funding research is in his office in the past. steps were taken to ensure that she had no role in the appointment or management of those researchers and that stopped injune those researchers and that stopped in june 2020. those researchers and that stopped injune 2020. but he notes her son volunteered in his office and actually only left it appears today from that office. so clearly a lot of focus will be on barry gardner and his relationship with those donations to fund his office. there appear to be a lot of other signs she was active across the political spectrum in terms of being involved
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in british politics and the allegation is this is as a covert agent on behalf of the chinese communist party. we have not been able to reach christine lee for any comment. by, able to reach christine lee for any comment. �* .., , able to reach christine lee for any comment. ~ .., , ., able to reach christine lee for any comment-— comment. a couple of interesting oints in comment. a couple of interesting points in that _ comment. a couple of interesting points in that clip _ comment. a couple of interesting points in that clip from _ comment. a couple of interesting points in that clip from iain - comment. a couple of interesting i points in that clip from iain duncan smith. the expresses concern about information from individuals whose details he would not want falling into the hands of china. also he raises why has no action been taken against this individual. it�*s against this individual. it's interesting _ against this individual. it's interesting the _ against this individual. it�*s interesting the allegation here is not like espionage in the sense of being a spy stealing secrets or passing on secret material. but rather it relates to political interference, trying to influence politics. so a slightly different accusation from some of the spy claims you might hear about. that also goes to the second point as to what can be done about it because i think the concern talking to
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security services over a number of years has been that isn�*t necessarily the laws of the tools to tackles interference as opposed to espionage. they don�*t necessarily have the tools to be going after people who might be exercising influence covertly. a lot of attention on this was over russia and you will remember the russia report a euro two ago which highlighted this issue of russian money trying to influence public and political life. and some of the problems in dealing with it. the government has said it is planning a new counter hostile state powers or national security powers in the coming months in order partly to look at some of these issues about how to deal with influence and interference operations which don�*t fit into the traditional box of espionage which you might be able to prosecute people for.— prosecute people for. thank you very much for taking _ prosecute people for. thank you very much for taking us _ prosecute people for. thank you very much for taking us through _ prosecute people for. thank you very much for taking us through that. -
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let�*s return to borisjohnson. his future remains in the balance despite the apology yesterday. some senior conservatives have been calling for him to resign but some cabinet members have been coming out in his defence. i�*m joined by dr hannah white, deputy director at the institute for government. all eyes now on this report coming from the senior civil servant. do you know when that report will be ready? you know when that report will be read ? �* . . you know when that report will be read ? �* ., ., ., �* ., you know when that report will be read? ., ., ., ._ ready? i'm afraid i don't have any more idea — ready? i'm afraid i don't have any more idea than _ ready? i'm afraid i don't have any more idea than the _ ready? i'm afraid i don't have any more idea than the other - ready? i'm afraid i don't have any i more idea than the otherjournalists who are _ more idea than the otherjournalists who are trying to find out. we've heard _ who are trying to find out. we've heard the — who are trying to find out. we've heard the end of next week at the earliest _ heard the end of next week at the earliest. my understanding is it is not finished yet so we won't be seeing — not finished yet so we won't be seeing it— not finished yet so we won't be seeing it this week.— not finished yet so we won't be seeing it this week. looking through the procedure. _ seeing it this week. looking through the procedure, when _ seeing it this week. looking through the procedure, when it— seeing it this week. looking through the procedure, when it is—
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seeing it this week. looking through the procedure, when it is ready - seeing it this week. looking through the procedure, when it is ready to i the procedure, when it is ready to sit landing borisjohnson�*s inbox sit landing boris johnson�*s inbox first sit landing borisjohnson�*s inbox first or will it be published simultaneously? it first or will it be published simultaneously?— first or will it be published simultaneously? first or will it be published simultaneousl ? , ., ., simultaneously? it is a report to boris johnson — simultaneously? it is a report to boris johnson show _ simultaneously? it is a report to boris johnson show -- - simultaneously? it is a report to boris johnson show -- so - simultaneously? it is a report to boris johnson show -- so it - simultaneously? it is a report to boris johnson show -- so it will| simultaneously? it is a report to i boris johnson show -- so it will go borisjohnson show —— so it will go to him _ borisjohnson show —— so it will go to him the — borisjohnson show —— so it will go to him. the important thing for everybody— to him. the important thing for everybody to realise is it's unlikely— everybody to realise is it's unlikely we're going to see the report— unlikely we're going to see the report itself. what happened in the past with _ report itself. what happened in the past with the sort of enquiries is that what's been published as a high—level summary of the findings. if high—level summary of the findings. if you _ high—level summary of the findings. if you look— high—level summary of the findings. if you look back at the statements of what _ if you look back at the statements of what the government has said about— of what the government has said about this — of what the government has said about this they have always referred to publishing the findings rather than the — to publishing the findings rather than the report and i think that's what _ than the report and i think that's what we — than the report and i think that's what we should be expecting. a lot of --eole what we should be expecting. a lot of people will _ what we should be expecting. a lot of people will think, _ what we should be expecting. lot of people will think, hang on, obviously borisjohnson is one of the subjects of this report and yet it lands on his inbox first. then you are saying that people will not be able to see the full version of the report but rather a summary and many people will ask does that really gave sufficient checks and balances in the system?-
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really gave sufficient checks and balances in the system? that's a ve rood balances in the system? that's a very good question _ balances in the system? that's a very good question to _ balances in the system? that's a very good question to ask. - balances in the system? that's a very good question to ask. when balances in the system? that's a - very good question to ask. when this enquiry— very good question to ask. when this enquiry was — very good question to ask. when this enquiry was first set up it was because — enquiry was first set up it was because we wanted to find out the facts about three specified parties which _ facts about three specified parties which had — facts about three specified parties which had been leaked. and she'll initially— which had been leaked. and she'll initially it — which had been leaked. and she'll initially it was simon cayce was asked _ initially it was simon cayce was asked to — initially it was simon cayce was asked to conduct this relatively limited — asked to conduct this relatively limited enquiry into the factor on the parties. since that point it has evolved _ the parties. since that point it has evolved. simon case was taken from conducting _ evolved. simon case was taken from conducting it himself because there was an— conducting it himself because there was an allegation about a party in his private — was an allegation about a party in his private office. so sue gray took over~ _ his private office. so sue gray took over~ most — his private office. so sue gray took over. most recently we've had allegations about the party which boris _ allegations about the party which borisjohnson himself attended allegations about the party which boris johnson himself attended and now this _ boris johnson himself attended and now this is — boris johnson himself attended and now this is a case of a civil servant _ now this is a case of a civil servant having to investigate allegations about the prime minister which _ allegations about the prime minister which could potentially have implications for his political future~ _
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implications for his political future~ i— implications for his political future. i think that is not what the system _ future. i think that is not what the system was — future. i think that is not what the system was envisaged or set up to do. system was envisaged or set up to do i— system was envisaged or set up to do ithink— system was envisaged or set up to do. i think it's a very difficult position— do. i think it's a very difficult position to be put in. it raises questions _ position to be put in. it raises questions about _ position to be put in. it raises questions about confidence i position to be put in. it raises questions about confidence in position to be put in. it raises - questions about confidence in the report and brandon lewis and other cabinet ministers have been talking about the findings being published and brandon lewis was calling this report independent but sue gray�*s bosses cabinet minister right? she works for michael gove and ultimately the prime minister is a boss so _ ultimately the prime minister is a boss so this is definitely inaccurate to describe this as an independent report. it's an internal report— independent report. it's an internal report into — independent report. it's an internal report into what went on. it's often very useful— report into what went on. it's often very useful to have this body within the cabinet office who can do these sorts of— the cabinet office who can do these sorts of internal investigations into what's gone on when there are allegations — into what's gone on when there are allegations of things having happened inappropriately within the civil service and government. but
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it's very— civil service and government. but it's very definitely not an independent enquiry. if you wanted an independent enquiry he would have had to— an independent enquiry he would have had to have _ an independent enquiry he would have had to have asked the formerjudge of somebody like the prime minister's adviser on ministerial interests — minister's adviser on ministerial interests to conduct the enquiry. when _ interests to conduct the enquiry. when the — interests to conduct the enquiry. when the report emerged, is it presented as a series of findings without recommendations or action? she has been asked, the terms are she can _ she has been asked, the terms are she can make recommendations about disciplinary— she can make recommendations about disciplinary action which should be taken _ disciplinary action which should be taken in _ disciplinary action which should be taken in relation to civil servants but if— taken in relation to civil servants but if anything relating to ministers should be dealt with under the ministerial code process. so in the ministerial code process. so in the past _ the ministerial code process. so in the past similar types of enquiries have been— the past similar types of enquiries have been asked to make a judgment about— have been asked to make a judgment about whether the ministerial code was breached, for example when damian— was breached, for example when damian greene was investigated by jeremy— damian greene was investigated by jeremy hayward he was actually asked to make _ jeremy hayward he was actually asked to make a _ jeremy hayward he was actually asked to make a judgment about whether the ministerial— to make a judgment about whether the ministerial code had been breached. that is— ministerial code had been breached.
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that is not— ministerial code had been breached. that is not something so great has been _ that is not something so great has been asked to do. this that is not something so great has been asked to do.— been asked to do. this is probably wh we been asked to do. this is probably why we are _ been asked to do. this is probably why we are hearing _ been asked to do. this is probably why we are hearing lots _ been asked to do. this is probably why we are hearing lots of- been asked to do. this is probably why we are hearing lots of mps i why we are hearing lots of mps saying they want to wait to hear this report and why this may be a deciding factor one way or the other in terms of their continued support or not for borisjohnson. i in terms of their continued support or not for boris johnson.— or not for boris johnson. i think that's right _ or not for boris johnson. i think that's right but _ or not for boris johnson. i think that's right but i _ or not for boris johnson. i think that's right but i think- or not for boris johnson. i think that's right but i think as - or not for boris johnson. i think that's right but i think as you i or not for boris johnson. i think. that's right but i think as you said in your— that's right but i think as you said in your introduction, it will come down _ in your introduction, it will come down to— in your introduction, it will come down to the _ in your introduction, it will come down to the outcome of this enquiry is whether— down to the outcome of this enquiry is whether the police decide to pursue — is whether the police decide to pursue anything in terms of a legal case but _ pursue anything in terms of a legal case but ultimately it's going to come _ case but ultimately it's going to come down to the reaction of voters and how— come down to the reaction of voters and how conservative mps read that reaction _ and how conservative mps read that reaction and what they think the implications are for the future of boris _ implications are for the future of borisjohnson. the health secretary, sajid javid, has confirmed he�*s cutting
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the isolation period for people testing positive for covid in england. from monday those with a positive result, will be freed from isolation at the start of day 6 if they�*ve had negative tests on days 5 and 6. it�*s hoped the move will ease pressure on employers hit by staff absences, including the nhs. it comes as the number of people in england waiting to start routine hospital treatment has risen to another record high during the pandemic. our health corresponent, dominic hughes, reports now from warrington hospital in cheshire. you did say there was a space in here a while ago. in the emergency department at warrington hospital, staff are having to manage competing pressures. the omicron wave is sweeping across north—west england with a fast—growing number of covid patients. we are running on escalation numbers every day, just to ensure we are safe. staff are falling sick, and all this while non—covid patients also need urgent care. it�*s almost a perfect winter storm. across the region our numbers of
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covid inpatients are almost as high as they were in previous waves. now, we're also dealing with our usual winter pressures and the need to catch up with all that elective work that we wanted to do in previous years, so we've never felt the pressure so much. keep an eye on it, press on it. the latest data shows more than 40,000 nhs hospital staff in england — around 5% — were absent because of covid sickness or isolation last week. four patients waiting. and as more staff fall sick, it�*s needed everyone to get involved. we�*ve got support from across the organisation of admin staff coming to help is in the mornings, to support with comfort with the patients. so it�*s a real team effort. absolutely, it�*s been like that from day one. to ease the pressure on understaffed hospital departments, the government has just changed the rules so isolation can end on day six. uk hsa data shows that around two thirds of positive cases are no longer infectious by the end of day five, and we want to use the testing capacity that we've built up to help
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these people leave isolation safely. new figures from nhs england show the havoc the pandemic has played with waiting times. in november 2021, 6 million people were waiting for planned surgery. 307,000 people have been waiting more than a year for their treatment. and december saw a record number of ambulance call—outs for the most urgent cases, but average response times failed to meet current targets. fraser knows first—hand the impact a delayed ambulance can have. when he had a heart attack six years ago, an ambulance was there within minutes. on new year�*s day he experienced the same symptoms, but this time he was told it would be at least two hours before an ambulance could get to him. this time it was going through my mind of if it�*s two hours for the ambulance just to get here, i haven�*t got a chance. who�*s going to look after my partner and my kids if this doesn�*t
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get sorted in time? in winter the nhs is running hot. this is shaping up to be one of the toughest periods the health service and those patients waiting for treatment have experienced. dominic hughes, bbc news, warrington. with pressure on hospitals growing, take a look at the bbc�*s nhs tracker, which has the latest data on emergency waiting times for services in your area, and how that compares, to pre—pandemic demand. mi5 m15 had found the woman had been engaged in political interference activities. iain duncan smith has
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expressed concern about this and he is with our political correspondent. this story and the salute from m15 has caused quite a lot of shocker in parliament and the extent of what has been alleged and i am with iain duncan smith, who is one of those who has been most critical of chinese influence in the uk. how worried are you by what we�*ve heard today? worried are you by what we've heard toda ? , ., ., ., ., today? very worried. i am one of these mps _ today? very worried. i am one of these mps who _ today? very worried. i am one of these mps who has _ today? very worried. i am one of these mps who has been - today? very worried. i am one of. these mps who has been sanctioned today? very worried. i am one of- these mps who has been sanctioned by these mps who has been sanctioned by the chinese _ these mps who has been sanctioned by the chinese government and could possibly— the chinese government and could possibly rested on a red notice in a country— possibly rested on a red notice in a country that — possibly rested on a red notice in a country that has extradition arrangements so there is a lot going on here _ arrangements so there is a lot going on here for— arrangements so there is a lot going on here for us. we have also been working _ on here for us. we have also been working with democracy campaigners who have _ working with democracy campaigners who have had to flee hong kong. that sort of— who have had to flee hong kong. that sort of information kicking around in my— sort of information kicking around in my office and my colleagues offices — in my office and my colleagues offices and we now discover there is an individual, an agent of the chinese — an individual, an agent of the chinese government, has been working their way— chinese government, has been working
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their way around parliament and could _ their way around parliament and could have — their way around parliament and could have had access to my office and is _ could have had access to my office and is paying money to persuade people _ and is paying money to persuade people to — and is paying money to persuade people to become supporters of this brutal— people to become supporters of this brutal regime. it is a brutal regime and guilty— brutal regime. it is a brutal regime and guilty of genocide and. labour, of smashing the christians and threatening the taiwanese. this is a threatening the taiwanese. this is a threatening government. and here it has taken _ threatening government. and here it has taken years and why wasn't this action— has taken years and why wasn't this action done — has taken years and why wasn't this action done and now we have access apparently— action done and now we have access apparently giving money to the labour— apparently giving money to the labour party and they have access to david _ labour party and they have access to david cameron and theresa may. why won't _ david cameron and theresa may. why won't they— david cameron and theresa may. why won't they warned about this? i gather— won't they warned about this? i gather this woman was given an award — gather this woman was given an award i— gather this woman was given an award. i don't know what's going on but i _ award. idon't know what's going on but i think— award. i don't know what's going on but i think the government should make _ but i think the government should make a _ but i think the government should make a statement and we need to open this up _ make a statement and we need to open this u -. ~ . make a statement and we need to open this u-.~ ., ., make a statement and we need to open this u.~ ., ., i. make a statement and we need to open this u-.~ ., ., ,, ., this up. what do you want the government — this up. what do you want the government to _ this up. what do you want the government to do? _ this up. what do you want the government to do? clearly i this up. what do you want the i government to do? clearly there this up. what do you want the - government to do? clearly there is a lot of concern in parliament about this and clearly something appears to have gone badly wrong that this
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was allowed to happen so long. what has the government failed to do? what should it be doing now? apparently the time is running a story— apparently the time is running a story in— apparently the time is running a story in 2017 so if they were looking _ story in 2017 so if they were looking at this back in 2017 how is it this _ looking at this back in 2017 how is it this individual gets access to members _ it this individual gets access to members of government, prime minister— members of government, prime minister is, how is it this organisation can seek to subvert a political— organisation can seek to subvert a political party by giving them donations? and how is it... all of this stuff, — donations? and how is it... all of this stuff, if— donations? and how is it... all of this stuff, if it was a concern, why is that— this stuff, if it was a concern, why is that still— this stuff, if it was a concern, why is that still going on today? we need _ is that still going on today? we need to— is that still going on today? we need to look at our clearance systems _ need to look at our clearance systems because how is this individual cleared without anyone going _ individual cleared without anyone going know they shouldn't be here and there — going know they shouldn't be here and there is money hidden through accounts _ and there is money hidden through accounts in — and there is money hidden through accounts in hong kong. all these alarm _ accounts in hong kong. all these alarm bells should have been going off. alarm bells should have been going off we _ alarm bells should have been going off. we need to ask themselves the
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question. _ off. we need to ask themselves the question, how can we do this? i've had plenty— question, how can we do this? i've had plenty of briefings from government ministers which are not in the _ government ministers which are not in the public domain because i was in the public domain because i was in government at some point so those sorts of— in government at some point so those sorts of things are kicking in parliament. so this is really dangerous. subverting british politicians and seeking information. does it— politicians and seeking information. does it wait raise wider questions about lobbying in uk politics and whether it is properly related? you are not allowed to lobby as a member of parliament but there is this whole — of parliament but there is this whole issue of what they call all parliamentary groups which are not of parliament but sit in parliament. they are _ of parliament but sit in parliament. they are definitely what i would call the — they are definitely what i would call the soft underbelly of this and this is— call the soft underbelly of this and this is one — call the soft underbelly of this and this is one of the ways in. there are lots— this is one of the ways in. there are lots of— this is one of the ways in. there are lots of things we need to look at in _ are lots of things we need to look at in parliament. we have to be worried — at in parliament. we have to be worried about access like that. but this is— worried about access like that. but this is on— worried about access like that. but this is on a — worried about access like that. but this is on a level even above just what _ this is on a level even above just what i _ this is on a level even above just what i would call lobbying. this has security— what i would call lobbying. this has security implications, it has lives at risk, _ security implications, it has lives at risk, information about people fleeing — at risk, information about people fleeing. these people and their
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families, — fleeing. these people and their families, this is really serious. i am not — families, this is really serious. i am not running scare stories, i am genuinely— am not running scare stories, i am genuinely concerned and shocked that this has— genuinely concerned and shocked that this has been allowed to happen. we need to— this has been allowed to happen. we need to understand why and we need to do something about it but we also have to _ to do something about it but we also have to recognise that the chinese government poses a clear and present danger— government poses a clear and present danger to— government poses a clear and present danger to us— government poses a clear and present dangerto us and government poses a clear and present danger to us and stop messing around pretending _ danger to us and stop messing around pretending some how we can be on the one hand _ pretending some how we can be on the one hand bosom buddy friends and then the _ one hand bosom buddy friends and then the other hand worry about them _ then the other hand worry about them. they are a threat and we have to deal— them. they are a threat and we have to deal with — them. they are a threat and we have to deal with them on that basis. the other bi to deal with them on that basis. tie: other big story has been the prime minister�*s position. you helped him run his campaign and you have known him for a long time. do you think he is in trouble at the moment and that more mps once they go back this weekend and they hear what constituents think may call him to go? there is no question we know what constituents think already, they are angry, _ constituents think already, they are angry, there is no excuse for it and
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that is— angry, there is no excuse for it and that is the — angry, there is no excuse for it and that is the reality. no messing around — that is the reality. no messing around are tiptoeing around that. the prime — around are tiptoeing around that. the prime minister came to the house yesterday— the prime minister came to the house yesterday and apologised, but he is also said _ yesterday and apologised, but he is also said there is an enquiry and that enquiry will report fairly quickly— that enquiry will report fairly quickly and that will show everything that has happened and where _ everything that has happened and where things went wrong. and if things— where things went wrong. and if things exist not in the public domain _ things exist not in the public domain we need to know what that is, then i— domain we need to know what that is, then i think— domain we need to know what that is, then i think everyone will decide what _ then i think everyone will decide what their— then i think everyone will decide what their opinions and views are on that basis— what their opinions and views are on that basis when we see that report and we _ that basis when we see that report and we think it is only fair, there is no _ and we think it is only fair, there is no point — and we think it is only fair, there is no point in— and we think it is only fair, there is no point in having a report if you prejudge it. i have known the prime _ you prejudge it. i have known the prime minister for many years, he has a _ prime minister for many years, he has a huge — prime minister for many years, he has a huge political asset to the conservative party but when it comes to government, no matter what it has to government, no matter what it has to be _ to government, no matter what it has to be done _ to government, no matter what it has to be done properly and it is critically— to be done properly and it is critically important.- to be done properly and it is critically important. some of your colleagues _ critically important. some of your colleagues have _ critically important. some of your colleagues have said _ critically important. some of your colleagues have said the - critically important. some of your colleagues have said the prime i colleagues have said the prime minister isn�*t performing the way they hoped he would, he is not on his a—game. do you think he will
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still be prime minister at the time of the next election leading the conservative party into that election? abet conservative party into that election?— conservative party into that election? . , , ., ., election? at present i have no reason to _ election? at present i have no reason to doubt _ election? at present i have no reason to doubt that - election? at present i have no reason to doubt that but - election? at present i have no reason to doubt that but as i l election? at present i have no l reason to doubt that but as i say there _ reason to doubt that but as i say there is— reason to doubt that but as i say there is a — reason to doubt that but as i say there is a report coming out and everybody— there is a report coming out and everybody should hold theirjudgment on this— everybody should hold theirjudgment on this until we see what is in the report— on this until we see what is in the report and — on this until we see what is in the report and where it takes us. that is important. no point in having a proper— is important. no point in having a proper report by an independent if you don't— proper report by an independent if you don't wait for it and then you can decide — you don't wait for it and then you can decide what the position is. the government— can decide what the position is. the government has asked us to do that, the prime _ government has asked us to do that, the prime minister has asked us to wait and _ the prime minister has asked us to wait and he — the prime minister has asked us to wait and he will be back when the report— wait and he will be back when the report hits — wait and he will be back when the report hits and he and others will have _ report hits and he and others will have to _ report hits and he and others will have to make decisions on that basis but right— have to make decisions on that basis but right now he is the prime minister— but right now he is the prime minister and but right now he is the prime ministerand he but right now he is the prime minister and he has but right now he is the prime ministerand he has my but right now he is the prime minister and he has my full support. iain minister and he has my full support. iain duncan — minister and he has my full support. iain duncan smith, thank you for your time. there is a lot going on here. questions over the prime minister�*s future. the changes to those self isolation roles at parliament. now this extraordinary story, m15 warning about attempts to influence mps and people around parliament. there is a lot going on.
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i think matt is an understatement, thank you very much. police in ireland say a young teacher murdered while outjogging is not believed to have known her killer. 23—year—old ashling murphy was attacked on the banks of the grand canal outside tullamore in county offaly yesterday afternoon, and died at the scene. a man in his forties has been arrested. police believe the attack was random and are appealing for any witnesses to come forward. let�*s speak to chris page in belfast. what else can you tell us about the investigation at this stage? $5 about the investigation at this stare? �* , about the investigation at this stare? m ., about the investigation at this stare? r ., , . about the investigation at this stage? as you would expect, people rirht stage? as you would expect, people right across — stage? as you would expect, people right across the _ stage? as you would expect, people right across the island _ stage? as you would expect, people right across the island of _ stage? as you would expect, people right across the island of ireland - right across the island of ireland have been horrified by news of this killing. aisling murphy, a 23—year—old teacher, yesterday on the grand canal, a route which is very popular with walkers and joggers, murdered by a very popular with walkers and joggers, murdered bya man very popular with walkers and joggers, murdered by a man who
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didn�*t know her, according to the police. one suspect is in custody. we know that he is in his 40s, and according to the irish police he is already known to them and has been involved in previous violent incidents. the detective leading the investigation has said that a postmortem man examination last night said the injuries sustained were consistent with a particularly severe assault. so there has been a real outpouring of grief both in the town of tullamore and further afield. as regards the investigation, a huge amount of resources being pulled into it, more than 50 police officers are working on the enquiry and police say they are particularly keen to hear from anyone who was on the towpath by the banks of the grand canal between three o�*clock and five o�*clock. two women came across aisling after she
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was attacked and she received medical treatment but sadly dry at the scene. police believe there are many more people in the area who were witnesses, and the more people who know anything, so anything the better. teii who know anything, so anything the better. , ., ., better. tell us more about the reaction especially _ better. tell us more about the reaction especially from - better. tell us more about the reaction especially from the i better. tell us more about the - reaction especially from the school community of which aisling was a part of. community of which aisling was a art of. ,, ., , ., community of which aisling was a artof. ,, ., , ., , community of which aisling was a artof. ,, .,, ., , ,. part of. she was a primary school teacher, part of. she was a primary school teacher. she _ part of. she was a primary school teacher, she taught _ part of. she was a primary school teacher, she taught six _ part of. she was a primary school teacher, she taught six and - teacher, she taught six and seven—year—olds. the principal has said, as you would very much expect, the whole school community is devastated and numb. he said that she was fantastic, beautiful, extraordinary, a shining light. so i�*m unimaginably difficult day for staff and pupils at that school today. also she was a very accomplished musician particularly in the irish traditional music scene so many musicians paying tribute to her. politically, the irish prime minister and deputy prime minister
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leo varadkar expressing shock and sadness as has been northern ireland deputy first minister michelle o�*neill here in belfast. deputy first minister michelle o'neill here in belfast.- o'neill here in belfast. let's return to — o'neill here in belfast. let's return to our _ o'neill here in belfast. let's return to our menus. - o'neill here in belfast. let's| return to our menus. cabinet ministers rallying around boris johnson who is continuing to face calls to resign. the prime minister yesterday apologised for attending a gathering in the downing street garden during the first lockdown. our south asia correspondent, rajini vaidyanathan, has been speaking to the international trade secretary, anne—marie trevelyan, who is on a trade mission in delhi. she was asked if she still stands by the prime minister. do you think that borisjohnson should resign? do you think that boris johnson should resign?— do you think that boris johnson should resign? no, i don't, asi commented _ should resign? no, i don't, asi commented yesterday. - should resign? no, i don't, asi commented yesterday. i - should resign? no, i don't, asi commented yesterday. i was i should resign? no, i don't, as i l commented yesterday. i was very pleased _ commented yesterday. i was very pleased he was able to give a heartfelt apology for the problems that have gone on in downing street and i that have gone on in downing street and i am _ that have gone on in downing street and i am glad he did, for my constituents i know that would have been a _ constituents i know that would have been a reassurance. as far as i am
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concerned — been a reassurance. as far as i am concerned he _ been a reassurance. as far as i am concerned he has been driving an incredibly— concerned he has been driving an incredibly effective set of decisions through some incredibly hard times through the pandemic. can i ask you hard times through the pandemic. i ask you this? hard times through the pandemic. can i ask you this? did you think it was a party or a work event? $5 i i ask you this? did you think it was a party or a work event?— a party or a work event? as i was not there — a party or a work event? as i was not there i — a party or a work event? as i was not there i have _ a party or a work event? as i was not there i have no _ a party or a work event? as i was not there i have no idea. - a party or a work event? as i was not there i have no idea. if- a party or a work event? as i was not there i have no idea. if you i not there i have no idea. if you were given _ not there i have no idea. if you were given an _ not there i have no idea. if you were given an e-mail- not there i have no idea. if you were given an e-mail that - not there i have no idea. if you were given an e-mail that said | not there i have no idea. if you - were given an e-mail that said bring were given an e—mail that said bring your own booze, how would you interpret it?— your own booze, how would you interret it? ., , ., ., interpret it? personally i have done nothinr interpret it? personally i have done nothing beyond _ interpret it? personally i have done nothing beyond seeing _ interpret it? personally i have done nothing beyond seeing my - interpret it? personally i have done nothing beyond seeing my family i nothing beyond seeing my family throughout because i was very confident of not wanting to share... so you _ confident of not wanting to share... so you would not have gone? i don't think i so you would not have gone? i don't think i would — so you would not have gone? i don't think i would have _ so you would not have gone? i don't think i would have been _ so you would not have gone? i don't think i would have been invited - think i would have been invited because — think i would have been invited because this was clearly a group who worked _ because this was clearly a group who worked together so my office, my staff and — worked together so my office, my staff and i— worked together so my office, my staff and i were in very much at the time _ staff and i were in very much at the time in _ staff and i were in very much at the time in an— staff and i were in very much at the time in an orderly and distanced way because _ time in an orderly and distanced way because it _ time in an orderly and distanced way because it was necessary, and in the heart _ because it was necessary, and in the heart of— because it was necessary, and in the heart of government it is necessary often _ heart of government it is necessary often for— heart of government it is necessary often for us — heart of government it is necessary often for us to be in the same place and to— often for us to be in the same place and to make — often for us to be in the same place and to make those difficult decisions.— and to make those difficult decisions. �* . decisions. but in the garden drinkin: decisions. but in the garden drinking alcohol? _ decisions. but in the garden drinking alcohol? as - decisions. but in the garden drinking alcohol? as i - decisions. but in the garden drinking alcohol? as i say, ij decisions. but in the garden - drinking alcohol? as i say, i think the prime minister _ drinking alcohol? as i say, i think the prime minister has _ drinking alcohol? as i say, i think the prime minister has set - drinking alcohol? as i say, i think the prime minister has set out i drinking alcohol? as i say, i think| the prime minister has set out his views— the prime minister has set out his views on— the prime minister has set out his
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views on this is not the way to do it and _ views on this is not the way to do it and he — views on this is not the way to do it and he has apologised, very clearly— it and he has apologised, very clearly and very honestly and i am -lad clearly and very honestly and i am glad he _ clearly and very honestly and i am glad he has. clearly and very honestly and i am glad he has-— clearly and very honestly and i am glad he has. what would you say to our glad he has. what would you say to your constituents _ glad he has. what would you say to your constituents and _ glad he has. what would you say to your constituents and other - glad he has. what would you say to your constituents and other people | your constituents and other people watching this who were not able to see their loved ones in may 2020, who are grieving for their loved ones in may 2020, who are incredibly angry and don�*t believe that the prime minister�*s apology went far enough? i prime minister's apology went far enou:h? ~ ~ , enough? i think the prime minister was mike apology _ enough? i think the prime minister was mike apology was _ enough? i think the prime minister was mike apology was heartfelt - enough? i think the prime minister| was mike apology was heartfelt and really _ was mike apology was heartfelt and really set _ was mike apology was heartfelt and really set out exactly those anxieties and i think we all of us know— anxieties and i think we all of us know people who had been an incredibly difficult situations throughout the course of the pandemic in their hearts have gone out to— pandemic in their hearts have gone out to them and we try as mps to support— out to them and we try as mps to support them as best we can then make _ support them as best we can then make sure — support them as best we can then make sure within the restrictions we were able _ make sure within the restrictions we were able to give them the support and financial support were required. do you _ and financial support were required. do you think government has lost touch with the public? you are defending an apology that most people think was completely off the mark? $5
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people think was completely off the mark? �* , ,., , people think was completely off the mark? a _ ., people think was completely off the mark? a ., , people think was completely off the mark? ., i, mark? as i say i am very pleased that the prime _ mark? as i say i am very pleased that the prime minister _ mark? as i say i am very pleased that the prime minister set - mark? as i say i am very pleased that the prime minister set out i mark? as i say i am very pleased l that the prime minister set out and made _ that the prime minister set out and made his— that the prime minister set out and made his apology yesterday and the important _ made his apology yesterday and the important thing is we go forward to the enquiry which will review whether— the enquiry which will review whether there were breaches, and that is— whether there were breaches, and that is important to be allowed to continue — that is important to be allowed to continue and complete in a timely manner, — continue and complete in a timely manner, that actually we are getting on with— manner, that actually we are getting on with making sure the economy rebounds— on with making sure the economy rebounds well, all the difficulties around _ rebounds well, all the difficulties around the global gas spike and how we support families in those areas through— we support families in those areas through to — we support families in those areas through to making sure, like with things— through to making sure, like with things here in india, pulling together and starting those talks that are — together and starting those talks that are there to support and underwrite our businesses who provide — underwrite our businesses who provide the jobs and investment which _ provide the jobs and investment which ensures that we see that economic— which ensures that we see that economic growth across the uk. we have managed to keep the economy open and _ have managed to keep the economy open and we need to continue that growth _ open and we need to continue that growth and be sure that our citizens see the _ growth and be sure that our citizens see the benefits and are able to recover — see the benefits and are able to recover from what has been a really tough _ recover from what has been a really tough couple of years. during the first lockdown thousands of families were forced to say their final goodbyes to loved
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ones, via video link. andy rhind—tutt�*s father george, died and was buried on the day of the downing street party, back in may 2020. fiona lamdin, has been speaking to him. # where the blue of the night...# this is 89—year—old george. his family say he was always singing. but during lockdown, when george couldn�*t see his family, he started to deteriorate. on may the 4th, he died, and we were — just me and my brother and sister — were able to be with him at the moment he died, and it was very moving, very sad. the funeral was the 20th of may. it was very difficult for us again. pretty emotional, as you can imagine, to not be able to celebrate his life, and to watch his coffin being lowered into the ground with just, around the grave, the immediate family. so to hear the news
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that there was a law passed that we all abided to, and on the day that we buried my father, there was a party in downing street and that the prime minister was there, itjust leaves such a bitter taste. do you feel you can trust the prime minister? i don�*t, at the moment. and the other end of the country, in bolton, suleman is also struggling with the prime minister�*s apology. you know, when they're having parties, i couldn't visit my wife. his wife, nicola, was 42. this was her being treated for sepsis in march 2020. he didn�*t see her again till the night before she died. i hadn't seen her for seven weeks, because of all these flippin' rules. and i thought i was doing the right thing. while borisjohnson was in the garden at downing street in may 2020, 36—year—old graham was in intensive care. his sister is haunted by it.
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only lisa and her mum were allowed in the room as graham passed away. they had to video call her dad and sister. i can�*t describe how wrong it felt, and how disrespectful it felt to... ..hold a camera up to my brother�*s face. but i had to do it, because it was the only way that my dad, or my sister, would see him again. # at the corner of the street...# this is how george�*s family will remember him. but they — like many others — feel they haven�*t had their chance to gather and say their goodbyes. # she were absolutely wonderful, and marvellous and beautiful.# fiona lamdin, bbc news. let�*s see what some of the younger members of the conservative party think about all of this —
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with me is rory richmond, a member of the scottish conservatives in glasgow. and also i�*m joined by callum ford, a member of the conservatives from southampton. thank you both for your time today. you are a member of the scottish conservatives and the leader of the scottish conservatives douglas ross says boris johnson scottish conservatives douglas ross says borisjohnson should resign but thatis says borisjohnson should resign but that is not your position? i says boris johnson should resign but that is not your position?— that is not your position? i don't think so at _ that is not your position? i don't think so at the _ that is not your position? i don't think so at the moment. - that is not your position? i don't think so at the moment. i - that is not your position? i don't think so at the moment. i thinkl that is not your position? i don't i think so at the moment. i think we have to let the independent enquiry be conducted. douglas ross as the leader is very much entitled to his own opinions on the prime minister�*s position but very much my thoughts are that we really need to let the independent enquiry take course. you have used the word independent twice but is it really independent in the sense that her boss is a cabinet minister? i
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sense that her boss is a cabinet minister? ~ , ., minister? i think it is an independent _ minister? i think it is an independent enquiry. i minister? i think it is an i independent enquiry. sue minister? i think it is an - independent enquiry. sue gray minister? i think it is an _ independent enquiry. sue gray has got the utmost respect and integrity in the political field, got the utmost respect and integrity in the politicalfield, especially when it comes to issues like this so it definitely very much as an independent enquiry. callum, i am rroin to independent enquiry. callum, i am going to bring _ independent enquiry. callum, i am going to bring you _ independent enquiry. callum, i am going to bring you in, _ independent enquiry. callum, i am going to bring you in, do _ independent enquiry. callum, i am going to bring you in, do you - independent enquiry. callum, i am going to bring you in, do you think| going to bring you in, do you think the public will see it like that and what is your view on what should happen with borisjohnson next? know, that is exactly why i have my view _ know, that is exactly why i have my view i_ know, that is exactly why i have my view i don't— know, that is exactly why i have my view. i don't think the public in any view. idon't think the public in any manner— view. i don't think the public in any mannerand at view. i don't think the public in any manner and at all going to accept — any manner and at all going to accept that it is ok that he was having — accept that it is ok that he was having a — accept that it is ok that he was having a party in his garden and at the same — having a party in his garden and at the same time he imposed these harsh lockdowns, _ the same time he imposed these harsh lockdowns, which as previously heard affected _ lockdowns, which as previously heard affected many people, people lost their lives and were not able to grieve — their lives and were not able to grieve properly, and then to suggest that he _ grieve properly, and then to suggest that he didn't follow them himself, it isjust _ that he didn't follow them himself, it isjust an— that he didn't follow them himself, it isjust an insult that he didn't follow them himself, it is just an insult to the british public — it is just an insult to the british public 50_ it isjust an insult to the british ublic. “ it isjust an insult to the british ublic. 4'
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it isjust an insult to the british ublic. ~ , ., public. so you think you should resin, public. so you think you should resign. is _ public. so you think you should resign, is that _ public. so you think you should resign, is that what _ public. so you think you should resign, is that what you - public. so you think you should resign, is that what you are - public. so you think you should - resign, is that what you are saying? i think especially of the enquiry comes— i think especially of the enquiry comes back that he was guilty and was there. — comes back that he was guilty and was there, then there is no question in my— was there, then there is no question in my mind — was there, then there is no question in my mind that he must resign. he said in my mind that he must resign. he. said he in my mind that he must resign. said he was in my mind that he must resign. he: said he was there, hasn't he? in my mind that he must resign. he said he was there, hasn't he? yes, | said he was there, hasn't he? yes, that's exactly _ said he was there, hasn't he? yes, that's exactly it, _ said he was there, hasn't he? yes, that's exactly it, and _ said he was there, hasn't he? yes, that's exactly it, and at _ said he was there, hasn't he? yes, that's exactly it, and at the - said he was there, hasn't he? yes, that's exactly it, and at the minute they are _ that's exactly it, and at the minute they are delving for ways to make it out to _ they are delving for ways to make it out to be _ they are delving for ways to make it out to be legal but no matter if they— out to be legal but no matter if they find — out to be legal but no matter if they find a loophole that says, this is perfectly fine, it morally was knot _ is perfectly fine, it morally was knot and — is perfectly fine, it morally was knot and that is the key point so there _ knot and that is the key point so there is— knot and that is the key point so there is a — knot and that is the key point so there is a better taste among the public— there is a better taste among the public and — there is a better taste among the public and there is no way of coming back from _ public and there is no way of coming back from that. he should just do the honourable thing and step down. what concerns do you have about the impact this is having on the perception of the party, the wider party with the public because mps will be going back to their constituencies the kind —— make this
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weekend and we know many of them their inboxes will be full of many frustrated and angry e—mail saying this just is not right. bind frustrated and angry e-mail saying thisjust is not right.— thisjust is not right. and of course, myself, _ thisjust is not right. and of course, myself, as- thisjust is not right. and of course, myself, as a - thisjust is not right. and of course, myself, as a young | thisjust is not right. and of- course, myself, as a young person i very much felt the impact of the lockdowns and to think that people were not following the guidance they created themselves with make me personally very angry. you are right there when you say as well, but in scotland where we are the second largest party, from my personal experience, a lot of people are backing the prime minister. a lot of people think that all this takes the eye off the ball in terms of keeping the snp accountable. serra; eye off the ball in terms of keeping the snp accountable.— the snp accountable. sorry to interrupt. _ the snp accountable. sorry to interrupt. it — the snp accountable. sorry to interrupt, it has _ the snp accountable. sorry to interrupt, it has come -
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the snp accountable. sorry to interrupt, it has come to - the snp accountable. sorry to - interrupt, it has come to something when one member of the conservative party, jacob rees—mogg, has to denigrate another member of the conservative party, the leader of the scottish conservatives douglas ross because he said borisjohnson should resign, and when he was asked about this yesterday jacob rees—mogg —— jacob rees—mogg about this yesterday jacob rees—mogg ——jacob rees—mogg called douglas ross a political lightweight which i am sure he takes as an insult. does that speak volumes about what all of this episode is doing to the party? yes, as i said, it is not doing us any favours, but as i said previously we have got to let the independent enquiry by sue gray take course and i�*m sure the payments will take the action he feels is necessary but has again i said earlier p4 allow their own opinions with any party underjacob is obviously got own opinions. that is what it is all about. it is healthy having healthy accountability. if
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the prime minister doesn't step down the prime minister doesn�*t step down and you have talked about doing what is morally right, well this influence the way you vote, change the way you vote in the future? personally know, because i generally take a _ personally know, because i generally take a voting stand is looking at things— take a voting stand is looking at things from a local perspective most of the _ things from a local perspective most of the time — things from a local perspective most of the time. my mp is a fantastic local— of the time. my mp is a fantastic local mp — of the time. my mp is a fantastic local mp and a local champion. i would _ local mp and a local champion. i would continue to vote howl currently _ would continue to vote howl currently vote.— would continue to vote howl currently vote. would continue to vote howl currentl vote. . ,, ., , currently vote. and i guess that is what a lot of _ currently vote. and i guess that is what a lot of mps _ currently vote. and i guess that is what a lot of mps will _ currently vote. and i guess that is what a lot of mps will be - currently vote. and i guess that is what a lot of mps will be trying i currently vote. and i guess that is what a lot of mps will be trying to j what a lot of mps will be trying to calculate, whether their personal brand is strong enough to overcome anyissues brand is strong enough to overcome any issues that people may have with the wider party brand if they disagree with borisjohnson�*s handling of events, if they don�*t accept his apology. i handling of events, if they don't accept his apology. i completely arree, accept his apology. i completely agree. but _ accept his apology. i completely agree, but obviously _ accept his apology. i completely agree, but obviously i _ accept his apology. i completely agree, but obviously i can't -
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accept his apology. i completely - agree, but obviously i can't comment for an— agree, but obviously i can't comment for an mp. _ agree, but obviously i can't comment for an mp. i— agree, but obviously i can't comment for an mp, i am not an mp, so various— for an mp, i am not an mp, so various detail, various different views— various detail, various different views of— various detail, various different views of borisjohnson various detail, various different views of boris johnson as we have seen _ views of boris johnson as we have seen in _ views of boris johnson as we have seen in the — views of boris johnson as we have seen in the past couple of days. thank— seen in the past couple of days. thank you — seen in the past couple of days. thank you very much for discussing this with me today, callum ford and rory richmond, young conservatives, giving their thoughts on what is happening with the prime minister. not a single river in england is free from pollution, according to the findings of an influential group of mps. the environmental audit committee, says it�*s uncovered a "chemical cocktail" of sewage, agricultural waste and plastic, in our waterways. the mps are calling for tougher enforcement of rules on dumping, and better monitoring of the problem. here�*s our environment correspondent, jonah fisher. see it down there? i don�*t know what that is. it looks a bit like poo, doesn�*t it? ashley smith is searching for sewage. these particles coming out. this is shill brook in oxfordshire, a stream that receives the outflow from two water treatment plants. with this camera we�*ve seen basically chopped up
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untreated sewage coming out. ashley comes here often to monitor the water quality. his videos, evidence of an ecosystem being steadily poisoned. yes, that�*s visible, but in sewage you can imagine everything that goes into your drains at home, through your shower and sink and toilet, all the chemicals that you see in the supermarkets — all of that goes into this. when it�*s untreated it�*s not even affected in any way. we�*ve done some river flow monitoring here, some invertebrate sampling, and in this area here we found virtually nothing in the invertebrate department apart from some bloodworms, which will live in virtually anything. it�*s dreadful. for the last year parliament�*s environmental audit committee has been putting together a report into the state of england�*s rivers and it�*s published today. the mps�* report blames pretty much everyone for what it calls the mess
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of england�*s rivers. water companies, farmers, inadequate testing and monitoring, years of complacency by policymakers, and also you and i, for all the things that we throw down the toilet every day that go on to block the sewers. it�*s a very complex system that we have but in essence for the last 60 years we have not as a nation invested in our water treatment assets to the same extent as we�*ve invested in what happens above ground. underground, it�*s unseen, people don�*t know that it�*s there until there�*s a problem, by which time it�*s too late. so when the sewage has been fully treated in the sewage works... the role of water companies is also scrutinised, with mps saying they�*d have to invest more and become more transparent about when they allow raw sewage to flow into rivers. were we wrong to expect private water companies to put the quality of water ahead of profits?
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no, i don't believe that at all. it's not a question of public or private, it's about doing a good job, getting the incentives right and the regulation right, and having the right people with the right equipment and the right investment. we regard all discharges of untreated sewage as unacceptable, but it's going to take a long time to get that problem completely solved. it will also take money and political will, but at least the pollution of our rivers is no longer a dirty secret. jonah fisher, bbc news, in oxfordshire. france is relaxing its travel rules for vaccinated brits. travellers will no longer need a compelling reason to visit the country, and won�*t be required to self—isolate on arrival. but a negative covid test, taken 24 hours before leaving the uk, is required. our transport correspondent katie austin explained a little earlier what this means for the travel industry
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regardless of vaccination status people will still have to have a negative covid test, either pcr or antigen lateral flow, negative covid test, either pcr or antigen lateralflow, in negative covid test, either pcr or antigen lateral flow, in the previous 24 hours, but this change does mean that vaccinated people can now go to france on holiday or to visit friends or family. when the restrictions were introduced it came just in time to cancel lots of people�*s christmas plans. the travel industry saw this as a huge blow, france is a very popular holiday destination, so today�*s move has been welcomed by businesses including eurostar and the brittany ferries and there has been an immediate spike in bookings for ski flights. this will be music to the ears are firms in the french alps because british tourists can go there skiing.
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as one of the oldest gothic cathedrals in the world is rebuilt after a devastatnig fire, visitors can now view notre dame virtually. it�*s a welcome distraction to a simmering row amongst many public figures in france who accuse designers of planning to turn the cathedral�*s insides into a woke disneyland, as mark lobel reports. after the fire, where great coronations and weddings occurred, the reconstruction. this tree felled for the spire to be restored faithfully within an inch of its former life. but look inside notre dame, as president macron did on the fire�*s second anniversary, and that�*s where things are beginning to heat up again. the archbishop of paris has plans for at installations to replace altars, classical sculptures to replace conventional boxes, and a biblical themed discovery trail to bring the cathedral into the 21st century, are being cast by some critics as a politically correct disneyland. but for the nostalgic, there is always the option
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of burying their heads in the sand of time through a virtual reality headset. how notre dame looked throughout history. it is quite impressive. i would say that you are a bit anxious at the start, and then you completely forget about the fact that you are in an enclosed space, as the environment is absolutely magnificent. you had better not be afraid of heights, however. it gives quite an unusual feeling. the cathedral has been closed for three years, sojust imagine. that means 40 million frustrated visitors. if we open in 2024, we are going to wait for another three years, so this is the occasion for believers and tourist to be able to say, well, we have had a chance to see it another way. as millions wait for the curtain to be drawn back on the new notre dame some comfort then from an immersive expedition before its real—life resurrection.
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now it�*s time for a look at the weather. it has been a cold start for many particular across england and wales with widespread frost and some fog patches but mild across north of scotland and quite breezy. high pressure keeps things largely dry and settled, fog will continue particularly across england and wales, some quite dense in places. for the rest of today looks like it will stay dry for most with plenty of sunshine, more cloud and a stronger breeze across the north of scotland and here we have the highest temperature up to around 12 celsius but for most around 6—8 but cold where the rain and mist and fog lingers. fog returning to england and wales becoming quite extensive and dense in places. further north, staying
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mild and breezy so here four to seven but quite a widespread hard frost in places for england and wales and parts of northern ireland. an area of high pressure still with us for friday, this weathre front across the north of the country brings thicker cloud and outbreaks of rain to northern scotland, quite breezy for the northern isles but further south a chilly start with frost and fog around, plenty of sunshine but where the fog lingers pretty cold and the temperature struggling to get above freezing but with the sunshine the temperature generally 4—8. still quite mild across the far north of scotland. subtle change into the start of the weekend with the area of high pressure beginning to ease away allowing the weather front to slowly push in from the atlantic but winds still light in england and wales to start again with frost and fog. for scotland and northern ireland that will be breezy with showers pushing in later in the day.
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the temperature for most around 4—8, quite a bit of cloud around but also brightness. into sunday we see this weather front move south eastwards, more isobars on the chart so a breezy day and we should not have any problems with fog across england and wales for sunday. sunshine makes a return and further showers in to the north—west of scotland and a breezy day generally, the temperature not too bad in the sunshine, around 7—11.
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this is bbc news. iam i am annita mcveigh the headlines at four o�*clock. no let—up in the pressure on borisjohnson, as some tory mps say he should resign for attending a drinks party during the first lockdown. cabinet ministers rally round him, while labour says the facts are already clear. he accepts that he oughtn�*t to have done that, looking back, but it was done in good faith. there was no possible malice or intention to do anything other than to give a heartfelt thank you to the people who had been working incredibly hard. do they really think this behaviour is excusable? are they really going to defend him? are they really going to stand by him, because in the end it's notjust the prime minister the voters will conclude is unfit to govern, it's conservative mps who stand by him.
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a rare �*interference alert�* is issued by m15 to parliamentary offices, warning of "political interference activities" on behalf of the chinese communist party. how is it that this individual gets access to members of government? senior members of government, prime ministers? how is it this organisation can seek to subvert a political party by giving them donations? if it was a concern, why oh why is that still going on to today? nhs waiting times in england reach a record high. six million people were waiting for planned operations and procedures in november. the self—isolation period for people who test positive for covid is being cut in england. from monday, people will be free on day six if they�*ve had negative tests on days five and six. and the scale of our river pollution — mps call for a step change in efforts to clean up rivers in england.
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hello and good afternoon. borisjohnson�*s future as prime minister remains in the balance, despite his apology for attending a drinks party, during the first coronavirus lockdown in 2020. some senior conservatives are calling for him to resign. but members of the cabinet have rallied to his defence, after he said yesterday, he understood the public�*s "rage" at his actions. he pulled out of a planned visit to a vaccination clinic today following a family member testing positive for coronavirus. with all the latest, here�*s our political correspondent, helen catt. westminster is waiting. as the fallout from the prime minister�*s apology for how he handled what he maintains was a work event continues, borisjohnson should have been out in front of the cameras in lancashire today,
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but the visit was cancelled. one of his family members tested positive for covid. but some of his own mps have been on the airwaves. the prime minister, at the dispatch box yesterday, first of all made an apology, which was the right thing to do, i accept that. but unfortunately, then went on to say that he spent 25 minutes at what he described as a work event, which was in fact a party. having said on the 8th of december, at the dispatch box, that he was not aware of any parties in downing street when he clearly attended one, which means he misled the house. the mood isn't great. there is a lot of concern amongst my colleagues about the damage that these revelations are doing to the conservative party. but i do think yesterday there was a bit of a turning of colleagues' opinion. it was a very contrite, a very heartfelt apology. do you still support borisjohnson? absolutely, 100%. _ the cabinet is backing
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borisjohnson. and�*s tweet of support quite effusive. —— the chancellor�*s tweet. he said he had been right to apologise and agreed there should be patient while an inquiry is carried out. other ministers have given more full throated backing. there is no question in my mind borisjohnson was acting in good faith to thank the people who had been helping to guide the country through the crisis, working incredibly hard. he accepts that oughtn�*t to have done that looking bad but it was done in good faith. one minister�*s defence sparked a backlash after he said this about the leader of the scottish conservative. douglas ross has always been quite a lightweight figure so i don't think he is... hang on. the leader of the scottish - conservatives, an msp and mp, is a lightweight figure? mr ross is one of four conservative mps who are publicly called
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on mrjohnson to go. meanwhile, the opposition is increasing the pressure on tory mps. do they really think this behaviour is excusable? are they really going to defend him? are they really going to stand by him? because in the end it�*s notjust the prime minister that voters will conclude is unfit to govern, it is conservative mps who stand by him. many conservative mps appear to be holding off passing judgment until the senior civil servant sue gray finishes her report. that is expected in the next week. helen catt, bbc news, westminster. let�*s talk to the deputy political editor with the spectator, katy balls. good afternoon to you. nice to see you. borisjohnson�*s apology clearly has not drawn a line under all of this. what do you think the key calculations are for his mps at this point, because they hold his future in their hands, don�*t they? yes. point, because they hold his future in their hands, don't they? yes, and i think in their hands, don't they? yes, and i think there — in their hands, don't they? yes, and i think there are _ in their hands, don't they? yes, and i think there are a _ in their hands, don't they? yes, and i think there are a few _ in their hands, don't they? yes, and i think there are a few things - in their hands, don't they? yes, and i think there are a few things to - i think there are a few things to watch here, the majority of mps have decided that they want to wait until sue gray�*s report is out, the official investigation into the various alleged parties, notjust the one borisjohnson admitted attending in the downing street
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garden but the cheese and wine, several command to go through that. i think, however, several command to go through that. ithink, however, that several command to go through that. i think, however, that even if that report comes up with a way of wording things that means that boris johnson can stay in position or that borisjohnson isn�*t personally seen boris johnson isn�*t personally seen as top—down borisjohnson isn�*t personally seen as top—down and all his faults, it can still be very tricky for him because you have a situation where there is a poll out today which gives labour a ten point lead, largest lead in years, and if that stays up, if that keeps going, ultimately tory mps back boris johnson because they think he is an election winner, and i think as soon as they decide this isn�*tjust a blip, that perhaps this is long damage, it is quite hard to see them keeping him for his ideology because they don�*t have that much in common with him when it comes to policies. lots of people think he is not quite conservative enough and what he�*s done since becoming prime minister. is there much borisjohnson can do
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himself at this point to influence all of this? or is this largely out of his hands at this point? a position that no prime minister wants to be and, of course? there are small things _ wants to be and, of course? there are small things he _ wants to be and, of course? there are small things he can _ wants to be and, of course? there are small things he can do, - wants to be and, of course? there are small things he can do, and i wants to be and, of course? there| are small things he can do, and we have seen that in the sense that it is fair to say borisjohnson has been going to the commons tea room much more than he normally would do. both yesterday and the day before, to try and speak to mps, to show face and try and improve relationships a little bit that way. but generally speaking, i think this is quite out of his hands now and ultimately he and his team have made it worse by a comma in a way, the cover upon this, the fact there were so many denials, sounding dubious, the e—mail emerged, officially inviting number 10 staff to an event. i think it is out of his hands in the sense that the report and also the polls, i think what the public think is really the most important thing here in terms of borisjohnson�*s long—term future. brute boris johnson's long-term future. we have borisjohnson's long—term future. we
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have certainly heard about mps with inboxis have certainly heard about mps with inbox is full of very angry e—mails. mps will head back to their constituencies this weekend, get a more direct response, if you like, from their constituents perhaps to how they are feeling. so what is your steer on when we are going to hear this report from sue gray? it is a sort of coalescing of that report, plus constituents�* views over the weekend that may determine what happens next. i do over the weekend that may determine what happens next.— what happens next. i do think there is a sense now _ what happens next. i do think there is a sense now that _ what happens next. i do think there is a sense now that boris _ what happens next. i do think there is a sense now that boris johnson i what happens next. i do think there is a sense now that boris johnson is is a sense now that borisjohnson is not about to be imminently ousted. we could get the report in the next few weeks, next week even, that will be a moment. and of course if it is damning you could see things happen and move very quickly. in a way we are getting very bogged down with is it going to be next week? the issue for borisjohnson is he appears right now to be on a bit of a downward trajectory and looking up to the local elections in may, that was always going to be a crunch
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point. there is quite a long way between now and then together and i just think that if this public anger keeps up, if you are going to get lots of angry post, but also when mps go to campaign in local elections, the situation which lots of ministers have decided to say is something they can turn around, the big show of cabinet support, that might start to feel quite untenable and i think that�*s the problem for borisjohnson. even if he survives the next two weeks, his problems are far from over the next two weeks, his problems are farfrom over and i think actually holding his position could become harder in the coming months. kata; harder in the coming months. katy balls, thank _ harder in the coming months. katy balls, thank you _ harder in the coming months. katy balls, thank you very much for joining us this afternoon. deputy political editor at the spectator. we have the latest covid figures coming on in the last few minutes. let me take you through the main details. there have been 109,133 new cases of covid—19 recorded in the past 24 hours.
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sadly, 335 deaths within 28 days the positive covid diagnosis have also been recorded in that same period. some figures also on boosterjabs and the total number of boosterjabs now stands at more than 36 million, that�*s now stands at more than 36 million, that's 62.7% now stands at more than 36 million, that�*s 62.7% of those aged 12 and above all stops are the latest stats just in for you there. the home secretary priti patel said it was "deeply concerning" that an individual "who has knowingly engaged in political interference activities on behalf of the chinese communist party has targeted parliamentarians". but she says that the uk has measures in place "to identify foreign interference". iain duncan smith, who has been sanctioned by china for highlighting alleged human right abuses in xinjiang, raised the issue in the house of commons today. mr deputy speaker, i rise on a point of order, literally as an e—mail from the speaker has arrived in our offices. the key issue here is that
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i understand that mr speaker has been contacted by m15 and is now warning members of parliament that there has been an agent of the chinese government active here in parliament working with a member of parliament, obviously to subvert the processes here. i say, is a member of parliament who were sanctioned by the chinese government, as others, that this is a matter of grave concern. �* . , that this is a matter of grave concern. 1 , that this is a matter of grave concern-— that this is a matter of grave concern. 1, , .,, ,, ., concern. barry gardiner has issued a statement in — concern. barry gardiner has issued a statement in response _ concern. barry gardiner has issued a statement in response to _ concern. barry gardiner has issued a statement in response to that. - concern. barry gardiner has issued a statement in response to that. let's| statement in response to that. let�*s have a look at what he said.
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that is the first half of barry gardiner�*s statement on the issue. it continues, though. it is a lengthy statement.
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our security correspondent, gordon corera explained more about the �*interference alert�* basically, it�*s from the security service m15 and it has a picture of this woman christine lee, and it is a warning to parliamentarians to say this individual, m15 believes, is acting on behalf of something called the united front work department, which is in itself a front for the chinese communist party. the allegation in it is that this has been clandestine activity on behalf of the chinese communist party to influence british politics. primarily, it looks like through donations, so the claim is that this individual, christine lee, was saying these donations were coming from the chinese community in the uk,
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but were actually coming from individuals in china and hong kong with the purpose of trying to influence british politics, for instance, to have a more positive view of the chinese communist party, perhaps to limit criticism of chinese human rights issues, and the security service has taken the pretty unusual move of going public to try and disrupt that activity by issuing this alert to people. you mentioned donations and we�*ve had a statement from barry gardiner, the mp for brent north, about this, and donations christine lee made to fund researchers in his office. what else is he saying? it is a very interesting statement. the alert itself doesn�*t name any particular individuals and says it was across political parties. but we do know that from barry gardiner who said himself he�*s been liaising with the security service for a number of years about this individual, christine lee, and that she was funding researchers in his office in the past.
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he says he�*d taken steps to ensure that she had no role in the appointment or management of those researchers and that stopped in june 2020. but he notes that her son volunteered in barry gardiner�*s office and actually only left, it appears, today from that office. so clearly a lot of focus will be on barry gardiner and the relationship with christine lee and those donations to fund his office. there appear to be a lot of other signs she was active across the political spectrum in terms of being involved in british politics, and the allegation is this is as a covert agent on behalf of the chinese communist party. we have not been able to reach christine lee herself for any comment. a couple of interesting points in that clip from iain duncan smith. he expresses concern about information on individuals whose details he would not want falling into the hands of china, he said, of the communist party. also he raises why has no action
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been taken against this individual. it�*s interesting that the allegation here is not like espionage in the sense of being a spy stealing secrets or passing on secret material to china. but rather it relates to political interference, trying to influence politics. so a slightly different accusation from some of the spy claims you might hear about. that also goes to the second point as to what can be done about it because i think the concern, talking to security services over a number of years, has been there isn�*t necessarily the laws or the tools to tackle interference as opposed to espionage. the stealing of secrets. they don�*t necessarily have the laws and the tools to be going after people who might be exercising influence covertly. a lot of the attention on this was over russia. and you will remember the russia report from the intelligence and security committee a year or two ago which highlighted this issue of russian money trying to influence public and political life, and some of the problems
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in dealing with it. the government has said it is planning new counter hostile state powers, or national security powers, in the coming months in order, partly, to look at some of these issues about how to deal with influence and interference operations which don�*t fit into the traditional box of espionage which you might be able to prosecute people for. hour security correspondent gordon corera. our political correspondent nick eardley spoke to sir ian duncan smith after the mp had raised the issue in parliament. this story and this alert from m15 has caused quite a lot of shock around parliament, actually, the extent of what has been alleged. i�*m with iain duncan smith, former conservative leader, and it is further so he�*s been one of the most critical of chinese influence in the uk. how worried are you by what we have today? i�*m uk. how worried are you by what we have today?— uk. how worried are you by what we have today? i'm very worried and i'm one of those — have today? i'm very worried and i'm one of those mps _ have today? i'm very worried and i'm one of those mps who _ have today? i'm very worried and i'm one of those mps who has _ have today? i'm very worried and i'm one of those mps who has been - one of those mps who has been
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sanctioned by the chinese government, could possibly rested on a red notice _ government, could possibly rested on a red notice in a country that has extradition — a red notice in a country that has extradition arrangements, so there is a lot— extradition arrangements, so there is a lot going on here for us. we have _ is a lot going on here for us. we have also— is a lot going on here for us. we have also been working with democracy campaigners who have had to flee _ democracy campaigners who have had to flee hong kong, many have gone into arrest. — to flee hong kong, many have gone into arrest, many coming over here, families— into arrest, many coming over here, families at— into arrest, many coming over here, families at risk, information kicking _ families at risk, information kicking around in my office and my colleagues' — kicking around in my office and my colleagues' offices, and we now discover— colleagues' offices, and we now discover an individual who is an agent— discover an individual who is an agent of— discover an individual who is an agent of the chinese government working _ agent of the chinese government working their way around parliament, could _ working their way around parliament, could have _ working their way around parliament, could have access to my office when i could have access to my office when i was _ could have access to my office when i was out, _ could have access to my office when i was out, i — could have access to my office when i was out, i don't know, and also busy— i was out, i don't know, and also busy paying _ i was out, i don't know, and also busy paying money into persuade people _ busy paying money into persuade people to — busy paying money into persuade people to become supporters of this brutal— people to become supporters of this brutal regime, it is a brutal regime, _ brutal regime, it is a brutal regime, it— brutal regime, it is a brutal regime, it is guilty of genocide, forced _ regime, it is guilty of genocide, forced labour, smashing the christians and threatening the taiwanese. i mean, this is a threatening government, and here it has taken _ threatening government, and here it has taken years, and apparently we didn't— has taken years, and apparently we didn't know— has taken years, and apparently we didn't know anything about this, and why wasn't— didn't know anything about this, and why wasn't action taken? and apparently they have given lots of money _ apparently they have given lots of money to — apparently they have given lots of money to the labour party and barry
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gardiner's_ money to the labour party and barry gardiner's office, got action to dave _ gardiner's office, got action to dave -- — gardiner's office, got action to dave —— got access to david cameron and theresa — dave —— got access to david cameron and theresa may. why won't they want about _ and theresa may. why won't they want about this? _ and theresa may. why won't they want about this? i_ and theresa may. why won't they want about this? i gather she gave this woman— about this? i gather she gave this woman in— about this? i gather she gave this woman in a — about this? i gather she gave this woman in a ward. we don't know what's _ woman in a ward. we don't know what's going on here and we need to know— what's going on here and we need to know and _ what's going on here and we need to know and i_ what's going on here and we need to know and i think the government should _ know and i think the government should make a statement and open this up— should make a statement and open this up and — should make a statement and open this up and say what in heaven's name _ this up and say what in heaven's name are — this up and say what in heaven's name are our security forces doing? what _ name are our security forces doing? what do _ name are our security forces doing? what do you — name are our security forces doing? what do you want the government to do? clearly there is a lot of concern in parliament about this, clearly something appears to have gone badly wrong that this was allowed to happen for so long. what do you want the government to do and what should it be doing now? well. what should it be doing now? well, seed. what should it be doing now? well, speed- apparently _ what should it be doing now? well, speed. apparently the _ what should it be doing now? well, speed. apparently the times ran this story, _ speed. apparently the times ran this story, and _ speed. apparently the times ran this story, and i_ speed. apparently the times ran this story, and i remember it in 2017, so hang— story, and i remember it in 2017, so hang on. _ story, and i remember it in 2017, so hang on. if— story, and i remember it in 2017, so hang on, if they were looking at this stuff— hang on, if they were looking at this stuff way back in 2017, how is it this _ this stuff way back in 2017, how is it this individual gets access to members _ it this individual gets access to members of government, senior members — members of government, senior members of government, senior members of government, senior members of government, prime ministers? — members of government, prime ministers? how is it this organisation can seek to subvert a political— organisation can seek to subvert a political party by giving them donations? and how is it, 500,000, £600,000 _ donations? and how is it, 500,000, £600,000 going through the office of
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an mp _ £600,000 going through the office of an mp and _ £600,000 going through the office of an mp and putting in a member of staff here — an mp and putting in a member of staff here. all of the stuff, if it was a — staff here. all of the stuff, if it was a concern, why oh why is that still going — was a concern, why oh why is that still going on until today? literally this morning is the first we know— literally this morning is the first we know about this. and we need to look at _ we know about this. and we need to look at our— we know about this. and we need to look at our clearance systems here, because _ look at our clearance systems here, because how is this individual cleared — because how is this individual cleared without anyone saying they should _ cleared without anyone saying they should not be here because of the track— should not be here because of the track record? this money hidden through— track record? this money hidden through accounts in hong kong, all of these _ through accounts in hong kong, all of these alarm bells should have been _ of these alarm bells should have been going off. we need to open this up been going off. we need to open this up completely and ask ourselves the question. _ up completely and ask ourselves the question, how can we do this? i am a privy— question, how can we do this? i am a privy councillor, i've had plenty of briefings — privy councillor, i've had plenty of briefings from government ministers which _ briefings from government ministers which is _ briefings from government ministers which is not in the public domain because — which is not in the public domain because i— which is not in the public domain because i was in government at some point _ because i was in government at some point those — because i was in government at some point. those sort of things are kicking — point. those sort of things are kicking around parliament, so this is really— kicking around parliament, so this is really dangerous, subverting british— is really dangerous, subverting british politicians and seeking information.— british politicians and seeking information. , information. does it raise wider ruestions information. does it raise wider questions about _ information. does it raise wider questions about lobbying - information. does it raise wider questions about lobbying in - information. does it raise wider questions about lobbying in uk| questions about lobbying in uk politics and whether it is properly regulated? politics and whether it is properly rerulated? ~ , . ., , ., regulated? well, it is certainly a band, regulated? well, it is certainly a band. you're _ regulated? well, it is certainly a band, you're not _ regulated? well, it is certainly a band, you're not allowed - regulated? well, it is certainly a band, you're not allowed to - regulated? well, it is certainly a l band, you're not allowed to lobby regulated? well, it is certainly a - band, you're not allowed to lobby as a member— band, you're not allowed to lobby as a member of parliament. but there is this whole _ a member of parliament. but there is this whole issue of what they call the all— party parliamentary groups
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which _ the all— party parliamentary groups which are — the all— party parliamentary groups which are not of parliament but sit in parliament. they are definitely what _ in parliament. they are definitely what i _ in parliament. they are definitely what i would call the soft underbelly of this and i think this is one _ underbelly of this and i think this is one of— underbelly of this and i think this is one of the ways in. there are lots _ is one of the ways in. there are lots of— is one of the ways in. there are lots of things we need to look at in parliament— lots of things we need to look at in parliament about security. we cannot look up _ parliament about security. we cannot look up but _ parliament about security. we cannot look up but we have to be worried about _ look up but we have to be worried about access like that. this is on a level— about access like that. this is on a level even— about access like that. this is on a level even above just what i would call lobbying. this has security implications. it has lives at risk, you know. — implications. it has lives at risk, you know, information about people fleeing _ you know, information about people fleeing. these people and their families, — fleeing. these people and their families, this is really serious. we don't _ families, this is really serious. we don't play— families, this is really serious. we don't play this down, i'm not running _ don't play this down, i'm not running scare stories, i'm genuinely concerned _ running scare stories, i'm genuinely concerned and shocked that this has been allowed to happen and we need to understand why and we need to do something _ to understand why and we need to do something about it. but also we have to recognise that the chinese government poses a clear and present danger— government poses a clear and present danger to— government poses a clear and present danger to us— government poses a clear and present dangerto us and government poses a clear and present danger to us and stop messing around pretending _ danger to us and stop messing around pretending somehow we can be on the one hand _ pretending somehow we can be on the one hand bosom buddy friends and on the other— one hand bosom buddy friends and on the other hand worry about them. they— the other hand worry about them. they are — the other hand worry about them. they are a — the other hand worry about them. they are a threat and we have to deal— they are a threat and we have to deal with— they are a threat and we have to deal with them on that basis. the other— deal with them on that basis. the other big — deal with them on that basis. the other big story in parliament this week— other big story in parliament this week as — other big story in parliament this week as the prime minister's
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position— week as the prime minister's position will stop you helped him run his— position will stop you helped him run his campaign to be prime minister. _ run his campaign to be prime minister, you have known him for a lon- minister, you have known him for a longtime — minister, you have known him for a long time. do minister, you have known him for a lonr time. ~ , long time. do you think he is in trouble at _ long time. do you think he is in trouble at the _ long time. do you think he is in trouble at the moment - long time. do you think he is in trouble at the moment and - long time. do you think he is in | trouble at the moment and that long time. do you think he is in - trouble at the moment and that more mps once they go back this weekend and hear what constituents think will call for him to go?— and hear what constituents think will call for him to go? there is no ruestion, will call for him to go? there is no question. we _ will call for him to go? there is no question, we know _ will call for him to go? there is no question, we know what _ will call for him to go? there is no i question, we know what constituents think already, which is that they are very— think already, which is that they are very angry, quite legitimately angry, _ are very angry, quite legitimately angry, this shouldn't have been going _ angry, this shouldn't have been going on— angry, this shouldn't have been going on and there is no excuse for it. going on and there is no excuse for it that's— going on and there is no excuse for it that's the — going on and there is no excuse for it. that's the reality, we know that, — it. that's the reality, we know that, there _ it. that's the reality, we know that, there is no messing around or tiptoeing _ that, there is no messing around or tiptoeing around that. the prime minister— tiptoeing around that. the prime minister came to the house yesterday, the right thing to do, and apologised absolutely. but he is also said _ and apologised absolutely. but he is also said he has an inquiry and that inquiry— also said he has an inquiry and that inquiry will— also said he has an inquiry and that inquiry will report, i think fairly quickly, — inquiry will report, i think fairly quickly, actually, and that must show— quickly, actually, and that must show everything that has happened and where things went wrong. and if things— and where things went wrong. and if things exist — and where things went wrong. and if things exist that are not in the public— things exist that are not in the public domain, well, we need to know what that— public domain, well, we need to know what that is, _ public domain, well, we need to know what that is, and then i think everybody will decide their opinion and what _ everybody will decide their opinion and what their views are on that basis _ and what their views are on that basis when _ and what their views are on that basis when they see the report and i think that's — basis when they see the report and i think that's only fair. there is no point _ think that's only fair. there is no point having a report if you then
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prejudge — point having a report if you then prejudge it. let's wait to see what i prejudge it. let's wait to see what i have _ prejudge it. let's wait to see what i have and — prejudge it. let's wait to see what i have and then people will make the decision _ i have and then people will make the decision. i've known the prime minister— decision. i've known the prime minister many years, he has a huge political— minister many years, he has a huge political asset to the conservative party _ political asset to the conservative party but — political asset to the conservative party but when it comes to government, no matter what, party but when it comes to government, no matterwhat, no matter— government, no matterwhat, no matter how — government, no matterwhat, no matter how come it has to be run properly— matter how come it has to be run properly and it is critically important, so let's see what happens _ important, so let's see what happens-— important, so let's see what ha ens. ., ., , happens. some of your colleagues have said the _ happens. some of your colleagues have said the prime _ happens. some of your colleagues have said the prime minister - happens. some of your colleagues have said the prime minister isn't| have said the prime minister isn�*t performing the way they hoped he would, he is not on his a—game, do you think he will still be prime minister at the time of the next election leading the conservative party into that election? that election leading the conservative party into that election? at present i have no reason _ party into that election? at present i have no reason to _ party into that election? at present i have no reason to doubt _ party into that election? at present i have no reason to doubt that. - party into that election? at present i have no reason to doubt that. but| i have no reason to doubt that. but as i i have no reason to doubt that. but as i say— i have no reason to doubt that. but as i say there is a report coming out and — as i say there is a report coming out and everybody should hold their judgment _ out and everybody should hold their judgment on this until we see what is in the _ judgment on this until we see what is in the report and where that takes — is in the report and where that takes us _ is in the report and where that takes us. that's important. there is no point _ takes us. that's important. there is no point in — takes us. that's important. there is no point in having a review and a proper— no point in having a review and a proper report independently if you don't _ proper report independently if you don't wait — proper report independently if you don't wait for that and then you can decide _ don't wait for that and then you can decide what— don't wait for that and then you can decide what the position is. the government has asked us to do that and the _ government has asked us to do that and the prime minister yesterday asked _ and the prime minister yesterday asked us— and the prime minister yesterday asked us to wait and he will be back when _ asked us to wait and he will be back when that— asked us to wait and he will be back when that report hits and then he and others — when that report hits and then he and others will have to make
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decisions _ and others will have to make decisions on that basis. but right now he _ decisions on that basis. but right now he is— decisions on that basis. but right now he is the prime minister, the government and he has my full support— government and he has my full support in— government and he has my full support in that regard. iain duncan smith, thank— support in that regard. iain duncan smith, thank you _ support in that regard. iain duncan smith, thank you for _ support in that regard. iain duncan smith, thank you for your - support in that regard. iain duncan smith, thank you for your time. i smith, thank you for your time. there is a lot going on here. the questions over the prime minister�*s future, the changes to those self—isolation rules in parliament, and now this extraordinary story, mi5 and now this extraordinary story, m15 warning about attempts to influence mps and people around parliament. there is a lot going on. nick eardley reporting. the health secretary, sajid javid, has confirmed he�*s cutting the isolation period for people testing positive for covid in england. from monday, those with a positive result will be freed from isolation at the start of day six if they�*ve had negative tests on days five and six. it�*s hoped the move will ease pressure on employers hit by staff absences, including the nhs. it comes as the number of people in england waiting to start routine hospital treatment has risen to another record high during the pandemic. our health corresponent, dominic hughes, reports now from warrington hospital in cheshire. you did say there was a space
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in here a while ago. in the emergency department at warrington hospital, staff are having to manage competing pressures. the omicron wave is sweeping across north—west england with a fast—growing number of covid patients. we are running on escalation numbers every day, just to ensure we are safe. staff are falling sick, and all this while non—covid patients also need urgent care. it�*s almost a perfect winter storm. across the region our numbers of covid inpatients are almost as high as they were in previous waves. now, we're also dealing with our usual winter pressures and the need to catch up with all that elective work that we wanted to do in previous years, so we've never felt the pressure so much. keep an eye on it, press on it. the latest data shows more than 40,000 nhs hospital staff in england, around 5%, were absent because of covid sickness or isolation last week. four patients waiting. and as more staff fall sick, it�*s
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needed everyone to get involved. we�*ve got support from across the organisation of admin staff coming to help us in the mornings, to support with comfort with the patients. so it�*s a real team effort? absolutely, it�*s been like that from day one. to ease the pressure on understaffed hospital departments, the government has just changed the rules so isolation can end on day six. ukhsa data shows that around two thirds of positive cases are no longer infectious by the end of day five, and we want to use the testing capacity that we've built up to help these people leave isolation safely. new figures from nhs england show the havoc the pandemic has played with waiting times. in november 2021, 6 million people were waiting for planned surgery. 307,000 people have been waiting more than a year for their treatment. and december saw a record number of ambulance call—outs for the most urgent cases, but average response times failed
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to meet current targets. fraser knows first—hand the impact a delayed ambulance can have. when he had a heart attack six years ago, an ambulance was there within minutes. on new year�*s day he experienced the same symptoms, but this time he was told it would be at least two hours before an ambulance could get to him. this time it was going through my mind of if it�*s two hours for the ambulance just to get here, i haven�*t got a chance. who�*s going to look after my partner and my kids if this doesn�*t get sorted in time? in the depths of winter the nhs is running hot. this is shaping up to be one of the toughest periods the health service and those patients waiting for treatment have experienced. dominic hughes, bbc news, warrington. with pressure on hospitals growing, take a look at the bbc�*s nhs tracker, which has the latest data on emergency waiting times for services in your area, and how that compares to pre—pandemic demand.
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police in ireland say a young teacher murdered while outjogging is not believed to have known her killer. 23—year—old ashling murphy was attacked on the banks of the grand canal outside tullamore in county offaly yesterday afternoon, and died at the scene. a man in his 40s has been arrested. chris page has this update from belfast
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there has been a great outpouring. as regards the investigation as you would expect a huge amount of resources being poured into it, more than 50 police officers are working on the inquiry and police say they are particularly keen to hear from anyone who was on the towpath by the banks of the grand canal between three o�*clock and five o�*clock yesterday afternoon, two women came across ashling after she was attacked and she received medical treatment but she sadly died. police believe there were many people in the area and the more witnesses they can find and more people who know anything or saw anything the better.
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chris page reporting. the time is almost 4:30pm and it�*s time for a look at the weather. stav danaos has the latest. hello. good afternoon, it�*s been a lovely day for much of the country, glorious winter sunshine around, albeit rather chilly after a frosty start for england and wales but we have had more cloud across northern ireland and scotland where it has also been milder. it will stay settled for the next few days, friday evening into the start of the weekend, high pressure bringing more of the same, fog will be a problem across much of england and wales, developing through the overnight period, again becoming quite extensive and dense in places, further north, less problem with fog because we have more of a breeze but it will be milder here, loads of 8 degrees in stornoway but a hard frost further south, particularly central and southern england and in the south—east. high—pressure dominates on friday, more of what we have had today. this weather front bringing thicker cloud and outbreaks of rain to the north of scotland throughout the day, probably a bit more sunshine around for central and southern scotland and northern ireland but the best sunshine across
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england and wales once the fog lifts. some of the fog could linger in places and if it does it will stay cold and grey. where we get the sunshine and is generally 4—7 celsius, and a bit higherfor northern scotland. see you later. hello, this is bbc news with annita mcveigh. the headlines: no let—up in the pressure on borisjohnson, as some tory mps say he should resign, for attending a drinks party, during lockdown. a rare "interference alert" is issued by m15 to parliamentary offices, warning of "political interference activities" on behalf of the chinese communist party. nhs waiting times in england reach a record high. six million people were waiting for planned operations and procedures in november. the self—isolation period for people who test positive for covid is being cut in england. from monday, people will be freed on day 6 if they�*ve had negative tests on days 5 and 6.
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sport now, and for a full round—up from the bbc sport centre, good afternoon. there�*s still no definite answer on whether novak djokovic will be able to play at the australian open which begins on monday, with ongoing questions about his covid 19 exemption. djokovic�*s been training today on court in melbourne, but australia�*s immigration minister is yet to decide whether to revoke his visa again. the world number one and defending champion was named in the draw which was made earlier, and will face a fellow serbian in the first round. however, djokovic has received criticism from some players, including stefanos tsitsipas. speaking earlier, the world numberfour says djokovic has been "playing by his own rules". no one would have really thought, you know, i canjust come to
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australia unvaccinated and not having to follow the protocols that they gave me. whichjust is... it takes a lot of daring to do, i think. and putting a grand slam kind of at risk seems like not everyone is playing by the rules of how tennis australia or some governments have been putting things, makes the majority looked like —— look like... i don�*t know, like they are awful fools or something. —— all fool�*s. new zealand striker chris wood says it wasn�*t an easy decision to leave burnley for relegation rivals newcastlem but insists there�*s no bad blood following his move. the transfer was confirmed earlier today. newcastle have paid £25m for wood, but he says he�*s not worried about the fee. you are only as good as what the club wants to pay for you, and that
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is what newcastle felt i was with at this point in time, and that�*s how it is. you never know. in six months, you can be looking back and saying it is a great deal and has all been worth it. so in that sense, it doesn�*t really bother me, the number on the deal or the price tag. i�*ve still got the same challenge in the same drive, to work hard at the weekend. and french internationalfull—back lucas digne has moved from everton to aston villa, on a deal worth up to £25 million on a four—and—a—half year contract. he�*s villa�*s second signing of the transfer window after philippe coutinho arrived on loan from barcelona. ronnie o�*sullivan has been knocked out of snooker�*s masters in the quarterfinals by neil robertson. the australian took the last two frames at alexandra palace to win 6—4. he�*ll meet the winner of tonight�*s match betweenjohn higgins and mark williams in the semis. england bowler mark wood says ben stokes and jonny bairstow are desperate to prove their fitness in time for the final ashes test, which starts tomorrow in hobart.
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both have injuries, and captain joe root�*s indicated the pair could be used as specialist batsmen, leaving stokes unable to bowl and bairstow giving up his hopes of keeping wicket. both are key figures in the england dressing room. they are still in good spirits. it seems greater in the group, they are happy, which i think is a good indication that they are still in a good mindset to potentially play the game. they are both fighters in the group, and ben toughed it out last game. i�*m sure they will be both desperate to play, but if there is one little shop that might affect ben or even just picking one little shop that might affect ben or evenjust picking up one little shop that might affect ben or even just picking up the one little shop that might affect ben or evenjust picking up the ball forjohnny, it isjust ben or evenjust picking up the ball forjohnny, it is just little things like that. i hope it doesn�*t cause them future damage. i�*m sure that we�*ll all be weighed up by the medical team. british athletes and para—athletes are being tipped for medal success at next month�*s winter games in china. in 2018, lizzie yarnold on your left became britain�*s most successful winter olympian after taking her second gold medal in skeleton. britain won five olympic and seven paralympic medals at those games.
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uk sport now estimates that great britain has the potential to win between three and seven medals at the upcoming olympic games, and up to nine at the paralympics . uk sport ceo sally munday says they�*ve had to consider the form of both british and their rival athletes. we have also taken into consideration the highly unusual circumstances that we have found ourselves going into eight games with restrictions on some of the issues we have had more recently, obviously, with this latest variant of covid—19, and of course, with the winter games, the added complexity isjust winter games, the added complexity is just the winter games, the added complexity isjust the sheer winter games, the added complexity is just the sheer jeopardy that exists in most of the winter sports, and so that all goes into the melting part of our considerations of what we think is possible, and arrange of 3—7 for the olympic games is what we think is realistic, and we�*re pretty confident we will land in that range.
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that�*s all the sport for now. more later, but for now, back to you. thank you very much. the uk aims to finalise a free trade agreement with india by the end of this year. as part of the government�*s post—brexit trade talks. let�*s get more with our global trade correspondent chris morris. and marie trevelyan, the international trade secretary, is in india as part of a trip to finalise a trade agreement. what has she been saying? a trade agreement. what has she been sa int ? , , ., , , a trade agreement. what has she been sa in? , , , ., saying? yes, this has been part of the treat saying? yes, this has been part of the great post-brexit _ saying? yes, this has been part of the great post-brexit promise, i saying? yes, this has been part of| the great post-brexit promise, we the great post—brexit promise, we consign our own trade deals. we signed deals last year with australia and in principle with new zealand. would be a lot bigger thus more important. she is there to essentially launch this process. they want to accelerate it, finish it by the end of the year, which in trade terms is very ambitious. but of course, trade goes both ways. just as we won more access to their
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market, india wants a lot more access to the uk market. so our south asian correspondent asked anne marie trevelyan, the secretary of state for trade whether giving more indians these is to come to the uk would form any part of a trade deal. —— the service. technical skills and people of many professions being able to work together, synthesising and making regulations easier for there is as far as we�*re concerned. we have brought in since leaving the eu our points—based immigration system, which is only reallyjust starting to settle in, and i know that many businesses who i�*ve spoken to, but in the elegant and indeed uk, are getting a sense that this has a really good set of tools for businesses to use, and i�*m sure we
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will have business as well as other issues and i�*m looking forward to working together. what would you say to someone your party who are concerned that this could end up meaning that there is more immigration from india to the uk and that brexit was all about reducing overall immigration? brute reducing overall immigration? - brexiteers wanted to see control of our immigration system is as part of one of the reasons for voting brexit, and that is exactly what the points—based system, which we have now brought in, does. we can set the frameworks of the talents that we want to be bringing into the uk, whether we want to see those areas 90, whether we want to see those areas go, that�*s what we have now a system where we are in control, that doesn�*t mean closing the borders, quite the opposite, we want to continue bringing the best talent from across the world to work with uk businesses and help enhance our economies. this fta is going to be very importantly about giving beneficial growth and economic opportunities for uk businesses. india�*s taken years of discussions with australia and has yet to sign
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an fta. it has been talking to the eu about one for a decade. nothing sign. the idea that you think you can get this one done in a year, is not overly optimistic? 50. can get this one done in a year, is not overly optimistic?— can get this one done in a year, is not overly optimistic? so, our prime minister has — not overly optimistic? so, our prime minister has set _ not overly optimistic? so, our prime minister has set us _ not overly optimistic? so, our prime minister has set us as _ not overly optimistic? so, our prime minister has set us as trade - minister has set us as trade ministers and government last year to the 2030 read that by getting a comprehensive free trade agreement together was something that they both wanted to do, and i think that political leadership we have a huge amount of energy. this the visa issue could cause controversy within the conservative party, how many people could come to the country, but business are certainly very enthusiastic about what they call a huge opportunity of a deal with india. why? well, very simply because by the middle of the century will be the middle of the century will be the third largest economy in the world. it already has a huge middle class that want to buy stuff, and this going to get bigger. so huge opportunities for british exporters. the government�*s aim is to double the amount of trade the uk does with
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india by 2030. there is a lot that can be achieved, and there are potentially some pretty quick wins. and the reason for that is that if you look at uk exporters, tariffs and taxes going into india, some are incredibly high. there is a tariff of 150% and scotch whisky, 125% on cars, at the scotch whisky association says that if you can get rid of those tariffs on whiskey, it could generate £1 billion of new scotch whisky exports to india over a five year period. so there are some big potential wins to be had. the government want to get this free trade agreement in place with india within the year. is that they will go? its within the year. is that they will to? , ., , ., , , within the year. is that they will go? its ambitious, but it's possible- _ go? its ambitious, but it's possible- i— go? its ambitious, but it's possible. ithink— go? its ambitious, but it's possible. i think the - go? its ambitious, but it's i possible. i think the problem go? its ambitious, but it's - possible. i think the problem is a lot of people have tried to do free trade deals with india. some of them, the eu, australia, processes
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which have been going on for many years, because india is a very large and poor country. it has many vested, vulnerable interests to protect. but one of the big problems, we talk about tariffs on goods like whiskey or cars, one of the big problem is that the uk is really interested in is liberalising the service sector. of course, services may, about 80% of the uk economy. in india, that�*s a really difficult thing to do. so they are optimistic, but they will be a lot of hard work ahead. i guess you can ask, if it is so difficult, why india came? the answer is pretty clear. looking around the world as the big economies, where else? china, completely off—limits. the us, which was the big hope of this government, has made it clear it doesn�*t want to do a free trade deal at the moment. other big emerging economies like brazil, difficult to get the deal with. and of course, we already have a new deal with the eu, evenif already have a new deal with the eu, even if it�*s not as good as when had before. so a lot of hope, i think,
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vested and in india. they will be the attention of british trade policy this year, but i think the fear of its critics is that the political need for success might come above, if you like, the intrinsic economic merits of the deal. i think a lot of people will want to look at the detail of any deal before deciding how worthwhile it is. really interesting. thank you for talking us through that, chris, our global trade correspondent, chris morris. a court in germany has sentenced a syrian colonel to life for crimes against humanity. anwar raslan who�*s 58, was linked to the torture of 4,000 people, anwar raslan, who�*s 58, was linked to the torture of 4,000 people, at a prison in damascus known as "hell on earth". a former officer under president bashar al—assad, he was arrested in germany, where he�*d claimed asylum two years ago. our correspondent, jenny hill, has the story. those who opposed the syrian president paid a terrible price. basher al—assad�*s regime violently crushed street protests in 2011. civilians rounded up, detained, tortured, killed. by people like this, a former secret service officer.
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anwar raslan presided over the torture of 4000 people at a notorious prison in damascus. he had claimed asylum in germany, but today was jailed for life here for crimes against humanity. it is like hell, really. this man survived incarceration and interrogation. he told me directly... lay on your stomach and raise your feet in the air, so in a stress position. and i should answer the questions, and whenever he didn�*t like the answers i gave, he ordered somebody next to me to start to hit me. it is a painfuljustice. many were tortured to death, and over two years the courts heard terrible stories.
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torturers using special tools, electric shocks, rape. crimes so serious they could be tried outside syria in a german court. the verdict matters, it is just as of course for the families of those killed and those who survive the torture. it is also a criminal court acknowledging that the regime of basher al—assad committed crimes against humanity against his own people. this man was himself arrested by anwar raslan and recognised him after both men came to germany. i am so happy. it is historical, in fact. a historical step happened here today. it is victory. but even as anwar raslan starts a sentence, survivors, relatives and campaigners want the world to know this is still happening. the headlines on bbc news:
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you are watching abc news. the time is 4:45pm. -- bbc is 4:45pm. —— bbc news. archaeologists working on the route of the hs2 high—speed railway have found an "extremely rare" wooden figure made during the roman period. it was unearthed in a waterlogged ditch in buckinghamshire. the carved figure is wearing tunic—like clothing and small fragment of the figure, which had broken off, has been sent for radiocarbon dating. archaeologists have described it as an "amazing discovery". i�*m joined by mike pitts, editor of british archaeology. good to have you with us to talk about this. this figure was incredibly well preserved, i understand. this figure was incredibly well preserved, iunderstand. how this figure was incredibly well preserved, i understand. how did that come to be? well, the fact that it survived at all is what is remarkable. it�*s a bit weathered, it�*s a bit knackered. it's bit weathered, it�*s a bit knackered. it�*s lost its feet and lower arms. the face is rather dramatic. it looks almost ghostly, veil —like, and i think that�*s the result of weathering. but it survives because it was in the bottom of the ditch which was filled with earth and
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other material, but it was waterlogged, so ever since that wooden carving was put into or fell into the ditch, it had been full of water, and that water kept out the oxygen and preserved the word. and what detail is accessible, is visible at this point? for me, it has a roman feel about it, even if we didn�*t know there was roman pottery in the ditch as well which suggests it clearly is roman. it looks male. it�*s got sort of nicely developed calf muscles. the head has either got a hat or a good quiff of hair. there is a tunic gathered at the waist, and it stops above the knees, so it always has, if you think of it as a roman citizen, perhaps the effect of someone getting ready to walk into a public bath is. there is a strap running diagonally across the back which some might read as a suggestion that this was a soldier. and what can you tell us about the
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influence of the romans in buckinghamshire in this part of the area? the effects of the roman occupation in buckinghamshire was as it was much across england and wales, and bits of scotland. which was, to completely transform society and culture. it didn�*t happen instantly, but over the generations, almost everything we would recognise as being part of the latest prehistoric cultures in these islands had changed, and not least, the representation of people that we see in this carving. i think one of the things about it is, whatever date it is, it clearly is not prehistoric. we have a fu, a handful of carved figures from prehistoric britain of various ages, some of them not much older, if you centuries older than the arrivals of romans. and while this figure looks really like a person, and you can imagine whoever
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carved it, however skilled they were, their goal was to make something that looked like a real person and possibly even an individual that they knew. and they praised terry carving standard like that at all. they are obviously human, but they are not representational. they�*re quite graphic and almost abstract, and they have a kind of spooky feel to them which is very different, and i think in a sense, that symbolises a huge cultural shift that occurred during the roman times in these islands. and finally and briefly, would it have been typical for the and finally and briefly, would it have been typicalfor the romans and finally and briefly, would it have been typical for the romans to make representations of soldiers? would this have been a rank and file soldier, for example, someone higher “p soldier, for example, someone higher up the chain of command? we don�*t know that it was a soldier. that was just a throwaway remark. but in the roman empire, it was really common to carve representations of people of all types, of citizens and soldiers. and this is clearly something like that. now, whether it was designed to commemorate somebody or had other purposes, it could, for example have
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been a votive offering. another very rare roman piece of woodwork we have is actually a human arm that was found down a well in northamptonshire few years ago, and we�*re pretty sure that is a votive offering to somebody who was asking for somebody to improve his arm, whether it was broken or diseased in some way, and occasionally in the roman empire, we actually do find carved wooden human organs that do seem to have a sense of purpose, so it�*s possible this carving actually had some kind of healing votive request element to it. good to talk to you. mike pitts, editor of british archaeology. the first patients in wales have received antiviral tablets for covid to take at home. they�*ve been shown to reduce symptoms, and could cut the number of people needing hospital treatment. gemma dunstan has the story. it was greeted with a flurry of excitement. the first antiviral drug for covid approved in the uk, with hopes it would change the course of the pandemic.
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the oxford university—led trial is being rolled out here across wales. it is the first antiviral specifically for covid, which makes it different from other studies. see this? this is my negative lateral flow test that i have kept as evidence that i survived covid. amy tested positive for covid over christmas. she was one of around 1,500 people in wales who have now ta ken the antiviral. they made such a huge difference. i started to feel better within 24 hours of starting them, and i genuinely think if i hadn�*t taken them, i would have ended up being hospitalised. amy was given the tablets due to complex health issues rather than through the trial. but it is hoped the study, which has been running since the 8th of december, will continue to see people sign up.
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to take part you need to be over 50 or 18 to 49 with an underlying health condition. you need a positive test and to start within five days of symptoms. the trial requires no face—to—face contact. the tablets are delivered to you and you will receive a phone call from a gp about how they work. the drug is absorbed by covid—infected cells and blocks how the virus replicates in the body. this should make it harder for the covid virus to reproduce and reduce the risk of developing serious disease. the study is being delivered here by public health wales, health and care research wales, and cardiff university, with a focus on making sure it is open to everyone. often, clinical trials are done in very specialised centres, and it is a very particular type of person that goes into them, so we are really, really keen on making sure people live in rural areas have a chance to get involved and to take
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the drug which, if we went around the hospitals, they wouldn�*t. while antivirals may be a useful tool in the fight against covid,, vaccines and the booster programme still remained the most effective way to protect from the virus. with its high flying acrobats and circus contortionsists, and circus contortionists, cirque de soleil left audiences around the world in awe. but the pandemic very nearly bankrupted the group. well, tonight, the performers are back at the royal albert hall in london with a new show, and bhavani vadde�*s been taking a look. their future was up in the air, but now a comeback, and final rehearsals for the premier of luzia, a show promising a visual extravaganza set in an imaginary mexico. a glimpse behind—the—scenes shows us what it takes to be part of this troupe, something helena always dreamt of. i started when i was five years old.
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really, i think all of that adds up to now as well, and to maintain the show and run the show at least a few hours a day coming up to the premiere and getting everybody back together and retrained, we are working all day, yeah, six days a week. the latest show takes water and light as inspiration, with tapeze artists twirling through pouring showers. contortionists twisting themselves into unimaginable positions. as well as plenty of other acrobatic stunts and surprises. we up the ante every time we come back with more spectacular, original acrobatics, more special effects, a whole different concept, a whole different story, new costumes. and really they can expect to be moved off their seats. this year, cirque de soleil celebrate 25 years of performing at the royal albert hall, and it coincides with the venue�*s 150th anniversary celebration. it is really special to be here in the royal albert hall.
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for many of us it is the highlight of our career. i think it is something that a lot of us will look back on, and it is going to be that really special moment and one of the few we will have and really remember as the biggest. the company opened to a royal gala last time they were at the royal albert hall, but then coronavirus hit, which led to shows around the world being cancelled, 95% of staff being laid off and near bankruptcy for the company. we actually did a run through for the first time yesterday and we all wept a little bit. i don't think you expect how much it did hurt, how much it hurt... you come back to work, it's another day on the job, but to see the show come back to life, all of us come back to life after two years was quite an emotional moment for all of us. the global circus brand is hoping it to return to the capital is a bright
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light during a challenging time for theatres. two brothers who were separated by the partition of india 74 years ago have been reunited. muhammad siddique and habib last saw each other in 1947, when british rule ended in india and it was divided into two independent nation states — india and pakistan. incredible, heart—warming scenes as they met in kartarpur in pakistan. one of the brothers are said to say, "enough crying now". mohammad lives in faisalabad in pakistan and his brother in india�*s punjab province. what a lovely story. now it�*s time for a look at the weather with carol. hello again. a frosty saturday across some parts of england in
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particular, and also a foggy start. most of the fog across parts of england and south wales is now lifting, and as we go through the rest of the week, it will be dry and settled with some sunshine. frost and fog will be prevalent in the morning. some of the fog will be slow to lift. where the fog does live today, we are looking at some sunshine across england and wales, though there will be more cloud across the pennines and also northern ireland than yesterday. quite a cloudy day away from the east of scotland, they can offer some drizzle on the west, and breezy but pretty windy across shetland. as we head on through the evening and overnight, if anything, the weather front will sink southwards across scotland, bringing in some rain. clearer skies across northern ireland, england and wales means temperatures will fall away and once again see some fog read form. we are looking at a widespread frost tonight and with temperatures falling to as low as —40 —5 in sheltered parts of england, notice
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frost —— notjust frost but freezing fog, so bear that in mind early on. high pressure still in charge on friday. this weather front topples across scotland, bringing in spots of rain, and that means first thing in the morning with not much wind around, there was nothing to stir up this fog and move it along, so it will last for quite a while, for some, for much of the day, and if you are stuck in an area of the fog or low cloud, it will of course suppress the temperatures. here is our weather front bringing some spots of rain across the north of scotland. it will be as windy as the last few days here. these are the temperatures. for in norwich, maybe nine into glasgow. into the weekend, our high pressure does eventually move away. isobars are well spaced out. again, not much in the way of when to move things along, so we start on a foggy note. again, quite widespread fog. it will slowly lift, but some of it is only into low cloud. some sunshine around, but it will be fairly limited, and we will see a you share was coming in across north—west england, south—west
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england and also south wales later on in the day. temperatures down a touch. into sunday, there will be some patchy rain around. you should brighten up later on in the east, and on monday, some of us should see some sunshine.
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this is bbc news. the headlines... no let—up in the pressure on borisjohnson, as some tory mps say he should resign for attending a drinks party during the first lockdown. cabinet ministers rally round him, while labour says the facts, are already clear. he accepts he ought not to have done that, but it was done in good faith. there was no possible malice or intention to anything other than to give a heartfelt thank you to the people who had been working incredibly hard. [30 people who had been working incredibly hard.— people who had been working incredibly hard. do they really think this behaviour _ incredibly hard. do they really think this behaviour is - incredibly hard. do they really - think this behaviour is excusable? are they— think this behaviour is excusable? are they really going to defend him? are they really going to defend him? are they— are they really going to defend him? are they really going to defend him? are they really going to defend him? are they really going to stand by him? _ are they really going to stand by him? because in the end, it is not 'ust him? because in the end, it is not just the _ him? because in the end, it is not just the prime minister the voters will conclude is unfit to govern, it is conservative mps who stand by him _

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