Skip to main content

tv   BBC News  BBC News  January 19, 2022 8:00pm-9:01pm GMT

8:00 pm
hello, i'm ros atkins. this is outside source coming to you live from downing street, where the pressure is piling on borisjohnson to quit. we'll be here for the whole addition. "you have sat there too long for all the good you have done. in the name of god, go." doesn't the country deserve so much better than this out of touch, out of control, out of ideas and soon to be out of office prime minister? in a dramatic prime minister's questions, cheers and boos as a conservative mp defects to the opposition. borisjohnson though has continued to defend his record one conservative defected to the opposition.
8:01 pm
we have more people in employment land more employees on the payrolll now than there were before the pandemic began. - that is what my staff have been working on in downing street. i some mps are accusing borisjohnson of misleading parliament over lockdown parties in downing street. the leader of the scottish conservatives says the number of letters needed to oust the prime minister is �*near�*. 5a letters are needed to trigger a leadership vote. over the next half an hour, we'll look at how borisjohnson got to this point, his career so far and his future as prime minister. he's a successful politician. we'll look at what you need to do if he's to carry on. —— he needs to do. boris johnson's future tonight hangs in the hands of his own mps — after days of public anger,
8:02 pm
over lockdown parties held in downing street. we heard another person calling for him to go. like many on these benches, i spent weeks and months defending the prime minister against often angry constituents. i reminded them of his success in delivering brexit and the vaccines and many other things. but i expect my leaders to shoulder the responsibility for the actions they take. yesterday, he did the opposite of that. so, i remind him of a quotation, altogether too familiar to him, of leo amery to neville chamberlain. "you have sat there too long, for all the good you have done. in the name of god, go." cheering. remember, david davis who you just heard there is a former cabinet minister and a prominent brexiteer, so his intervention is important.
8:03 pm
he's a prominent brexiteer, so he worked alongside borisjohnson. here's how the prime minister responded. ithank my... shouting. i thank... order! - prime minister. i must say to the right honourable mentleman, i don't know gentleman, i don't know what he's talking about. but i can tell him, i don't know what quotation he is alluding to. but what i can tell him is that... and i think i've told this house repeatedly and throughout this pandemic, i take full responsibility for everything done in this government and throughout the pandemic. the mood against borisjohnson has hardened considerably after comments he made yesterday. he said that he wasn't told that a drinks party held in the number ten garden during england's first lockdown would break covid rules. plenty of heated exchanges with leader of the opposition keir starmer about that. have a listen. first, he said there were no parties. then the video landed, blowing that
8:04 pm
defence out of the water. next, he said he was sicker than furious when he found out about the parties, until it turns out that he himself was at the downing street garden party. then, last week, he said he didn't realise he was at a party. and, surprise surprise, no one believed him. so, this week he's got a new defence. "nobody warned me that it was against the rules." that's it. and nobody told him. since the prime minister wrote the rules, why on earth does he think this new defence is going to work for him? thank you, mr speaker. well, he talks about the rules, and let me repeat what i said to the honourable lady across the aisle earlier on. of course, mr speaker, we must wait for the outcome of the enquiry. but i will review what i have said.
8:05 pm
ione wells joins me from westminster. he the moment, people watching thinking what happened, because there was extensive reporting that might be nice. that's riuht. reporting that might be nice. that's right- there — reporting that might be nice. that's right. there were _ reporting that might be nice. that's right. there were multiple - reporting that might be nice. triat�*s right. there were multiple reports and speculation going on that threshold may have been reached reached —— nigh. that crucial 5a letters of no confidence that need to be submitted to the chair of the i922 to be submitted to the chair of the 1922 committee, that oversee tory leadership contest that is needed to trigger a vote of no—confidence in the prime minister. in terms of what happened today, we have seen other tory mps come out of the woodwork to express their calls on the prime
8:06 pm
minister, like david davis. however, it's also been other things that have changed within the tory party. for example, the defection of one tory mp to the labour party interestingly has seemed to unite both critics and supporters of boris johnson, both feeling like this wasn't the right approach for him to do to express his discontent with the prime minister. i've heard from one former minister who isn't really a fan of the prime minister and how he handled events, saying his behaviour wasn't really appropriate. also fellow mps elected in 2019 with christine whiteford, saying they feel let down —— wickford. i think in this politics and the theatre of it, we had a slight plot twist from an unexpected character in the form of christian wakeford up steak an unexpected character in the form of christian wakeford up— of christian wakeford up steak with us.
8:07 pm
in a dramatic moment, one conservative mp defected — just minutes before prime minister's questions kicked off. cheering you can see christian wakeford, mp for bury south, crossing the floor and joining his new colleagues in the labour party. he was welcomed by the party's leader, keir starmer. mr speaker, like so many people up and down the country, he has concluded that the prime minister and the conservative party have shown themselves incapable of offering the leadership and government this country deserves, whereas the labour party stands ready to provide an alternative government that the country can be proud of. here's christian wakeford himself talking about that decision. far too many issues where i felt we were on the wrong side. - compromise is not a dirty word, but it is possible i to compromise too far. and when it's getting to the point
8:08 pm
where it's difficult _ to explain some of these issues, then you know it's wrong. - at the moment, we have a party. trying to defend the indefensible, and they're doing so gladly. that's not right, it's not fair, and it doesn't respect- the country or the office. but one of wakeford's predecessors in the seat, david sumberg, who held it for the conservatives between 1983 and 1997, was less than impressed with his change of heart. to be honest, ifind it difficult to take christian wa keford seriously. only a couple of days ago he was, as a conservative mp, putting in a letter to sir graham brady asking for a vote of no confidence in the prime minister. a few months ago, i saw on bbc today he was speaking in the house he was speaking in the house
8:09 pm
saying the labour party could not possibly represent working people and they were not capable of doing it. so, if he has had a conversion to socialism, then it has been a very short route. i think he's made a wrong decision. i think he will regret it because he can have his day in the sun today, he will be leading the news broadcasts, he will be a very popular guy, but in two or three months�* time, christian, who i think people will say. we�*ll see where he ends up in a few months�* time, but what about the situation right now? he has clearly concluded that a party that tolerates boris johnson as leader is not one he wants to be in. can you understand why he has doubts about that leadership given everything that happened in number ten during the pandemic? yes, i can understand him having his doubts. he took a course of action
8:10 pm
as a conservative mp to change the leadership of the conservative party. but i cannot understand him suddenly having a conversion to the labour party, that they are solutions to the problems of borisjohnson. it doesn�*t make sense. it seems to me that he�*s all over the shop. he�*s only two years in the house of commons, when many dedicated people in bury south went out and voted for him and worked damn hard to get him elected and they will find his decision quite extraordinary. let�*s talk about bury south. the conservative prime minister made much about the party winning it in 2019. tell us about the constituency and the party�*s relationship with constituents, because it�*s not a place where historically the party has done well. it�*s a marginal seat, a bellwether seat. it was created in 1983
8:11 pm
when i was elected and ever since then, it�*s been the sort of seat which determines who rules britain. there are many of those seats in the north west of england, and bury south is one of them. one mp whose cross to the labour party. doesn�*t make a huge amount of difference to the situation. let me explain how they might go about getting rid of the prime minister. the method by which the conservative party can remove a leader is by a vote of no confidence by the party�*s mps in parliament. 15% of the party�*s mps would need to submit a letter of no confidence to sir graham brady. he�*s the head of the 1922 committee of backbench mps. there are 360 tory mps, so 5a letters would be needed to trigger a vote. remember, though, the process is confidential, so only this man, sir graham, knows how many letters are in.
8:12 pm
some people are saying it�*s close. the leader of the scottish conservatives, douglas ross, says that he thinks that crucial number — 5a letters — is in sight. i think it is a near, all members can submit letters and can also withdraw them. there is a sniffing operation going on by wits at the moment going on by whips at the moment a letter to withdraw it again, so i think we're on a bit of a roller—coaster ride, going up and down, but i think most people believe we are getting close to the 54 number than further away. let�*s hear from andrew bridgen, one of the conservative mps who says he�*s submitted a letter. well, i think that sue gray's reportl has been much touted but delayed. quite honestly, the workload she's got now is almost more _ than when she started - because of the constant drip out of more allegations and alleged evidences. | so, when is this report - actually going to come out? in the meantime, the prime minister land the government are effectivelyl
8:13 pm
paralysed with every arm _ of government, lever of government, being used to defend the prime minister. i that's not the job l of the government. we're here to serve the people. a vote going ahead doesn�*t necessarily mean the end of borisjohnson. more than 50% of tory mps would need to vote against the prime minister to actually oust him. that would end his time as prime minister. if mps vote in support, he can stay as party leader and prime minister, and no new vote can be triggered for 12 months. his position would arguably even be stronger. conservative mp mark pritchard says he�*s not worried about mrjohnson�*s future. there�*s danger every week in political life, but i think the prime minister�*s performance today was robust, strong, and many colleagues that i�*ve spoken to since have said, look, perhaps we just need to give
8:14 pm
sue gray�*s enquiry time to report. i think that�*s only fair. the british people are fair—minded, they are a just people, and they would probably say, why are some people trying to encourage other mps trying to put their letters in before an enquiry is actually reported? let�*s go back to ione wells at westminster. we heard a reference to sue gray. for people who haven�*t been following every twist and turn, remind us who she is and where she fits into this. sue gra is and where she fits into this. sue gray is one _ and where she fits into this. sue gray is one of— and where she fits into this. sue gray is one of the _ and where she fits into this. sue: gray is one of the top civil servants in the uk, and she has been allocated the role of investigating allocated the role of investigating all these different allegations of alleged parties in downing street and other government departments during coronavirus. both in 2020 and 2021. the reason this is so significant is because it�*s a fact finding exercise, and it will set out exactly what any of where, what the purpose was, who was in
8:15 pm
attendance and what the coronavirus restrictions were in place at the time. what she can�*t do, because she�*s not a judge, is actively say whether anyone at the parties broke the law. she can say whether any of the law. she can say whether any of the events that took place were in her opinion apparently in breach of any rules in place. a lot is hinging on this report because not only is it the report which ministers have said everybody must wait for before casting judgment, said everybody must wait for before castingjudgment, but said everybody must wait for before casting judgment, but privately there are a number of conservative mps who aren�*t very happy with the prime minister handling this, who feel like they need to let this run its course. they are also waiting for this report to be published, to read the details in full before deciding what their next course of action may be. deciding what their next course of action may be— deciding what their next course of action ma be. ., ~ ,, , .
8:16 pm
action may be. thank you very much. ask for your— action may be. thank you very much. ask for your help. _ action may be. thank you very much. ask for your help. it's _ action may be. thank you very much. ask for your help. it's not _ action may be. thank you very much. ask for your help. it's notjust - action may be. thank you very much. ask for your help. it's notjust an - ask for your help. it�*s notjust an issue of what events happened and what rules were broken. it�*s also an issue of was boris johnson what rules were broken. it�*s also an issue of was borisjohnson warned they could break the rules? some of his colleagues, especially dominic cummings, told he was —— said he was told about the event. the prime minister said he was never warned. we�*re going to look at detail at a group of...
8:17 pm
he was sworn in before... it's going to be only — he was sworn in before... it's going to be only america _ he was sworn in before... it's going to be only america first! _ he was sworn in before... it's going to be only america first! america i to be only america first! america first! demonstrators waiting for the regular— demonstrators waiting for the regular old terrific team were set upon _ regular old terrific team were set unon ily— regular old terrific team were set upon by police dogs —— rebel cricket team _ upon by police dogs —— rebel cricket team they— upon by police dogs —— rebel cricket team. they will carry on the protest so about _ team. they will carry on the protest so about the — team. they will carry on the protest so about the tour. the team. they will carry on the protest so about the tour.— team. they will carry on the protest so about the tour. the west germans want to extradite _ so about the tour. the west germans want to extradite him _ so about the tour. the west germans want to extradite him for— so about the tour. the west germans want to extradite him for crimes - want to extradite him for crimes committed in _ want to extradite him for crimes committed in wartime _ want to extradite him for crimes committed in wartime france. . committed in wartime france. millions — committed in wartime france. millions claimed _ committed in wartime france. millions claimed to _ committed in wartime france. millions claimed to bathe - committed in wartime france. millions claimed to bathe as l committed in wartime france. - millions claimed to bathe as close as possible to this spot, a tide of humanity, believed to have broken all records.
8:18 pm
hello, i�*m ros atkins with outside source. we are live in downing street as the pressure on boris johnson continues to build. there�*s been a call for him to quit from the former brexit secretary david davis. boris johnson�*s future lies now in the hands of his own mps, and one group of them in particular have been staging something of a mutiny in the past 2a hours or so — tory mps elected in 2019. it�*s been dubbed "the pork pie plot". many come from traditional labour heartlands, known as red wall seats. more than 20 of them have reportedly met to discuss ousting the prime minister. one mp told newsnight�*s nicholas watt...
8:19 pm
let�*s talk to a former conservative red wall adviser whose works with a number of red wall mps during their successful campaigns in 2019. he�*s life for me now. thank you for your time. —— live with me. do you think they�*re right to get rid of the prime minister? i right to get rid of the prime minister?— right to get rid of the prime minister? ., �* ~ , ., minister? i don't think they are t in: to minister? i don't think they are trying to get — minister? i don't think they are trying to get rid _ minister? i don't think they are trying to get rid of— minister? i don't think they are trying to get rid of the - trying to get rid of the prime minister. what i would say it has happened here is they�*ve gone home to their constituencies, and they have been pretty shocked by the reaction, and i think that has scared them into the real change of tone we�*ve seen over the last couple of days. i think from a pure communication standpoint, the red wall mps were not impressed with that interview. i said on many occasions, borisjohnson is a very
8:20 pm
rare politician in the sense that he can rip his tie off, sit on the sofa, and he could speak from the heart and come out with a real human apology, and he could have gotten ahead of this. i think what we�*ve seen today is... i think the thing about those mps is they need boris to wake up, and i think that feeling has been around for a while. hold on. you has been around for a while. hold on- you can _ has been around for a while. hold on. you can give _ has been around for a while. hold on. you can give the _ has been around for a while. hold on. you can give the most - has been around for a while. hold on. you can give the most sincere apology you like and sit down on a sofa and take your tie off, but you have to accept that something you�*ve done is wrong and except that parties that took place in the building were completely and are appropriate. so far, his language has not been as categorical as the language i�*ve suggested. has not been as categorical as the language i've suggested. absolutely, and that's why _ language i've suggested. absolutely, and that's why the _ language i've suggested. absolutely, and that's why the parliamentary - and that�*s why the parliamentary stuff and anything... i think if you
8:21 pm
look at the conservative benches, between last week and this week, they were allowed left —— lot louder. that level of contrition that will perhaps turn around some of those left behind communities, and these are communities that were left behind for generations. boris johnson was the man. can left behind for generations. boris johnson was the man.— johnson was the man. can i ask ou. .. johnson was the man. can i ask you- -- can _ johnson was the man. can i ask you- -- can i— johnson was the man. can i ask you... can i ask you, _ johnson was the man. can i ask you... can i ask you, you - johnson was the man. can i ask you... can i ask you, you werel you... can i ask you, you were wanting more contrition from the prime minister, but what about the fact this stuff happened in number ten? isn�*t that enough for you as someone who is... this is not a man worthy of leading this party our country? to worthy of leading this party our count ? ., , worthy of leading this party our count ? ., ~ , worthy of leading this party our count ? ., ~ ., country? to be frank, my opinion isn't particularly _ country? to be frank, my opinion isn't particularly important - country? to be frank, my opinion isn't particularly important of - isn�*t particularly important of interest, but i do know a lot of the rebel mps have had frustration with the mechanics of number ten. i think they�*re hoping that in the coming,
8:22 pm
once the sue gray report is allowed to do its work, there is a real root and branch reconstruction of the mechanics at number ten. we're going to leave you — mechanics at number ten. we're going to leave you there, _ mechanics at number ten. we're going to leave you there, but _ mechanics at number ten. we're going to leave you there, but there's - mechanics at number ten. we're going to leave you there, but there's more i to leave you there, but there�*s more we need to discuss. there are many excuse to unpack —— issues. thank you to oscar for excuse to unpack —— issues. thank you to oscarforjoining us. borisjohnson has built his career on being a more colourful character than most politicians, with ups and downs along the way. he became prime minister in 2019 after theresa may�*s downfall and went into a general election five months later with a slogan to "get brexit done". this is one way he spread the message — using a digger to smash through a wall. borisjohnson was returned to power with the biggest conservative majority since 1987.
8:23 pm
some historic labour seats even turned blue, some historic labour seats even turned blue, and this was election night. your hand may have quivered over the ballot paper, before you put your cross in the conservative box. and you may intend to return to labour next time round. and if that is the case, i�*m humbled that you have put your trust in me and that you have put your trust in us. that was two and a half years ago. he won the election in 2019. he�*s had a few brushes with controversy. there were questions over who paid for a holiday he took in 2019 to the carribean island mustique. there were questions about owen patterson who resigned in november.
8:24 pm
conservatives sought to postpone that by changing the way the rules work. but that decision have to be reversed after a furious backlash. you�*ll also know about the parties and gatherings that have taken place during the pandemic and england was under that first strict lockdown, but that led to this apology in parliament last week. i went into that garden just after 6:00pm on the 20th of may 2020 to thank groups of staff before going back into my office 25 minutes later to continue working. i believed implicitly that this was a work event. here�*s our uk political correspondent, rob watson. i guess just two really obvious things to look out for, will the total of 54 letters be reached
8:25 pm
sometime between now, and the next thing i'm looking out for is when the report comes out by the senior government official into what's been going on with lockdown violations. the prime minister said that would be out next week. those are the two things. do we get to the 54 first or the report? given how febrile the reporting of this was last night, you would think the prime minister and his allies are relatively happy with the point they have reached this evening. absolutely. what you hear from conservative mps, although again, it's incredibly hard to say, is that the momentum has moved slightly more back towards the prime minister surviving. but i go back to my standard position, which is that but the fundamental questions about those gatherings have not gone away, which is why the pressure here in
8:26 pm
downing street has also gone hello. no frost this morning, but it�*s going to be a different story tomorrow morning. we�*ve had an area of rain moving southwards across the uk today, even the chance for photographing some rainbows. it�*s a brief interruption to the quiet weather we�*ve been having come because high pressure is about to move back in. but behind this weather front that brought the rain, we have brought down across the uk some colder air once again. feeling colder still in what�*s a very brisk north—northwesterly wind, especially across northern scotland and down the north sea coast of england. and that will bring some further showers, which are going to be wintry in nature, particularly on hills, but maybe a little bit of snow to lower levels in places, particularly in the northern isles. the odd shower for northern ireland, the west of wales, the far south west of england overnight, but most places are going to have clear skies, allowing temperatures
8:27 pm
to drop to or below freezing for the return of the frost in the morning. so, it�*ll be a cold start in the morning. there�*ll be plenty of sunshine around. still a few showers towards the north east of scotland, wintry in nature. some sleet and hail with the showers running down north sea coastal parts of england, particular towards lincolnshire and norfolk. still a wind chill here as well with this brisk breeze, so it�*ll feel coldest here. a chance for a shower in northern ireland, the far west of wales, the far south west of england, probably these clearing away. and many places having some sunshine. now, overnight and into friday, where skies stay clear, the frost will be even harder. but you�*ll notice the cloud increasing, northern ireland, western parts of scotland in particular. that will keep temperatures a few degrees above freezing, two degrees in glasgow, belfast at five degrees, but through many rural parts of wales and england, it will be several degrees below freezing. the chance of a few mist and fog patches on friday. it does look as if eastern areas will see most of the sunshine on friday. the wind isn�*t as strong. it will feel a bit warmer. some cloud pushing into the west may bring a little drizzle
8:28 pm
towards north west scotland, and temperatures are edging up a little bit, particularly where we�*ve had a couple of chilly days in the east. into the weekend, high pressure very much in control. our weather front�*s bringing some rain at times and breeze towards northern scotland, but most places are going to be dry. and actually around the area of high pressure, some milderair pushing in, so we�*ve lost the darker blues showing up. it�*s not going to be warm, but temperatures will be close to average for the time of year. a lot of cloud around, some sunny spells, especially in the east, and there could be some fog slow to clear in places.
8:29 pm
hello, this is bbc news with me, alice baxter. the headlines — at a rowdy prime minister�*s questions, borisjohnson defends his record in office. we have more people in employment and more employees on the payroll now than there were before the pandemic began. that is what my staff have been working on in downing street. pressure intensified as a tory mp defected to labour and a former cabinet minister delivered his verdict on borisjohnson. "you have sat there too long for all the good you have done. in the name of god, go." cheering.
8:30 pm
england�*s plan b covid—19 measures are being dropped completely. work from home ends today. inflation soars to its highest level in almost 30 years, driven by rising food prices and energy bills, and there are warnings of worse to come. russia could launch an attack on ukraine at very short notice, warns the us secretary of state antony blinken on a visit to kyiv. the government has announced that the extra coronavirus measures in england brought in to prevent the spread of the omicron variant will end by next thursday. announcing the move away from so—called plan b, borisjohnson told the commons it was due to the success of the booster campaign and how the public had followed the rules. this evening, the health secretary, sajid javid, said it was a moment to be proud of, but reiterated that the country must learn to live with the virus.
8:31 pm
here�*s our health editor hugh pym. masks on and off. the rules have changed various times of the past two years but the government has now said mast will no longer be compulsory in shops and on public transport. the prime minister said masks would still be advisable in some settings, but it was now down to personal choice. we will trust the judgment of the british people and no longer criminalise anyone who chooses not to wear one. labour said they supported the easing of plan b as long as it was backed up by the science. in bristol, people gave us their reaction. i reckon it's a good thing that we're now learning to live with the omicron variant and we've got to have the restrictions removed little by little. for me and my family, i have elderly parents, j
8:32 pm
i'd rather if we could keep the mask wearing, really. | at this restaurant, they welcomed the scrapping of work from home guidance. the customers being back is amazing, and hopefully we will be back trading on a weekly basis because it has been very bad for us. so, what is the trend now for covid cases? one of the most authoritative sources is the survey by the office for national statistics which picks up those without symptoms. according to the ons, covid infections in the uk fell last week for the first time since late november. it�*s estimated 3.4 million people had the virus. infections came down in much of the uk, including in england, where one in 20 people had the virus, and in wales, with one in 25 and in scotland, one in 20, but in northern ireland, also with one in 20, the trend was said to be uncertain. and the head of the ons thinks this is a significant moment. we're certainly seeing a major turning point, and we're certainly seeing a real reduction.
8:33 pm
the question i ask is that we're not sure yet whether that's going to continue to go down. i raised the issue at the downing street briefing. while we believe that overall i we will continue to see declines in cases, that may plateau at some point as the infection is in various i different populations. it's very hard to see beyond 2—3 weeks, and clearly the biggest. change that's going to happen is people's behaviour. - at this hospital in walsall, the number of patients with covid in intensive care has come down a bit since last week, but doctors are urging the public to remain cautious as restrictions are eased. we�*re not in a bad place currently, but dropping a guard at this point is probably not the right choice or right answer. we probably will need to be vigilant and make sure that we follow the precautions that have been put
8:34 pm
in place by the government. in scotland, mandatory mask—wearing will continue in most indoor public spaces, though most other restrictions will be lifted from monday. in wales, nightclubs can reopen at the end of next week, though they�*ll remain closed for now in northern ireland. the devolved nations are moving at differing speeds, charting their own courses through this stage of the pandemic. hugh pym, bbc news. latest figures show there�*s been a slight increase in the number of people testing positive for coronavirus, with 108,069 new infections recorded in the latest 24—hour period. on average, just over 93,000 new cases were reported per day in the last week. the number of people in hospital has fallen slightly, with just under 19,000 yesterday, and the number of people seriously ill on ventilators has also fallen slightly. there were 359 deaths reported in the latest 24—hour period, that�*s of people who died within 28
8:35 pm
days of a positive test, though there will be some amongst this number who won�*t have died from covid. on average in the past week, 266 deaths were announced every day. on vaccinations, over 36.5 million people have now had a boosterjab, which means nearly 64% of people aged 12 and over have now had three vaccine doses. prices have risen at their fastest rate in almost 30 years. inflation climbed to 5.4% in december. it has been driven up by the soaring cost of food and energy, amongst other things. the figure is more than double the bank of england�*s target for inflation. and with gas and electricity prices expected to rise sharply in the coming months, experts are warning there is much worse to come. our economics editor faisal islam has more. up go the prices.
8:36 pm
this independent food retailer in ashford in kent has to move rapidly to keep up. every week when i get my invoice, i check it against my price list. oh, i�*ll need to put that up because, you know, the cost has gone up. and some of them go up in between the catalogue being published every other month to the invoice coming through. as a supplier of locally produced food, but also as consumers and parents, today�*s figure reflects the very real experience for the likes of katy. the price of everything's gone up. you have to make decisions as to what luxuries you then want. it's not... you know, we haven't been on holiday, notjust because of a global pandemic, but maybe because we can't afford it either. you know, there's various different reasons why. and i think it's all coming to a head all at once. 40 miles to the north is the isle of grain, where goods, electricity and gas enter the country from around the world and where the uk is importing energy at record high prices. it�*s been these energy costs that
8:37 pm
have pushed inflation so high, but in december that spread to food prices, pushing the main measure up to 5.4%, the highest level for three decades, well over the 2% target for inflation set by the bank of england. and forecasters fear that overall inflation could go as high as 7% in the spring. that can be seen in this increasingly common sight, a tanker of frozen liquid american gas unloading a third of daily british demand in kent. tankers such as this that have come from texas are only here in record numbers, in europe and the uk, because of the record prices your energy companies and power companies have paid for that gas that normally goes to the far east. it means that there�*s an inevitable, inescapable impact on consumer bills and potentially for the taxpayer. the only question is when this is paid for and whether this will lead to a further round of price rises and higher inflation.
8:38 pm
the inflation rate shooting up means that some bills pegged to these figures, such as mobile phone, broadband and some railfares, will automatically go up, too. all of that is putting pressure on company bosses like here at this high—end radiatorfactory in birmingham to raise wages for his workers. we've paid them a winter fuel allowance off our own backs l cos we recognise we don't want them to be worrying about how— they're going to keep the heating on, particularly for a business - like ours which is about heating. so, we've done that with them. i but i can see that they are goingi to have to start coming back to us and looking for more money, of course they are. _ the cost of living's going up. you can see the spiral coming? absolutely. here comes the spiral. those discussions - are taking place now. so, that�*s going to increase prices again? of course it is. we've had three price increases. we've been forced to put our prices up three times. - the bank of england governor, andrew bailey, expressed very great concern today about the crisis in ukraine prolonging the energy shock. more inflation is already
8:39 pm
in the pipe and not now just in our radiators. faisal islam, bbc news. joining me now is economist and author duncan weldon. many thanks for joining many thanks forjoining me here on the programme. prices rising at their fastest rate in nearly 30 years. what —— was to figure a surprise? years. what -- was to figure a surprise?— years. what -- was to figure a surrise? . ., ., ., surprise? the idea that inflation was auoin surprise? the idea that inflation was going to — surprise? the idea that inflation was going to rise _ surprise? the idea that inflation was going to rise quite - surprise? the idea that inflation was going to rise quite sharply l surprise? the idea that inflation l was going to rise quite sharply in the coming months was not a surprise. the figure we got this morning was a bit higher than consensus. we are now at 5.4%, the fastest rate of price gains we have seen since 92. i�*m afraid there�*s probably more bad news coming as lots of hummus or thinking we�*re looking at something above 6% by the end of the spring with pete probably around april. flit end of the spring with pete probably around april-— around april. of course this is more than double — around april. of course this is more than double the _ around april. of course this is more than double the bank— around april. of course this is more than double the bank of— around april. of course this is more than double the bank of england i around april. of course this is more | than double the bank of england poz matt targett of 2%. do you foresee any slacking off in the near future?
8:40 pm
you talk about expectations for the number two increase. is there any hope on the horizon for those who would let is it the number plateau? well, we know that in april the energy price cap will be will be paid for our domestic heating electricity, that�*s going to increase again, increasing by quite a large amount we look at what is happening out there with wholesale energy prices. now hopefully if you look at what is driving inflation at the moment, is partially an energy price story but a lot of it is to do with the pandemic and the recovery from the pandemic. there are all sorts of supply chain problems out there. because of the pandemic. things are being delayed in there�*s a problem with making computer chips which is making it harder to make things like cars. and also over the course of the pandemic, you are tipping —— typical person is going to the pub a lot less, eating out a
8:41 pm
lot less, bought off a lot from amazon. so we are buying more goods and fewer services and that is sort of unusual spending and that has pushed up the price of goods. now hopefully again i touch word is hopefully, as the economy gets back to normal after the pandemic, lots of those price pressures should drop out. but i could easily take another 6-12 out. but i could easily take another 6—12 months, some afraid we are looking at quite high inflation for at least the first half of 2022. and at least the first half of 2022. and in the interim, _ at least the first half of 2022. and in the interim, why are some households in particular being very badly hit by this? so households in particular being very badly hit by this?— badly hit by this? so when we say that inflation — badly hit by this? so when we say that inflation has _ badly hit by this? so when we say that inflation has gone _ badly hit by this? so when we say that inflation has gone up - badly hit by this? so when we say that inflation has gone up by i badly hit by this? so when we say| that inflation has gone up by 5.296 that inflation has gone up by 5.2% or he said the cost of living has gone up by 5.2% over the last year, we are talking about an average household. i�*m sure we all know there is a difference in the average household. if you are a lower income household, you spend a much higher proportion of your income on things
8:42 pm
like energy, and given that energy prices are driving the increase in inflation, i�*m afraid to say the worse off you are, the lower down the income scale you are, the higher your actual inflation rate is. so we talk about 5.4% but for a lot of lower income households, that living is rising a lot faster. but lower income households, that living is rising a lot faster.— is rising a lot faster. but is inflation — is rising a lot faster. but is inflation always _ is rising a lot faster. but is inflation always about i is rising a lot faster. but is i inflation always about them? economists like goldilocks inflation, not too hot, not to go. we don�*t like prices rising typically come up usually when it�*s uncertain how much prices have been rising for that that makes it really hard for firms and businesses to plan for the future. it actually falling prices, deflation are a problem for the economy as well. it sounds great for consumers because things get deeper but for firms, that means filling revenue, falling
8:43 pm
profit and they got to cut wages which of the bank of england poz matt targett is 2%. it�*s not zero. we want is sort of a low but stable level of inflation. it�*s far too high at the moment. but we don�*t want to bring it back to zero. irate want to bring it back to zero. we are to leave _ want to bring it back to zero. we are to leave it there but many thanks, duncan. let�*s take a look at some of today�*s other news. a man has appeared in court this evening charged with the murder of ashling murphy in the republic of ireland. the 23—year—old primary schoolteacher was attacked while out exercising beside a canal in tullamore, county offaly, last wednesday. 31—year—old jozef puska has been remanded in custody. international aid efforts have been stepped up in tonga after the scale of damage caused by the volcanic eruption and tsunami was revealed. new pictures show the islands covered in a layer of volcanic ash, while in coastal areas, waves tore down trees and ripped through buildings.
8:44 pm
international telephone links have now been restored, and ships carrying aid are expected to arrive by friday. a belgian court has sentenced a vietnamese man to 15 years in jail after ruling he was the ringleader in the trafficking of 39 migrants found dead in a lorry in the uk. the victims, all vietnamese, were discovered on an industrial estate in essex in 2019. vo van hong was found guilty of having led a cross—channel people trafficking operation based in belgium. the us secretary of state, antony blinken, who�*s on a visit to ukraine, has warned that russia could launch an attack on ukraine at very short notice. russia has around 100,000 troops massed on its borders. moscow has denied it�*s planning a military invasion. the us secretary of state has urged president putin to choose a peaceful path. america has also confirmed an extra $200 million
8:45 pm
in defence aid for ukraine. our diplomatic correspondent paul adams has more. british military equipment arriving in ukraine. short—range anti—tank missiles, with a small team of trainers to follow. the latest western gesture of support to a country facing a mounting threat from russia. diplomatic support, too, with us secretary of state antony blinken flying to kyiv this morning promising relentless american efforts to prevent russia from invading. washington�*s message to ukraine�*s president, volodymyr zelensky, there will be no talks about you without your involvement. the united states wants you to know this. as you stand up to efforts to divide, to intimidate, to threaten, the united states stands with you resolutely, in your right to make decisions for your own future, to shape that future as ukrainians, for ukraine.
8:46 pm
and all the while, russian troops maintain their menacing presence on ukraine�*s northern and eastern borders. now, in neighbouring belarus, too, preparing for what are called joint military drills. american officials say these could be used as a cover for an invasion of ukraine. kyiv says it has what it takes to withstand an attack. we have 261,000 in our ukrainian army. we have the options to have territorial defending forces, 130,000. we have 400,000 veterans of ukrainian—russian war, so i'm sure that we have the capacity to deter this activity from moscow. last week, we saw a diplomatic trail that crisscrossed europe, from geneva
8:47 pm
to brussels and vienna. at the end of it, the russian foreign minister, sergei lavrov, appeared to throw in the towel. "our patience," he said, "is at an end." and here we are, four days on, and the process is actually shifting up a gear. mr lavrov and antony blinken are due to meet on friday, once again in geneva. the talking, it seems, is not quite over. but the tremors of this crisis are being felt right across europe. on the baltic island of gotland, sweden is beefing up its presence, concerned about nearby russian activity and what it calls russia�*s direct threat to europe�*s security. paul adams, bbc news. the headlines on bbc news — at a rowdy prime minister�*s questions, borisjohnson defends his record in office. england�*s plan b covid measures are being dropped completely. work from home ends today.
8:48 pm
face coverings are no longer required from next week. a31—year—old man is charged with the of primary school teacher ashling murphy, who was attacked in county offaly in ireland. the world health organization�*s emergency committee has recommended that proof of coronavirus vaccination is no longer recommended for international travel as one of a series of recommendations emerging from a meeting today. it also suggests lifting or easing all international travel bans as, it says, they do not provide "added value".
8:49 pm
a review has been launched into the treatment of gay and lesbian veterans and the impact of the historic ban on them serving in the british military. until 2000, it was illegal to be gay in the army, navy or raf, and thousands of personnel were affected by the law. josh parry reports. the year is 1995. john major is the prime minister. take that are topping the charts. david was sent to military prison. his crime? being a gay man. they discovered a copy of gay times in my room after a search of my room. this two—year investigation began. when david joined the royal air force as a medic, aged 17, he was still discovering his identity. i put my life on the line for the country going to the first gulf war, and so, yeah, i was proud of that achievement of helping keep my country safe and knowing that they would do the best they could for me, promote me, get the best out of me. from the moment i admitted to it, i was held in a cell, separate from everyone, and then the trial happened. and then you go... yeah, you�*re handcuffed, you�*re going into the cell, you�*re treated like any other prisoner, as if i�*d mugged or murdered someone. it�*s thought around 5000 servicemen and women were affected by the ban on lgbt personnel in the military.
8:50 pm
it remained in place until the year 2000, when this group of veterans took their fight against the ban to the european court of human rights. many people in the years before that lost theirjobs and have been without incomes. in some cases, they lost pensions. do you accept that the only meaningful outcome of this review can be financial compensation? i totally accept that the financial impact that many of these people suffered unjustly, so i totally accept that this is a cause of live debate and look forward to the full range of recommendations that the independent reviewer might make. not everyone impacted was dismissed outright. some like patrick felt forced to resign afterfalling in love. he was a lovely guy, l he was called dennis. but i learnt something else i
8:51 pm
the second year and that was that he was hiv—positive. unable to tell his bosses about the relationship and terrified of being sent to the other side of the world while his partner was dying, patrick handed in his one—year�*s notice to leave the navy. dennis died just two days before he was due home for good. i reflected on one thing —| that in the past 48 hours, the only two things that had ever mattered to me had gone. - while today�*s announcement is being cautiously welcomed by lgbt veterans, the message is clear. they�*re not interested in apologies. they want compensation. josh parry, bbc news. more now on the news that the government is lifting plan b measures. it means that people will not have to wear coverings in public places and covid—19 passports will not be required.
8:52 pm
joining me now is economist and author duncan weldon. plan b was not successful in the first place that was a mistake. so we did have a way forward in terms of vaccinating our population and it strikes me as a real risk because we are starting to see increases of cases and other age groups, which could mean that this epidemic starts plateauing much as we saw last autumn. ,., ., _ autumn. the government are led by the health minister _ autumn. the government are led by the health minister when _ autumn. the government are led by the health minister when they i autumn. the government are led by the health minister when they gave | the health minister when they gave their presentation earlier in the day. they talked about that balance of risk and said the justification is that the omicron varian is retreating here in the uk. what do you make of that? i retreating here in the uk. what do you make of that?— you make of that? i don't think viruses retreat or _ you make of that? i don't think viruses retreat or advance i you make of that? i don't think viruses retreat or advance was| you make of that? i don't think i viruses retreat or advance was of the effect people where there is an
8:53 pm
opportunity to and i�*m afraid that what will happen if we move these measures in a researching infection is the virus will have more opportunities to infect people. it�*s starting to become entrenched in schools and we are going to have universities going back and it will come back again, i�*m afraid. the simple fact is we are still seeing something around 2000 hospitalisations every day and we are seeing hundreds of people dying every day. and that for me is not the time to let go. we do have a way forward with our vaccines but the moment, we are lacking the patience to make sure that everybody is able to make sure that everybody is able to enjoy their freedom here. to make sure that everybody is able to enjoy theirfreedom here. we to make sure that everybody is able to enjoy their freedom here. we are talking about the vulnerable and he will not able to access the vaccine and of course no mentor have been made whatsoever today about long covid—19 in every infection has potential to cause that sort of long—term effect in people in the uk and elsewhere. long-term effect in people in the uk and elsewhere.— long-term effect in people in the uk and elsewhere. what did you make of the health secretary's, _ and elsewhere. what did you make of the health secretary's, so _ and elsewhere. what did you make of the health secretary's, so we - and elsewhere. what did you make of the health secretary's, so we had i and elsewhere. what did you make of the health secretary's, so we had to. the health secretary�*s, so we had to learn to live with covid—19 that we�*ve all learned to live with the
8:54 pm
flu? we've all learned to live with the flu? ~ we've all learned to live with the flu? . . ., ., . , we've all learned to live with the flu? ~ ., ., , ., flu? well, coronavirus and the flu are different _ flu? well, coronavirus and the flu are different in _ flu? well, coronavirus and the flu are different in terms _ flu? well, coronavirus and the flu are different in terms of - experienced we are at the population in dealing with it. influenza it does cause you to clinical impact but it does not tend to be directly causing deaths in the way that this virus does. it is me that is not a problem and we should be treating all these diseases equally and with due respect. we vaccinate for influenza and we vaccinate children for influence and we have massive surveillance programme for influenza. we are still in the midst of an epidemic and a pandemic in this virus is not stabilised with respect to our community. we are not in an intimate scenario, i�*m afraid an endemic does not mean benign. i think some of the language including let�*s live with a virus, what does that actually mean? i think the government really needs to set out is only what it is prepared to tolerate and exactly what costs that will be for society and i just really have a fundamental issue with the vulnerable being left behind by these measures. to
8:55 pm
the vulnerable being left behind by these measures.— these measures. to be clear, the government _ these measures. to be clear, the government repeatedly _ these measures. to be clear, the government repeatedly said i these measures. to be clear, the government repeatedly said that| government repeatedly said that people must continue to be vaccinated if they are not already vaccinated if they are not already vaccinated in that that is the best safeguard in all instances, so you made it clear that you think the government is being overly hasty in lifting plan b at this time so how would you propose the country move forward? irate would you propose the country move forward? ~ .., would you propose the country move forward? ~ , ., ., forward? we can still maintain suitable restrictions _ forward? we can still maintain suitable restrictions in - forward? we can still maintain suitable restrictions in the i forward? we can still maintain| suitable restrictions in the plan forward? we can still maintain i suitable restrictions in the plan b has elements to it which are workable and usable. but abandoning all of these measures such as masks and working from home where possible, that sort of thing does reduce the amount and the opportunity of spread and i would make sure that we have better mitigations in schools because we are already seeing omicron starting to entrench itself in schools and we have had record hospitalisations of children recently through the autumn and winter. that has not related to intensive care but this is still a massive problem in terms of people going in the hospital with the nhs
8:56 pm
buckling. we cannot maintain the level of prevalence of we saw over the autumn and continue that going forward because it�*sjust the autumn and continue that going forward because it�*s just going to completely ruin the ability of the nhs to do is normal dayjob and it�*s going to mean that we are to going to have hundreds people dying every day and that for me is not editable. 0k, day and that for me is not editable. ok, thank you very much, thank you very much forjoining us on the programme. that�*s all we have time for it. more on all the stories we have covered on the bbc news website but let�*s get a look at the weather with nick miller. hello. no frost this morning, but it�*s going to be a different story tomorrow morning. we�*ve had an area of rain moving southwards across the uk today, even the chance for photographing some rainbows. it�*s a brief interruption to the quiet weather we�*ve been having come because high pressure is about to move back in. but behind this weather front that brought the rain, we have brought down across the uk some colder air once again. feeling colder still in what�*s a very brisk north—northwesterly wind, especially across northern scotland and down the north sea coast of england. and that will bring some further showers, which are going to be wintry
8:57 pm
in nature, particularly on hills, but maybe a little bit of snow to lower levels in places, particularly in the northern isles. the odd shower for northern ireland, the west of wales, the far south west of england overnight, but most places are going to have clear skies, allowing temperatures to drop to or below freezing for the return of the frost in the morning. so, it�*ll be a cold start in the morning. there�*ll be plenty of sunshine around. still a few showers towards the north east of scotland, wintry in nature. some sleet and hail with the showers running down north sea coastal parts of england, particular towards lincolnshire and norfolk. still a wind chill here as well with this brisk breeze, so it�*ll feel coldest here. a chance for a shower in northern ireland, the far west of wales, the far south west of england, probably these clearing away. and many places having some sunshine. now, overnight and into friday, where skies stay clear, the frost will be even harder. but you�*ll notice the cloud increasing, northern ireland, western parts of scotland in particular. that will keep temperatures a few degrees above freezing, two degrees in glasgow, belfast at five degrees, but through many rural parts of wales and england, it will be several
8:58 pm
degrees below freezing. the chance of a few mist and fog patches on friday. it does look as if eastern areas will see most of the sunshine on friday. the wind isn�*t as strong. it will feel a bit warmer. some cloud pushing into the west may bring a little drizzle towards north west scotland, and temperatures are edging up a little bit, particularly where we�*ve had a couple of chilly days in the east. into the weekend, high pressure very much in control. our weather front�*s bringing some rain at times and breeze towards northern scotland, but most places are going to be dry. and actually around the area of high pressure, some milderair pushing in, so we�*ve lost the darker blues showing up. it�*s not going to be warm, but temperatures will be close to average for the time of year. a lot of cloud around, some sunny spells, especially in the east, and there could be some fog slow to clear in places.
8:59 pm
9:00 pm
hello, i�*m christian fraser. you�*re watching context on bbc news. the pressure mounts on british prime minister, borisjohnson. one of his conservative mp�*s defects to the opposition. more letters demanding his resignation have gone in, and then this from a former cabinet colleague. so, i remind him of a quotation, altogether too familiar to him, of leo amery to neville chamberlain. "you have sat there too long, for all the good you have done. in the name of god, go." cheering. in a bruising session of prime minister�*s questions, borisjohnson mounted a passionate defence of his record, as the opposition called on him to quit. from backyard parties to beltway blues. a year on from the inauguration, the president meets the press this hour, with democrats asking whetherjoe biden is still up to thejob.
9:01 pm
tonight with the context — sarah vine, columnist with the daily mail, and ruth smeeth, former labour

53 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on