this is bbc news, broadcasting in the uk and around the globe. i'm ben brown. our top stories: the uk says it's uncovered a plot by moscow to install a pro—russian leader in ukraine, as tensions rise over a possible invasion. russia is a permanent member of the un security council needs to live up to the basic tenet of international law and invading another country is not one of those. former british conservative minister nusrat ghani tells the sunday times she was sacked from herjob, because of her muslim faith. the government chief whip mark spencer says her claim is completely false. tonga's government warns there's a long road to recovery —
a week after the volcanic eruption and tsunami. survivors recall the moment the wave hit. nobody knew that there was a wave coming so, you know, in every household that was on the road, we just shouted out, "tsunami, tsunami!" — you know, "get to higher ground!" two years to the day since china forced the city of wuhan and its ten million citizens into lockdown, we have a special report on how beijing is containing the virus. britain's deputy prime minister says russia will face severe economic sanctions if it installs a puppet regime in ukraine. dominic raab was speaking this morning after the uk government said it uncovered the plot by moscow — amid rising tensions over a possible invasion. russia has sent tens of thousands of troops to the ukrainian border in recent months —
and the uk has warned that the it will face serious consequences if there is an invasion. moscow has accused the uk of spreading "disinformation". here's our diplomatic correspondent, paul adams. american weapons arriving in ukraine, 90 tonnes of what washington calls lethal aid. others including britain also sending supplies. hardly enough to defeat an invading russian army but the message to moscow is clear, "if you do this, it will come at a price". but now london and washington say they see signs of a russian plan to install a puppet government in kyiv after an invasion. pro—russian politicians, they say, in contact with russian intelligence officers involved in planning the attack. the foreign office says this man, former mp, yevheniy murayev, is being considered as a future
leader by the kremlin. but four others named are thought to be in moscow. it is not clear what, if any role, they could realistically play. but russia's build—up goes on. it says, repeatedly, it has no plans to invade. fighter jets now flying to locations in belarus, north of ukraine. moscow says they will be carrying outjoint drills. the foreign office says this man, former mp, yevheniy murayev, is being considered as a future leader by the kremlin. but four others named are thought to be in moscow. it is not clear what, if any role, they could realistically play. but russia's build—up goes on. it says, repeatedly, it has no plans to invade. fighter jets now flying to locations in belarus, north of ukraine. moscow says they will be carrying outjoint drills. but diplomacy also continues. friday's meeting in geneva settled nothing but the us secretary of state, antony blinken, has promised a written reply within days to russia's expensive demands. further talks could follow. british ministers are expected to travel to european capitals in the coming days. the defence secretary, ben wallace, likely to visit moscow. downing street says it plans to ramp up pressure on russia. sanctions being discussed among allies, the government says, would pierce the heart of the russian economy. paul adams, bbc news. and the uk's deputy prime minister
dominic raab has been speaking this morning about the potential sanctions russia could face. he was also asked about whether british troops could be sent to ukraine. i think it is extremely we won't do anything we can short of that to short up and protect the position of ukraine and taking defensive measures and also make it clear there will be a very severe economic price to pay. russia is engaged in a whole range of nefarious activity and russia, as a member of the un security council needs to live up to the basic tenets of international law and invading another country is not one of them. a muslim mp says herfaith was raised by a government whip as a reason why she was sacked as a minister in 2020. according to the sunday times, nusrat ghani says when she asked for an explanation it was stated her "muslimness was raised as an issue". chief whip mark spencer said ms ghani was referring to him and added her claims were completely false. the uk deputy prime minister,
dominic raab, has said if the allegation that a minister's muslim faith was a factor in herfiring, it should be properly investigated, if she makes a formal complaint. our political correspondent helen cattjoins me with more on this. the government facing so many difficulties at the moment. here is just another one. it is quite an open row, quite unusualfor a row for something said apparently behind—the—scenes to make its way out in such a public way as theirs. nusrat ghani as a former transport minister, the first muslim woman to speakfrom the minister, the first muslim woman to speak from the dispatch box in the house of commons. she was sacked from thatjob in february 2020 and a mini reshuffle and she was told that her status as a muslim woman minister was making colleagues uncomfortable and she says she dropped the matter after being told
she persisted about asking about it she persisted about asking about it she would be ostracised and her career and reputation destroyed. the conservative chief whip, mark spencer, has made a highly unusual move in coming out publicly to address this and said he identified himself as the person the claims were made about and the accusations were made about and the accusations were completely false and defamatory and denied using the words she says he had used and says it was regrettable that she had not come out at the time to raise the accusation. the cheer of the foreign affairs select committee came out to say this report demands an enquiry and others like michael fabricant seeing nobody likes being sacked from a job but to blame it on islamophobia when we have so many competent muslim ministers is really cheap. the education secretary, nadhim zahawi, said nusrat ghani was
a colleague and friend and a brilliant and this needed to be investigated properly. here is what dominic raab, thejustice secretary had to say. i dominic raab, the justice secretary had to sa . , ., dominic raab, the justice secretary hadto sa . , ., . ., dominic raab, the justice secretary had to sa . , ., . ., ~ had to say. i believe a claim like this can only _ had to say. i believe a claim like this can only happen, _ had to say. i believe a claim like this can only happen, if - had to say. i believe a claim like this can only happen, if the - had to say. i believe a claim like i this can only happen, if the person making it makes a family that is when procedures check—in and to make it clear about this, that advice was given to nusrat ghani back in 2020. this is coming on the back of various conservative mps less than happy with boris johnson saying various conservative mps less than happy with borisjohnson saying some of the conservative whips have been bullying or even blackmailing them. it's been quite an extraordinary week for claims coming out four of westminster particularly around high pressure has been applied to them, to vote a certain way. particularly over the last week and how the quips and others have tried to persuade them, shall we say, to back boris johnson. and there has been pretty
extraordinary claims. one senior conservative mp is meeting with police to discuss what he sees as blackmail and conservative head office says it has seen no evidence but if any evidence arises it will examine it very carefully. this week, in the coming days we are expecting the publication of the report by the senior civil servant sue gray into claims of a lockdown busting parties in downing street. a lot of conservative are concerned in what in of itself it says will be hugely significant and a lot of conservative mps say they have been waiting for it to make up their mind as to whether they think boris johnson should continue as leader and prime minister. so it will be a real crunch moment this week. 25 pages long, according to one of the papers. i am sure everyone of every
page will be very closely scrutinised. the government of tonga says it's facing a long programme of rebuilding and reconstruction — just over a week after it was devastated by a volcanic eruption and a tsunami. foreign aid is arriving into tonga, but strict covid rules are hampering humanitarian efforts, as the local authorities try to keep the virus out of the country. tonga — which is made up of a group of islands in the south pacific — has recorded just one covid case throughout the pandemic. entire villages were destroyed in the tsunami and some are still without basic neccessities, like clean water. much of the relief effort for tonga is being coordinated in neighbouring fiji. our correspondent shaimaa khalil is in the fijian capital, suva, with this update. aid has arrived in tonga, and a lot of it is being coordinated from here in fiji. countries like australia, new zealand, japan and britain have sent everything from water supplies to shelter kits, generator, even sweeping machines as well.
the concern now is that this is going to be a slow process. getting aid and distributing it to people who need it the most is very, very tricky on any occasion — add the fear of a covid—i9 outbreak to that equation and you see how complex this is. the tongan government has insisted that the aid should be contactless. theyjust do not want a covid—i9 case in the country. they don't want to be dealing with a covid—i9 outbreak as they're dealing with the devastation, which means that supplies are there on the ground, but aid workers are not. so essentially, it's up to people in tonga to distribute that aid, whether it be volunteers or other aid workers inside the country. the concern now is how fast the aid is going to get to people and how far it can get, especially to far—flung places. there are also, of course, health concerns, the quality of the air, the quality of the water. they have been compromised by the ash in the atmosphere, not just the thick ash that you see, the fine particles
that could be inhaled and can cause respiratory diseases. there are high levels of sulphur in the water, and these also can cause waterborne diseases. so apart from the aid distribution, the physical destruction all around tonga, there are also also the health risks. and un officials have said that the country, the pacific nation, will rely on food aid for a long time to come because the crops have been destroyed, farmers have lost their livelihoods, they've lost their homes. and one of the tongan officials have also said that the road to recovery for this pacific nation is going to be long and hard. so in the days to come, as this destruction reveals itself, as the extent of it becomes clearer, the challenges facing tonga are also being revealed. nusrat ghani says her faith was
raised by a government whip is a reason why she was sacked by a government minister that smack as a government minister that smack as a government minister that smack as a government minister in 2020. the chief whip mark spencer has said her comments in an interview in the sunday times are completely false and are defamatory and dominic raab has said if she makes a full complaint it will be investigated. mohammed amin is the former chair of the conservative muslim forum — he's now a member of the liberal democrats. idid i did know anything about the story itself until a broken newspapers. i have known nusrat ghani for quite a long time and met her before she was selected as a candidate. while grassroots members of the
conservative party are known to have widespread anti—muslim attitudes, i would have expected betterfrom people who were in government or mps. the idea that they could feel uncomfortable with nusrat ghani being a muslim woman, she is not exactly summon who goes out of the way to push a muslim religion and does not wear a hijab. ifind the story extraordinary. does not wear a hijab. i find the story extraordinary.— does not wear a hijab. i find the story extraordinary. mark spencer sa s it is story extraordinary. mark spencer says it is defamatory _ story extraordinary. mark spencer says it is defamatory and - story extraordinary. mark spencer says it is defamatory and is - says it is defamatory and is completely denied it and the deputy prime minister says there will not be as specific investigation into it but if she makes a formal complaint it would be looked into. what should the party and the government do about this claim? this the party and the government do about this claim?— the party and the government do about this claim? this claim needs to be taken — about this claim? this claim needs to be taken seriously _ about this claim? this claim needs to be taken seriously and - to be taken seriously and investigated. knowing nusrat ghani, i don't see any reason why she would choose to make up a story like this.
she has people on the one side saying this was said to me, nusrat ghani saying people on the other side saying it was not set are, i believe nusrat ghani. —— not said to her. believe nusrat ghani. -- not said to her. , _, , believe nusrat ghani. -- not said to her. , ,., ., ,., believe nusrat ghani. -- not said to her. h h, ., ,., ., her. this comes against a background of conservative _ her. this comes against a background of conservative whips _ her. this comes against a background of conservative whips allegedly - of conservative whips allegedly bullying and riding roughshod over mps to get away. strong—arm tactics in the house of commons and even blackmail, it is said. this accusation from nusrat ghani adison of that. , . , . accusation from nusrat ghani adison ofthat. , ., , ., , , of that. nusrat ghani is it seeing if whip said _ of that. nusrat ghani is it seeing if whip said to _ of that. nusrat ghani is it seeing if whip said to her _ of that. nusrat ghani is it seeing if whip said to her this _ of that. nusrat ghani is it seeing if whip said to her this was - of that. nusrat ghani is it seeing if whip said to her this was the i if whip said to her this was the reason you were sacked as a minister. we do not know whether he was making a true or false statement and you might be making an excuse to
spencer why she was sacked. i do believe she had thus said to this by if whip because that is what she says. is if whip because that is what she sa s. , . if whip because that is what she sa s. , ., ., if whip because that is what she sa s. , ., ., ., ., ., says. is that an indication of a wider malaise, if you want to use that term, in the conservative party and the country as a whole? i term, in the conservative party and the country as a whole?— the country as a whole? i believe there is a widespread _ the country as a whole? i believe there is a widespread ignorance i there is a widespread ignorance about islam about people and they do not know the facts about what it says are hurry grew up what is theology says and how close it is to judaism and how they differ from christianity. there is widespread ignorance. most people know something about what is in the bible and very few people know very little about what is in the koran.-
about what is in the koran. thank ou ve about what is in the koran. thank you very much — about what is in the koran. thank you very much indeed. _ about what is in the koran. thank you very much indeed. thank- about what is in the koran. thank| you very much indeed. thank you. lorries queued for almost two miles on the main road heading into dover yesterday, prompting anger among many drivers preparing to cross the channel. port officials have acknowledged that new customs controls for goods heading to the eu have been causing hold—ups, but say there are other factors at play, too. ramzan karmali reports. queues of lorries on the a20, yesterday lunchtime, trying to get into dover. a sight many have got used to at the start of 2022. on social media many drivers have blamed brexit. from january first, exports to the eu are subject to full customs controls but the boss of the port believes there are a number of factors causing the current delays. since the beginning of the year, there has been increased transaction times at the border due to the carriers having to check customs paperwork at the check—in process, but equally, normally for this time of year, we have vessels that
go out in refits, sort of normal maintenance activity. we are also doing a bit of maintenance in the port which means that our buffer zone space has got slightly reduced capacity as well. but there are growing concerns over driver welfare. professional drivers are yet again being held up at dover, for miles and miles, queueing up without any facilities, in this weather, injanuary in the uk, it is pretty cold, not all trucks are as well equipped as others with regards to heating. and just the frustration and the unknown length of time the driver is going to be delayed. it is totally unacceptable and drivers deserve better. the increase in freight traffic has meant that the operation travel access protocol, or tap, a temporary traffic management system, has been called on ten times already this year but the port of dover is more concerned about new checks which will come into force in september. what we are trying to do is make certain the government fully appreciates what the implications
are if we do not get an agreement between the uk government and the french government for a set of protocols that will work. unless we get that agreement, it is going to be very difficult to see how it won't impact travel through the port of dover. from september, airport—style biometric checks are due to be implemented which would mean that drivers being stopped at the port for around ten minutes each. with around 10,000 trucks passing through the port each day, the warning is clear that a solution needs to be found. the government says it is working with its european counterparts to ensure border arrangements run as smoothly as possible. ramzan karmali, bbc news. it's exactly two years since china locked
down the city of wuhan and its ten million inhabitants. the aim was to try to stop the spread of coronavirus from the place where it first emerged. as beijing prepares to host the winter olympics next month, it's turned to extreme measures again in the fight to maintain its strict �*zero covid—i9' policy. our china correspondent, robin brant, reports. 27 days into lockdown, confined to her apartment. hello... senlin is one of millions in china still subject to the ultimate covid control. translation: when covid hit| wuhan, the country didn't have much experience dealing with the outbreak. but now it's different. it's better. she's in xian, a city famous for its motionless army of terracotta warriors, but normal life for 13 million people there has come to a halt. there's fresh evidence, too, that some people have just had enough. a crowd clashes with police at a compound in xian, where they've been in lockdown for 35 days. a couple of men are taken away. assessing the overall impact on people's lives,
economic and psychological, is almost impossible. all of this is part of a massive effort to stop a few thousand new covid cases from spreading. and in terms of the official reported case numbers, it seems to be working. china's leader, xijinping, hailed the economy's resilience earlier this week, saying he is fully confident about its development. so is zero covid in china the new normal? other small infrequent disruption, but not like a massive shutdown. so for china, it seems to be working. china is still manufacturing construction equipment. all these activities can be isolated, so that's why zero
covid so far makes sense. but this country has deeper problems to deal with — a huge debt, a faltering property market, as well as the hyper—vigilance against more covid spikes. it's difficult to take a scientific survey, but there does appear to be widespread support for the government's policy on covid. because you get this, it looks quite normal. but no—one knows the answer to the big question. how long will it go on for? translation: i think the epidemic control in shanghai is very good. the government uses big data to quickly trace and control people who are close contacts. translation: the negative impacts of lockdowns are quite bad, people are worried. two years on, the borders here remain all but closed. international flights are at a bare minimum. china's communist party leaders are sticking with their zero—covid promise. in the run—up to hosting the olympics, china has shown how far it's willing to go. international mail is the new enemy. authorities in beijing this week claimed a package from canada brought omicron in. we were in contact with someone in another city who was ordered
to stay behind her sealed front door simply after receiving a delivery from abroad. she didn't want us to name her, but deeply frustrated, she sent us a text message saying it's good for epidemic control, but it's not a good thing from the human rights perspective. robin brant, bbc news, shanghai. we are all familiar with the saying �*this deserves to go to a better home', and now it seems it could. a charity in fife in scotland is now working with online retail giant amazon to distribute surplus household goods to families struggling with the rising cost of living. catriona renton reports. it looks like the distribution centre of a supermarket or online store. in fact, these are surplus goods from amazon, due to be distributed to people struggling with the cost of living. in this warehouse there are thousands of items, including essential things like bedding, nappies, and children's clothes,
like warm winterjackets. project this year. the former prime minister, gordon brown, is patron of a fife charity that works with vulnerable families. he asked amazon if surplus goods that are unsold or returned could be donated to local people. we can make a dent on some of the poverty that exists. we can't undo the damage that's done by so many families being on low pay, and so many families being in poverty, but this can make a difference. amazon was previously under fire after reports of how it dealt with surplus goods. the challenge of managing unsold or returned products is something that is faced by all retailers, notjust amazon, but it's a challenge we are absolutely committed to addressing. we want to resell, donate or recycle items, and this initiative here is a great example of how we're putting products to good use in the community.
we met lesley last year when her baby matthew was just six months old. he's nine months now, and his big sister sophie—holly is three. the family benefited from the new project at christmas. you know, it is hard, because i'm a single mum. i get my universal credit, i've still got my bills to pay and food to buy, and keep my house cosy and warm. and, you know, it's not easy. i think this amazon thing, it's amazing they're doing this because it will help a lot of people. pauline will be co—ordinating with donations which are now being sought from around a0 charities in fife. things like bedding, towels, crockery, cutlery, electrical goods, clothing, shoes, all that kind of stuff.
the stuff that there's no money for. curtains, blinds, all those kinds of things. things that make you wake up in the morning and you think, right, maybe i've no got a lot of money, but at least my house feels like a home. and right now, that's not what's out there. other companies, scotmid and the co—op, are involved too, and gordon brown is urging other businesses to get involved. if successful, it's hoped this type of project could be rolled out across the uk. catriona renton, bbc news. new zealand's prime minister has cancelled her own wedding after placing the country on the highest level of covid—i9 restrictions. nine cases of the omicron variant have been detected, and under new restrictions, gatherings will be limited to 100 fully vaccinated people. here's jacinda ardern. my wedding will not be going ahead, but ijustjoin many other new zealanders who have had an experience like that as a result of the pandemic, and to anyone who's caught up in that scenario. i'm so sorry, but you are, we are all so resilient, and i know
we understand that we're doing this for one another, and i know that will help us continue hello there. high pressure has been dominating the weather story just recently, but there are some subtle changes as we go through the day. just want to point out to you first thing on saturday morning it was cold and frosty, but there was plenty of blue sky and sunshine. fast forward a day. sunday morning has been certainly a grey start. a lot of cloud around in norfolk. first thing at this morning and it looks likely that that cloud is here to stay as high pressure just drifts
off into the near continent. and we've got that south—westerly feed driving in more cloud from a moist atlantic. and yes, some of that cloud is going to be stubbornly sitting with us throughout the afternoon. there might be some brief glimpses of sunshine from time to time, but if you keep the cloud all day, we'll have an impact on the feel of the weather. on top of that, the winds are pretty light, so it's not going to be helping to break that cloud up. that said, further north and west, we're going to see the wind strengthening in western scotland gusting to gale force by the end of the day here will see highest values of nine degrees. but if you keep the cloud all day. temperatures will struggle, five degrees at the very best. now, it'll be a similar story through the night. on the whole, most of us will keep this blanket of cloud and prevent those temperatures from falling below freezing. but where we do get a few holes, we'll see low single figures, maybe a bit of patchy mist and fog forming. once again, it stays very mild for the time of year into the far northwest, and that's because there's a weather front as well that's pushing in. it will start to bring some rain into the northwest of scotland, and the winds remain
a bit of a feature. but across england and wales still under the influence of high pressure, still a fair amount of cloud with us and very light winds. so for central and southern england, it's going to be a drab day. further north of that, there'll be some glimpses of sunshine and then we've got our weather front bringing some nuisance rain into the far north of scotland, seven to nine degrees here. but if we keep the cloud, perhaps once again, five or six at the very best. now, as we move through the middle part of the week, we're going to see more of a significant front, particularly on wednesday, bringing some wetter and windier weather into scotland. this one will sink south and potentially bring some rain for england and wales. not that much, but certainly more than we've seen just recently. so some rain around on wednesday, and then things will then get a little bit brighter and hopefully just a little bit milder as well.
former british conservative minister, nusrat ghani, tells the sunday times she was sacked from herjob, because of her muslim faith. the government chief whip, mark spencer, says her claim is completely false. tonga's government warns there's a long road to recovery — a week after the volcanic eruption and tsunami. two years to the day since china forced the city of wuhan into lockdown, beijing applies a �*zero covid' policy as it prepares to host the winter olympics. now on bbc news, it's time for some political thinking with nick robinson. hello and welcome to political thinking. this week coming from self isolation. be back in the studio soon. if borisjohnson does fall, if he is forced out of office