this is bbc news. the headlines at 3pm: the liberal democrats will offer voters a final say on brexit — launching the manifesto today they promise a referendum on any deal with the eu. and to woo younger voters — help onto the housing the ladder, but no change on tuition fees. and every vote and every seat for the liberal democrats gives us the opportunity to strengthen our hand when it comes to the key central plank of this manifesto which is giving the british people, giving you and your family the final say on what happens next with brexit. more pressure on donald trump — he's accused of asking the head of the fbi to drop an inquiry into his former security chief's links with russia. ina week in a week full of revelation after revelation, on a day when we thought things couldn't get any worse, they have. i think it's reaching a point
where it's a watergate size and scale. this is the seen live from the house of representatives as democrats prepare for a news conference on the latest claims surrounding president trump. unemployment falls again — it's now at its lowest level since 1975. but for the first time in three years — pay is lagging behind inflation. i'm simon mccoy. also coming up, the sexist world of horseracing. it's a sport worth more than £3 billion, but why do women looking for a career, rarely get to the finishing line? 0h oh look, i don't care if it only costs two pence. and those curlers could fetch more than that as hilda ogden's personal effects head from coronation street to the auction house. good afternoon and welcome to bbc news.
straight to washington where the un house speaker, paul ryan is about to hold a news conference after a closed meeting of the republican leadership. that is somebody about to introduce the speaker, but we will be bringing you more when it starts. more on the general election campaign. the liberal democrats are putting another eu referendum — this time on the actual deal that has been struck at the heart of their general election manifesto. the party said it would "let the people decide" whether brexit happens once negotiations have finished. the party's leader, tim farron, says the decision to leave the eu could "wreck" the lives of future generations. here's our political correspondent chris mason. tim farron went back to school this morning. the lesson? how the liberal democrats think
the country should be run. front and centre was brexit, and how it should be handled. at the heart of our manifesto is an offer to all of the people in our country that no other party is making and that is that we do not just have to accept whatever deal we get back from the brexit negotiations, but the british people, you, should have the final say. if you don't like what theresa may comes back with, you should have the right to vote to remain. the lib dems say they would spend more money on health and education paid for by higher corporation tax and a penny on income tax. on housing, they want to introduce a rent—to—own scheme for tenants, and promised to legalise and regulate cannabis. they claim this could generate £1 billion per year in tax. it's about keeping the availability of hard drugs away from cannabis, and it's about regulating cannabis so the most
dangerous strands like skunk are outside of the regulated system. it is about helping those people who are vulnerable and hitting those people who are the criminals who take advantage of them. the big lib dem manifesto launch event isn't until this evening. but take a look at this. the document itself is online. tim farron says it is not a programme for government, he expects the conservatives to win the election and he thinks it could be a landslide. he wants to be a strong voice in opposition. it's telling as well what is not in the manifesto. the lib dems are not promising to scrap university tuition fees in england. the very promise they broke in government. what you need to do is make promises that you can keep. what we've laid out in the manifesto is fully costed on the based of the government's current figures, even with us heading out of the eu, is a plan that will boost education, further education, and schools, by £7 billion. at the last election, the lib dems faced the ghoulish nightmare of near oblivion. they're all smiles now but have a huge amount of ground to make up to get even close
to where they used to be. our chief political correspondent, vicky young, has been speaking to the party's leader, tim farron. at the heart of our manifesto is an offer to all of the people in our country that no other party is making and that is we the don't have to a cce pt making and that is we the don't have to accept whatever deal we get back from the brexit negotiations, but the british people, you, should have the british people, you, should have the final say and if you don't like what theresa may comes back with, you should have the right to vote to remain. if we think that three—quarters of our young people in this country voted to remain, they are a reminder of why there is so they are a reminder of why there is so much dismay at what theresa may is planning to do. the extreme version of brexit thatjeremy corbyn and ukip backed as well. the liberal democrats are the only people offering you hope that britain's future could be brighter and better. but if people vote no at that point, isn't it that we just leave without a deal at all? well, our policy is
that theresa may would have the motivation to go and get the best possible dealfor motivation to go and get the best possible deal for britain so she could win her argument. our view though, is that if the british people reject that deal, then they should have the right to remain in the european union. it is a simple choice, accept the deal and leave the european union or vote to reject the european union or vote to reject the deal and remain in the european union. and you can see that interview in full at 3.30pm on bbc news. joining me now from glasgow is john curtice, professor of politics at the university of strathclyde. friend of this programme! john, i'm just looking at what the lib dems are hoping for with this ma nifesto lib dems are hoping for with this manifesto launch. it has to be said they're coming from a low base in terms of parliamentary seats? 0h, a very low base. the 2015 election was a disaster for the party. very low base. the 2015 election was a disasterfor the party. they only managed to get eight seats. they won the richmond by—election last year, but they are defending nine seats, but they are defending nine seats, but as compared with the 57 seats
they had in 2010 this was a very bad result indeed. the problem for the party seems to be so far it's not clear it's going to do much better than that this time. usually during election campaigns once the election campaign starts the liberal democrats often begin to take off in the polls, not least because they start to get publicity that they otherwise lack. well, so far, in this election so far as the national polls are concerned, the liberal democrats seem to have started off at ten and 11 and they seem to be back to the eight they had in 20158. 0ne bright spot for them, perhaps not unsurprisingly, london which, of course, did vote to remain. there it looks as if the party is making progress on 2015 and some of its ex—big hitters like simon hughes and vince cable and ed davey are hoping to win back their seats. maybe they've got a better chance of doing so they've got a better chance of doing so than many of their colleagues elsewhere in england because at the moment at least the party doesn't seem to be fighting the kind of
campaign that's getting those committed remain voters to vote for the party let alone anybody else. that's interesting, isn't it, putting brexit at the heart of this ma nifesto putting brexit at the heart of this manifesto launch today, it's a very blatant pitch for those who aren't happy with the concept at least of brexit? yes, it's a blatant pitch. of course, it fits the fact that this is the party that's been longest most favour of europe. it fits the pitch that the liberal democrats have found it easiest to win votes amongst middle—class, professionals, graduates etcetera, who, of course, are the people most likely to vote remain in the referendum. in truth is this should bea referendum. in truth is this should be a pitch that enables the party to begin to reconnect with some of its core electorate, a lot of which was upset by the tuition fees reversal backin upset by the tuition fees reversal back in 202011, 2012, but they seem to have been unsuccessful in increasing their support amongst that group, even amongst remain voters, liberal democrats support
today looks rather lower than it did three weeks ago. john, we were hearing earlier that ukip are putting up half the seats they put up putting up half the seats they put up in the last election. how are they polling? not very well indeed. that's compared with the previous performancement they got 13% back in 2015. they started off this election campaign ataround 2015. they started off this election campaign at around 11% or so, but almost the moment that theresa may announced the election many ukip voters seemed to decide, ah, well, it sounds like the best way that we can get the brexit we want which is a very different kind of brexit that many of the liberal democrats have in mind, they went off to the conservatives and as a result, ukip running five, 6% in the opinion polls and may slip away further as people discover they no longer have a ukip candidate to vote for. professorjohn curtis, thank you very much. and today at 5.30pm on bbc news we will be putting your questions about the liberal democrat manifesto to the party's former leader, nick clegg.
you can get in touch via twitter using the hashtag bbc ask this or text your questions to 61124 and you can e—mail us as well at: firstname.lastname@example.org 0ne ofjeremy corbyn‘s key allies, the leader of the unite union, len mccluskey, has said he believes that labour is now in with "a real chance" of winning the general election. in an earlier interview, mr mccluskey suggested a labour victory onjune the eighth would be "extraordinary". but today he said labour's manifesto was fantastic, and he was full of optimism. the interview i did with politico was a conversational piece, and it was against the backdrop of if the opinion polls are to be believed that i made those comments. of course, since then, labour launched their manifesto and it is fantastic. a manifesto for workers and ordinary working people. a manifesto that will change britain for the good. and the response that we've had from unite members has been incredible.
that's why i was checking our polls that we do, constant rolling polls, and the response has been like something we've never seen before. so i'm now full of optimism — if i was having that interview today, i wouldn't be making those comments. the chairman of an influential us congressional committee is demanding that the fbi hands over all records of contacts between its former chief, james comey, and president trump. the documents are at the centre of claims that the president asked mr comey to drop an investigation into links between his former national security adviser, michael flynn, and russia. the allegations, in the new york times, have been denied by the white house. wyre davies reports. donaldj trump, the 45th president of the united states, is barely four months into office — yet he's dealing with an almost daily drip of damaging allegations. the latest — that he tried to influence an fbi enquiry. to influence an fbi inquiry. in february, one of the president's closest allies was forced to resign, when it emerged that mike flynn,
then the national security advisor, misled the administration over his contact with russian officials before mr trump took office. now an explosive accusation from the new york times that the day after mr flynn's dismissal, donald trump had asked the fbi director, james comey, to drop the flynn investigation. "i hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting flynn go." those were the president's words, according to a note, which the paper says mr comey wrote directly after the meeting. and there's james! despite public shows of support, relations between donald trump and mr comey were strained over the fbi investigations into mr flynn and alleged russian interference in the us election. investigations mr comey insisted would continue. the fbi, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. mr comey was fired by the president
last week, but washington has been astounded by the existence of the note he apparently made after their earlier meeting. a meeting which vice—president mike pence was reportedly asked to leave. in a week full of revelation after revelation, on a day when we thought things couldn't get any worse — they have. 0nly 2a hours ago, president trump justified sharing sensitive intelligence information with russia's foreign minister, a decision which observers say could have compromised american allies and their sources. for some senior law—makers, republicans included, this is all too reminiscent of an earlier dark era. i think we have seen this movie before. i think it's reaching a point where it is of watergate size and scale, and a couple of other scandals that you and i have seen. days after sacking the fbi director, donald trump issued his own warning
to mr comey on social media, appearing to suggest he may have recorded their meetings. the white house has emphatically denied that mr trump asked the fbi to stop any investigation. the president still has plenty of support in congress, and especially outside of washington. and backing from the most unlikely source today when vladimir putin said donald trump wasn't being allowed to govern. some comments made by the speaker of the house, paul ryan. just a few minutes ago on these very claims. look, there has been a lot of reporting lately. i think that requires close examination. let me what i told our members just this morning. we need the facts. it is obvious, there are some people out there who want to harm the president, but we have an obligation
to carry out oversight regardless of which party is in the white house and that means before rushing to judgment we get all the pertinent information. the house government reform committee has requested this memo and i'm sure we're going on to hear from memo and i'm sure we're going on to hearfrom mr comey why, if memo and i'm sure we're going on to hear from mr comey why, if this happens as he allegedly describes, why didn't he take action at the time. there are a lot of unanswered questions. what i told our members, 110w questions. what i told our members, now is the time to gather all the pertinent informationment ourjob is to be responsible, sober and focus only on gathering facts that's what congress does in conducting oversight of the executive branch. reporter: do you want to see comey tv in opening hearing?” reporter: do you want to see comey tv in opening hearing? i will leave it to the committee. there is an investigation occurring at the fbi. there is an investigation in the house. we have got three investigations going on and i'm not going to micromanage or armchair quarter back investigations, but the point is this — we can't deal with
speculation and innuendo and there is clearly a lot of politics being playedment ourjob is to get the fa cts playedment ourjob is to get the facts and to be sober about doing that. reporter: do you have confidence in the president, mr speaker... do you worry about the drip, drip, drip, are the controversies having an impact? i don't worry about things that are outside of my control. i worry about things that are within in our control and that's whether or not we do what we were elected to do which is solve people's problems. i think people in america turn on the tv and they think this is all that's happening, this is all we're doing and all we're discussing. that's not the case, i want the american people to know we're busy fixing their problems. you heard from the chairman the ways and means committee, getting tax reform done because we know it is really important to unlock growth. the point i want to make, we're going to walk and chew gum at the same time.
we're going to keep doing ourjobs and advancing our reforms that we wa nt to and advancing our reforms that we want to advance that we do all these other things that are within our responsibility and that's what will bejudged in 2018. did we make people's lives better? did we solve problems? did we fix the problems that people are confronting in their daily lives? that is what matters most and that's how we will be judged. reporter: have you considered or identified what the point would be, where the conjecture of the white house is unsustainable? the last thing i'm going to do is prejudge anything. iam thing i'm going to do is prejudge anything. i am a person who wants to get the facts and follow the facts wherever they may lead. craig, get the facts and follow the facts whereverthey may lead. craig, do you have one? i want to give it to the wisconsin guy. inaudible we have two investigations in congress going on right now with all
things being russiaful we have another committee just now requesting these documents. so there is plenty of oversight that is being done. we don't try to meet the facts within some 2a hour new cycle. we do oui’ within some 2a hour new cycle. we do ourjobs and within some 2a hour new cycle. we do our jobs and make within some 2a hour new cycle. we do ourjobs and make sure that the investigations follow the facts wherever they may lead and that obviously takes sometime. i will just say one more thing. there is an fbi investigation going on right now with all things related to russia done by the career professionals at the fbi who are going to continue to be career professionals and no one tried to impede that investigation. soa tried to impede that investigation. so a lot of work is being done. that's the proper role of the branch and we are not going to play to the crowd or try to meet time lines. we're going to do the right way and follow the facts wherever they lead. that was the house speaker, paul ryan, after a closed meeting of the republican leadership and that was a
statement that he gave just a few moments ago. we asked two former diplomats one american and one israel. it will have a chilling effect. the united states and israel share some of the most sensitive intelligence that we collect against the common enemies that we face and it helps us prevent terrorist attacks, sometimes literally saving lives and stop shipments and target those people who are trying to harm our citizens. but that sharing relationship depends on confidence that the information will be held very closely, certainly will not be shared with others without permission. if i don't know the details of this case, i don't know what's been reported in the press, but if it is accurate that the president himself provided information to russia which is not a friendly government to israel or the united states and is friendly to some of israel's enemies like iran
and hezbollah that compromised israeli information and maybe put at risk the life of an israeli agent, i think it's inevitable that israeli intelligence officials will be cautious and will share less until their confidence has been restored that the information will be properly safeguarded.” that the information will be properly safeguarded. i doubt it will have any serious impact on the operations. security agencies, intelligence agencies know how to protect their intelligence gathered. they know how to protect the system by which they collect the material. they know if agents are involved. they know if agents are involved. they know if agents are involved. they know how to protect them. so i doubt that any serious damage has been caused by what president trump has told his russian guests. i don't
think there will be any long—term or any deep serious impact on the operations of the israeli intelligence systems, agencies. some news forfrom some news for from the metropolitan police's counter terrorism command. they have arrested four men in east london on suspicion of terrorism. three of the men are in their 20s and one is 18. officers are said to be searching five residential addresses and a business address all of them in east london. their statement says, "it is believed to be in connection with a suspected plot in the uk." but there are no further details. some breaking news from the inquest into the death of ian brady, the moors murderer who died two nights ago. we're hearing from judith moritz our correspondent that ian brady's lawyer confirmed that ian brady's lawyer confirmed that brady did not express any kishes for his ashes to be scattered on saddleworth moor during the
inquest yesterday, the coroner said he want assurances that brady's ashes wouldn't be scattered on the moor with speculation that had come from some request contained in a will or letter from brady. we from some request contained in a will or letterfrom brady. we are waiting news from the sefton coroner's office which may now release the ashes as there was no request in his will for his ashes to be scattered on saddleworth moor. uk unemployment is down again — falling to its lowest level in 42 years. latest figures from the office for national statistics show the number of people unemployed fell by 53,000 to 1.54 million in the three months to march — a rate of 4.6%. but are the figures as good as they seem? our economics correspondent andrew verity reports. you would need to be well into your 40s to remember a time when the unemployment rate was this low. at 1.54 million, the number of unemployed people is only 4.6%
of a working population that keeps swelling to record numbers. economists have been convinced for years that if unemployment got low enough then pay rises would start to take off. especially if prices were rising more quickly. but we keep on getting fresh lows in the unemployment rates and that keeps on not happening. donna spicer lives in charlton in south—east london. she earns just enough as a teaching assistant not to receive benefits. her pay was frozen for four years and in the last two years it has gone up byjust1% per year. half of her wage goes on rent. i struggle to eat sometimes. we have no social life because of no money to go out. and it's a choice of heating and eating. so one winter it was sitting there with blankets and hot water bottles, jackets, jumpers and a very blue nose. and a choice of food. the economy has exceeded almost all forecasts in generating jobs. unemployment dropped by 53,000 over the past three months to the end of march.
the average pay rise was 2.1%. and the average amount that we produce per hour, productivity, has fallen by 0.5%. before the financial crisis it was taken for granted that most employers could afford inflation beating pay rises. because each worker would produce a bit more each year as companies invested in new technology and training. but since the crisis those improvements in productivity have been much lower. well, it's a bit of a puzzle the fact that unemployment is not driving wages to the extent we might expect. but there are a couple of headwinds on wages that might be driving some of that. one is fast rising inflation which is eating into pay packet and the second is productivity, output, for each hour worked that is the long—term driver of pay and that has been stagnant for almost nine years.
the economy has beaten expectations for generating jobs but it has fallen short of expectations for generating real pay rises. whatever government is in power they will be hard—pressed to change that. the former american soldier chelsea manning, who passed hundreds of thousands of confidential diplomatic documents to wikileaks, has been released from a military prison in kansas. the 29—year—old was expected to remain in jail until 2045, but president obama commuted her sentence just before leaving the white house injanuary. a little earlier i spoke to our north amercia correspondent, rajini vaidyanathan. we got a statement from the us military which had the time stamp of 2am telling us that chelsea manning had left. that was it. but we weren't expecting anything more than that because even chelsea manning's lawyers told us she wasn't planning to make any sort of appearance and just wanted to leave the prison quietly. of course she spent seven
yea rs quietly. of course she spent seven years at this us military prison. some of that time in solitary confinement after she was convicted, sentenced to 35 years in prison for one of the largest leaks of us government data in us history. do we know what sort of life she can be expected to lead now in liberty? the fa ct of expected to lead now in liberty? the fact of her being released is controversial, isn't it? it is. it's worth pointing out that whilst, of course, she has a lot of supporters who have been fighting for her release for many years and of course, it was president obama, at the start of this year in one of his final acts in office, he commuted her sentence. it was a controversial decision and at the time president—elect trump sent a tweet calling chelsea manning a traitor. this is a military town and i have spoken to a few people here, very few people actually knew who chelsea
manning was when i asked them about her impending release, one person i spoke to said she was a member of the us military and felt that chelsea manning should never have been released because she compromised us government secrets. in terms of the second point that you ask about what happens next? one of the key things to point out is that chelsea manning for now will still remain an active member of the us military. even though she was given a dishonourable discharge from service, at the time of her sentencing and that is because her lawyers say she is fighting her conviction, so she is appealing that conviction, so she is appealing that conviction and while that process is ongoing she will remain an active member of the us military without pay, but she will have access to medical and health care benefits. if she loses that appeal they will be dishonourably discharged, but that doesn't change the fact that she is a free agent. president trump has arrived in
connecticut. he will be speaking at the us coastguard academy. anyway, he has arrived and he'll be speaking soon and we'll take you back for that. let's take a look the weather with jay wynne. it has been a miserable day across large swathes of england and wales with heavy and persistent rain and it has been on the chly side as well. here is the radarfrom today and you can see the ex—at any time of that rain. itjust continues to pile its way in from the south. central and eastern scotland doing quite well. that's where we've got the best of the afternoon and evening sunshine. 15 celsius in aberdeen, but still warm and humid across the far south—east, but the humid airgets
across the far south—east, but the humid air gets swept out of the air as the rain turns thundery, but by the end of the night, we have got a lot of fine and dry weather and it will be a good dealfresher in lot of fine and dry weather and it will be a good deal fresher in the south east overnight. some places it will be dipping into single figures. early cloud doesn't last too long across the south east. it will move away and it will brighten up, a lot of sunshine and the showers build and showers follow into the afternoonment some of the showers could be heavy with hail and thunder. despite temperatures dipping down, we've got lower humidity so it should feel a good deal fresher. hello. this is bbc news. the headlines at 3.30. the liberal democrats have launched their election manifesto with the promise of a referendum on the final brexit deal. leader tim farron says the party also wants to see a massive boost in housing, an increase in nhs funding by putting a penny on income tax
and the legalisation of cannabis. in the last few minutes, the speaker of the house of representatives said they need all the facts as president tram faces allegations he asked the fbi chief james comey tram faces allegations he asked the fbi chiefjames comey to drop an investigation between the former national security and russia. unemployment has fallen to its lowest level in 42 years, but average earnings are lagging behind inflation, increasing by 2.4% in the year to march, below the inflation rate of 2.7%. time for the sport now and jessica has all the details. walter mazzarri will leave his position as the head coach of watford after sunday's final game of the season at home to manchester city. he's been in charge for less than a year, and has managed just 11 wins from his 37 matches so far. monday's 4—3 defeat at champions chelsea was their fifth loss
in a row, although the hornets avoided relegation and are six points above the drop zone. manchester united manager jose mourinho insists his players are still fighting to win their premier league matches, despite their recent poor performances. united are sixth in the table, seven points off nearest rivals arsenal. and they've lost their last two league games on the bounce, as they head into tonight's match at southampton. we want to fight for the result. i don't want to field a team where people has the feeling that we are not fighting for the result. we are fighting for the result, so i am going to rotate people. as i was saying, fellaini will be playing against southampton because he is not playing the last three matches, so try not to accumulate, but people have to play, because we do not have other players and i cannot put four orfive kids
out together in the fire. i cannot do that to the kids. edmund is out of the second round of the italian open after being beaten byjuan martin del potro. the british number two was going well, but then the world number 52 broke back strongly and will play kei nishikori in the third round. andy murray says he can find no reason to explain his loss of form this year. he's won just one title from eight events in 2017, and recently lost his rome masters crown after being beaten in the second round. it was the world number one's fifth defeat in his last 10 matches. a lot of people will think i've got no chance of doing anything at the french after the last couple
of weeks, but i do think i can. it's certainly not going to be easy. i'm going to have to work hard this next few days. you know, really, you know, prepare very well, make the most of every single day and then really work my way into the tournament. it's going to be tough but i still think i can do well there. has reacted by saying nothing will stop her achieving her dreams. she reacted on twitter today saying: she reacted on twitter today saying: the england and wales cricket board are looking to return ‘some live international cricket‘ to terrestrial free to air television in 2020. live international
matches haven't been broadcast on terrestrial tv in this country since england's famous 2005 ashes victory. since then, sky has held all rights, including most recently a £75 million—a—year deal, which is about to be superseded. that's all sport for now. lee foster will have four in the next hour. let's take you back to new london, connecticut at the us coast guard academy. it isa it is a difficult visit for president trump in some ways because they have already been protests about plans to reduce the coast
guard budget by 13%, that is one of the difficulties, but of course the world media watching the controversy that's swirling around him on his team's alleged links with russia. a memo has been created from the former fbi directorjames comey that reportedly saw president trump asked him to drop an investigation between links between his previous national security adviser and moscow. there is the president now. that is one question he —— one issue he faces questions over and one that many in washington say now requires facts from the fbi underfurther investigation. that's donald trump live in connecticut looking fairly relaxed as he gets into the presidential limousine, the beast. we'll be bringing you more from connecticut later on. now, the ashes of the moors
murderer, ian brady, will not be scattered on the worth more according to his solicitor. yesterday, the coroner said they wa nted yesterday, the coroner said they wanted assurances of that. judith, what happens now? we have just come out of a short hearing here at the coroner ‘s court in southport and the reason for the hearing was because yesterday, and you have just mentioned those comments made by the coroner, about the ashes being scattered on saddleworth moor. there was speculation over night about whether or not that was an instruction contained within ian brady's will. the court reconvened to day because brady's lawyer has beenin to day because brady's lawyer has been in touch and contacted the coroner's officer to say, this was untrue and there is no likelihood the ashes would be scattered on
saddleworth moor. he wanted to confirm that would not happen but also the court might today because the details about what will happen to ian brady's body are still being dealt with and the coroner has asked for assurances that before it is released, there is an undertaker willing to accept the body and make arrangements and that assurance has not yet been given. merseyside police want there to be a delay in the release of ian brady's body because currently we know it's under police guard inside a butchery and they say that when it is released, it becomes the —— inside the mortuary and they say that when it is released, there is no longer the facility for the police to guard it. for that reason, there has been a delay, the coroner agreed to it, and the coroner has said he will release ian brady's body at tpm tomorrow at
which point we will know more about what is going to happen. there has been combination —— confirmation today though that the scattering of his ashes on saddleworth moor will not happen, the coroner asked for that assurance, saying that whilst he had no legal power to ensure that didn't happen, he feels very strongly there is a moral power to ensure that doesn't happen. judith, thank you. the liberal democrats have just released their general election manifesto — which will be formally launched later. the party makes plans for a referendum on the final brexit deal central to their manifesto. they also promise more spending on education and health and are promoting policies aimed directly at younger voters — including pledges to make it easier to get on the housing ladder. our chief political correspondent, vicky young, has been speaking to the party's leader, tim farron. at the heart of our manifesto is an offer to all of the people in our country, that no other party is making. that is that we do notjust have
to accept what ever deal we get back from brexit negotiations but the british people, you, should have the final say. and if you don't like what theresa may comes you should have the right to vote to remain. if you think that three quarters of the younger people in this country voted to remain, that is a reminder as to why there is so much dismay as to what theresa may is planning to do, that extreme version of brexit that jeremy corbyn and ukip backed as well. the liberal democrats are the only ones looking to a brighter future. but if people vote no, doesn't that mean we leave with no deal at all? our policy is that theresa may would vote out there to get the best possible deal for britain and that if people reject the deal, they should have the right to remain in the european union. so either a good deal
or to remain in the european union. isn't the problem for you that when the election was called, i spoke to lots of liberal democrats who really felt the remain voters would swing behind your party in big numbers. that doesn't seem to be happening, does it? our membership has been increasing dramatically and the liberal democrats are the only party offering this and we have put together a large increase in numbers. many people think the only thing on the table is theresa may's bleak vision of using the european union with a hard brexit and therefore the damage that will be done to our schooling and hospitals are crying out for someone who will give them a different direction. the liberal democrats are saying, we must invest in our hospitals and schools and we must give the british people, particularly our young people, a hope of a better future where we can reject the extreme version of brexit that theresa may, jeremy corbyn and ukip
have backed and hope for a better future. there are also those who voted remain who think we should now accept that result and that we just need to get on with it now and many of them think theresa may is the person to do that. i think that there are many people who feel they have given up the fight is what i would say to people is, i haven't. if you believe britain's feature is better alongside our neighbours europe, if you believe that you, however you voted in the referendum, should have the final say on the deal and you should not be forced to live with a deal that could damage yourjobs, the price of the things you pay for every week, the amount of money we have to spend on health and education, you should not be forced to accept a stitch up between brussels and london, you should have thefinal say.
let's move onto your manifesto. you are saying you want to help first—time buyers and young people particularly with housing. how does this promise that people could use their rent to buy their house work? it's about people over a 30 year period being able to rent and to own. at the end of the 30 year period, those young people would have the opportunity to own their own home. it's not the only way of tackling the housing crisis. at the heart of our manifesto is a desire to give people in our country, particularly young people, hope of a better future where we would build council houses, affordable homes, homes for everybody that we need in this country. we need 3 million over the next be years. we need councils to build council houses again and if developers went build, we are unique in think we will build on brown field sites. it goes alongside other things we think are so important as well. our education system, we are in a school that is doing really, really well, but we know that two in three schools are going to lay off one
in three teachers over the next few weeks and theresa may has taken £3 billion out of our schools over the next three years. a positive endorsement of theresa may is a positive endorsement of those policies, of the cuts to schools, of the lack of solution to our housing crisis and to carry on with the health and social care crisis that we have. liberal democrats are offering a bright and different feature because britain needs hope. —— future. the other thing young people say they want is the abolition of tuition fees. that's not in your manifesto. i voted against a rise in tuition fees and it's very important to keep your word. that is why i would say to others, don't make promises you can't keep. we have put in significant plans to return grants to students, to make it affordable for people, particularly for those from working—class backgrounds who may not otherwise choose to go into higher education. is there any evidence that tuition fees have put off people from going from poorer backgrounds? there isn't, is there? my sense is that you must make
promises you can keep and what we have laid out, fully costed with the government's figures at the moment, even heading out of the european union, is a plan to boost education and schools by £7 billion. let's remember at the moment that the government is planning to squirrel away £23 from 2019 to 2020 in savings. perhaps making sure we put it away for a rainy day. and yet your average head teacher will tell you it is raining now and they are laying off teachers when there are thousands and thousands of teaching posts about to go in the next year because of all the cuts the conservatives are planning. what our schools need are hopeful the future and the liberal democrats plan to put £7 billion back into schools and further
education gives hope. it's a sport worth more than £3 billion to the british economy and watched live by six million people a year in britain. but if women choose horseracing as a career, are they being held back? the first ever survey into gender in racing suggests that they are. despite more than ever coming into racing — it found women are under—represented in the most prominent areas of the sport, with some examples of ‘entrenched prejudice and discrimination‘. our sports correspondent joe wilson has this report. racehorses. pleasure, and big business. it‘s a multi—billion pound industry. right, let‘s take you out. and in this yard in newmarket, amy murphy is the boss. paid by owners to train their horses to be winners, she‘s just 24. that‘s very unusual. the fact that she‘s a woman, well, that‘s rare too. you have to get the support and sometimes i think probably as a woman you‘re having to prove yourself before people want to support you.
whereas if you‘re a man, they might support you from day one. but, you know, we‘ve had great support and great loyalty from some big owners. but whether i would have had that from day one had we not had the results we‘ve had already, i‘m not sure. based on hundreds of anonymous responses, a new survey found that women from across the industry report being patronised, not being taken seriously, or being denied opportunities because of their gender. women in senior positions still stand out. well, amy is a rarity. there are some 75 trainers here in newmarket alone, yet only around 10% of them are women. how else could you make a high—profile name for yourself in this sport? well, inevitably, so much of the attention will focus on the jockey. overall, just 6% of horses in races are ridden by women. they are ready, and they‘re off. a new competition shown here just for women jockeys began last week. nine races spread over the season. and called the silk series. but fundamentally, are women
trusted to do the job as well as men in horse racing? well, john berry is a newmarket trainer who says he ignores gender. he knows not everyone feels that way. the athlete is the horse and all the jobs around, no one gender is better than doing it than the other. and i mean that including jockey as well. when it comes to the daily care of horses, more women than men arejoining racing, working in the stable yards. but do you see women in boardrooms? taking it through the career, if you look at who‘s on the senior boards, of organisations in racing, the average is 16% and we have several boards in the sport that do not have any women at the top level at all. so we‘re seeing a stagnation of career progression. british racing‘s governing body, the bha, recently restructured its board of directors to include more women. chief executive nick russ said the gender survey is a stark reminder that horse racing needs to do more. meanwhile, amy murphy does believe
that racing‘s culture is changing. and if she is leading, there is someone to follow. john wilson, bbc news, newmarket. in a moment, a summary of the business news this hour but first, the headlines on bbc news. the liberal democrats are promising a referendum on the final brexit deal. president trump faces claims he asked fbi chiefjames comey to drop an inquiry into links between his former—national security adviser and russia. unemployment falls to 1.5 million — the lowest rate since 1975. but wages are not keeping up with the cost of living. hello, i‘m ben bland with the business news. the uk‘s unemployment rate has fallen to a 42—year low with a record number of people in work. but earnings are still not going up as fast as prices.
wages — excluding bonuses — were up just 0.1% compared to the month before — if you compare it with a year ago, they‘re up 2.1%, which is below the latest inflation rate of 2.7%. lloyds is back in private hands after the uk government sold its final stake in the bank. at the height of the financial crisis, the taxpayer owned 43% of the bank. the boss of lloyds has been speaking to the bbc — he says the bank is now "one of the strongest in the world". a pair of diamond earrings has been sold for a record price at an auction in switzerland. the flawless pear—shaped diamonds — one pink, the other blue — fetched a combined price of $57.4 million. the gems, nicknamed apollo and artemis, are almost 16 carats each. the buyer has chosen to stay anonymous. the uk government has sold its remaining shares in lloyds banking group, eight years after putting
£20bn into the bank. at the height of the financial crisis, in 2008, taxpayers owned 43% of the bank — earlier today it said the government will see a return of £21.2 billion on its investment. its return to the private sector is in stark contrast with the other bailed—out bank — royal bank of scotland — that is still 73% owned by taxpayers. our business editor simonjack has been talking to the boss of lloyds. it is a moment of huge pride for all colleagues at lloyds bank for our customers. we gave taxpayers‘ money back. and around £900 million more, which is, i think, a big moment of pride. what changes as a result of today? what do you do differently now the government is not involved? it is a big moment of pride. but then we go back to our purpose, which is to help the country prosper. six years ago, we designed a strategy which i thought was the right one, that was to refocus this bank back to the united kingdom, help the real economies of families and small—
and medium—sized companies. focus all of our resources, which were very scarce at the time, in helping britain to recover. 50,000 people have lost theirjobs in lloyds—hbos over the last few since the merger of the two banks. and yet, some at the top have made enormous sums of money. do you understand why people feel there is still a sense of unfairness baked into our corporate culture? of course i understand. i understand why the discussion is on. in terms of the fact that 50,000 people, we have less 50,000 than what we had when the two banks merged. that is one of the most difficult decisions that the bank has had to do. but when you merge two banks, you have immediately an overlap of central functions. all those duplicated areas have to be turned into a single area. no bank is risk—free. what do you see as the risks both to the bank and the economy in the years to come?
no bank is risk—free because no business is risk—free. but banks have a special responsibility to be safe, strong and to do prudent lending in the interests of the customers. i think the uk economy is progressing. it has two important tailwinds that are propelling it. one is the fact that it is growing 2% with less debt, because that produces short—term gdp. but then it has to be paid back. the second is that house prices across the country have recovered to pre—crisis levels and that has significantly increased equity in the pockets of our customers. on the other hand, we have uncertainty relating to the brexit and to what negotiation the government will have, will do in terms of leaving europe. and obviously the inflation is rising, as we saw yesterday, driven by the devaluation of the pound. on the other hand, experts have also been propelled by the devaluation of the pound. in my view, this is lloyds‘ view for the foreseeable 12 month, we think the economy is going to continue to grow.
in other news, european and american officials are meeting to discuss a potential extension of the laptop ban on planes. in march, the trump administration imposed new restrictions that stops passengers travelling to the us from eight mainly muslim countries from carrying electronic devices larger than a mobile phone in their hand luggage. the original restrictions affected many of the gulf carriers including emirates, etihad and qatar airways but now there are reports suggesting that the ban could be extended to include some countries within the eu. twitter co—founder biz stone says he will rejoin the social media company in the next few weeks after fellow co—founder jack dorsey was brought back as chief executive in 2015. mr dorsey has been trying to revive twitter, which says it has more than 300 million monthly users, but still struggles to make a profit.
nestle has lost its appeal to trademark the shape of the four—fingered kitkat bar in the uk. the firm had been appealing against a previous verdict that said other companies could use the design in their products. nestle says it is disappointed by the court of appealjudgment and is considering next steps. the markets opened in the us a short while ago and they are down fairly sharply because of the political turmoil happening in washington. the concern among investors is that all of this could delay president trump‘s economic reform plans. economic —— the eu markets were already trading lower but the chill coming from washington has caused them to chill even lower. even the boost from lloyds shares priced not helping. that‘s all for now. she was one of television‘s best loved characters — hilda ogden — famous for her sharp tongue,
her trademark headscarf, and her pinny. now some of those iconic items are going under the hammer. they‘re being sold at auction by the family ofjean alexander, the actress who played her for more than two decades. the auction is taking place in her home town of southport — from where our entertainment correspondent colin paterson reports. oh, look, i don‘t care if it only cost 2p! it is one of the most famous outfits in tv history. the curlers, the hairnet, and the pinny of hilda ogden. and it‘s going under the hammer this afternoon. you can get rid of it, and yourself and all! jean alexander played coronation street‘s much loved gossip for more than 20 years. she died last october at the age of 90 and today, her nieces are auctioning off her belongings. the star attraction is the pinny. of course. did you know she always had that? i didn‘t, really. when we came to tidy up her things, sadly after she died, i came across a parcel in a wardrobe with her handwriting on a little label.
and when we looked into it further it turned out that this was the first pinny and headscarf and curlers she had used in the show that she had taken with her when she started in coronation street. and they belonged to my grandmother. jean‘s mother. there has already been online interest from italy and the us, but many have turned up to bid in person. everybody loved hilda ogden, didn‘t they? you know, everyone had an aunty or a nan or somebody like that. and shejust reminded you of a typical northern lady. i always put my own curlers in myself, so that to me just would be brilliant to get that. but anything, anything that she has touched, that was hers. i would just be made up with. we had an estimate on it of 1000 to 2000 to begin with and then somebody walked in about ten minutes ago and said they thought it might make 5000. i really don‘t know. one item not for sale today, her famous flying ducks. they were owned by coronation street, but this is an auction absolutely packed with hilda history. let‘s ta ke
let‘s take a look at the weather now and go over to nick millerfor the forecast. it‘s all about the rain this afternoon with a soaking evening rush—hour on the way across the large swathes of england and wales. sunspots have already received 25 millimetres of rain. over the past few hours, you can see the extent of the rain on the satellite picture. it will pull away from parts of wales that have already seen rain, but a couple of pictures i want to show you. the rain has shown up in york, paddle sweep, and it has been a very soggy afternoon in dorset with a few more hours of this rain still to come. this is what we have amassed so far. we are still going to add to that rain before it finally clears away eastwards as the night goes on, but still some heavy downpours to come
across parts of eastern england throughout this evening, perhaps thundery. turning drizzly before it clears. the rest of the uk sees clears. the rest of the uk sees clear and fresh air, with a view showers in northern ireland and scotla nd showers in northern ireland and scotland overnight, but sunspots will see the low single figures. starting tomorrow, sunshine in places, with heavy thundery showers in places beginning to break out. as we go on through the afternoon, this is the picture at 4pm. i think much of south—east england and east anglia will stay dry. it will be cooler in kent where it has been 25 celsius today, but elsewhere, where we have had rain today, it will fill warmer in the sunshine. catch a shower in northern ireland or scotland, it could be heavy, thundery with potential for hale in those as well. we could see another
glancing blow from a weather system on friday bringing more rain, with one or two showers around elsewhere as well. that pulls up the north sea coast as we go through friday with sunshine and showers elsewhere. some of those showers will be beefy, with thunder around. it‘ll change for the weekend because ludlow pressure is staying around —— because low pressure is sticking around and showers will be developing once again on saturday and sunday. it is not a wash—out. there will be sunshine and drier moments, but catch a shower and you will know about it. heavy and thundery, that certainly possible, and the knights will be is quite cold with lows heading down to single temperatures. more on our website. this is bbc news, i‘m reeta chakrabari.
the headlines at 4pm: more pressure on president trump as he‘s accused of asking the head of the fbi to drop an inquiry into his former security chief‘s links with russia. now is the time to gather all the pertinent information. ourjob is to be responsible, sober and focus only on gathering the facts. that is what congress does in conducting oversight of the executive branch. the liberal democrats put europe at the heart of their election manifesto — promising a referendum every vote and every seat for the liberal democrats giving us the opportunity to strengthen our plan when it comes to the key central plank of this manifesto, which is giving you the british people, you and yourfamily giving you the british people, you and your family the final say on what happens next with brexit. i'll