tv BBC News at Six BBC News August 30, 2018 6:00pm-6:31pm BST
britain's biggest payday lender, wonga, has collapsed tonight afterfacing a surge in compensation claims. it follows a government crackdown on payday lenders. wonga has been criticised for its high—cost, short—term loans, seen as targeting the vulnerable. i think they deserved it. i think they deserved to go bust because they played on people who were vulnerable, and they didn't deserve it. we'll be asking why the compensation claims have proved so costly. also tonight: an unmarried mother who was denied a widowed parent's allowance for her children wins a landmark case that could benefit thousands of other bereaved families. for us, it was just a case of that this was wrong and it was to fight that injustice. the veteran mp frank field says
he'll no longer sit with labour in parliament. he resigns the whip, saying his party's leadership is becoming a force for anti—semitism in british politics. should high caffeine, high sugar energy drinks be banned for the under—18s? the government's considering it to fight childhood obesity. and from the queen to
an astronaut‘s wife — the star of the crown, claire foy, on her new film about the life of neil armstrong. and coming up on bbc news: the first england squad since the world cup sees the return of manchester united's luke shaw ahead of september's fixtures against spain and switzerland. good evening and welcome to the bbc news at six. the uk's biggest payday lender, wonga, has gone into administration tonight. it had already stopped accepting new loan applications as it teetered on the brink of collapse.
wonga — which at its height had over a million customers — has had to deal with a surge of compensation claims against them after a government clampdown on payday lenders. the privately owned company had
faced criticism for its high—cost, short—term loans, which are seen as targeting the vulnerable. our personal finance correspondent simon gompertz reports. with a loan from wongacom... wonga rode to number one among payday lenders on a wave of humorous adverts which glossed over the harm being done to some borrowers, borrowers whose compensation claims have now crippled the lender. stacey in south london saw a £600 loan turn into £5,000 when she missed some payments. well, they are still chasing me for the money, which i'm trying to get cancelled now. they completely screwed me over. i was very vulnerable at the time. i don't know if you've heard, but they are in big financial trouble. yes, i have heard. i read about it. so what do you think about that? i think good on them. it's what they deserve. because of the way they treated you? yeah, ido. i think they deserve it. i think they deserve to go bust because they played on people who were vulnerable.
wonga's fall began in 2014 when it had a big financial penalty for sending threatening letters to borrowers from fake lawyers' addresses. then it was forced to compensate 330,000 customers it hadn't checked could pay the money back. in the backlash, charges for payday loans were capped and, as more compensation claims came in, money from wonga's backers turned out not to be enough to cover them. so what are the options for wonga customers who have seen the message that they are not lending any more and heard that the company has failed? well, if you've got a loan, you'll still have pay that back. if you are pursuing compensation, the danger is that you willjust have to join a long queue of creditors trying to get their money back from wonga. wonga are always considered the bad boy of... this debt expert wants wonga's woes to be a turning point. while the reasons for people using the likes of wonga will still exist, we hope that this news today sends a message to other lenders theyjust can't lend to people at exorbitant rates and expect to get away
with it any more. wonga's rates were i,500%, but its business model backfired, and this lender's time has run out. simon is with me. it's the compensation games that got wonga into so much trouble. do we know why there were so many? not an exact number, but they came in in their thousands and the rate was increasing as individuals and claims companies saw that wonga's days might be numbered, so there were a lot of complaints coming in and, when they went to the financial ombudsman, it cost £550 per complaint to wonga, whatever happened about it, so the cost was spiralling. now the process of appointing administrators are started, it will be confirmed
tomorrow, and that point we'll start tomorrow, and that point we'll start to find out whether there is possibility of investors coming in and perhaps buying the wonga name, weaving new life into the business without its debts and the obligations to pay that compensation but, even if that happens, this is very much the end of an era, a little more than a decade, with the arrival of payday lenders on high streets and the internet, and then there was a boom, a clamp—down by there was a boom, a clamp—down by the government and regulators, and now the demise of the biggest operator. thank you. thousands of families across the uk could now be entitled to benefits for bereaved parents and their children, after an unmarried mother of four won her case in the supreme court. siobhan mclaughlin from county antrim was refused widowed parent's allowance when her partner died, because the couple weren't married. but the supreme court has ruled that it breached the family's human rights. the government is now considering whether to change the law. 0ur ireland correspondent emma vardy reports. a father and a partner for 23 years. john adams lived together
with his family. when he died from cancer, siobhan mclaughlin had to take a second job to help support their children. she was told widowed parent's allowance was only paid to those who had been married or in civil partnerships. today, the supreme court ruled that denying this benefit to unmarried parents has breached siobhan and her children's human rights. the judges said the allowance was there to diminish the loss suffered by children, a loss that was the same whether or not the parents were married. children are innocent. children do not have a voice and it's really unjust that the government could see that two children could be treated so differently when they are both grieving, to realise that, yeah, there's only some benefits you can claim as a cohabitee, but you can't claim because you're not married.
it's a bit of a minefield of the system. society is changing. while married couples are still in the majority, figures show there has been a huge increase in cohabitation. now around one in five couples with children choose not to walk up the aisle. widowed parent's allowance and the new bereavement support payment, which has replaced it, are there to support children when one parent dies. the surviving parent can now receive a lump sum and monthly payments of up to £350. they must have at least one dependent child up to 18 years old. crucially, the current law says they must have been in a marriage or civil partnership, but today's ruling means that could change. sarah cripps' partner died of a stroke in 2015, leaving their three children without a father. he had been the principal breadwinner but, because they weren't married or in a civil partnership, she too missed out on the allowance. he was their father in every way.
i feel that he is now not being treated as their parent and the children aren't allowed his contributions. this would have been money that james would have paid through his national insurance contributions throughout his working life. he was 41 when he died. he had worked since he was 18. siobhan‘s victory puts pressure on ministers to change the rules. the government has said it will study today's judgment. it is hugely significant for them and what we will be asking for the government to do is to act very quickly so that as many people can benefit from this as possible. in future, thousands more cohabiting couples may gain the same financial rights as those who are married. emma vardy, bbc news. our legal correspondent clive coleman is here. will this make a huge difference to thousands of bereaved parents? siobhan mclaughlin, having fought this long and hard this legal battle, the one thing she hasn't won
isa battle, the one thing she hasn't won is a right to get this particular payment, but what she has won is a declaration from the highest court in the land that the law that stops asa in the land that the law that stops as a co—cavity from getting that money is incompatible with human rights law. the supreme court itself can't amend or scrap legislation, so it's over to parliament. does it mean parliament will change the law? no, parliament can decide whether or not it's going to change the law. the government has said. the good judgment, so some hope, but seems pretty bullish that the criteria for this payment will remain the same. if the law doesn't change for siobhan mclaughlin and the estimated 2000 families per year missing out on this payment, she could take a case to the european court of human rights, ratcheting up pressure on the government, but with this change there is hope, but no guarantee. the veteran mp frank field will no longer sit with labour in parliament after resigning the party whip. in a letter to the party, he says he's decided to sit as an independent mp
because the labour leadership has become a force for anti—semitism in british politics. he also spoke of a culture of intimidation and intolerance in the party. 0ur deputy political editor john piennar reports. the outwardly friendly relations we re the outwardly friendly relations were never likely to last. they've both been called mavericks, but frank field's relationship with his leader always looked like a split waiting to happen, and now it has. the campaigning mp has always trod his own path will stop on policy, especially brexit, but it's his blunt message now on labour's handling of anti—semitism that led to today's break with the party he served for half a century. i've resigned it because i want the party to change, i want it to be seen as clearly a nti to change, i want it to be seen as clearly anti racist, and i want the party to be clearly seen that the local thuggery that is going on will
not control local mps. do you want others to follow in your footsteps? i have spoken to no mps about this. i gave that undertaking to the chief whip. it's my wake—up call to the labour party. it's not part of a wider plot. jeremy will see us into the next election. frank field has a lwa ys the next election. frank field has always been more of a loner and a plotter, he took his own life on welfare reform, say, too harsh for many traditionalists. his resignation letter will inflame the already high octane controversy that's come to dock the labour party and undermine the authority of its leader. he condemned labour's leadership becoming a force for anti—semitism in british politics. britain fought the second world war to banish these views from politics, he said, a culture of intolerance, mess and intimidation now reigns into many parts of the party. 0thers are critical, but less so of the
leadership. it's up to all of us, the nec, mps, members, if you see anti—semitism, tackle it, don'tjust dismiss it as a smear. will the resignation of this mp provoked a deep split? their friends and enemies of frank field who will be hoping itjust enemies of frank field who will be hoping it just might. enemies of frank field who will be hoping itjust might. and that is perhaps the biggest question. will this recognition from the labour group at westminster mean there will be more? could there even be a deep schism, in which those mps from a significant minority at westminster who disagree withjeremy corbyn, not just on europe or anti—semitism but many things, but it drives them over the edge? talk of a break at new centrist party, new grouping in british politics, has been rumbling for ramps —— for months, but those labour dissidents have been so relu cta nt to labour dissidents have been so reluctant to follow their internal dissent to open insurrection. their enemies say it's about a lack of nerve, but loyalty and nerve will be tested very ha rd
nerve, but loyalty and nerve will be tested very hard in the days and weeks ahead. should energy drinks be banned for the under 18s? that's what the government is considering amid fears that they're damaging young people's health. british children are thought to be among the highest consumers in europe of energy drinks — which contain high levels of caffeine and sugar. the restrictions would apply to drinks with more than 150mg of caffeine per litre, like red bull, monster and relentless. 0ur correspondent dan johnson reports from maidstone in kent. high energy, high sugar and high caffeine. they're all warnings, but there is also concern — about obesity and tooth decay. hyperactivity and problems sleeping. and with two thirds of 10—17 year olds drinking them, a ban could now be on the way. when i was younger, i used to buy energy drinks all the time. kind of after school, which is the done thing, really. when they buy them when they are out, after school, i'm not there, so, yeah, i don't have them in the house. but you know she drinks them? yeah, definitely. a ban would help you? yeah.
i think younger children it's worse, that 16, 17, 18, there's not really an issue. people will still be able to get hold of them. like, the same way you get kids smoking and stuff, they get hold of it. so it might reduce it a bit but i do not know by how much. every hundred millimetres of red bull has 32 mg of caffeine and 11 grams of sugar. the levels in monster are around the same. that's three times the amount of caffeine in coca—cola and a similar dose of sugar. so one large energy drink would give a child their daily allowance of caffeine. and this local gp has seen an 11—year—old who was drinking eight cans a day. large amounts of caffeine lead to things like palpitations, rapid heartbeat, headaches, chest pain and behavioural problems in children. and sugar leads to obesity and things like diabetes. so, really, we are trying to avoid giving these sorts of drinks to children.
we would rather they drink something healthier. the people behind these brands say they are not marketed at children and they have pointed out that most of these energy drinks contain the same level of caffeine as a cup of coffee. but the government is asking how a ban should work and whether 16 or 18 is the right age. this primary school headteacher has gone further and already banned all fizzy, sugary drinks, because of their impact on kids' health and behaviour. inattentiveness, inability to sit still. low level disruption, calling out, rocking on chairs. there are enough issues that create hyperactivity tendencies in children, let alone them taking on caffeinated drinks in the morning. they are eye—catching, tasty and cheap, but it looks like energy drinks are about to have their wings clipped. danjohnson, bbc news in maidstone. our top story this evening:
britain's biggest payday lender — wonga — is going into administration tonight after facing a surge in compensation claims. and coming up — england's batsmen struggle on the first day of the fourth test against india. coming up on sportsday on bbc news... we'll have all the details from tonight's champions league draw in monaco — as four english clubs wait to learn their group stage fate. suicide is the leading cause of death in men below the age of 50 in england. men working in the construction industry are particularly vulnerable. the suicide rate among low—skilled male labourers is three times higher than the national average for men. long hours, lack ofjob security and a macho atmosphere are all partly to blame according to the unions, who say not enough is being done to protect workers. caroline davies has this report. lee rowland is a 28—year—old carpenter.
he spent years living with anxiety but he never spoke about it... until he was at work and came close to taking his own life. to the outside world, you could seem like it's a good laugh and a bit of fun — work on the building site. it's bloody stressful. it's not really somewhere where you talk about how you're feeling really and your emotions. it's been hard trying to explain to some people that... i struggle sometimes with stuff and sometimes i can be a bit sort ofjoking and a bit blase about it rather than giving it, i suppose, the real emotional thought that it really needs. martin, just start hoisting up on the rope... lee asked for help. now he speaks to other workers to encourage them to take care of their mental health, but trade union leaders say it's the structure of the industry that's the underlying problem.
lack of permanentjobs, travelling to work, poor lodging, very long hours — between 12 hours a day, 60 hours a week, isolation, and above all of that a stigma. a fear that if they raise a mental health disorder with their employer that somehow they will be disciplined or dismissed, and that's a very real probability. many of these issues are serious and long—standing and difficult to untangle, but there is now a sense in some parts of the industry that something needs to change. people that sadly take their lives haven't reached out for support... ijoined a class on mental health awareness at a building site in north london. these men were given time out of their working day to talk with each other about the particular pressures they face. meetings like these are happening more often, but they're not being offered to builders everywhere. i went back to my caravan and i cried myself to sleep — a 50—year—old man.
madness that, isn't it? simon pantry spent nearly 20 years as a crane driver. he told me his suicidal thoughts eventually forced him to leave the job. still a very macho atmosphere in construction. the crane driving game can be very, very lonely, can be very high pressure. it's that type of cut—throat environment that guys are working in. we need to kind of take a step back and really look at what we're doing to people out in the workplace. he has this advice for anyone feeling the way he once did. just go out and talk to somebody. talk to somebody at home. if you need to seek a bit of counselling, talk to your employer butjust don't bottle it up, don't swallow it. just talk, let it out. let it out, that's the best place for it. simon pantry ending that report by caroline davies. and if you've been affected by any of the issues raised in that report, you can find details of organisations which offer advice and support on the bbc actionline website at bbc.co.uk/actionline.
the cost of buying a plastic bag could rise from sp to 10p, with all shops in england having to charge. the change is part of government plans to tackle plastic pollution. theresa may said she wanted to leave a greener, healthier environment forfuture generations. scotland's first minister, nicola sturgeon, says it's important that allegations of sexual misconduct against alex salmond — her predecessor — are properly investigated and not just swept aside. mr salmond, who strongly denies the accusations, resigned from the snp last night. he said he intends to rejoin the party once he's had an opportunity to clear his name. 0ur scotland correspondent lorna gordon sent this report. they have been side by side for decades. alex salmond and nicola sturgeon, an unbreakable political duo who made the snp the dominant force in scottish politics. now the cracks are beginning to show. ms sturgeon left defending the scottish government's complaints
process her former mentor is challenging following the allegations of sexual misconduct which mr salmond denies. amidst all the focus on process and politics here, it is really important in my view that we do not lose sight of the fact that two individuals came forward with complaints. those complaints can't simply be hushed up or swept aside because of the identity of the person involved. mr salmond made no comment about his resignation in his television show which aired today. he has also refused requests for interviews. but in his statement last night he said, "i did not come into politics to facilitate opposition attacks on the snp. i have tendered my resignation to remove this line of opposition attack. most of all, i am conscious that if the party felt forced into suspending me, it would cause substantial internal division." what could now cause division and difficulties is mr salmond's decision to launch a crowdfunding campaign to help with costs
in his legal challenge against the scottish government's complaints procedure. he is collecting notjust money, but also a very public show of support from those in his corner. he has now raised more than £80,000. 0pposition parties are uneasy at the message this sends. frankly, this drags scotland into the gutter, that he is using his position and his recognition to put the signal to the people who have come forward and made those complaints that he might not still be first minister, but he is still extremely powerful. and that they should get back in their boxes and leave him alone. the legal process mr salmond is embroiled in could take months. the political fallout is hitting far sooner than that. lorna gordon, bbc news, edinburgh. cricket and england's batsmen struggled on the first day of the fourth test against india. the home side lead the series, but the visitors are battling back and reduced england to 86 for six
before sam curran led a revival to finish on 246 all out. adam wild reports from southampton. in the south coast sunshine, england's indian summer finally arrived. but for england's batsmen, dark clouds still linger. difficult to watch of late. india's bowling, at times, impossible to see. keaton jennings lost sight of this one. he won't want to see a replay. so along came the captain to steady the ship. forjoe root, too, all at sea. england in distress. time to stand up, be brave, jonny bairstow batting with a broken finger. sent back to the pavilion with bruised pride to go with it. when stokes was trapped leg before wicket, england were six down and they were yet to reach 100. but moeen ali and sam curran both have points to prove. they offered more than those that came before. taking england safely to tea. that summer sun might have disappeared, but for england, things are beginning to look a little bit brighter. england's guiding light, sam curran,
too, was looking into the skies. this took him past 50. finally, something to lift those dark clouds. adam wild, bbc news, southampton. the star of the crown, claire foy, has taken to the red carpet at the venice international film festival for the premiere of her new film, first man, which tells the story of the astronaut neil armstrong. 0urs arts editor will gompertz has been to venice to meet her. welcome to the 75th venice international film festival with 0scar contenders written all over it. bradley cooper and lady gaga are here to launch their remake of a star is born. the coen brothers are here to premier their darkly comic western, the ballad of buster scruggs, and damien chazelle, the multi—award—winning director of la la land, is back with his new film, first man. the film tells a story of neil armstrong and his journey to become the first man to walk on the moon. ryan gosling takes on the role of the emotionally guarded astronaut, with claire foy...
be an adventure. ..who made her name playing the queen in the crown as his wife. were you surprised to get the role, given there is not a huge shortage of american actresses? yeah, hey, there's a canadian playing neil armstrong and this sort of random british woman playing an american housewife. you just sort of think... but i do think in those circumstances, distance is good. if you own a story too much, i think sometimes it can be difficult to get in there and have a cynical view of it or kind of delve deeper and understand that these people were, you know, wrong sometimes and difficult sometimes. we've got this under control. you're a bunch of boys, you don't have anything under control. it's nearly a year since weinstein. have things changed ? i think people are definitely more aware. what i worry about ever so slightly that i would... i hope it hasn'tjust been absorbed into the culture and been allowed to have happened. women have been able to speak up and been given permission
and authority in some way because they have to because everyone wants it to go away again. you know, it would be the dream if it actually provoked some change in society and the patriarchal way of doing things is possibly outdated and needs to change. so here we are at venice 2018, and i think all but one of the directors in the competition are male. yes. so there you go. remarkably, another male director with a premiere at this year's festival is the late orson welles whose unfinished final film is getting an airing at last, having been started just a few months after neil armstrong took his famous small step nearly 50 years ago. will gompertz, bbc news, venice. time for a look at the weather. here's darren bett. are heading to the weekend on the start of september under the weather looks pretty good over the next few days, and if anything it will be
warming up with temperatures getting into the mid—20s. this was a typical skyline today. we have had showers in scotland and still have some inland at the moment and they will gradually fade away but already some showers from this cloud clipping the far south—east corner of england. clearing skies overnight, no wind, and another cold one a bit like last night. the chilly start to tomorrow. we will see cloud towards cornwall which could bring some rain in the morning. the breeze blows more cloud into northern ireland, fairweather cloud developing and sunny spells. probably warmer than today, noticeably so for wales, not so in the south—east of england where there could be showers. the cloud coming in from the atlantic is on these weather front here. for saturday they will be more cloud for
scotland, northern ireland, north—west england and wales. sunny spells, dry weather for the north—west england and wales. sunny spells, dry weatherfor the rest north—west england and wales. sunny spells, dry weather for the rest of england and wales with the sunny conditions more towards eastern parts of england and temperatures widely up to 22 celsius. as we head into the second part of the weekend, we have this weather front which will push its way towards northern ireland and north—west scotland. that will bring outbreaks of rain but away from here another dry day with sunny spells. you can see how it warms up and we have some heat across refurb and into aberdeenshire. —— across the moray firth. higher temperatures more towards the midlands, lincolnshire, east anglia and the south—east likely to get 25, maybe even 26 celsius. thank you. a reminder of our top story... britain's biggest payday lender — wonga — is going into administration tonight after facing a surge in compensation claims.
that's all from the bbc news at six so it's goodbye from me. 0n bbc one, we nowjoin the bbc‘s news teams where you are. hello this is bbc news. the headlines: mp frank field resigns the labour whip, saying the party's leadership has become a force for anti—semitism in britain. a party spokesman says, "jeremy corbyn thanks frank field for his service to the labour party." wonga is going into administration after losing its battle to stay afloat. the firm's collapse follows a sharp rise in compensation claims amid a government clampdown on payday lenders.