this is bbc news. the headlines at 11:00: the queen, accompanied by the prince of wales, has opened a new session of parliament, with the focus on brexit. my my government's priority is to deliver the united kingdom's departure from the european union on the 31st of january. the tension between the prime minister and leader of the opposition was clear, as they prepared to debate the new government's programme of legislation. after the differ, after the delay, after the deadlock, after the paralysis and platitudes, the time has come to change and at the time has come to change and at the time has come to change and at the time has come for action. this government, that conservative party does not stand for the people at the receiving end of the policy.
despite all their promises, that is exactly what this queen's speech shows. nicola sturgeon sets out her plans for another independence referendum. record temperatures in australia fuel unprecedented fires. a state of emergency is declared in new south wales, the country's most populous state. #itis # it is so easy to leave me... # and pause and get ready for some cat—calls, as the new film, cats, gets a mixed reaction on its release. and at 11:30 we'll be taking an in—depth loo at the papers, with our reviewers. stay with us for that.
a very good evening to you. the queen has opened a new session of parliament for the second time in the space of two months. but this time there was less pageantry and far more politics, following the conservative victory in last week's election. some 30 bills were announced in the speech, advertised as an "ambitious programme of domestic reform", as well as delivering brexit. top of the list was the commitment to take the uk out of the eu by the end of january. there'll be increases in the nhs budget in england and those will be enshrined in law. there was confirmation of the conservative campaign pledge to impose longer sentences for violent offenders, but also a major review of the criminaljustice system. in a moment, we'll look at some of those pledges and assess how realistic they are, but first here's our political editor, laura kuenssberg, on the events of the day at westminster. even the crown gets its very own rolls—royce. the trappings of westminster‘s great royal occasion. a moment to savour for the new government... it's certainly a feast.
..a time of agony for the opposition. so, i'm going to ask this policeman to let me through, but not you! trumpets play. the trumpets blast their usual note, the ritual summoning mps to hear the monarch. the same as ever. but the reminders of the past ought not to hide the reality that history has just been made. the defeated leader of the opposition seemed too angry to exchange a hello with this all—powerful prime minister, whose number one job is to take us out of the european union. my government's priority is to deliver the united kingdom's departure from the european union on the 31st of january. my ministers will bring forward legislation to ensure the united kingdom's exit on that date, and to make the most of the opportunities that this
brings for all the people of the united kingdom. but then what? the wrangle of difficult trade talks, of course. and extra cash for the health service put into law. for the first time, the national health service's multi—year funding settlement, agreed earlier this year, will be enshrined in law. tougher sentencing, a cut to business rates, a new immigration system — just some of the long list of work ahead. but after a torrid few years, listen to this bland sounding announcement. a constitution, democracy and rights commission will be established. might his government be tempted to use their huge majority to overhaul how this whole place works? maybe. this will not be a safety first government — willing to dare, determined to plan notjust for five years, but for a decade. this is not a programme for one year or one parliament. it is a blueprint for the future of britain. just imagine... cheering.
just imagine where this country could be in ten years' time. and after the dither, after the delay, after the deadlock, after the paralysis and the platitudes, the time has come for change and the time has come for action, and it is action that the british people will get from this gracious speech, this most gracious speech, and i commend it to the house. cheering. raucous tory benches. misery on the other side. thank you, mr speaker. what the government is actually proposing is woefully inadequate for the scale of the problems that this country faces. as this government ploughs ahead with its programme of gimmicks and false promises, we will be holding them to account every step of the way, and campaigning inside and outside parliament and across this country for the real change that this government sadly will not deliver, but that our country so desperately needs. laughter. derision at the other side. brewing tension with the snp too.
now scotland must have the chance to choose its own future — one shackled to the brexit destruction imposed by westminster, or one with hope, with opportunity and ambition. an independent scotland in the european union. yet with a majority of 80, borisjohnson need not lose much sleep over getting his way in this place, at least most of the time. he need not worry day—to—day about keeping his place, his authority. but that's not the same as turning his chance into a success. making the most of this next few years is something that really counts. the pressure‘s on the prime minister to prove to voters who backed him that they were right. far from packing up, this is a government that's only getting going. today may not be the limit of its ambitions butjust the start. laura kuenssberg, bbc news, westminster. in all, the queen's speech
contained more than 30 bills, not a record but many more than in recent years. aside from the big pledges on brexit and the nhs, there were also some specific items on the government's list of priorities. there'll be bills to raise the point at which people start paying national insurance and to increase the national living wage. people who rent their homes from private landlords will get more protection. and there'll be a new points—based immigration system, aimed at attracting the skills britain needs. in the wake of his election victory, the prime minister thanked former labour voters who, as he put it, had "lent him their votes" and today he pledged to repay their trust. our special correspondent, ed thomas, has been to leigh, a conservative gain at the election to find out what people made of today's announcements. change. like when the last lancashire pithead closed in 1970. or when leigh's railway station shut 50 years ago.
and then last week, when many here turned from labour, electing their first ever conservative mp. a northern town changing its mind. and that's closed down this year. mike has been a jeweller for three years. we've also got the money shop that's closed down. he has seen the decline of the high street. he says he voted conservative last week for the first time because of a belief in borisjohnson. just getting people back out on the high street shopping, helping the average person, helping these small businesses to thrive. in the first half of this year, 98 shops opened at 173 closed across the north—west of england. an increase of almost 30% compared to the same period last year. for mike, today's pledge from the government to cut business rates is crucial. without it, could you potentially go out of business? yes, definitely. definitely. it has been a real worry for us.
the nhs dominated the queen's speech. hello, good morning. a loud government commitment for extra funding. at this gp surgery, this doctor is facing increasing demand. the problems are really acute, there are a lot of winter pressures. shortage of gps, it means gps on the ground have to do more work. are you relieved, looking at the queen's speech today? i'm a positive person, so i'm trying to, you know, look at the bigger picture. there's immense pressure. the number of requests for elderly social care to wigan council rose from 5,300 to 7,520 in two years. that's around a 40% increase compared to the average increase in england of 4.5%. borisjohnson‘s pitch now is to help towns like leigh, towns that have gone from red to blue. do you believe it? unbelievable if he can do it. it'd be great, the town would love that. but it's whether or
not that happens. i'm so glad that we've actually voted conservative for a change. for a change? but they've been in power for the past nine years. but not in leigh, they haven't. the story of leigh is being told in towns across the north of england, wales and the midlands. many here now expect change and something to show for the vote. ed thomas, bbc news, leigh. the prime minister has rejected the suggestion that scotland should be allowed to hold another referendum on independence. earlier today, scotland's first minister nicola sturgeon laid out what she said was an "unarguable case" for another vote, given her party's success in the general election, and warned mrjohnson not to block the will of the scottish people, as our scotland editor, sarah smith, reports. bagpipes play. when should scottish voters get another say on whether they want to live in an independent country? that choice should be up to scotland, says nicola sturgeon... good morning. ..buoyed by her victory in last week's election. i accept that the case for independence is yet to be won,
but the election last week put beyond any reasonable argument our mandate to offer people in scotland that choice. if the prime minister refuses to transfer the powers you want, you could be stuck in a constitutional stand—off for five years before you could have a referendum. well, let's say that... that's not my intention because i also know that the more a tory government seeks to block the will of the scottish people, the more they show complete and utter contempt for scottish democracy, the more support for independence will rise. this paper makes the case for the power to hold another vote to be transferred to scotland and a copy has today been sent to boris johnson. nicola sturgeon knows the prime minister doesn't even need to read this document before he'll issue a flat no to the idea of another independence referendum. but what she's hoping is the longer westminster refuse to allow that vote, the more she thinks that will increase support for scottish independence.
borisjohnson is clearly prepared to take that risk. mr speaker, i think it was nicola sturgeon herself who said that the referendum in 2014 was a once in a generation event. and i don't know about you, mr speaker, but i feel that the scottish nationalist party should concentrate more on delivering on the domestic priorities of the people of scotland and rather less on breaking up our united kingdom. even the dogs in the street know there will be another referendum claimed scotland's first minister, but there's no reason to believe westminster will agree to one any time soon. we could be stuck in this never—end—um for years to come. sarah smith, bbc news, edinburgh. shadow treasury minister clive lewis has become the second mp to enter the race to replace jeremy corbyn as labour leader. he said necessary truths may go unspoken if he didn't put himself forward. shadow foreign secretary
emily thornberry is also standing. plenty more names expected to declare in the coming weeks. the bank of england is expected to announce its new governor tomorrow morning. it's one of the most powerful positions in britain, whoever is confirmed will replace canadian mark carney at the start of february, becoming the 121st governor. the front runner is andrew bailey, currently a deputy governor at the bank of england. our business editor, simonjack, gave us more information on who he is. the red hot money is on him tomorrow night. it is an incredibly powerful job and there is no better illustration of that power within a story we also heard today is that the very utterances of the bank of england governor were being transmitted ahead of time via an audio feed to traders who pay to get this service because every nuance, every word is la porte for a hint of what is going to happen to interest rates, that can move the pound and
government bond market all over the place. the place he's at, is opening criminality. but the governor of the bank of england is one of the top jobs. nhs accident and emergency units in wales have recorded their worst—ever performance. less than 75% of patients were seen within four hours in november — well short of the 95% target. it's significantly worse than those for hospitals in england and scotland, but better than northern ireland. the headlines on bbc news: the queen has opened a new session of parliament. brexit and the nhs are at the heart of the new government's legislative agenda. scotland's first minister, nicola sturgeon has set out her plans for another independence referendum and has warned borisjohnson not to "block the will of the scottish people." the watchdog that oversees complaints in the armed forces has called on the ministry of defence to do more to tackle racism.
donald trump has become only the third us president to be impeached. the democrat—controlled house of representatives late last night approved two charges, setting up a trial next month in the senate. but the senate is dominated by republicans, so the president is almost certain to remain in office. mr trump denies abusing his power and obstructing congress and says the process is a witch hunt. 0ur north america editor jon sopel has the story. on an historic night, donald trump chose to be nowhere near washington. he's 600 miles north in battle creek, and never more ready to do battle. as he's taking to the podium, in a perfect split—screen moment, the votes are being counted in the house of representatives that will impeach him. article one is adopted. but look at that death stare the democratic speaker
gives her own members as they started to cheer. solemnity, not crowing, was the order of the day. back in michigan, donald trump was given a note about the vote and was ready to unload on the democrats. this lawless, partisan impeachment is a political suicide march for the democrat party. have you seen my polls in the last four weeks? cheering. after last night's vote, the fate of the now—impeached president will be decided in the senate, at a trial that almost certainly won't convict donald trump. but when it begins, how many witnesses are called, who, and how long the trial lasts is still hotly contested. and there was a taste of the battles that lie ahead in the senate earlier today. over the last 12 weeks, house democrats have conducted the most rushed, least thorough and most unfair impeachment inquiry in modern history.
leader mcconnell's 30—minute partisan stemwinder contained hardly a single defence of the president of the united states on the merits. almost none defended president trump — because they can't. this afternoon, in the oval office, a consolation prize. a democratic congressman who's switching sides. donald trump, though, still angry... well, i don't feel like i'm being impeached, because it's a hoax, it's a setup, it's a horrible thing they did. the impeachment articles have to be handed to the senate, but the democratic speaker is refusing to do so until she receives assurances about how the trial will be conducted. the partisan gridlock continues. john sopel, bbc news, washington. the watchdog that oversees complaints in the armed forces has called on the ministry of defence to do more to tackle racism.
the independent service complaints 0mbudsman, nicola williams, has warned that racist incidents in the military are happening with "increasing and depressing frequency". 0ur defence correspondent jonathan beale has been talking to one former soldier. there's my grandfather, world war two and his medals. yeah. mark de kretser has strong ties to the military. his father, who came from sri lanka, joined the raf. mark himself was a soldier and did tours of iraq and afghanistan. but it wasn't combat that caused his post—traumatic stress, it was racism. i never asked to be called "black", "buddha". it got to the point where i wasn't worried about how i performed at work. i was worried about what was going to be said to me next. it's not the image the army wants. recent recruitment ads have highlighted its diversity and its desire to do more. but here's the problem —
ethnic minorities make up just 7% of the armed forces. but they account for nearly 40% of complaints about bullying, harassment and discrimination. now, the ombudsman overseeing the complaints system is calling on the forces to do more to root out racism. i think racism is prevalent in the armed forces and whether or not you describe it as institutionally racist or there are racist incidents which are occurring with increasing and depressing frequency, the issue needs to be tackled. if i tell you something you were doing was wrong, i expect you to buy in, accept that and change. the mod insists it is tackling the issue, including diversity training, like this. the army also has a unit to deal with what it calls "unacceptable behaviours". the fact that the army has invested in a team of six and hopefully a team that's going to get bigger, shows that the army takes all of these issues seriously, and it's notjust about racism and sexism, it's about all
unacceptable behaviours. but it didn't stop mark from suffering racist abuse. yeah, it's broke me. iwas... ..really quite a strong character. and now... ..i'm a mouse, now. the mod has now paid mark compensation, but he'll never forgive the army he once loved. jonathan beale, bbc news. now, for the second day in a row, australia has set a new record for its hottest—ever day. an average national maximum temperature of 41.9 celsius was recorded, a full degree higher than the previous record. a state of emergency has been declared in new south wales, where there are fears the heatwave will worsen bushfires in the state. 0ur science editor
david shukman reports. a roar like a jet engine as the flames advance. a line of trees is suddenly ablaze. in record heat and parched conditions, at least 50 of the fires are out of control. let's get out of here, bro. this is an emergency on dozens of fronts. house by house. and this one is surrounded. firefighters are doing their best. the wind is incredibly strong and this blaze is fierce. it's ferocious. the heat is unbearable. australia has always had fires, but these battles are unprecedented. they're unusually early in the season, and they're reaching areas not normally affected. new south wales has declared a state of emergency because the danger continues.
this comes as much of australia injures a brutal heatwave, setting a new record, 41.9 celsius, for the average maximum temperature. severe drought resulted in the past three months being the driest on record. that left the largest ever area of australia, nearly 60%, at risk of fire. and the crisis has sharpened divisions over climate change. smoke from the fires has drifted over sydney, almost hiding the famous landmarks. the air is so polluted that many people have resorted to wearing masks. we want to be listened to! protesters gathered outside the home of the australian prime minister, scott morrison. he is sceptical of climate change and is accused of ignoring reality. australian families are worried about climate change. we're worried about the climate change of the future, but we're worried about the climate change of the present. but australia is the world's largest exporter of coal. burning coal gives off the gases that heat the planet —
but it's a big earner, and the australian government lobbied hard in the un climate talks last week to protect the industry, and many australians support that view. i'm not so sure that climate change is responsible for what we're experiencing here. possibly the drought has got a lot to do with it in australia. we're talking about 60, 70—metre flame heights. every day, a new front line emerges. and the science is clear — that as temperatures rise heatwaves will become more severe, and in this land of extremes there'll be even more fires. david shukman, bbc news. a six—year—old boy who was left fighting for his life after being thrown from a viewing platform at the tate modern art gallery in london has started to speak again. the french boy is also regaining some sensation in his arms and legs. in an online post, his family said his speech was still very stilted but called it "wonderful progress".
he was attacked in august by 18—year—old jonty bravery, who has admitted attempted murder and is now awaiting sentencing. the long—awaited big screen version of andrew lloyd weber's hit stage musical cats has finally arrived. it's been years in the making, cost tens of millions of pounds, and has a cast of stars which includes taylor swift, damejudi dench and idris elba. but the reviews haven't exactly been overwhelming, as our arts editor will gompertz reports. this is the trailer for the big screen, big budget adaptation of cats. it caused a social media storm when it was posted the summer. what's your name? cat got your tongue? people were freaked out by the uncanny furry faces of the all—star cast, sporting body—hugging onesies, revealing distinctly human curves. interview requests from the media, that would normally be lapped
up, were declined. tom hooper, its oscar—winning director who was behind the king's speech, made some changes, working right up to its release this week... ..and a blizzard of bad reviews. the guardian called it a "perfectly dreadful adaptation" in its one—star review. the daily telegraph gave no stars at all to what it called a "moggy mess", while your correspondent found it "soulless". the daily mail, though, was far more positive, saying eight out of ten cinema—goers will love these cats. much of the action takes place in a disused west end theatre in a highly—stylised version of london, which sits somewhere between dickensian squalor and soho glamour, quite unlike, in fact, the actual modern theatre where cats the musical made its home back in 1981, just down the road in drury lane. spotlight! and a drum roll, please. lord lloyd webber‘s original musical, based on ts eliot's poems was a critical and commercial hit.
this movie version is clearly not the former, but it could yet claw itself back to box office success or end up in the litter tray of expensive cinematic flops. will gompertz, bbc news. the critics are catatonic with criticism, cut is a categorical catastrophe —— cats. earlier i asked if there is anything good about this film. there wasn't anything to like in it, i would say. it's a film to be marvelled at and kind of gobsmacked by in its awfulness, if that makes any sense. the director, tom hooper has had huge successes with les miserables and said he wa nted with les miserables and said he wanted to tackle cats because he
didn't want it to be the only musical he did and he had wonderful memories of it as a child. as he been let down by the effects, or is the whole vision wrong in your view? i think we need a postmortem on what went wrong because there is a whole catalogue of ills here that really need addressing. yeah, in part the affects, the cgi is really disastrous and kind of shoddy looking. the hair on these animals is really kind of woeful. lots goes wrong, the performances, the choreography, and partly i think thatis choreography, and partly i think that is due to the original material which does not translate to the film. just to remind everyone, of a comparison, we should probably give people a sort of — this is what one of the cats looks like in cats, and this is what a cat looks like. for
those who don't have a daily encounter with a feline, the real one is on the right and the actress is on the left. is thatjennifer hudson? that is francesca hayward, back from obscurity, a ballerina. beautiful mover for cats? that is the best you can say of her. 0k. there are plenty of films that have been panned by critics and audiences have gone to love them. yeah. the greatest showman and the others. the greatest showman and the others. the greatest showman and the others. the greatest showman —— this makes the greatest showman —— this makes the greatest showman —— this makes the greatest showman seem like a citizen kane. i don't want to dissuade people from seeing it. people should still spend their money? you might have a good time. i don't think audiences have had the recent possibility to see something quite so possibility to see something quite so disastrous that hasn't been tortured within an inch of its life
and focus group. this film is so sort of riotously wrong in every way is kind of an anomaly in today's landscape. so it's really worth seeing if you can kind of get over the fact that you are paying for it. laughter. and we'll be taking an in—depth look at the papers with our reviewers daisy mcandrew and sian griffiths — that's coming up after the headlines at 11:30pm. now it's time for the weather with nick miller. hello. if an end to the rain where you are can't come soon enough, there is dry weather in the forecast but actually it is going to arrive last we currently it is wettest across southern parts of the uk. it looks like all of us next week will get a spell of dry weather, though it will feel a bit colder compared with how it is out there at the
moment. right now, still low pressure in control, but look into the weekend, these weather systems just focused the rain towards southernmost areas. this is where it has been wettest, there are flood warnings. elsewhere it does tend to be drier over the weekend with sunshine and showers. more on the weekend in the moment does make in a moment, we still have to get through friday. more rain affecting lingual —— england under. mainly dry in the west, a few fog patches that are slow to clear in northern ireland. soggyin slow to clear in northern ireland. soggy in north—east england and midlands into the afternoon, it will feel colder but it isn't as windy. eventually we will get rid of this rain overnight and into saturday morning. goodbye, good riddance. all owing on, a fuchsia showers especially to england and wales cricket board heavy and a rumble of thunder —— england and wales with showers that will be happy. saturday, turning dry with showers, there are some coming to southernmost areas. this is the one putting in later on saturday. we