tv The Travel Show BBC News August 4, 2020 3:30am-4:01am BST
the former king of spain, juan carlos, has left the country weeks after he was linked to an investigation into alleged corruption. his destination is unknown. he made the announcement in an open letter to his son, felipe, who became the monarch six years ago. president trump has insisted the coronavirus outbreak in the united states is receding, and criticised one of his top medical advisers for saying the disease is now a greater threat than when the outbreak first began. the us has the biggest number of reported covid infections and deaths in the world. key figures in the northern ireland peace process have paid their tributes to john hume, the catholic politician who has died at the age of 83. he received a nobel prize for his efforts in bringing about the good friday peace agreement in northern ireland, which which brought an end to decades of sectarian violence.
now on bbc news, westminster in review. hello and welcome to westminster in review, a look at parliament's role in the corona crisis. boris johnson finally got the job he had always wanted, but the job description had changed. i must level with you, level with the british public. more families — many more families — are going to lose loved ones before their time. the prime minister was almost one of them as the global pandemic landed too close to home. it left him with questions to answer. 65,000 people have lost their lives because of covid—19. the prime minister should welcome challenge that can save lives, rather than complaining about it. it was a crisis that overturned centuries of tradition to change the way westminster works, with unexpected results. and the bbc are also now embracing this. 65,000 people have lost their
lives because of covid—19. the prime minister should welcome challenge that can save lives, rather than complaining about it. it was a crisis that overturned centuries of tradition to change the way westminster works, with unexpected results. and the bbc are also now embracing this. why... and i apologise for my cat's tail. why are you not doing this by default? laughter. on a wednesday afternoon in late january, the health minister was summoned to the house of lords to answer an urgent question on what was described as the "wuhan novel coronavirus threat to uk citizens". it was the first reference in parliament to what was to become a global pandemic that has cost tens of thousands of lives here in the uk, hundreds of thousands worldwide. the minister, lady blackwood. tried to reassure peers. we are monitoring closely the development of this virus. advice from public health england and the chief medical officer is that the risk
to the uk is currently low. the uk is well prepared for the emergence of novel viruses. the following day, her boss, the health secretary, came to a sparsely attended commons, before social distancing restricted numbers, to tell mps that england's chief medical officer had revised the risk to the uk population from very low to low. while there is an increased likelihood that cases may arise in this country, we are well prepared and well equipped to deal with them. the uk is one of the first countries to have developed a world—leading test for the new coronavirus. the world health organization has warned that countries are, quote, "simply not ready for a pandemic" and there has now been significant spread of the virus across the european continent.
italy, in particular, but other cases have been identified in austria, croatia and switzerland. this is clearly now very, very serious. matt hancock updates became a regular feature of commons life as the virus spread. the prime minister delivered his own public health message. do you know the national anthem 7 you've got to do two verses. two verses — i think 20 seconds will be sufficient. # happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you... six days later, against the downing street backdrop that became increasingly familiar, the tone had changed. i must level with you, level with the british public. more families — many more families — are going to lose loved ones before their time. lockdown arrived ten days later. 0ur instruction is simple — stay at home. madame deputy speaker, we are engaged in a great national effort to beat the virus. everybody now has it in their power to save lives and protect the nhs.
home is now the frontline. mps and peers soon got a taste of working from home themselves as parliament brought forward and extended its easter break, but not before rushing through what is now the coronavirus act, handing sweeping emergency powers to the police, local councils and the nations of the uk. coronavirus is the most serious public health emergency that has faced the world in a century. we are all targets, but the disease reserves its full cruelty for the weakest and the most vulnerable, and to defeat it, we are proposing extraordinary measures of a kind never seen before in peacetime. today, this house is being asked to make decisions of a magnitude i simply would never have dreamt of only a few weeks ago, and i know no member came into this place to put powers like this onto the statute book. there were some sceptical voices.
nobody denies this bill is necessary. but given that this bill gives unprecedented powers to the state to enforce isolation on people who have committed no crime for the first time in our history, will the secretary of state reassure the house that this house will be fully involved in renewing this once this crisis is over, and there won't be any drift in this matter? there were fears the nhs might be overwhelmed by visitors. we have one acute hospital in inverness. some of these tourist destinations are more than three hours from inverness. we have been absolutely inundated with people that showed no concern for the local population. the act covers everything from the management of dead bodies to the closure of schools and the postponement of parliamentary by—elections. it was passed in just four sitting days with an air of resigned acceptance in both commons and the lords. fundamentally, this bill is about buying time. you may not think it, looking at those alarming graphs charting the growth of the disease, but time can help us. with each day that passes,
the science is getting better. her majesty's loyal opposition supports this bill. in normal times, it would be utterly unacceptable. these are not normal times. and as a result, we are not just faced with this bill, but we must consider how we as a parliament operate in the weeks and months ahead. parliament then disappeared for an extended easter break. when it returned, it was very different. only 50 mps were allowed in the socially distanced house of commons. others could contribute via videoconferencing. in the lords, the lord speaker vacated the woolsack and was self—isolating. today, all our proceedings will be conducted virtually and will be available to broadcasters. as a matter of interest, i am chairing proceedings from my home in the isle of wight. mps usually vote by crowding into either of two corridors
alongside the chamber. it takes about 15 minutes for the result to be declared. a first attempt at a new remote system saw the chancellor accidentally vote against his own government. later, a new form of chamber voting lead to an mps‘ conga around the palace of westminster in a division that took 44 minutes and proved a challenge for some. sorry. laughter. stephen crabb — no. aye! laughter. stephen crabb wasn't alone. that confusing chamber voting system was soon replaced by swipe cards, with proxy votes available for mps unable to attend. parliament's extended break had seen its own drama — the prime minister almost died from coronavirus. initially, boris johnson had self—isolated in downing street after developing what he said were mild symptoms.
hi, folks. i want to bring you up to speed with something that is happening today, which is that i have developed mild symptoms of the coronavirus — that's to say a temperature and a persistent cough. and a few days later, he was rushed to hospital in central london, before being moved to intensive care, where he spent three nights. when mps returned from their recess, dominic raab was taking prime minister's questions. thank you very much, mr speaker. i've been asked to respond on behalf of my right honourable friend the prime minister, and i am pleased to tell the house that he is making a good recovery and is in good spirits. by the time borisjohnson returned to work, he had a new opponent — sir keir starmer, a senior lawyer in a past life, had been elected leader of the opposition. at question time each week, he challenged the prime minister over his handling of the pandemic, here over plans to track and trace those with the virus. the prime minister risks making mistakes he made at the beginning of
the pandemic, brushing aside challenge, dashing forward, not estimating properly the risks. if two thirds of those with covid—i9 are not being contacted, that is a big problem. yesterday, the right honourable gentleman was kind enough, actually, to say that he supported our policy and supported our programme. i seem to remember him saying that loud and clear yesterday. today — today, as i say — i understand the constraints of the profession in which he used to work — i know how it works — today, he appears to be going back into a position of opposition. which is it? is he supporting what we're doing, or is he against it? i do support the next stage of the operation but the prime minister is wrong to reject challenge. 65,000 people have lost their lives because of covid—i9. the prime minister should welcome challenge that could save lives, rather than complaining about it. that figure of 65,000 refers to excess deaths overall. keir starmer pursued his argument at later question times, after the lockdown eased and the hairdressers reopened.
the prime minister must recognise that huge mistakes have been made. two months ago at pmqs, i highlighted the weakness of early guidance on care homes. the prime minister, typically flippant, simply said it is not true. there were repeated warnings from the care sector, repeated delays in providing protective equipment. this wasn't hindsight. they were raised here, day in, day out, week in, week out. it wasn't hindsight. it was real—time for the frontline. — same on routine testing, and the decision to discharge 20,000 people to care homes without tests was clearly a mistake. our understanding of the disease changed dramatically in the months that we've had it. and when he looks at the action plan that we brought in to help our care workers, i think he would appreciate
the vast amount of work that they have done, the ppe that they have been supplied with, the testing that they have been supplied with, that has helped them to get the incidence of the disease down to record lows. borisjohnson was later to qualify that defence of his record. the health crisis swiftly became an economic one, with the bank of england predicting the deepest recession for 300 years. rishi sunak had been chancellor for barely a month before he delivered his first budget in march, one dominated by the pandemic. at the time, jeremy corbyn was still the opposition leader. whatever extra resources our nhs needs to cope with coronavirus, it will get. so whether it's research for a vaccine, recruiting thousands of returning staff or supporting our brilliant doctors and nurses, whether it's millions of pounds or billions of pounds — whatever it needs, whatever it costs, we stand behind our nhs. but 0pposition
leaders wanted more. we are going into this crisis with our public services on their knees, and as today's figures confirm, with a fundamentally weak economy, which is now flatlining, with zero growth even before the impact of coronavirus. many of the businesses in my part of the world, in the highlands of scotland, come through a fallow period over the winter, and it's not just an issue that they are going to see a reduction in business. in some cases, they are going to be desperately short of cash coming in through the door. before the ink was dry on his budget, the chancellor was writing more cheques, spending hundreds of billions of pounds, including a furlough scheme that saw the government pay the wages of workers laid off due to the crisis. he was back in the commons in earlyjuly with what the government insisted
was a summer statement rather than a mini budget, and an eye—catching scheme to get the economy going again. for the month of august, we will give everyone in the country an "eat out to help out" discount. meals eaten at any participating business monday to wednesday will be 50% off, up to a maximum discount of £10 per head for everyone. labour were underwhelmed with the overall package... today, britons should have had a back—to—work budget. but instead, we got this summer statement, with many of the big decisions put off until later. ..but others liked the chancellor's menu. i'm sure that the hospitality industry will welcome the measures which he has announced today, albeit that they are quite time—limited. i think the clothes shops will like them, as well, because once we've eaten our way through a month's half—price meals, we may well be visiting them! laughter.
sammy wilson on a scheme some have labelled, in an echo of housing policies, as help to pie. now, borisjohnson wasn't the only senior government figure to contract coronavirus. it also struck the cabinet secretary, sir mark sedwill, the health secretary, matt hancock, and the prime minister's controversial aide dominic cummings. mr cummings was accused of breaking the rules by driving to north—east england mid—lockdown. he refused to resign, but told an unusual press conference in the downing street garden his wife had been worried about their return journey. and she said, and i think it was perfectly reasonable, "a few days ago you could barely stand up, you said that your eyesight was weird and it seemed to be weird, we shouldn't just embark on a 270 whatever it is mile journey and then end up finding halfway through that you actually can't drive that far." good afternoon. scotland's chief medical 0fficer, catherine calderwood,
did resign after making two trips to her second home. northern ireland's deputy first minister, sinn fein‘s michelle 0'neill, faced down calls to quit after attending the large funeral of a former leading ira figure. and neil ferguson, the scientist known as ‘professor lockdown‘ in some newspapers, did resign as a government advisor after it emerged he'd been visited by his girlfriend during the lockdown. professor ferguson was one of several scientists who became household names as their advice and analysis were seized on. the uk government's chief medical and scientific advisors, professor chris whitty and sir patrick vallance, were often seen flanking the prime minister at downing street press c0 nfe re nces . they were in demand from parliamentary committees, too, from the early days of the pandemic. every year in seasonal flu, the number of deaths is thought to be about 8,000
excess deaths. so, if we can get this down to numbers 20,000 and below, that's a good outcome in terms of where we would hope to get to with this outbreak. but, i mean, it's still horrible. i mean, that's still an enormous number of deaths, and it's an enormous pressure on the health service. that was mid—march, a week before lockdown. by the end of april, more than 20,000 people had died from coronavirus. politicians and scientists began asking if we'd locked down too late. so, had we introduced lockdown measures a week earlier, we would have reduced ourfinal death toll by at least a half. so, whilst i think the measures, given what we knew about this virus then, in terms of its transmission and its lethality, were warranted, i wouldn't second—guess them at this point, certainly had we introduced them earlier, we would have seen many fewer deaths.
that was the science committee. mps on the health and social care committee were asking similar questions. so, when it comes to the timing of the lockdown, are you content that the government followed your advice in terms of the staging of different elements of the lockdown? i am content, and so, what you're trying to do is run a very complicated period as a kind ofjumped on question about this. there's no straight answer to that, and i'm not trying to give you a yes or no answer to that. it's not an unreasonable question. crosstalk. sorry, i'm just going to interrupt you, it's not an unreasonable question to ask, because the government constantly said they were following the science. and so i'm just asking you, on that crucial question of the timing of the lockdown, were they following your advice? so, i am confident that the ministers at the time, who were put in an incredibly difficult position, in my view,
followed the advice given by sage, which are clearly signposted through the minutes of sage, with a delay that was no more than you would reasonably expect for what are really difficult things to operationalise and decide. byjuly, sir patrick vallance admitted that things could have gone better. the uk's response to the pandemic is not the most admired in the world, if i can put it that way. so, in your role, have you begun to think about what might be the reasons for that? yes, we think about that a lot, and clearly there are things that we do as we go along to keep learning from what's going on, and we're in regular contact with many international partners. i think, as chris whitty has said before, it's very difficult to know exactly where we stand at the moment. it's clear that the outcome has not been good in the uk. i think we can be absolutely clear about that.
sir patrick vallance. england, wales, scotland and northern ireland all entered lockdown together in march. there was much talk of a four nations approach. but, with different parties in charge of the lockdown rules in the four different nations, the uk began to look like a federal state. some of the issues were familiar, wherever you live. in scotland, more people died from the virus in care homes than in hospitals. mistakes were made at the start, and they have led to the excess deaths we see today. first minister, in light of the tragedy in uddingston and others, do you agree that when it comes to testing in care homes that by any standards, this is a failure? first minister. no, i don't. let me say, i'm not even speaking as first minister here, i'm speaking as a human being. i deeply regret every single death from this virus, and i think all of us are in that position.
but i also know, and i said, i think the very first time i stood in this chamber and talked about what we were dealing with, i said that mistakes would be made. i said i would make mistakes, the government would make mistakes. we are dealing with an unprecedented situation, and i am sure that is the case. there is not a day, probably not an hour that goes by right now, where i don't question myself, i don't agonise over the decisions we are taking to make sure that we are learning as we go and we are getting these decisions as right as possible. and i suspect everybody — i hope everybody in a leadership position, the world over right now, is going through that same process. and nicola sturgeon turned that questioning approach to her counterpart in downing street. and when so much is at stake, as it is right now, we can't allow ourselves to be dragged down in the wake of another government's, to be quite frank about it, shambolic decision—making process. as the pressure grew to lift the lockdown, in northern ireland, the democratic unionist first minister and the sinn fein
deputy first minister gave a rarejoint statement at stormont. as of today, we remain subject to restrictions which no—one wants to last a day longer than is absolutely necessary. these are measures we would not contemplate in normal times. we know that they're having a significant effect on people's ability to live their lives the way they and we want. we are appealing to the public to please be patient. we understand that you want your family life back. to be able to visit and socialise with your friends and your families, to give your grandchildren a hug. the differences between the four countries were most apparent as the lockdown was lifted, with scotland and wales more cautious than the uk government in england. your careful approach in terms of easing of restrictions has served well in many ways but you know, i think, risk treading the line between being too cautious and too slow on this issue. why is wales lagging behind and so many countries have acted so decisively?
ijust reject the language of lagging behind. we are doing the things that are right for wales. that does not mean following anybody else just because they've done something that we have decided not to do. mark drakeford. westminster and the uk's other parliaments continue to adjust to their new normal. select committees carried on largely virtually with some unusual cameos. the bbc are also now embracing this, why, and i apologise for my cat's tail. why are you not doing this by default? rocco, put your tail down. laughter. the hybrid parliament still allowed mps and peers to contribute from their home, their office or wherever they happened to be. i wonder if i might ask my noble friend what engagement she's had with the devolved administrations regarding any participation and any future scheme? my lords, i'm dying to know
what the other passengers on the noble lord's train ourthinking. on the noble lord's train are thinking. i'm going to go to lord robathan in a moment and you're going to be a little bit surprised because he is wearing a seatbelt and that's because he is coming back from an important family engagement, he'd hoped to get home but he can't. do you think first that a change of president would make life more difficult for you or do you think it is having repercussions, and joe biden is currently looking more likely to win than trump, but who knows. we're working with both republicans and democrats in the united states to make sure there is bipartisan support for a us trade deal. i was just going to say, i thought that was a very good answer. thank you very much and have a safe journey home is all i can say. by the way, i can recommend the restaurant. laughs. right. lord robathan, in a taxi, returning from a restaurant, a good one, apparently. byjuly, almost six months
after the first confirmed case in the uk, the prime minister spoke briefly about a return to normality by christmas. the scientists were sceptical. things will not be done by christmas. this infection is not going away. it's now a human endemic infection and even actually if we have a vaccine or very good treatments, humanity will still be living with this virus for very many, many years to come. the key objective remains to develop a vaccine. initial trials were encouraging, up to a point. are we going to have a vaccine for christmas? well, i'm an optimist in life, katherine, and on the best case scenario, the answer is yes and myjob is not to second—guess whether we will not and vaccines are an uncertain science and we need to be cautious and we need to be careful. we are working very hard
on this but i can't, i can't promise to play centre. matt hancock's natural optimism struggling to overcome the reality of the calendar. this was a crisis that began with ministers and their advisers confident the risks to the uk was low but, six months later, saw borisjohnson admit his government hadn't really understood the virus in its early days. the prime minister now says there are very open questions about whether lives could have been saved by entering lockdown sooner. with the death toll approaching 50,000, the families of those who've died from coronavirus will be looking for answers in the independent inquiry that will follow.
hello there. we've got mixed fortunes of weather for tuesday. it does look like like low pressure moving into northern and western parts of the uk will bring quite a lot of cloud, wind and also rain. it's going to be very wet for parts of northern ireland and western scotland through the day, but it will be drier the further south and east that you are, with more sunshine and it will feel warmer too. so this is the culprit, this area of low pressure, moving in off the atlantic, starts to bring the rain initially to northern ireland, and then to scotland. there's quite a few isobars on the chart so it's going to be pretty windy too. so initially the rain, heavy. you can see the brighter colours in there for northern ireland, pushing across the irish sea, into the far north of england, but mainly into scotland. and it's western scotland, the western highlands, which is going to see the rain really piling up by the end of the day. a windy day to come as well — 40, maybe 50 mile an hour gusts across the north—west. a breezy day further south but, like i mentioned, the further south that you are, the better chance of staying dry, seeing the sunshine and feeling warmer. 23—24 degrees here. bit disappointing further north —
the mid to upper teens celsius. through tuesday night that rain begins to slip its way southwards a bit, into much of northern england, into north wales as well. there'll be further spots of rain further north, but drier across southern areas. we'll start to import a milder, more humid air mass from the south—west, so temperatures not falling much below 15 degrees for tuesday night. into wednesday, we've still got this area of low pressure and the weather fronts. again, it's going to be a breezy day. there'll be a lot of cloud, and some mist and murk across northern and western areas. looks like we'll start to see some rain also pushing across the irish sea, into wales and the western parts of england but, again, the further south and east that you are, although breezy, it's going to be dry with increasing amounts of sunshine. and we're really importing some warmer air now, so 25, 26 degrees is possible. a little bit warmer as well further north. what happens is, towards the end of the week, these weather fronts become squeezed out and fade away as this area of high pressure builds in over the near continent, and then we really start to tap in to some hot air,
which is across spain and france, on the southerly wind, and that warmth advance its way northwards, pretty much across the whole country through thursday and in particular into friday. so a warmer day thursday for all and friday, with some good spells of sunshine. it will turn hot again in the south—east. probably the peak of the heat through friday and into the start of the weekend.
this is bbc news. welcome if you're watching here in the uk, on pbs in america or around the globe. my name's mike embley. our top stories: the former king of spain, juan carlos, has abruptly left the country weeks after he was linked to a corruption inquiry. president trump lashes out at one of his top medical advisers, but insists the pandemic is receeding. tributes are paid tojohn hume, one of the key architects of peace in northern ireland, after his death at the age of 83. john hume is a man of world stature, and he stands in the same company as gandhi and martin luther king, and nelson mandela. and with us hostility over tiktok, the chinese company
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