tv BBC News at Ten BBC News October 12, 2021 10:00pm-10:31pm BST
tonight at ten, boris johnson's government is accused of presiding over one of the "biggest public health failures" ever seen in britain. thousand of lives were lost because of the delayed lockdown last year according to two westminster committees. we, too, could have avoided the need for a lockdown but when that became inevitable we also took too long. even though we were one of the first countries in the world to develop a test, we didn't have enough testing capacity. as the nhs was driven to breaking point many of those lost were elderly and vulnerable people whose families responded today. notjust my family, a lot of other families who are in this situation, you know, it was avoidable if action
had been taken sooner. but the report does praise the uk vaccination programme as highly successful and effective. also tonight... as companies look for workers, confirmation that the number ofjob vacancies in the uk is the highest for 20 years. a vision of the future for many more areas as the environment agency warns the uk is not ready for the impact of climate change. and in tonight's football... england draw with hungary but the match is marred as visiting supporters clashed with police. coming up in the sport, scotland continue their quest for world cup qualification as they take on the faroe islands. good evening.
the decision by borisjohnson�*s government to delay the first covid lockdown was a "serious error" and part of one of the "biggest public health failures" in the history of the united kingdom. that's one of the stark conclusions of a report by two parliamentary committees at westminster. the mps say the delay in introducing a lockdown last year cost thousands of lives. many of those lost were elderly and vulnerable people in care homes. there was also criticism of �*light touch border controls' only applied to countries with high infection rates. the start of the nhs test and trace system was said to be "slow, uncertain and often chaotic." there were "unacceptably high" death rates among ethnic minority groups and among people with learning disabilities and autism. but the committee praised the uk's vaccination programme as a highly successful and effective initiative. the report's focus is on england. the mps did not look at steps taken individually by wales, northern ireland and scotland.
our health editor hugh pym has more details. a deadly new virus. hospital staff facing unprecedented challenges. the most comprehensive report so far on the official response to the covid crisis says serious mistakes were made and different policies could've saved lives. he was relatively young and totally fit and healthy, with no underlying health conditions. phil got covid in march last year. his condition worsened, and he died in april. his daughter, sara, believes an earlier lockdown, restricting the spread of the virus, might have made all the difference. i do believe that a lot of, notjust my family, but a lot of other families who are in this situation, you know, it was avoidable, if action had been taken sooner, and perhaps a little bit more of a responsible approach had been taken sooner. the report looks at decisions around
the timing of the march lockdown. it says full restrictions came too late because the government's scientific advisers wanted only to slow down the spread of the virus rather than stop it. most people, the vast majority of people get a mild illness to build up some degree of herd immunity as well. an acceptance of herd immunity and widespread infections was the attitude, according to the report, with groupthink among ministers and officials. come on, this virus. is deadly here, love. get that down you, lads, ey? events like the cheltenham racing festival in mid—march, the report adds, may have spread the virus. i think there is an issue there of hindsight, because at the time of the first lockdown, the expectation was that the tolerance in terms of how long people would live with lockdown for was a far shorter period than actually has proven to be the case. the second lockdown came in november. mps say a so—called "circuit—breaker" in england in september might have slowed
the virus, though the emergence of a new variant wasn't then known. labour said the report's stark conclusions couldn't be ignored. to use language that this . was one of the worst public health failures in the uk, - that is a damning indictment. and my thoughts are with - the families who've lost people because of these failures. the mps' report is highly critical of the test and trace system in england. it says it was set up much too late and that capacity should've been built up much earlier in the pandemic, in line with some other countries. halting community testing in the early weeks had cost lives, according to the report. just one of the government's failings, said the former downing street adviser who'd given evidence to mps. me and others put into place work to try and improve the system in 2020 after the first wave. unfortunately, the prime minister, being the joker that he is, has not pushed that work through. the covid pressure in care homes
is examined in detail. the mps say that sending elderly people from hospitals into care homes without prior testing may have been understandable, but it contributed to the spread of the virus. staff entering care homes also may have carried infections. staff shortages and problems getting ppe hadn't helped. in hong kong and germany, they took more precautions early on to protect care homes, and they had fewer deaths as a result. that's definitely one of the most important long—term lessons we need to learn. the report says vaccine development has been one of the most successful initiatives in uk science. early investment by the government in research and development is praised by mps. the vaccine taskforce being set up outside government is described as a masterstroke, with the success of the vaccine programme said to have redeemed many failings elsewhere. the report praises the response of the nhs to the pandemic,
with a rapid increase in critical care beds. but it notes that even before covid struck, most hospitals were running at close to full capacity, and that meant that services, including some cancer care, were put on hold. the ensuing backlog has become one of the enduring legacies of the pandemic. and the mps note that bame communities experienced higher levels of severe illness and death, which highlighted inequalities in society. the government's overall response to the report is that they've been consistently guided by scientific experts and are committed to learning lessons from the pandemic. hugh pym, bbc news. reaction to the report has varied from demands to bring forward the start of the public inquiry, promised by the prime minister, to an insistence from some conservative mps that while borisjohnson was ultimately responsible for the actions of his government he did receive some expert advice which turned out to be wrong.
sophie hutchinson has been speaking to some of those who've been most affected by the pandemic and the decisions made. some light relief in nottingham this afternoon. butjust months ago, care home residents were among the worst hit by the pandemic, according to today's report. here, there were multiple deaths and shortages of ppe and lack of medical support pushed staff to breaking point. it was horrendous. i think everybody was just panic stations. everybody�*sjob kind of quickly evolved from whatever they were doing, to helping out. staff were panicking. you know, some of them are very vulnerable themselves, they've got vulnerable families. it was difficult... it was extremely scary, just a huge... hugely emotionally and physically draining. failure to lockdown early enough and slow the spread of the virus heaped huge pressure on the nhs
and its staff, like mark, who was working in a&e. what was it about the british government that meant they thought we were invincible to this thing? you know, it was infuriating seeing borisjohnson on tv early on saying, "oh, i shook hands with everyone." it was completely against all the guidance that was out at the time, and it was almost making a joke out of it. it was infuriating, you know? that was entirely the wrong message. safiah ngah�*s father, who was 68 with no underlying health conditions, was one of a significant number of people from black, asian and minority ethnic backgrounds to die in the pandemic. mps said today it's a result of the inequalities in our society. he had never been ill in my living memory, so it was his first time in hospital. and it was terrifying. the government has actually spoken about levelling up, and about leaving no community behind, i think was the words that they used. but that's very vague.
we really need to see actual change. but while mps have called the government's early response to the virus one of the worst public health failures, they've praised the vaccination programme as one of the best initiatives. paul lutrell, who has cancer, got covid—i9, despite being vaccinated. but his doctors told him the jab actually saved his life. after surviving the cancer scare, and still having it, knowing that my life is maybe shorter, getting covid was sort of the icing on the cake, really. you know, to survive that, and the staff, the nurses... because i'd had my virus injections, i had that chance, you know? it gave me the support that my body needed. without it, it would have killed me. but while many have recovered from the virus and are now protected by the vaccine,
millions of others are still coming to terms with the profound effect it's had on them, and the lives of their loved ones. sophie hutchinson, bbc news. let's talk to our political correspondent damian grammaticus at westminster. a lot of the criticism is very serious. what has been the response from the government? it is serious. what has been the response from the government?— from the government? it is hard to dismiss, because _ from the government? it is hard to dismiss, because this _ from the government? it is hard to dismiss, because this was chaired l from the government? it is hard to i dismiss, because this was chaired by two former conservative cabinet ministers and they heard from more than 50 witnesses at the heart of decision—making, and they point to the fact the uk has one of the highest per capita death tolls in all rich countries. 150,000 deaths associated with covid but the government has said it was following the science although the report said it was flawed in the beginning and it was flawed in the beginning and it led to a delayed lockdown. the government said it acted to protect the nhs but the report says that happened when the nhs looks like
possibly being overwhelmed. the government says there was limited advice and information early on but the report says they should have looked to countries that were controlling the virus in east asia. there will be a public inquiry next year, but now the government is coming under pressure from bereaved families who say that inquiry should have tougher legal powers and they believe there have been thousands of unnecessary deaths and they want to provide any further ? they want to prevent any further deaths. thanks for “oininu prevent any further deaths. thanks forjoining us- _ prevent any further deaths. thanks forjoining us. the latest official figures on the pandemic show there were 38,520 new infections recorded in the latest 24—hour period. that means on average there were over 38,600 new cases per day, in the past week. as of monday, there were 7,000 people in hospital in the uk with covid. another 181 deaths have been recorded, that's of people who died within 28 days of a positive test, which means on average
there were 114 deaths per day, in the past week. the death toll now stands at 138,000. 0n vaccinations, 85.6% of the population aged 12 and over have had their first dose of a vaccine, and 78.6% have been double jabbed. the number ofjob vacancies in the uk is the highest for 20 years. the latest official figures show that 1.1 million jobs were available between july and september. the retail sector and motor vehicle repair businesses were among those with a sharp rise in jobs to fill as our business editor simonjack reports. help wanted. across the uk, there are a record 1.1millionjob vacancies. this large food wholesaler and distributor is seeing fierce competition to attract and retain staff. all around here there is all different companies recruiting at the same time. we have recruited over the last four months 700 people.
but on the other side, 400 people have gone to work for other companies. so, we've gone up in training costs, we've got 15%—20% labour costs that we've increased. on top of that, retention bonuses. everything isjust making it really difficult for us to service our customers. brakes is training some of its workers, like dean, to move out of the warehouse and behind the wheel, where the shortages are acute and the terms on offer are getting more attractive. it makes you feel appreciated, you know? i think for a long while, drivers haven't been appreciated as much as they should have been. and i think the industry now has realised that, to retain people, you have to offer the right money. higher pay offers in sectors like this are evident in today's report. average wages are 6% higher than last year. but that was when many workers were on furlough or reduced hours. if you adjust for that, wage rises are closer to 4%, higher than inflation, which is currently at 3.2%, but that is expected to rise.
it's notjust the wage bill that is going up in companies like this. there is the fuel costs in the supply chain, soaring energy bills to heat or cool their buildings. all of that will feed through into higher prices, inevitably, which means inflation will offset some of the wage rise that some people are getting, and make life very difficult for those that aren't getting them. construction is also feeling the squeeze. firms are poaching staff from each other with offers of more money. but paying more doesn't mean walls get built any faster. talk me through the programme? the boss of this construction firm says they are having to pay more, but they're not getting more productivity bang for the higher wage buck. in order for businesses to be sustainable, and to grow, particularly as a small business, we need our productivity to be reflected in the increase in wages that we're paying. the government said it wants a high wage, higher skill economy. at the moment, there is only evidence of the first part of that. one very encouraging aspect
of today's release was the low level of redundancy notices firms are issuing. allaying fears that the end of the furlough scheme at the end of september would trigger an immediate rise injob losses. the government will argue that means the furlough scheme was £70 billion well spent. simon jack, bbc news. the uk's largest commercial port says the supply chain crisis has caused a logjam of shipping containers. the port of felixstowe in suffolk which handles over a third of the uk's freight container traffic blamed the busy pre christmas period and a shortage of lorry drivers. but it said the situation has been improving over the past few days. the world's finance ministers are meeting in the us this week. the international monetary fund has warned that that the global economic recovery from the pandemic is getting weaker. let's talk to our economics editor faisal islam in washington. tell us more about the prospects as
they see them. tell us more about the prospects as they see them-— they see them. hello. the post lockdown recovery _ they see them. hello. the post lockdown recovery is _ they see them. hello. the post lockdown recovery is getting i they see them. hello. the post - lockdown recovery is getting messy, thatis lockdown recovery is getting messy, that is the message from this important meeting of central bank governors and the world's finance ministers in washington. 0f governors and the world's finance ministers in washington. of course the situation right now is better than it was a year ago in the depth of the pandemic. you can see it in the growth numbers and the jobs numbers, but the good news is not evenly spread around the world. developing countries, particularly those that cannot get their hands on enough vaccine, they are particularly at risk. we have that situation notjust in developing countries, but in more advanced economies as well and the imf is warning them to be very vigilant, that includes the uk, about this issue of inflation. though supply chain worries, and you are talking about felixstowe, they are proving more persistent imports, in our truck stops and on our shopping shells and in those job vacancy figures as well. that sets a dilemma
for the likes of the bank of england governor andrew bailey, who is here meeting his counterparts. it means for him that he has to decide when interest rates go up. the markets were not anticipating this would happen until the end of next year and they are pencilling it in for this year in december. recovery is important but there are key trade—offs between inflation and interest rates. trade-offs between inflation and interest rates.— trade-offs between inflation and interest rates. many thanks again. faisal islam _ interest rates. many thanks again. faisal islam in _ interest rates. many thanks again. faisal islam in washington. - faisal islam in washington. the united kingdom is not ready for the impact of climate change that's the warning from the environment agency. it says hundreds could die in floods unless the places where people live, work and travel are made more resilient to the increasingly volatile weather. the data suggests even a small rise in global temperatures could mean that by 2050 rivers could peak at levels around 30 percent higher than today posing a huge risk of flooding. but in summer it's a very different picture with droughts and river levels dropping dramatically and a threat to water supplies.
towards the end of the century sea levels in the thames estuary could be almost half a metre higher meaning a bigger thames barrier would be needed. 0ur science editor david shukman has the story. a street in cardiff became a dangerous river earlier this month after a massive downpour. it was a similar scene in newcastle after torrential rain there. and, around the same time, london was engulfed, raising questions about how we'll cope as climate change makes the weather even more violent. but the biggest shock came in germany lastjuly, a surge of water tore through communities. 200 people were killed and the fear is of disaster here on a similar scale. the weather events that we saw in europe this summer could happen here in england, and we need to be ready to save lives.
we need to recognise that it's adapt or die. the environment agency is being deliberately blunt so that its recommendations are heard. for homeowners and businesses to take basic steps to make their properties safe. to restore landscapes like forests so they hold rain water before it causes floods. and for bigger investments by governments in defences that can handle projected rises in sea levels. already the thames barrier, defending london, is being closed far more often than planned — a trend that will continue as the polar ice keeps melting, raising the height of the oceans. with its network of tunnels under the river, the barrier was designed decades ago and may not be big enough in future. the great steel gates are holding back a phenomenal volume of sea water that would otherwise enter
the city and potentially cause disaster, which is why climate change matters so much here. they're constantly watching the projections for how much the sea is going to rise, and it's also why we'll probably need a bigger barrier by 2070. but some stretches of the coast are not so lucky. homes in norfolk are being lost to the sea. the environment agency says it can't protect everyone. but since last year, when i met lorna bevan thompson, a local business owner, the waves have come much nearer. they're saying we've got billions of money available but it's not coming to us and our coastline is getting eroded daily, and it's irreparable damage. in some parts of the uk the challenge will be too little water. a growing population and drier summers will strain supplies. the government says it is preparing the country for a more turbulent climate and it wants world leaders to discuss the risks
when they meet at the un summit in glasgow next month. david shukman, bbc news. the annual new year's eve firework display over the river thames in central london has been cancelled for a second year because of covid. up to 100,000 people usually attend the event which is broadcast around the world. city hall said it was axed due to the uncertainty caused by the pandemic. lord frost the minister who represents the uk in talks on the brexit settlement has called for significant changes to the northern ireland protocol. that's the deal which ensures there's no need for checks along the land border between northern ireland and the republic of ireland. the protocol was agreed and signed by both the uk and the eu but lord frost now says he sees a better way forward. the agreement meant that northern ireland would continue to follow eu rules on product standards.
checks would be made on goods entering northern ireland from england, scotland or wales. inspections would take place at northern ireland's ports. but that's prompted criticism that this arrangement has in effect created a border in the irish sea. the government's critics say this was perfectly clear when the deal was signed. the uk also wants to change the role of the european court ofjustice in overseeing these arrangements. lord frost said today he wanted to amend the protocol and support the good friday peace agreement in northern ireland. the protocol is not working, it's completely lost consent in one community in northern ireland. it's not doing the thing it was set out to do, protect the belfast good friday agreement. in fact it's doing the opposite. it has to change. lord frost there. the eu will set out its proposals tomorrow. 0ur europe editor katya
adler is in berlin. tell us a little more of what we can expect in terms of a response. i tell you what we will not expect, and that is that we really are on the edge of a looming trade war between the eu and the uk, the focus in european capitals just is on soaring gas prices, for example. here in berlin it is about forming a government after the elections. but that said, there really are definite tensions over the protocol which were alluded to today by lord frost. the eu tomorrow is going to set up what it says are practical solutions to concrete problems. it is going to look, for example, at reducing the number of checks on goods between great britain and northern ireland, making sure that medicines and move smoothly between great britain and northern ireland and the eu will pledge to engage more actively and
more frequently and with the administration in northern ireland and with businesses there as well. what it will not do is to address the demand made by lord frost today to get rid of the european court of justice's oversight role in the protocol. that is, the eu says, not just any old international treaty, it is an exceptional treaty looking at northern ireland after brexit. the european court ofjustice has oversight over the single market for goods and the customs union that northern ireland has remained a part of. it says it is a red line but for now both sides say they will keep talking, but the potential is there for things to get a lot messier. our euro -e for things to get a lot messier. our eumpe editor— for things to get a lot messier. 0ur europe editor in berlin. the queen has attended a service of thanksgiving at westminster abbey to mark the centenary of the royal british legion. the queen used a walking stick as she arrived and left the abbey — the first time she has done so at a major public event. the royal british legion is the largest armed forces charity
in the uk and organises the annual poppy appeal. in tonight's football, england drew with hungary in their world cup qualifier, but the match was marred by clashes between visiting fans and police, while scotland beat the faroe islands and northern ireland lost to bulgaria, asjoe wilson reports. england versus hungary at wembley. 0ne team taking the knee. in the crowd, one banner symbolising objection to an act of antiracism. early in the game, spectators in the hungarian section clashed with police. this was a reaction, police say, after they arrested a man for racially aggravated abuse towards a steward. it was the backdrop. it is the context. 0n the pitch, there was a penalty for hungary given for this challenge by luke shaw. the height of the foot was enough. and england were behind. commentator: and it's - an unexpected turn of events! well, after the plain sailing of their qualifying,
now they had to respond. reaction from john stones, 1—1 at half—time. stones came close to winning it. england's draw will require analysis. what happened in the crowd will, say the fa, be investigated. 200 miles north of home, scotland and their followers knew the reputation of the faroe islands. population of 50,000, almost 1—0 up here. thank you, craig gordon in goal. scotland's position, all their optimism demanded a win. there were four minutes left. there was lyndon dykes. one goal was as good as ten. qualifying ambition sustained. northern ireland's focus lies on tournaments beyond 2022. they led in bulgaria, lost 2—1. well, more experience for challenges to come. joe wilson, bbc news. that's it. now on bbc one, time for the news where you are. have a very good night.
hello. there are some bright spots in wednesday's forecast. there will be a little bit of sunshine around, but many places will stick with a lot of cloud. it should be mostly dry, not completely dry, though. at times, the cloud will be thick enough to produce the odd spot of light rain or drizzle. so, this is how wednesday morning looks, with extensive cloud, some spots of rain and drizzle coming from that cloud. but some brighter spells developing, too, across eastern scotland, parts of northern ireland, england and wales, particularly to the east of high ground. top temperatures, 14—17 degrees. it's going to be quite breezy in the north, with lighter winds further south. through wednesday night and into thursday, we keep a lot of cloud. there'll be some mist and hill fog here and there. still some spots of patchy rain and drizzle, and temperatures generally around nine, ten or 11 degrees. but some rain pushing into northern scotland. that will sink southwards during thursday across scotland and northern ireland. drier conditions further south, but as that rain continues to journey southwards,
this is bbc news, the headlines. there have been pledges to help the afghan people at a virtual summit of g 20 leaders, but many have stressed this doesn't mean recognising the taliban. the european commission president promised a support package of more than a billion dollars. the uk's initial response to the covid pandemic was one of the worst national public health failures ever, according to a report by mps. it says there was an attempt, in effect, to try to achieve herd immunity by infection. the british government minister responsible for overseeing brexit has proposed replacing the deal signed with the european union over northern ireland with an entirely new protocol. the protocol aims to prevent a hard border on the island of ireland while safeguarding the eu's single market. the singerjesy nelson formerly of little mix has denied �*blackfishing' in the video for her new single. the term is used to accuse someone of pretending to be black or mixed race in order to promote themselves.