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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 17, 2021 8:00pm-8:46pm GMT

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this is bbc news. i'm shaun ley. the headlines at 8pm. victory for the liberal democrats in the north structure by election. they call that a watershed moment as they overturn a conservative majority of 23,000.- they overturn a conservative majority of 23,000. boris johnson, the -a majority of 23,000. boris johnson, the party is — majority of 23,000. boris johnson, the party is over- — majority of 23,000. boris johnson, the party is over. your _ majority of 23,000. boris johnson, the party is over. your governmentj the party is over. your government will be held accountable. you will be scrutinised, it will be challenged and a candy will be defeated. , , , defeated. this is the seventh bi . . est defeated. this is the seventh biggest by — defeated. this is the seventh biggest by election _ defeated. this is the seventh biggest by election swing - defeated. this is the seventh biggest by election swing in i biggest by election swing in history. the prime minister has excepted response religion for his defeat. —— responsibility. i hear what the voters are saying in north shropshire and, in all humility, i've got
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to accept that verdict. more than 93 thousand coronavirus cases in the last 2a hours. chancellor rishi a sunak has cut short a trip to the us. in other news, for young boys have been killed in a fire in south london. a27—year—old woman has been arrested on suspicion child neglect. coming up on tonight's newswatch, has bbc news focused too much on the government's political troubles? we begin this hour with some
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breaking news. the cabinet secretary simon case has stepped down from leading the inquiry into downing street christmas parties as a result of allegations that his office held a party last december 17 a year ago today. members of simon case's private office, invitations went out. he denies the allegations, but the person responsible for previous investigations of controversies involving politicians is to be put involving politicians is to be put in charge of the inquiry in simon case's case. more now from nick eardley. you did say an hour ago, and in the next hour counts as a wee while. �* , ,., , and in the next hour counts as a wee while. �* ,,., , ., and in the next hour counts as a wee while. �* , ., , while. absolutely. it had become re while. absolutely. it had become pretty much _ while. absolutely. it had become pretty much inevitable _ while. absolutely. it had become pretty much inevitable that - while. absolutely. it had become| pretty much inevitable that simon case, the cabinet secretary, but have to stand back from this process because of the fact that various details about this quiz last christmas had leaked out over the course of the day, that's all been
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acknowledged now by the cabinet office, who say that staff who are office, who say that staff who are in the office had taken part in a quiz on the 17th of december last year, that mr case himself had not been involved but he did address those who were in the room at the end of his working day, there were some people who took part in that quiz remotely, but some who took part in the office, the cabinet office as they were people who were required to be in the office anyway, but as you say, within the last few minutes, it is been confirmed by number 10 that as a result of that, simon equitable stand back from the inquiry looking into all the litany of parties that of an alleged of happen in downing street —— simon case well. quite frankly, it would have been seen as a conflict of interest for mr case to stay in that job. you will be replaced by sue
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grey, who is a civil servant at the department for leveling up, communities and housing. she has described herself as a bit of a disrupter in the past, so i wonder if someone see this as a bit of a more difficult person in charge of this inquiry, that some in the conservative party today were saying they thought would exonerate the prime minister and those around him, but deeply embarrassing for downing street, quite frankly. the hope had been that by launching this inquiry, this story would be kicked into the long grass, that eventually we would get that report in the hope that it would clear people. instead it is rolling on and we are hearing about more more and accusations, none of which are good for the government. and it doesn't appear at all as if the government is able to keep the story of the front pages. that was the hope with the inquiry, that it would push it beyond christmas and people will be focusing on other
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things. they are not, they are still focusing on downing street. it is awkward, isn't it, for simon case? because being the cabinet secretary is the highest ambition for a public official, but it is something seen as an honest arbiter, in the heart of a very political place. you're seen as the man or woman people go to and say, then you sort this out? prime ministers get things sorted out, but also the prime minister listens to a cabinet secretary. if he is compromised in this way, you sort of are left with, who is not? absolutely. i suspect what the cabinet office would say in response to that is that mr case is not alleged to have broken any of the rules at this stage, but you're absolutely right. a top civil servant, for the boss of all the civil servants, to have another
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civil servants, to have another civil servant have to take over because you're seen as having a conflict of interest is hardly the position you want to be in, and i suppose there is also a question tonight about whether sue grey will not have to look into her boss's party, into what happened in 70 whitehall last year, and the big picture of all this is that boris johnson has been under huge pressure in the last few weeks, and the downing street operation has been left battered and bruised by so many different stories, so many different strands to the pressure, that the prime minister is under whether it is north structure today, the handling of the 0wen paterson sleaze allegations, the handling of other teams in parliament —— north shropshire. the rebellion on covid certification. all this does is continue that pressure on the prime minister, and it continues to paint the picture that some tory mps are terrified of, which is that as prime
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minister, borisjohnson does not have control, that the operation run him is not working properly, the people around him are not doing theirjobs as well as they could do, and ultimately the is to bad government, which puts the prime minister �*s position for some in question. minister 's position for some in cuestion. . ~ minister 's position for some in cuestion. ., , minister 's position for some in cuestion. . , ., question. nick eardley at westminster, _ question. nick eardley at westminster, think - question. nick eardley at westminster, think you | question. nick eardley at. westminster, think you very question. nick eardley at - westminster, think you very much. before you move on, just to say, interesting character. she ran a pub interesting character. she ran a pub in northern ireland during the heights of the troubles in a pub regarded in those days, to use crude language, bandit country, so she has had a lot of real—life experience well beyond whitehall, she also interestingly was the civil servant trusted to investigate an allegation against the cabinet minister andrew mitchell. in number of people read sworn he had been aggressive with a police officer who tried to stop him
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getting his bicycle into downing street. the third thing, a former member of the top team in the liver democrats during the coalition government, what he says about him in his memoirs, sue grey decide what happened, and if sue grey was not happy with something, he did not happen, did not get done, and i sue grey was not happy with something, did not happen, did not get done, nothing that is very interesting since insight into the sort of character the prime minister has now reached out to to try and get a grip of this particular allegation, the stories about parties, and try to draw a line under the affair. boris johnson says he takes personal responsibility for the conservatives crushing defeat in the north shropshire by election last night. the liberal democrats overturned a huge majority almost 23,000, won by nearly 6000 votes. you won't be surprised by their prop there it claims the prime minister's double has burst. it has been a toward week for the prime minister. 0ur
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political editor laura kuenssberg reports. three, two, one! they might not do subtle... it turns out that if you take the people for granted, there is a price to pay. ..but there was nothing subtle about the lib dems' dramatic burst of the tory bubble in this by—election. thousands upon thousands of voters switched sides. anger with the conservatives means a new lib dem is on their way to the commons. i think this is a watershed moment, and i think we brought new hope to the whole nation, who have been so worried and fed up with borisjohnson. we have now beaten the conservatives in two of their safest seats this year. cheering that may be ambitious, but about 4:15am, the liberal democrats smashed what had been a tory majority of over 20,000 in north shropshire. tired but jubilant after weeks of claims of sleaze and misbehaviour in downing street. borisjohnson, the party is over. thank you very much. thank you.
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many of the prime minister's mps blame the result for the chaos under his roof. does he? i am responsible for everything the government does, - and of course i take - a personal responsibility. what people have been hearing is just a constant litany of stuff| iabout politics and politicians, | and stuff that isn't about them. yet there is more. it emerged that this man's team, simon case, the most senior civil servant in the country, had a virtual quiz in the office called a christmas party in lockdown. he is the one investigating the whitehall parties. that seems unlikely to last. 232. jeering the mess began when the government tried to change the rules on mps' behaviour when a tory was found to have broken them. forgive my absence during some of the morning... unleashing a torrent of claims about big money for second jobs. then the cringeworthy footage of number 10 staffjoking about their christmas party.
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then on tuesday, the biggest rebellion of this government so far. borisjohnson is no stranger to drama, to epic highs and chaotic lows. but the political danger to him right now is real and intense. being pounded by voters in what should be the safest of tory seats is the finale of a terrible month brought about in part by a series of mistakes and misjudgments in number 10 itself. there are strong, public and fierce private calls for him to change how he does business, and warnings tonight of what might happen if he does not or cannot. the prime minister is now in last orders time. two strikes already, one earlier this week in the vote in the commons, now this. one more strike and he's out. the prime minister has always had enemies inside, but a former leader who backs him warns that he has to change. he is our leader and he will lead us
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to the next election. he will? are you sure of that? as long as he wishes to do it, he has the right to do it. the party has to get behind him, and he has to deliver on the basis that downing street and the departments are themselves structured and disciplined. that will be the key litmus test. you are essentially saying he has to change, and he has to make sure the way his government operates has to change or else? well, that is always the signal sent by the public when they feel that things have gone wrong, and the answer to that is very simple. it's not more of the same. number 10 may take some comfort from the fact that this by—election was a lib dem, not a labour breakthrough. but the cold reality — it's the prime minister who is being put on notice. laura kuenssberg, bbc news, downing street. let's speak now to sirjohn curtice, the pulling specialist. thank you very much for being with us. you
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have in a long day and night! but there is lot to talk about in this by election. a lot of by elections, you get the result, it is kind of gone and people are already thing about the next political drama, but but it is worth exporting a bit about that constituency, isn't it, and like reps this result ought for the conservatives even more than just losing a conservative seat, because arguably governments lose safeties and by elections, particular when they are unpopular secular two things in the size of the rebuff is the first. the conservative vote down on 2019. only one other postwar violation in which that figure has been exceeded in a seat that the party was trying to defend and only narrowly. that was the christchurch by election of
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1993, also a liberal democrat victory, when the party went down by 32 points. this is not an ordinary burst of the midterm blues. i have had some tory mps say, look, margaret thatcher use to lose by elections, we still went on to win general elections. the president is not that is under margaret thatcher, it is underjohn major, so that is not a happy president. this is not the kind of constituency in which you would expect the conservatives to find it difficult to keep their share of the vote. this was not of the chesham and amersham. this was a constituency where 55% of the constituency voted remain and where the conservative vote was clearly on the conservative vote was clearly on the slide, not least as a result of
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brexit. it is the kind of constituency where the voters had been satisfied brexit got done and that he might succeed in appealing to. maybe one interesting aspect of this is perhaps brexit as an election issue, this is a sign it may have worked its way through the system. it may not alter the way other document people could broad the relationship and not as strong as it was in 2019, but it is still as long as it was in strong as it was in 2019, but it is still as long as it was— strong as it was in 2019, but it is still as long as it was in 2017, and therefore still _ still as long as it was in 2017, and therefore still strong _ still as long as it was in 2017, and therefore still strong as _ still as long as it was in 2017, and therefore still strong as the - therefore still strong as the eu referendum.— therefore still strong as the eu referendum. ., , , ., referendum. the real lesson is not the brexit does _ referendum. the real lesson is not the brexit does not _ referendum. the real lesson is not the brexit does not matter, - referendum. the real lesson is not i the brexit does not matter, because
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the brexit does not matter, because the conservatives are far more popular the conservatives are far more .0 ula ., ., the conservatives are far more --oula ., ., ., the conservatives are far more no ula ., ., ., ., , the conservatives are far more “oula ., ., ., ., , ., popular among leave voters than remain voters. _ if you look at the drop in the conservative vote since party gate, it has been more or less the same. in other words, it is the issue on which the prime minister's stance has offended his supporters in both quarters and i think that is perhaps the way to understand not necessarily that brexit does not matter, but rather that if the public again to have come as they seem to have had, some serious doubts about the ethics and incompetence of the government, that affect his support on both sides of that divided.— affect his support on both sides of that divided. what about the other consolation some _ that divided. what about the other consolation some conservatives i that divided. what about the other - consolation some conservatives might take from the result, it is not great, it is not terrible, but thank goodness is lib dems! if it was
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labour, who were second place in 2019, and it would be fair trouble. that is a fair comment, but one thing we should note is this might be the by election that marks the return of the liberal democrats as occasionally a successful party of midterm by election protests, particularfor midterm by election protests, particular for conservative voters and also labour malcontents. that is and also labour malcontents. that is a role that they lost when they join the coalition with the conservatives in 2010 and none of thereby election victory since then, thin though they have been, have been in places where you would say, they would not normally expect to win. couple of them in very strong remain constituencies and the other was assisted by a pact with plaid cymru. we have the liberal democrats farming conservative votes and persuading labour voters to vote tactically in a constituency where there is no great previous liberal
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democrats strength. what labour voters are transferring to the liberal democrats, they were as upset as any with the coalition, and they have begun to forget. if that is the case, it does not mean the liberal democrats are about to enjoy another revival, avoided perhaps does mean is that another by election and a constituency with the liver democrats decide to try to unseat the conservatives might still prove to be a much more difficult challenge for the conservatives than we might have envisaged even 12 months ago. we might have envisaged even 12 months age-— we might have envisaged even 12 months ago-— months ago. professor sirjohn curtice, a _ months ago. professor sirjohn curtice, a fascinating _ months ago. professor sirjohn i curtice, a fascinating assessment months ago. professor sirjohn - curtice, a fascinating assessment of a changing, moving, politicalscene. it will be interesting to see what when he 22 brings us. if we don't have a chance to meet you before then, had a good christmas and a happy christmas to you. ——
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professor sirjohn curtice, who is probably not had sleep in the last 24 probably not had sleep in the last 2a hours! thank you to him. so for the first time since 1832... key date in british political history. north shropshire had in every election until last night voted for a conservative mp. 0ur political correspondent alex forsyth has been out speaking to voters there finding out what made so many of them change their mind. as the sun came up, north shropshire awoke to a new political landscape. liberal democrats, 17,957. cheering
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this solid tory turf had been shaken. north shropshire! by mid—morning, the lib dem victor had arrived in 0wsworth street to much fanfare. as they celebrated, onlookers contemplated what had happened and why. i'm not a big fan of borisjohnson. he's disappointed all of us. not everyone was thrilled the conservatives had lost. it's very sad when you think they've held it for 200 years, nearly. but for others, it was a moment to mark. i am very happy because it has smacked boris in the face. why did you vote for them? to get boris out. why? just everything, all the parties and everything that they've been having, because i lost a sister to covid. there is clear anger here at recent events in westminster, and that fuelled the lib dem campaign. but for some, it runs deeper. saffron's grandfather was a conservative mp for north shropshire. he says he understands why people
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turned away from the party. it's part of a national mood, but i think also, it's this mood that is here as well. taken for granted that we'd always be conservative. for this councillor and long—standing tory member, it was a combination — recent events and the broader approach. what's coming out of number 10 is beyond the control— of north shropshire. what do you hope the national party takes away from this? that they can't take i anything for granted. maybe they forgot - their heartlands a bit. just two years ago, borisjohnson won a landslide at the general election, charging through old labour areas in the midlands and the north of england. the question is, can he deliver for those new tory voters without leaving more traditional supporters in places like this feeling overlooked? paul certainly feels that way. a local dairy farmer, he backed the lib dems for the first time, having voted conservative all his life.
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they want to look at themselves hard and long and say, "look, we need to get our act together and support businesses more and farming as well," from my own personal point of view, but i feel they really have let us down. of course, this was a victory in a single election in particular circumstances, but it is a sign for the conservatives that something is broken. how they respond could determine how long the damage lasts. joining me now is mark andrews, senior features writer for local newspaper the shropshire star. thank you very much forjoining us. at what point of the last few weeks did you start to think, actually, no, this is notjust a grumpy by election campaign in which people are saying, i'm not voting for the government, i am fed up, this is actually a seismic political event we are witnesses? i
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actually a seismic political event we are witnesses?— actually a seismic political event we are witnesses? ~' ., we are witnesses? i think the moment i saw the bookmakers _ we are witnesses? i think the moment i saw the bookmakers had _ we are witnesses? i think the moment i saw the bookmakers had made - i saw the bookmakers had made the liberal democrats favourites, slight favourites. the idea that even a month ago, not having a conservative mp for north rupture was unthinkable. that was the moment, and that particular video, where they were joking about the party, i think that was it. it is they were joking about the party, i think that was it.— think that was it. it is interesting eo - le think that was it. it is interesting people and _ think that was it. it is interesting people and talk about _ think that was it. it is interesting people and talk about this - think that was it. it is interesting l people and talk about this tonight, that north shropshire was a strongly pro—brexit constituency. in a sense, you might have thought the conservatives would have a degree of not only just conservatives would have a degree of not onlyjust because of the 200 years history but also a degree of credits in the bank they could draw on to help them through difficult periods like this one. what was the sense you are getting from people? i thick the sense i was getting, i think... very much,
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have not wanted to come out. it was a majority of 23,000, so half of the people voted previously came out, it might�*ve been a different story, but there's general feeling people did not want to come out, the conservative vote did not want to come out to vote. i think the other part, the other parties got behind this. i part, the other parties got behind this. ., ., _ ., this. i wondered how grumpy local labour activist _ this. i wondered how grumpy local labour activist might _ this. i wondered how grumpy local labour activist might in _ this. i wondered how grumpy local labour activist might in north - labour activist might in north rupture, because they were in second place at the general election. the lib dems havejumped ahead of them, but is that for them a price worth paying, do you think? == but is that for them a price worth paying, do you think?— but is that for them a price worth paying, do you think? -- in north shropshire- _ paying, do you think? -- in north shropshire. there _ paying, do you think? -- in north shropshire. there was _ paying, do you think? -- in north shropshire. there was a - paying, do you think? -- in north shropshire. there was a bit - paying, do you think? -- in north shropshire. there was a bit of - shropshire. there was a bit of a spat at the start of this campaign anyway, because the previous long serving labour candidate here was
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not considered for selection and he said he would not be supporting the new labour candidate anyway and it felt throughout the campaign that the liberal democrats campaign was more high—profile. ed davey visited five times and circus targeted not come once. five times and circus targeted not come once-— come once. the thing about by elections. _ come once. the thing about by elections, and _ come once. the thing about by elections, and people - come once. the thing about by elections, and people forget i come once. the thing about by i elections, and people forget this, if you are in a certain part of the uk were the seat has not changed hands, or not in a lifetime, they put you in, yeah, they would be voting for us, box. suddenly, a situation, everybody on the conservative side they had heard of were coming and quite a few people on the lib dems side was there too. did it develop a sense of a buzz or excitement in the place? 0r did it develop a sense of a buzz or excitement in the place? or has it been a dead campaign from that point of view? i been a dead campaign from that point
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of view? ~ . of view? i think it felt quite flat, actuall . of view? i think it felt quite flat, actually- you — of view? i think it felt quite flat, actually. you have _ of view? i think it felt quite flat, actually. you have a _ of view? i think it felt quite flat, actually. you have a few- of view? i think it felt quite flat, actually. you have a few of- of view? i think it felt quite flat, actually. you have a few of her. —— high—profile visits, but they tended to be pretty low—key. all the candidates, it was all very much on message, as it was. sometimes the reply in visits, we had boris johnson, we had michael gove, we did have a few front bench of labour. there was not angela rayner or keir starmer. ., , ., ~ , ., ., starmer. it does make you wonder if -a starmer. it does make you wonder if party headquarters _ starmer. it does make you wonder if party headquarters in _ starmer. it does make you wonder if party headquarters in london - starmer. it does make you wonder if party headquarters in london had . party headquarters in london had already concluded that the party was not going to win and all the momentum had gone to the lib dems. it is going to be aiden interesting couple of years for you and your colleagues. mark andrews, at the
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shropshire star, imagine you had a late night too, so we appreciate you making time. more on our lead story this hour. sue grey is in charge of the inquiry into parties at downing street. simon case... he walked through where the event was taking place on his way out of the office for the night. let's move on to talk about 0micron. for the third day in a row, the uk has had a record number just over 93,000 have been recorded in the past 2a hours — that's a rise of almost 40% in a week. in scotland, 0micron has become
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the dominant strain of covid. the first minister, nicola sturgeon, said the "tsunami of cases" she predicted last week is starting. nightclubs will close in wales from boxing day, and social distancing will also be reintroduced in shops and workplaces there. wales first minister mark drakeford also said more decisions on covid restrictions would be made on monday, in particular with regard to sports events. coronavirus cases are surging across other parts of europe too. in the last hour, the irish government has ordered bars and restaurants to close at 8pm from sunday to reduce the spread of the new variant. france is also dealing with a rapid rise in cases. at 11 o'clock tonight — british time — france is closing its borders to most british travellers to try to slow the spread of 0micron. here's our health editor hugh pym. boosting in barnsley. a walk—in centre set up yesterday. unlike at many other sites this week, there is no queueing. we've got a lot of vaccinators on—site and a lot of admin support, so patients are getting a really good experience.
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they are in, they are out and away. emily was one local resident who took advantage of the booster offer. we saw the signs up for the booster, and they said the queue was low, so we thought we would go for it and get in early. there was a big queue at a clydebank vaccine centre today, as the first minister said that omicron was now the dominant strain of the virus in scotland and warned people again to limit social mixing. if what matters most to you is spending time with your loved ones on christmas day, and i think that's what matters right now to most or many of us, don't risk that by going out before then and possibly catching covid because the reality is, if you are mixing with others just now, getting this virus is a real and increasing risk. the spread of omicron in the uk has led to a french government travel ban on british tourists from 11pm tonight. visitors will need a compelling
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reason to enter france. the virus is already putting pressure on the french health system, with a new wave of cases. translation: the hospital icu is currently at full capacity, - as patients have been coming in for the past 20 days. 70% of the icu patients are positive covid cases. concerns are growing around europe. the uk's overall covid case rate relative to the population has gone up sharply, but france is not that far behind, and denmark in recent days has seen a steep increase, and that's been linked to 0micron. the danish government is proposing new restrictions, including closing theatres and cinemas and limiting the numbers of people in shops. there were warnings too from the european commission president. we know that the 0micron variant is really threatening us. it is spreading at a ferocious pace and potentially has the risk of escaping our vaccines, at least partially.
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but there's more positive news on the impact of boosters on 0micron. a preliminary uk study suggests they may be as much as 85% effective in preventing people needing hospital treatment. hugh pym, bbc news. let me bring you an update on data. as on vaccinations. the good news is... 936,480 jabs in all had been jabbed into british arms. that is the highest figure today, so the nearest comparison i could give you is that in march of this... until now, this was the highest figure ina single in a single day, that is exceeded by
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about 15,000 jabs, and the ambitious target is to get to 1 million jabs every day by the end of december. tighter restrictions until the end of january with bars and restaurants them to close by eight o'clock. the latest coronavirus figures showed that there are new infections recorded in the latest 24 hour period. highest so far in the pandemic. when average 60,000 cases reported every day over the last week. there hundred 11 deaths, people dying within 28 days a positive test result which means the average number of deaths has surpassed seven days and 113 a day. total number of people who died with covid—19 recorded on the last on their death certificate was up in the, i'm sorry i do not have the
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figures at hand. 147,000. apologies for that. figures at hand. 147,000. apologies forthat. let's figures at hand. 147,000. apologies for that. let's take a look at the weather and. hello there. we've seen mixed fortunes of the weather today with this area of high pressure in some areas of been chilly, but sunny all day. other areas have been really grey and gloomy with spots of drizzle. this area of high pressure isn't going anywhere fast. it's sticking around through the weekend bringing a lot of dry but cloudy weather. there will be some sunshine around, also some dense fog to watch out for. it will also be turning a bit cooler, i think you'll notice that during the course of sunday across more northern and eastern areas. tonight, we'll start to see a return to this dense fog across parts of northern and eastern england in particular. skies will be clearer further north and so it will be chilly here with the touch of frost further south. the thickest of the cloud means temperatures won't be quite as low. so, we start saturday off
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on a relatively mild note across the south, a lot of cloud and gloomy with you. dense mist and fog will be clear across northern eastern england, and you will see some sunshine here, the same too across scotland so, potentially another bright day here, albeit cool. further south, it's going to be mild but grey. this is bbc world news, the headlines inquiry into christmas parties of downing street. secretary of the department for leveling up housing and community will now lead the investigation. the secretary is stepping back in the role after allegations of the christmas gathering in his own office. although he claimed to have no part in that alleged event. elsewhere, victory for the liberal democrats and the bye election and the resulting early on friday morning. they called it a watershed moment as the conservative majority of 23,000.
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borisjohnson, the party is over. your government will be held accountable and it will be scrutinised, it will be challenged and it will be defeated. the prime minister has _ and it will be defeated. the prime minister has accepted _ and it will be defeated. the prime minister has accepted personal. minister has accepted personal responsibilities for the party's defeat. iii}i responsibilities for the party's defeat. ,, ., , ., defeat. iq with the voters are sa int defeat. iq with the voters are saying and — defeat. iq with the voters are saying and in _ defeat. iq with the voters are saying and in all— defeat. iq with the voters are saying and in all humility, - defeat. iq with the voters are saying and in all humility, i i defeat. iq with the voters are i saying and in all humility, i have to accept that verdict —— i hear. 92,000 fresh case of coronavirus infections in the highest in the number since the pandemic began. and the chancellor richey sumac is meeting representatives of businesses tonight after returning from united states to deal with the impact of the omicron variant. —— rishi sunak.
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hotels restaurants have reported large numbers of cancellations and some of the busiest times of the year. let's talk to the director of policy and governance at the institute, member of the organisation for company directors senior business leaders and entrepreneurs. thank you very much for talking to us this evening and again, it is godiva on the programme. let's start, if we can, with some of these practical questions about where the booth at businesses would ideally like to get to the government as a result of this meeting tonight. i to the government as a result of this meeting tonight.— to the government as a result of this meeting tonight. i think that the government _ this meeting tonight. i think that the government thought - this meeting tonight. i think that the government thought they i this meeting tonight. i think that i the government thought they probably would not need to provide any support for businesses because this time around, the contrast of the situation, they're not really telling any businesses to close down, but the impact on business
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simply due to changing consumer behaviour and customer confidence is really severe particularly in hospitality, retailand really severe particularly in hospitality, retail and those kind of industries and i think the effects on the bottom lines can be found after christmas because they are relying on this christmas to really boost their financial situation but they did not have a proper christmas last year and now they're going to experience more in london percent down and what they are expecting. i will really hit home for businesses going into the new year and what could the government do to ease the burden? it certainly should look at business rates relief and at the moment, the government is planning to phase a business rates relief and i think that it's really not appropriate now. so, the government needs to act there. the government also shouldn't be increasing the vat rate in
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hospitality back up to 20%. that is something it should do. and there grants available which actually now need to be spent on helping business and even those pots of money may not be sufficient in terms of what is needed. . , , be sufficient in terms of what is needed. ., , , , ., be sufficient in terms of what is needed. .,, , ,., .., . needed. there has been some concern that the money — needed. there has been some concern that the money is _ needed. there has been some concern that the money is available _ needed. there has been some concern that the money is available and - that the money is available and spoken to finley to have direct impact on business more generally, what do you think is making particular companies nervous about the coming months in terms of coronavirus because a lot of the things that would've been scary and unknown are no longer scary and unknown are no longer scary and unknown because we have a better grip of how we can react and will we might do ourselves to make ourselves a bit safer. what is it that leaves you feeling perhaps a sense of deja vu but also a sense of frustration with the approach the government is
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taking at the moment? the with the approach the government is taking at the moment?— with the approach the government is taking at the moment? the thing that really worries — taking at the moment? the thing that really worries me _ taking at the moment? the thing that really worries me is _ taking at the moment? the thing that really worries me is the _ taking at the moment? the thing that really worries me is the cliff _ taking at the moment? the thing that really worries me is the cliff edge i really worries me is the cliff edge of increased costs which are likely to face business around by the end of march and april and so they'll have gone through this extremely difficult christmas period and then they'll be faced with the ranch of increased costs, and increase national insurance contributions which are really going to hit their investment plans. they are experiencing rising wage costs as it is and they're going to have to also stop paying higher living wages and then as i say, the business rates reliefs are going to be phased out, along with the vat relief and so, what really worries is how is business going to cope with this and inflation is going over 5% and a whole range of costs are hitting business as it is. so, i think this
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really makes the government standing back and not intervening in the situation, not really a valid position to take? irate situation, not really a valid position to take?— situation, not really a valid position to take? situation, not really a valid osition to take? ~ , ., position to take? we feel your pain but is no new _ position to take? we feel your pain but is no new money _ position to take? we feel your pain but is no new money available. i i but is no new money available. i think we have to have that conversation with governments make the case that the situation is changed over the last few weeks. i think the government was assuming were going to have a strong business recovery and that it was going to be good rates of economic growth going into next year and that will overcome some increased burden of higher taxes and higher costs. but i think the road is changed in the number of weeks and so, the government needs to rethink what it is doing. the government needs to rethink what it is doint. . ., ., government needs to rethink what it isdoint. .., ., .y ., is doing. the director of policy and governance. _ is doing. the director of policy and governance, thank _ is doing. the director of policy and governance, thank you _ is doing. the director of policy and governance, thank you very i is doing. the director of policy and governance, thank you very much | is doing. the director of policy and i governance, thank you very much this evening. breaking news. an update on the trial of maxwell, the daughter
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of the former tycoon leader robert maxwell. she announced that she will not be giving testimony on her own behalf. there will be no appearance in the witness box, to answer questions of ghislaine maxwell. we also bring you a little bit more history on this in terms of what were being told. she is not going to testify, even though she is the defendant, the living defendant in this criminal investigation of the sexual mistreatment of underage women. the allegation. and as low not testifying, she is going to maintain her right under the us constitution is protected right to say nothing without incriminating oneself. and their required testify to be fair, often don't. and the
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burden of proof less of the prosecution, they have to show that you did something, not the defence having to show that they did not. a 27 year old woman has been arrested on suspicion of child neglect after four children died in a house fire in south london last night. 60 firefighters were called to a house in sutton. london fire brigade confirmed that two sets of twin boys aged 3 and 4 were the only people in the house when they arrived. an investigation is underway to find out how the blaze began. not to serve a minimum of 40 or after being convicted of murdering his newborn daughter and then killing his new partner. jordan monaghan murdered two of his children — ruby, who was 24 days old,
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and logan, who was 21 months old, by smothering. he killed his new partner, evie adams, with a drugs overdose, six years later in 2019. kelly foran reports. ruby, held here by the very hands that took her life. logan, with his daddy, his killer. evie adams, his girlfriend. they were all alone withjordan monaghan when he murdered them over a period of six years. the way he presented in court, showed really no emotion during the time he was talking about the deaths of two of his children. ruby was just 24 days old when she was smothered during a night feed. logan was about to turn two. his daddy took him swimming, killed him in the changing rooms, then pushed him home in the pram. they were so young when they died, how do you think he managed to get away with it and mask what he was doing? because he was a father. he is very manipulative, he's clearly cold—blooded. jordan posed for photos and spoke
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to newspapers about the tragedy of losing two children. debt lay at the centre of deepening difficulties and, some three years later, he tried to murder another child on two separate occasions. what took so long, how has it got to the point where he's tried to murder a third child before being caught? the offences were investigated at that time. by the police? by the police. and the circumstances surrounding the collapses of both ruby and logan appeared, and were provided by the medical experts, as being natural causes. and also, we were wholly reliant on his account, initially. and initially, when you're dealing with the collapse of a child, you do walk a tightrope
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between suspicion and dealing with parents who are grieving, who have lost their children. he thought he had committed the perfect crime and got away with it. but police were compiling evidence. he was arrested and on bail when his new girlfriend died. he'd ordered and given her a cocktail of drugs, took her phone and left her to die. we now believe that jordan monaghan has staged that to make it look like a suicide. how often have you come across criminals like this in your career here in lancashire? i can't remember, in my 26 years of service, an investigation involving the murder of three individuals and the attempted murder of another spanning several years. it's certainly, as an experienced, senior investigating officer, the biggest and most complicated investigation i've ever worked on. it's exceptionally complex.
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it's the strictly come dancing final tomorrow night —

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