tv BBC News at Ten BBC News February 2, 2022 10:00pm-10:31pm GMT
tonight at ten, ofgem, the energy regulator, is set to announce the biggest ever rise in energy bills. from april, households could face the prospect of gas and electricity prices rising by as much as 50%. single mum with limited income, it's very difficult to even turn the button on just now for central heating. the ofgem announcement is due tomorrow and ministers are considering offering financial help to some energy firms. also tonight: in northern ireland, ministers say there'll be no more checks on goods coming from the rest of the uk from midnight tonight. this young man ended his life having found a website with suicide advice — a bill going through parliament is said to be too weak to tackle the online threat. and as the six nations championship
approaches, the duchess of cambridge starts her new role as the patron of england's rugby football union and league. coming up in the sport on the bbc news channel, celtic and rangers go head—to—head in the old firm derby at celtic park. can the home side sealed the win to take them top? good evening. ofgem, the energy regulator, is set to announce the biggest ever rise in energy bills, with ministers understood to be preparing measures to ease the pressure on households. the announcement is due tomorrow. every six months, ofgem reviews the maximum price that suppliers in england, wales and scotland can charge customers on a standard tariff. around 15 million households saw their bills go up by 12% when the last update happened in october. the new cap takes effect in april
and industry predictions suggest gas prices could rise by as much as 50%, taking the average annual bill to roughly £2,000. there is a separate energy market in northern ireland, where prices have also risen sharply. two energy firms have told the bbc that the government is planning to give them loans to help lower bills for customers. 0ur social affairs correspondent michael buchanan reports from glasgow. i'm lucky if i have breakfast in the middle of the afternoon to keep me going, and a snack at night. having cut down on food, sahada is now facing reducing herfuel. the hot water bottle eases the pain from her severe arthritis, as she can't afford to properly heat her flat after a 20% rise in bills. a single mum with limited income, it's very difficult to even turn the button on right now for central heating. how often do you put it on?
kind of every other day for about half an hour. around one in four homes in scotland are in fuel poverty, the highest level in the uk, and those groups offering help have been inundated in recent weeks. you can't even afford to turn your heating on? do you have children in the house? at this support centre, they say rocketing energy prices, rising food costs and the £20 a week cut to universal credit have combined to create real struggles. some people are borrowing, some people are just deciding, "do i eat tonight or do i put on my heating? do i go without food for x amount of days to have electricity to give my children a hot bath?" this mum of three needed help with food and fuel from a hub after her energy prices more than doubled. i've just bought some groceries there, and i'm left with £15 to take me to next week. i'm trying to feed three kids, plus put £70 in the meter.
it's nearly impossible. colder weather and poor energy efficiency mean many scottish consumers were already struggling with their bills. various government programmes like the warm home discount do help, but reports of further aid have been welcomed. people are already struggling, so anything that eases that pressure on households is really welcome, especially if it's targeted effectively at households that are most vulnerable. there was a big bang. unfortunately, we lost three of our garage windows in the process! gary's house looks onto this power station. he worked there before it was decommissioned, but he now relies on a charity, the fuel bank foundation, to heat his home. spinal cancer ended his career, and looming price rises add to the stress. i'm talking about a 30% increase in bills. you know, we don't have the ability
to meet those needs, so i will be basically on my own. the irony of living by a former power station while being in fuel poverty isn't lost on gary shields. he fears a gloomy future, so if government help is coming, like all consumers, he wants it quickly. michael buchanan, bbc news. our business editor simonjack is here. we heard there about the real anxiety there is in so many hassles about what is coming. when we mention government help, what is that likely to be as make the plan thatis that likely to be as make the plan that is emerging, and company bosses i have spoken to are expecting, has two parts, the first and near universal cut in energy bills across the board. ., , :: :: _, universal cut in energy bills across the board. ., , 11:1 , universal cut in energy bills across the board. ., , i: i: . ., , ., the board. could be £200, could be a bit more. the board. could be £200, could be a bit more- that _ the board. could be £200, could be a bit more. that would _ the board. could be £200, could be a bit more. that would be _ the board. could be £200, could be a bit more. that would be funded - the board. could be £200, could be a bit more. that would be funded by i bit more. that would be funded by loans from the government to the energy companies, which they would pass straight through, but they would recoup that in future years. so you bake in, if you like, higher prices for longer over the intervening years. the second, an expansion of the eligibility
criteria and the generosity of certain schemes, for example, the one home discount scheme, and perhaps tweaks to benefits. they describe this as credible, doable, and they are expecting to happen, but questions remain. problem one, if it is £200, that's not going to make up the £700 rise that people are going to see, so it's not going to be enough for many. the second one, with this loan system, it defers but does not remove the pain. and it also relies on the fact or the assumption that wholesale energy bills or costs are going to be much lower in years to come, and that is something the energy experts think is farfrom certain. in something the energy experts think is far from certain. in fact, something the energy experts think is farfrom certain. in fact, it is unlikely and that is before you consider what is going on in ukraine. the third thing i am hearing is that up to now, energy bosses have said they have been in the dark about what the treasury are doing. they are saying, you're going to need our involvement in this. these are complex things to implement and we are not sure we have enough time to put them in place before the bills rocket the
way you have just heard on april the 1st. bear in mind that citizens ist. bear in mind that citizens advice said today that they are having record numbers of people consulting them about energy difficulties, and that is before we have seen the impact of this price rise, sojust have seen the impact of this price rise, so just an have seen the impact of this price rise, sojust an indication of have seen the impact of this price rise, so just an indication of how acute this cost of living squeeze could be. ,, ., _, . ~ ., acute this cost of living squeeze couldbe. ,, ., ., ,, ,, could be. simon jack, our business ednon in northern ireland, the agriculture minister edwin poots has ordered his officials to stop carrying out checks on goods entering northern ireland from the rest of the uk from midnight tonight. checks had been carried out as part of the brexit deal known as the northern ireland protocol. mr poots is a member of the democratic unionist party, which is opposed to the protocol, which in effect keeps northern ireland in the eu single market. 0ur ireland correspondent emma vardy has the details. it's the most defiant step yet from the dup, to frustrate the brexit arrangements in northern ireland. since the uk left the eu, goods from
britain have had to undergo new checks when they reach northern ireland's ports. tonight, the dup department responsible for operating these checks has ordered civil servants to stop carrying them out. i have now issued a formal instruction to my permanent secretary to halt all checks that were not in place on the 31st of december 2020 from midnight tonight. i will prepare a paper for executive consideration in the nearfuture i will prepare a paper for executive consideration in the near future to seek a way forward. thank you. the new checks — seek a way forward. thank you. the new checks on _ seek a way forward. thank you. the new checks on goods crossing the irish sea were part of the brexit deal that the uk government signed up deal that the uk government signed up to to avoid the need for checks on goods which travel into the irish republic. for unionists, who view this as effectively severing northern ireland's place in the uk, they have been a source of much contention. but it's an arrangement which is supported by other parties in northern ireland. the government in dublin says ordering the checks to stop goes against an
international treaty. to stop goes against an international trea . , ., ., international treaty. the protocol as art of international treaty. the protocol as part of an _ international treaty. the protocol as part of an international - as part of an international agreement. it was agreed and ratified by the uk and the eu, and so to deliberately frustrate obligations under that treaty, i think, would be a very serious matter indeed. i think it's essentially playing politics with legal obligations.— essentially playing politics with legal obligations. what is not clear to me is how _ legal obligations. what is not clear to me is how civil _ legal obligations. what is not clear to me is how civil servants, - legal obligations. what is not clear to me is how civil servants, who i legal obligations. what is not clear| to me is how civil servants, who are responsible for border checks here, will react tomorrow. there are conflicting views in the northern ireland government over whether the order is lawful, and the first lorries carrying goods will begin to roll off the ferry is here just after 6am. 0ther roll off the ferry is here just after 6am. other parties at stormont have accused the dup of a political stunt head of the elections in may. more than a year since the brexit arrangements were put in place, they are still at the heart of political division and uncertainty.
for the moment, it appears that the uk government isn't going to intervene, saying that the operation of the checks here is a matter for the northern ireland executive. but that approach isn't going to make the eu happy at all. one eu diplomat told the bbc tonight that it feels that the country of law and order is in danger of becoming lawless. 0f in danger of becoming lawless. of course, what happens tomorrow, we will have to see, when civil servants turn up for work here, but this is all happening while at the same time, the eu and uk negotiate to try and make life easier when it comes to the brexit arrangements. this might make the move more difficult. many thanks for the latest in the port of belfast. emma vardy. the long awaited plans for tackling regional inequality have been unveiled by the government with the promise of betterjobs, education, housing and transport for overlooked communities. the cabinet minister in charge, michael gove, said the aim was to close the gap between rich and poor by the end of the decade. labour described the proposals as lacking in ambition and funding.
0ur political correspondent alex forsyth has been to the constituency of gedling in nottinghamshire, which the conservatives won from labour in 2019. we need to tackle and reverse the inequality that is limiting so many horizons. they tell us to wait until 2030, but where have they been? beyond westminster, gedling is one of those places some might say has been overlooked. so at this local allotment, the idea of growth in neglected parts of the country is welcome, though cautiously. on paper, it looks good. i think the ideas generally there are very sound. my doubt is always about this ability to put it into action. this group has been paying attention. nottinghamshire is one of the places in line for more powers from westminster, possibly a mayor, like those in london or greater manchester, all part of a plan to give places like this more political and economic clout. so are they convinced?
the things that people have been talking about as symbolising that, things like the electrification of the railway line up to nottingham, hsz, they have disappeared before this thing has even started. we have seen wish lists before. we need actual, how. is this going to happen? the government does have a list. better transport is one of 12 missions. 0thers — more home owners, improving education outcomes, better broadband, with fixed targets and pledges to keep track of progress. ministers are trying to turn a slogan into a strategy, shed light on what has lacked clarity. this country won't achieve its full potential until every individual and community achieves everything of which they are capable. our economy has been like a jet propelled by only one engine. now we need to fire up every resource we have. and the economic prize from levelling up is potentially enormous. labour, though, says this planjust re—packages old ideas and spends
money already announced that won't undo years of austerity. ministers scurrying around whitehall, shuffling the deckchairs, cobbling together a shopping list of recycled policies and fiddling the figures. is this really it? many communities have been made big promises, not least places that voted tory in 2019. there has been a lot of political focus on places like gedling in the midlands and north. now some in rural and coastal areas are warning they can't be overlooked. the government says this is about improving opportunity for everyone, but acknowledges that will take time. the question is whether people have the patience. take collette. she always backed the conservatives, but says today's plan won't make a difference to the daily struggle forfamilies and businesses like hers. we want to see the funding. we don't want it trapped in a council balance sheet. we want it in our banks so that we can employ people, protect apprentices, actually pay people more.
i think it's white noise. today was an attempt to shed light on what the government says is its key mission. the question, of course — will it cut it? alex forsyth, bbc news, nottinghamshire. three more conservative mps have publicly called for borisjohnson to resign as prime minister and have submitted letters of no confidence because of his handling of the scandal over lockdown parties in downing street. two are former ministers — tobias ellwood and gary streeter. a minimum of 5a is required to trigger a no confidence vote, as our political editor, laura kuenssberg, reports. does your party still back you, prime minister? - the fundamental question. if borisjohnson�*s party wants him out, his power to live in this street, to stop the traffic, that all disappears. turning up for the weekly bout to hear the opposition parties only too content to poke fun. the prime minister has more chance of persuading the public that he didn't hold any parties
than he has of persuading them that the economy is booming. the prime minister is now a dangerous distraction at home and a running joke on the international stage. at the despatch box, as in his party, he tried to keep control. we are getting on with... we are getting on with the job. yet pondering in parliament, one by one, more tory mps think his time is up. this former minister was never a huge fan, but believes mrjohnson has to go. cut to the chase. call a vote of confidence in himself so we, everybody in the party, in the parliamentary party, can make a judgment today rather than allowing this car crash to continue. and how many of your colleagues do you think share your views? we don't see any solutions. we don't see any off ramp to take us out of here. and you therefore have to go through the very miserable period, chapter, of going through a leadership process. another mp, elected in 2019, anthony mangnall, said he couldn't
put up with the prime minister's "mistruths" any more. and then there were three. gary streeter, elected in 1992, wrote he cannot reconcile the public�*s pain with what happened in number 10. the bbc�*s aware of the 17 tory mps — some private, some public — who have submitted letters of no confidence to try to trigger a contest — far from the 5a the would—be rebels require. but it's on many others' minds. i've given it serious thought. and has told the prime minister as much. i don't think it's irreparable, but we can't afford any more slip—ups, mistakes, misspeaks. can you say hand on heart today that borisjohnson will be the leader who takes the conservatives into the next election? no, i can't. no. 0ught he to be? i don't know the answer to that. the prime minister's always had malcontents who refused to fall in line,
and only two years ago, as ministers point out, achieved the brute force of an 80—seat majority. you can't please everyone - all the time within your political party, let alone across the country, but, look, i have confidence - in the prime minister— because ijudge him by what he's delivered for the country. borisjohnson and his team are fighting to stay at the top, yet each day brings more risk that his leadership could slip away. laura kuenssberg, bbc news, westminster. borisjohnson has spoken to to president putin of russia today and warned him that a further incursion by russian troops into ukraine would be a tragic miscalculation. the kremlin described the conversation as a "detailed exchange of views". meanwhile, president biden confirmed the us will be sending more troops to europe this week to bolster defences. some 2,000 will be sent from the us to poland and germany and a further 1,000 already in germany will go to romania. away from the military tension,
what do russian citizens think of the prospect of a full scale war in ukraine? 0ur correspondent steve rosenberg reports from the city of vladimir. bell tolls in russia, putin is but one of many vladimirs. this is vladimir, the town. it was founded by a medieval prince who ruled from kyiv — a reminder that russia and ukraine have common roots. andre's mother is from ukraine. he calls the two countries brotherly nations, but he clearly sees russia as big brother. translation: russia must have a sphere of influence. | it is a superpower. smaller countries can ally with whoever they choose, but it is up to big countries to help them decide.
i find that many russians do believe what they are being told — the constant stream of claims in the state media here that it is ukraine and the west that risk turning a cold war hot. at vladimir market, though, on people's minds are troubles on the home front, economic ones. lydia is trying to sell produce from her garden. the money she makes here is a lifeline. "the situation in ukraine is a worry," lydia says, "but so is the russian economy. prices are rising on everything. my pension is barely enough to survive on." with all the problems russians have right now, economic hardship, the coronavirus pandemic, there is little appetite here amongst the public for a full—scale war with ukraine, let alone a war with the west,
but that doesn't mean russians don't fear such a war. many do. with east—west tension close to boiling point over ukraine, iten and her husband viktor blame their government. they believe the russian authorities have created imaginary enemies as a distraction. so, they want us to hate, they want us to imagine i that there is an enemy— because there must be an enemy, otherwise people will focus on the problems they have| and will be focusing on what's| wrong, why they are not living the life they could live - if the government would be different, if the policy could be different. . so, will russia compromise, or will there be conflict? iten knows that will depend on the other vladimir, russia's current leader, back in moscow. steve rosenberg, bbc news, vladimir.
just over 3 million people in the uk tested positive for covid last week, according to the latest estimate from the office for national statistics. that's a small rise on the week before. the number of people testing positive in england and scotland remained unchanged, but it rose in wales and northern ireland. the latest daily figures show 88,085 new cases recorded in the latest 24—hour period. on average, 89,148 new cases were reported per day in the last week. the number of people in hospital with covid has fallen to 15,233. a big rise in the number of deaths has been reported — 534 in the latest 24—hour period, that's of people who died within 28 days of a positive test, though there will be some within this number who did not die of covid. today's figure is higher than usual as it includes deaths that took place after a reinfection. on average in the past week,
258 deaths were announced every day. 0n vaccinations, more than 37.3 million have now had a boosterjab, which means 65% of people aged 12 and over have now had three vaccine doses. the new online safety bill going through westminster isn't "fit for purpose" according to the samaritans charity, which is calling on the government to strengthen the proposed law to ban websites advocating suicide. they're backed by the family ofjoe nihill, who ended his life aged 23 after he found a website where other users told him how to buy poison. the government says the new bill will bring accountability to internet firms by giving them legal duties to protect uk users from harm. 0ur correspondent angus crawford has the story. some viewers may find his report distressing. imagine a website where the sad and lonely learn how to die.
that website exists. and joe nihill, who was 23 and struggling with depression, found it. telling people to die, to take their life, it's not going to get any better. they're monsters. joe went looking for help, but was encouraged to end his life. the site even showed him where to buy the poison he used. "i've advised over 1000 people how to end their life." his mother catherine and sister—in—law melanie want it shut down, but it's still there, pulling in the desperate and the vulnerable. ifjoe had not found himself on there, we could have had a more fighting chance that... he'd still be here. it needs to go. it needs... it needs banning.
the whole thing needs to go. it's disgusting. we are not naming the site because we don't want others to find it. there are detailed instructions on suicide methods, even people posting their final messages. and there are users looking to find suicide partners, to die together. italy and germany have restricted access to the site, but in the uk, it's still freely available. we know of 21 suicides in britain linked to this site, but there may be many more. jeremy keeling found the site, and someone to sell him poison, sent all the way from eastern europe. but at the last minute, he did not take it. i know what it's like to bei in a situation where you're in the darkest place you've ever been and you don't feel - as though that will end.
you feel is if there's no light at the end of the tunnel. - don't give up. jeremy is now recovering and well supported, but angry the authorities have not done more to take the site down. i think they're out of touch. i think they don't know- the details of what's going on, to be honest with you. there is a site out there - that is coaching british citizens on how to end their life _ and something needs doing about it. the government says it's already illegal to encourage or help someone to take their own life, and the new online safety bill will further strengthen legislation. but will it? some charities don't think so. in its present form, the bill is not fit for purpose. it's very focused on under 18s, which is crucial of course, we must protect our children. but we have to recognise that there are vulnerable adults. you don't stop having thoughts of suicide or self—harm just because you become 18 years old. it's signed, joe nihill. "please do your best in closing that
website for anyone else and look after my mum and my family." i miss my son. joe left a note, asking the police to shut down the website. his family say they won't stop until it, and others like it, are gone for good. it's just there for anybody to find. how many more lives are going to be taken before... they do something? angus crawford, bbc news. if you are suffering distress or despair and need support, including urgent support, a list of organisations that can help is available at bbc.co.uk/actionline, or you can call for free to hear recorded information on 0800 066 066. the duchess of cambridge has started her new role as the patron
of england's rugby football league and rugby football union. the roles were previously held by prince harry who ended his relationship with the games when he stepped down as a working royal. 0ur correspondent sarah campbell reports. hoping to give english rugby a lift, the players were certainly impressed with their new patron's performance on the pitch. she's seriously skilful. like, it was really impressive. we thought we'd throw her in the scrum, so... i'm not sure she loved it, but we threw her in there. you know what she did, she was great. until last year, prince harry was english rugby's royal cheerleader. a lot�*s changed since this picture was taken back in 2015 at the world cup. with prince harry, his wife meghan and now prince andrew all losing their royal patronages, the queen and the family are working out which of the remaining royals are best placed to take on more positions.
and the captain of the women's team couldn't be happier with harry's replacement. i think women's rugby in this country is going to take off domestically and internationally, so, yeah, hopefully to have her as an advocate and, like, pushing in that direction is really important. england kits for the cambridge children, who are rugby fans, according to their mum. the only issue may be with dad, as prince william is the patron for welsh rugby. she said that they're pretty. competitive in their household between the two of them, - so she's not really too sure how it's going to go down - when england play wales. during this six nations, expect the royal rivalry to be as fierce as that on the pitch. sarah campbell, bbc news, twickenham. we are looking forward to it! that's it. now on bbc one, time for the news where you are. have a very good night.
the us has confirmed it is sending 2000 more troops to europe, in a response to what it says is the current security environment. they'll go to poland, germany and romania. the deployment will not be permanent, and the pentagon says they will not fight in ukraine. moscow has described the deployment as �*destructive,’ and russia's president, vladimir putin, has told borisjohnson in a phone call that nato is ignoring its concerns about security. turkey says 12 migrants have frozen to death near the border with greece after greek officials turned them back. a greek minister said the claims were baseless and that the deaths were a tragedy. a minister in the northern ireland assembly has ordered his officials to suspend the post—brexit checks on goods being moved between the province and mainland great britain.