tv BBC News at Ten BBC News July 8, 2022 10:00pm-10:31pm BST
tonight at ten — the labour leader sir keir starmer is cleared by durham police of breaking lockdown rules. he'd promised to resign if he was fined following an event last april. he insisted today that honesty and integrity matter. it shouldn't be controversial to say that those who make the law can't break the law. and with the conservative leadership contest under way, the former chancellor rishi sunak formally announces his candidacy to replace boris johnson. we'll be live in westminster at the end of a turbulent week in british politics. also on the programme...
good evening. the labour leader sir keir starmer and his deputy angela rayner have been cleared by durham police of breaking lockdown rules. the force was looking into an event last april during election campaigning, when sir keir was pictured drinking a beer in the office of another labour mp. he'd promised to resign if he was fined. at the time, indoor socialising between different households was banned. but today, the police said there was no case to answer, because of an exemption to lockdown rules for "reasonably necessary work". our political editor chris mason is at westminster for us tonight. tonight we could have been talking about another leadership race here at westminster, the day after boris johnson announced his resignation we could have been reporting on sir keir starmer�*s resignation as well. but that won't be happening, courtesy of a decision in durham meaning sir keir will be sticking
around. april of last year — sir keir starmer�*s having a beer and a curry. was this in breach of the covid rules at the time? durham constabulary looked into it and, today, said no. people said to me i was taking a risk by saying i would step down if i was fined, but it was never about that. for me, it was a matter of principle. it shouldn't be controversial to say that those who make the law can't break the law. have you heard from durham police, sir keir? any comment on their investigation? it was the day after the local elections in may that keir starmer and his deputy, angela rayner, found out that they were under investigation by the police. it all related to an event in this building, which includes the office of the labour mp for durham. labour always argued they were working at the time. all this was potentially deeply awkward for sir keir because when borisjohnson and the former chancellor rishi
sunak were fined for this birthday gathering in downing street, the labour leader had called for them to resign. the guilty men are the prime minister and the chancellor. they've dishonoured all of that sacrifice. and when durham police started their investigation into him, he said... if the police decide to issue me with a fixed penalty notice, i would, of course, do the right thing and step down. the investigation effectively hit the pause button on his leadership for two months, with the prospect that his career could be about to be over. sir keir used his words to draw a contrast between what he saw as his integrity and the prime minister's lack of it, but, of course, mrjohnson has now resigned. chris, i think we've got you first. sir keir, whilst you must be relieved, isn't this the week that yourjob has actually got much harder with the resignation of borisjohnson, the man you've defined yourself against? no, not in the slightest.
the contrast between the tory party, which is tearing itself apart with a cast list of wannabe leaders who've all propped up this prime minister for months and months and months knowing he's unfit for office, contrast that to the labour party. keir starmer is staying, his opponent is changing, but who will it soon be? chris mason, bbc news, at westminster. the race to succeed the prime minister is very much under way. let's have a look at how it's all unfolding. rishi sunak launched his campaign for leader today, joining suella braverman and tom tugendhat in publicly declaring. others are expected to do so in the coming days. most of these mps and ministers haven't yet officially said that they want the job, but they're considered ones to watch. it's likely to be a crowded field of candidates. so what happens next? it's the group of backbench tory
mps, the 1922 executive committee, that formally decides the timescale of the contest. the committee is due to meet on monday, so after that we should know more about how long the process will take and the rules around it. to be eligible to run, as the rules stand at the moment, someone needs the backing of at least eight mps. all tory mps vote to whittle down that list. that happens over a number of days, until two candidates are left. then every member of the conservative party gets a vote on those final two — that's about 200,000 people. in the past, candidates have held hustings where they address voters around the country. whoever gets the most votes in that ballot becomes leader of the conservative party, and therefore prime minister, as our political correspondent alex forsyth now reports. the leadership race is on. will you be standing for the leadership?
though this morning, potential candidates were keeping quiet. are you going to be the next prime minister? no answer first thing from the former chancellor. then this afternoon, there was this. i'm standing to be the next leader of the conservative party- and your prime minister. rishi sunak, one of the first to quit borisjohnson�*s government, today launched a slick campaign on social media for his job. he's not the only one. tom tugendhat�*s announced he'd run this morning. the attorney general, suella braverman, has already thrown her hat in. the possible contenders are piling up — some familiar, some less so. they'll be courting supporters, weighing their chances, and preparing their campaigns. and while some want a quick contest to replace the prime minister, others say it's got to be thorough if the party's to rebuild. the conservative party has a choice. it can fall into fractious infighting, whoever leads it, or it can try and get behind the new leader and prepare for the general election, a general election which,
by the way, may be beyond any leader winning given the state of the economy and what's happened over the past few weeks and months. it's in here the first decisions will be made. mps whittle down the longlist to just two candidates. then, in theory, it's up to party members, though some have suggested that process could be cut out. not an idea welcomed by these young conservatives from around the country. there is more to a party than just what happens in westminster. us people at grass roots level are the ones who perhaps feel the wrath on the doorstep a lot more than those in westminster. to restore the faith in the government, i want to see more integrity, more honesty from leaders. and i don't know, if you don't pass that onto members who are voting, whether you will get that. better to take a bit longer and have to sort of work something out - in the meantime than choose quickly and choose wrong. _ westminster has calmed after the high drama of yesterday, but away from the microphones, there is still manoeuvring.
borisjohnson�*s been clear. he's staying on as prime minister until a new party leader's chosen even though some of his critics want him to go sooner. number ten says it will keep things running, but it won't announce new policy or make big economic decisions. so, the man in the highest office has only limited power. for now, though, he remains in residence behind the famous black door while his party wrangles over what and who comes next. alex forsyth, bbc news, westminster. uncertainty about who will lead the government comes as it faces some difficult choices. there are pressing questions about the direction of the economy, the demand on the nhs, and trade policy in northern ireland due to brexit. 0ur correspondents have been considering some of the challenges ahead. early this week, before the prime minister's resignation speech, the plan was that the new chancellor would review all tax and spend policy, with nothing off the table, so potentially a cut to vat,
a fast tracking of a planned income tax rise, perhaps cancelling the planned rise in corporation tax. that is now all being left to a new prime minister. but there are important decisions that will need to be made in the coming weeks. for example, 0fgem is planning to set a new level for the energy price cap for winter. that could be above £3,000. surely the government will want to respond in some way. and then, there is public sector pay. the review bodies have been reporting back to government, government has to respond. with inflation above 9%, what are they going to do? time is running out. health chiefs have already warned that the next couple of years could be even tougherfor the nhs than during the pandemic. hospitals are under extreme pressure, with more patients coming forward, some who held back during the lockdowns. ambulances are often delayed, a&e units are overcrowded. there is a backlog of people waiting
for planned treatment — operations like hip and knee replacements. and social care is extremely stretched. that means hospitals sometimes can't discharge patients who are medically fit to leave, so making it harder to find beds for those coming in. and there is a covid risk, with infections and hospital admissions rising. add to that a possible row with health unions over pay, and there is a lot for the nhs and social care to face up to, and ministers across the uk's nations. under borisjohnson, controversial new legislation had been set in motion to override part of the brexit agreement, the northern ireland protocol, which has created a new trade border in the irish sea. it's bitterly disliked by unionists here, and the aim has been to remove the need for new checks on goods coming to northern ireland, and to pave the way for the democratic unionist party to get back into stormont, because currently, northern ireland doesn't have a functioning government at all.
so while the new conservative leader is being elected, it is understood that protocol legislation will continue through parliament for now, but it will be strongly opposed by nationalist and cross community political leaders here, and by some in the conservative party itself, who see it as breaking an international agreement. so any new prime minister will have this big divide to deal with, and it is likely to be a feature of the leadership election. emma vardy along with hugh pym and faisal islam. one of borisjohnson�*s main policies was what he described as levelling up the country, in terms of investment and opportunities. but some local leaders are now concerned the policy might not be a priority for the new leadership. our special correspondent ed thomas has been to leigh, in greater manchester, which turned conservative for the first time at the 2019 general election. it's 50 years since astley mine closed, and with it, thousands of jobs lost.
once again, troubled days are back in leigh, a town that believed in the promises of borisjohnson. 2019, borisjohnson — levelling up, transforming places like leigh, what does that mean to you? not much. we're still as unlevel as we were. this town is dying on its feet. borisjohnson as prime minister meant hope for the walsh family. now, theirfaith is shattered. too many lies, dishonesty. it's not right. has life got worse for you over the past three years? yeah, bills rising. i've been at food banks. you have to cut down on your food, i whether or not you need a bath every day and clean your kids. it's basically as though we're begging for help now. i was happy to think that maybe, you never know, this time, this prime minister would actually do a bit better, but obviously not. two for £5! leigh is still to benefit from levelling up cash,
money to hopefully transform the town centre. too late for natalie's business. she's cutting costs, moving online, leaving the high street. people come in, there's families who want payment plans or things like that because they literally haven't got any spare money left. when people say to you levelling up, what does that actually mean to you now, three years on? it's supposed to make the town nicerand make it a nicer environment for everybody, and look around. there's nothing been done at all. i voted tory for the first time in my life... - for delia, there's unfinished business, a belief that borisjohnson should've been allowed to finish thejob. so, what do you want to say to people in the conservative party who basically said enough, borisjohnson, it's over? they've stabbed him in the back. they're supposed to be tories, . they're supposed to stand by him and they've not done. so, what next for towns like leigh? this is absolutely the defining moment for this government. either they stay the course
on levelling up, or they turn back and they will never be forgiven. henri murison is worried. a former labour councillor, he is now in charge of george 0sborne's northern powerhouse group. if the promises of 2019, levelling up, does not materialise, what are the dangers? it's the end of the conservatives in the north of england. it'll be the end of trust and faith in westminster, and finally, it will be economically an absolute disaster. the hope is that promises made are promises kept. ed thomas, bbc news, leigh. let's go live to our political editor chris mason tonight. and chris, at the end of this week of incredible political drama, what's your assessment of where we stand tonight? s, firstly keir starmer the labour leader is mighty relieved because his career could have been over, and instead, next week he will be able to start setting out the positive cases he would see for why people
should vote labour, but this whole process with police has gone on for so long, that borisjohnson, his principle opponent, has resigned and mrjohnson, because of all of his political woes has been a political target the size of a barn door for the labour leader and instead he will now face, well, a set of moving far gets, awe of the wannabe prime ministers who are contesting the conservative leadership. so that is keir starmer. what about the conservatives? they will start setting out their stall, it is happening already, you will see articles in the newspapers over the weekend, they are trying to grapple with finding answers to a huge question, what does it mean to be a conservative in 2022? we see a government at the moment that is high spending and high tack, will they want to continue with that. what about education and defence and foreign affair, huge questions for
them to grapple with, huge questions for keir starmer and the leaders of the other parties too. what has happened this week has started to reshape british politics, in the countdown to the next election. chris, thank you. you can find updates and more analysis on bbc news 0nline, bbc.co.uk/news, or by using the bbc news app. japan's former, and longest serving prime minister, has been assassinated during a campaign rally. shinzo abe was shot at close range while making a speech in nara, in the south of the country. he was taken to hospital by helicopter but doctors were unable to save him. police arrested a 41—year—old man immediately after the attack. there is shock and disbelief injapan, which has low rates of violent crime and tough gun laws. from nara, our correspondent
rupert wingfield—hayes reports. this was shinzo abe this morning, standing on a street corner, rallying support for his party in sunday's parliamentary elections. lurking a few metres away, this man was caught on camera by a local tv crew. then suddenly, two very loud bangs rang out. gunshots. mr abe's bodyguards are on the assailant in seconds. lying on the street, a strange looking gun made of steel pipes, and held together with black tape. the former prime minister is flown to a nearby hospital, but the news is bad. he has been hit in the back and neck, and his heart has stopped. this is where mr abe was brought, and this is where doctors worked for hours to try and save his life, and it was from here,
at a little after five this evening, that we got the news that mrabe had died. tonight, the whole ofjapan is in shock. there have been political assassinations here before, but nothing like this, certainly not in more than half a century. "i was really shocked," this lady says. "i never thought a gun would be used. "using a gun injapan? "i've never heard of this. "it seems guns are becoming more common." her husband says. "that makes me feel very sad." back in tokyo, prime minister fumio kishida could barely hold back the tears, as he went before the media. "i prayed that somehow his life would be spared," he says, "but unfortunately he has gone. "this is a terrible day, i have no words." this evening police began searching the suspect�*s home, reportedly finding more home—made firearms, but no clear motive.
from around the world, the tributes have been pouring in. from presidentjoe biden to borisjohnson, and mr abe's old golfing partner, donald trump. shinzo abe certainly had his detractors too, not the least of which was china's president xijinping. but he broughtjapan and america closer together than ever before. he championed free trade in the pacific, and served his country longer than any other leader. for that, he will be remembered. andrew pertjoins us live from far a. it seems hard to overstate the sheer amount of shock where you are? absolutely, jane, it is hard to overstate the amount of shock. this is just not a country of guns and gun violence, to give you an idea,
there are on average fewer than ten gun related deaths for the whole of japan each year, and that is why politicians think it is ok to stand on street corner, giving speeches without much protection, without screens, because this sort of crime is just unthinkable here. screens, because this sort of crime isjust unthinkable here. it is screens, because this sort of crime is just unthinkable here. it is also profoundly shocking because of who it happened to. it is difficult to overstate what a huge political figure shinzo abe was here, he dominated politics injapan, for a decade, like no other modern politician, and he believed that japan had to stop taking a back seat, stop following other countries like the united states on issued i like the united states on issued i like asia—pacific security, free trade and taking on the challenge of china, mrabe trade and taking on the challenge of china, mr abe believed thatjapan had to step up, it had to once again get over its post—war pacifism and become a leading power in asia and i think that will be his deepest and longest lasting legacy s— longest lasting legacy s rupert,
thank yom _ the us presidentjoe biden has signed an executive order to help safeguard women's access to abortion. the move follows the supreme court decision last month to overturn the landmark roe v wade ruling that made the procedure legal across the united states. following the judgement, these us states have implemented near total abortion bans — with very limited exceptions. and these states have brought in bans at six weeks. a number of other states are expected to follow suit, while others are scrambling to protect abortion access amid legal challenges. 0ur north america sarah smith is in washington tonight. sarah, what impact is this move by the president likely to have? well, president biden can't do a huge amount about this, because he can't overturn the supreme court
ruling, that he said was terrible, extreme and wrong headed. he doesn't have the power to what he has done today, is bring in measures that he hopes will mean that across all 50 states of america there will still be access to abortion pills and measures to try to protect women who live in states where it has been banned to allow them to travel to other states to access a termination without any kind of recrimination, against them. and when he was talking about that need to travel from state to state, he became angry and upset as he discussed the case of a ten—year—old girl who was raped, found herself six weeks pregnant hand had to leave 0hio six weeks pregnant hand had to leave ohio where there are no exceptions for rape and insist in their ban, had to travel to another state to get a termination, that kind of thing he said should not be happening in america. he would like to pass a law that would guarantee the right to abortion across the whole of the united states but he
doesn't have enough votes in congress do that, he said if you vote democrat in november and return more pro choice law makers and he promised if republicans tried to pass a law banning abortion in all 50 states he's will veto that by refusing to sign it. russian forces are continue their heavy shelling of towns and villages in the east of ukraine, in preparation for an expected new offensive to seize more territory. at the time of russia's invasion of ukraine in february it controlled crimea — while parts of the luhansk and donetsk regions were held by russian—backed separatists. now, russia occupies large areas of the south and east of the country and it's continuing to push forward in the donetsk region. the latest russian target is the city of sloviansk. from there, jonathan beale sent this report. near the front line, close to the city of sloviansk,
ukrainian troops prepare to target russian positions. they know this next battle will be crucial. i think that sloviansk is the next big aim for russians. do you think you can stop putin? sure. you can? we will, we will. blasts of artillery, the familiar sounds of this war, but there's also a quieter, harder—to—see battle involving drones and electronic warfare, jamming, and tracking signals. the russians have a lot of stuff for blocking the drones, for blocking the signal with remote control, with the camera and so on. it's also a dangerous game of hide—and—seek, as we soon found out. helicopter whirrs.
we're just hearing some sound of aircraft. they've told us, the ukrainian soldiers here, to take cover under the trees. the russians are flying over these positions, trying to spot where they are. it's a... a russian's... they've been using drones, small, cheap ones to spot enemy positions and direct artillery. they've already lost five. but they believe they're getting results. back at base, they're even making their own bombs to target the russians. we have three or four mortars, one tank, maybe up to 100 soldier and five or six ammunition. yeah, yeah. so, we have good results for the ten people! the russians aren'tjust tracking their drones, they're also trying to jam communications. but us technology's helping overcome that. at another secret location, they're using one of the thousands of starlink satellite units provided
by elon musk. elon musk. "russia, hello?" the other western name as popular among ukrainian troops is boris johnson. but even though he'll soon be gone, there's still hope that britain will continue to back ukraine. translation: now we're defending western values here. _ modernising our army and providing sufficient weapons will bring peace to your country, to you in britain. russia's already targeting the city of sloviansk. it still outguns ukraine and has the advantage in electronic warfare. home—grown ingenuity and western support is making a difference. but is it sufficient to halt the russian advance? jonathan beale, bbc news, the donbas.
now a look at some other stories making the news today. sir mark rowley has been named as the new commissioner of the metropolitan police. he succeeds dame cressida dick, who stood down in february. sir mark previously served as head of the met�*s counter—terrorism unit. he says he wants to make sure people's faith in the met to police by consent is restored. a man has beenjailed for life for murdering the police community support officerjulia james. callum wheeler, who's 22, attacked ms james while she was walking her dog in kent last april. she died as a result of serious head injuries after being beaten with a metal bar. wheeler will serve a minimum of 37 years. covid—19 infections are still rising across the uk. the latest figures from the office for national statistics show 2.7 million people are estimated to have had the virus last week, up from 2.3 million the week before.
our medical editor fergus walsh is here. covid infections have been rising sharply for the past month — driven by the highly contagious omicron sub—variants baa and ba.5. the ons survey shows increases across the uk. in england, one in 25 were infected last week. in wales, one in 20. northern ireland, one in 19. and highest of all, one in 17 in scotland, though the rate of growth is slowing there. in all, it's estimated 2.7 million people had covid — up 18% on the previous week — but that's still well below the levels at the end of march. what really matters is how many people are getting seriously ill. the most up to date figures are for hospitals in england, where there are nearly 11,500 patients with covid. but it was much higher in early
april and in the huge peak in january last year. around two—thirds of those now in hospital with covid are primarily being treated for another condition. vaccines are no longer very good at stopping you getting covid, but they give strong protection against severe illness. around one in six over—75s have still not received their latest boosterjab and they're being urged to come forward. sepp blatter and michel platini, who were once in charge of world and european football, have been cleared of corruption by a court in switzerland. prosecutors failed to prove that a £1.6 million payment made by the former fifa boss blatter to platini had been illegal — the two men insisted the money was payment for past advisory work. our sports editor dan roan reports. once the most powerful man in football, sepp blatter,