tv BBC News at Six BBC News March 1, 2023 6:00pm-6:31pm GMT
at six, fresh questions about the government's handling of the covid outbreak after the former health secretary's whatsapp messages are leaked. the daily telegraph has been handed more than 100,000 of matt hancock's messages. he strongly denies claims he rejected advice to test all residents going into england's care homes. and further revelations tonight about the wearing of masks in schools in england, whether to do it or not, whether to not. is this lab in wuhan in china responsible for the covid outbreak after all? the fbi claims that it is the most likely origin of the virus that swept the globe. one of the worst ever train crashes in greece —
almost a0 people are dead after a passenger train and a freight train collide head on. and the singer ed sheeran opens up about using music to cope with depression last year after his pregnant wife was diagnosed with a tumour. and coming up on the bbc news channel: the long—awaited disciplinary hearing following azeem rafiq's allegations of racism in yorkshire cricket club has begun in london. good evening and welcome to the bbc news at six. fresh questions have been raised about the judgement of the former health secretary matt hancock during the covid pandemic after a collection of his whatsapp messages were released. the messages, dating back to april 2020, published by the daily telegraph, cover issues such as care homes,
schools and testing. in one of the most serious allegations the paper claims the messages show mr hancock ignored advice from senior medical officers to test everyone going into care homes in england, something he strongly denies. here's our political editor, chris mason. matt editor, chris mason. hancock's phone is revealing i insight matt hancock's phone is revealing an insight into the private conversations in government as covid swept the country and the then health secretary was centre stage. after the pandemic mr hancock worked with this journalist, after the pandemic mr hancock worked with thisjournalist, isabel with this journalist, isabel 0akeshott, with thisjournalist, isabel 0akeshott, to write a book about it, and gave her his text messages. she has now given them to the daily telegraph. the paper says on the morning of the 14th of april 2020, matt hancock messaged his advisers. chris whitty, england's chief medical officer now recommends testing of all going into care homes
in england. this is obviously a good, positive step and we must put it into the document. but that evening one of mr hancock was my age row, i wasn't in the testing meeting. 0fficials row, i wasn't in the testing meeting. officials are saying it is to remove the commitment to testing and regression to care homes, but keep the commitment to testing from care homes to hospital. is that right? the health secretary responded, tell me if i am wrong, but i would rather leave it out and commit to test and isolate all going into care from hospital. i do not think the community commitment adds anything and it muddies the waters. in a statement today a spokesman for matt hancock said, these stolen messages have been doctored to create a false story that matt rejected clinical advice on care home testing. this is flat wrong. he said a meeting that they had advised it was not currently possible to test everyone entering care homes and therefore he concluded the
testing of people leaving hospital for care homes should be prioritised.— for care homes should be -rioritised. ., for care homes should be rioritised. ., ., ., prioritised. the government followed the exert prioritised. the government followed the expert public— prioritised. the government followed the expert public health _ prioritised. the government followed the expert public health advice. - prioritised. the government followed the expert public health advice. in i the expert public health advice. in the expert public health advice. in the commons today a health minister then and now facing questions from labour referred to evidence the daily telegraph didn't have about other internal discussions. there is an e-mail following _ other internal discussions. there is an e-mail following exactly - other internal discussions. there is an e-mail following exactly this - an e—mail following exactly this exchange that she is referring to that says we can press straightaway with hospitals testing patients who are going into care homes and we can aspire to as soon as capacity allows and when we have worked out operationally were delivering this is, the everybody going into care from the community can be tested. around the same time by the end of april twenty20 hancock was desperate to hit a target, 100,000 covid test a day. he called in a favour from his former colleague george osborne, by now the editor of the london evening standard, and the paper gave
him space to encourage people to get tested. the daily telegraph also reports this man, jacob rees mogg, then a minister, had a covid test career to one of his homes for one of his children after the initial test had been lost. at prime minister's questions, there was this exchange between rishi sunak and the labour leader. exchange between rishi sunak and the labour leader-— labour leader. families across the country will _ labour leader. families across the country will look _ labour leader. families across the country will look at _ labour leader. families across the country will look at this _ labour leader. families across the country will look at this and - labour leader. families across the country will look at this and the i country will look at this and the sight of politicians writing books, portraying themselves as heroes or selectively leaking messages will be an insulting and ghoulish spectacle for them. ., an insulting and ghoulish spectacle for them. . ., _, ., for them. rather than comment on iecemeal for them. rather than comment on piecemeal bits _ for them. rather than comment on piecemeal bits of _ for them. rather than comment on piecemeal bits of information, - for them. rather than comment on piecemeal bits of information, i - for them. rather than comment on | piecemeal bits of information, i am sure the _ piecemeal bits of information, i am sure the honourable gentleman will agree _ sure the honourable gentleman will agree the _ sure the honourable gentleman will agree the right way for these things to be looked at is the covid inquiry _ to be looked at is the covid inuui . ., ., , inquiry. the battle to learn lessons and defend — inquiry. the battle to learn lessons and defend reputations _ inquiry. the battle to learn lessons and defend reputations over - inquiry. the battle to learn lessons and defend reputations over cobit| and defend reputations over cobit was always going to be intense. the states are so high, the death toll so grim. the expectation is that that would happen primarily in the public inquiry, but the political
choice now is the court of opinion is open and hearing evidence and there are more revelations to come. lost liberties, businesses, education and loved ones, a pandemic no one will forget. so many questions and perhaps now at least some answers. chris mason, bbc news, westminster. chris mason, bbc news, westminster. from the very start of the pandemic back in march 2020 our social affairs editor alison holt has been reporting on the situation in care homes across the uk. so what exactly was going on at the time? alison's here. cast your mind back to april 2020 and those early weeks of the pandemic. an extremely grim time, with huge pressure on the nhs, we were all in lockdown, and in care homes families were losing the people they loved. for many of those families testing and the decisions made are huge issues. amos woldman lost his grandma at that time. there were certainly
deficiencies and they were not testing fast enough, so that people like my grandma, who moved in for what was supposed to be a trial period, ended up contracting covid and dying after a matter of weeks. yet again it evokes emotions that we have, that i have, that many families have, of what happened at that time, the decisions being made, and highlights really the need for this public inquiry to scrutinise government decisions and actually as swiftly as possible. those hearings have been delayed but are due to start injune. so, let's have look at what was happening at the time matt hancock sent his messages about care home testing on april 14th. that week council bosses told the government there needed to be more "reliable testing" and generally social care "appea red an afterthought". also care home deaths from covid reached their peak as you can see from this graph. 540 residents died in england and wales in a single day. that was april 17th,
but you can see that deeply disturbing rise in deaths across the preceeding weeks. testing everyone might have been the best plan, but then only 20,000 tests could be done a day. you can see from the graph here, it ramped up in the weeks that followed. but at that point there was nowhere near enough to meet all the demands and to give it some context there were more than 15,000 care homes in england. and it is worth noting experts later concluded the two main ways covid got into care homes was from patients discharged from hospital and through staff moving between homes. also, there were relatively few new residents from elsewhere. so when mr hancock announced his action plan on april 15th, testing was focused on patients discharged from hospitals. and a month later he made big claims for what they'd done. right from the start it's been clear
that this horrible virus affects older people most, so right from the start we have tried to throw a protective ring around our care homes. for many families it may be hard to square the leaked messages with his claim that a protective ring was thrown around care homes. probably only the public inquiry, armed with all the facts, will be able to judge the decisions made. let's talk to our political editor chris mason in westminster. the daily telegraph has been handed 100,000 of these whatsapp messages, more made public this evening, what do they reveal? brute more made public this evening, what do they reveal?— do they reveal? we can expect stories from _ do they reveal? we can expect stories from the _ do they reveal? we can expect stories from the telegraph - do they reveal? we can expect stories from the telegraph for| do they reveal? we can expect - stories from the telegraph for much of the next week at least. the latest revelations relate to facemasks in schools in england. and an insight into the decision—making that was going on amongst senior figures trying to work out what to do. borisjohnson, the prime
minister at the time, was saying how do i answer the question about facemasks in england? matt hancock said maybe with other mitigations in schools they are not necessary. the prime minister's director of communications said, yes, but they are going to happen in scotland, so would we hold to that position with a different view elsewhere in the uk? matt hancock replied saying, we need to be clear and then the chief medical officer for england, chris whitty, said there is not strong evidence for doing it in corridors in schools, but there is an strong evidence against doing it either. another insight into how those making decisions at the toughest time for them professionally in their lives were confronting very difficult decisions when so much was unknown. the head of the fbi has claimed it is "most likely" that covid—19 originated from a leak from a chinese government—controlled lab in wuhan. china has accused the fbi of politicising the investigation
into the origins of coronavirus, and there has been no new scientific evidence to support the theory. other us agencies believe the virus developed naturally. our north america correspondent, john sudworth, reports. suspicions have long swirled around wuhan's laboratories. now three years after the start of the pandemic they have burst into the open once again. the pandemic they have burst into the open once again.— open once again. the fbi has for ruite open once again. the fbi has for quite some _ open once again. the fbi has for quite some time _ open once again. the fbi has for quite some time now _ open once again. the fbi has for quite some time now assessed l open once again. the fbi has for i quite some time now assessed that the origins of the pandemic are most likely a potential love incident in wuhan. you are talking about a potential leak from the chinese government controlled lab that killed millions of americans. from the start many _ killed millions of americans. from the start many scientists - killed millions of americans. from the start many scientists believe that covid had passed naturally from animals to humans. some of the first cases were centred around this wuhan market known to sell wildlife. but
with wuhan's laboratories known to have been collecting samples from rats and experimenting on coronaviruses there is an alternative possibility. the researcher became accidentally infected with the virus they were working on. it infected with the virus they were working on-_ infected with the virus they were working on. infected with the virus they were workin: on. .., , ., ., working on. it comes from china. it comes from — working on. it comes from china. it comes from china, _ working on. it comes from china. it comes from china, i _ working on. it comes from china. it comes from china, i want - working on. it comes from china. it comes from china, i want to - working on. it comes from china. it comes from china, i want to be - comes from china, i want to be accurate. �* comes from china, i want to be accurate-— comes from china, i want to be accurate. �* ., . accurate. but the theory's close association _ accurate. but the theory's close association with _ accurate. but the theory's close association with donald - accurate. but the theory's close association with donald trump l accurate. but the theory's close - association with donald trump made it for many one more piece of disinformation and it was widely dismissed. forthe disinformation and it was widely dismissed. for the past three years in china, in europe and in america i have been investigating the question of where covid came from. some scientists claim the lab leak theory has been convincingly debunked. but others say that in the absence of better evidence to rule it out, they want the possibility to remain firmly on the table. the world health organization team that travelled to wuhan in 2021 concluded that it was extremely unlikely that the virus leak from a lab. but there
were concerns about china's political management of the inquiry, something one member of the team acknowledged in an interview for our upcoming podcast series. it is difficult to _ upcoming podcast series. it is difficult to know _ upcoming podcast series. it 3 difficult to know where the science and on the politics starts. you can have heated debates about a lot of different details and you don't know if there is political influence. china, it is clear, never want journalists asking questions about the origins of covid and there appears to be very little hope of any further cooperation and international efforts to look for answers. but in america there is renewed interest. the biden administration has given the lab leak theory fresh impetus and a new republican—controlled congress has willingly picked up the button. the committee willingly picked up the button. tue: committee will willingly picked up the button. tte: committee will come willingly picked up the button. tt2 committee will come to order. this is an existential struggle over what
life will look like in the 21st—century. life will look like in the 21st-century._ life will look like in the 21st-century. life will look like in the 21st-centu . , , , �* �*, 21st-century. despite the fbi's ublic 21st-century. despite the fbi's public comments, _ 21st-century. despite the fbi's public comments, the - 21st-century. despite the fbi's public comments, the us - 21st-century. despite the fbi's - public comments, the us intelligence agencies remain divided. with a little hard evidence many fear one of the biggest questions of our time, where did covid come from, may never be convincingly answered. john sudworth, bbc news, new york. our top story this evening... the former health secretary matt hancock strongly denies claims he rejected expert advice on covid tests for people going into care homes in england, after thousands of his whatsapp messages are leaked. and the social media app tiktok introduces its own screen time limit for the under 18, no more than an hour a day. coming up in sportsday on the bbc news channel: grimsby town and their entourage of inflatable haddocks travel to southampton for their first fa cup fifth round appearance in 27 years.
at least 36 people are dead and dozens injured after two trains collided head on last night in central greece. a passenger service with 350 people on board had been travelling from athens to the northern city of thessaloniki when it crashed into a freight train. the passenger train's front carriages burst into flames. it is being described as the worst train crash greece has ever seen. an investigation has been launched and police have arrested a local station master in larissa. our europe corrrespondent nick beake is travelling to the scence and sent this report. the mangled remnants of a train bringing hundreds of students back from their holidays. down the track their now grieving families who waved them off. greece's worst railway crash, it should never have happened. earlier they had worked through the night, recovering dozens of victims.
identification has been hard, the fire that broke out was intense. survivors described the moment just before midnight their intercity service hit the freight train head—on. translation: we heard a big bang| then it was ten nightmarish seconds. we were turning over in the carriage, we fell on our side, and then it stopped, and there was panic, cables everywhere and fire. the fire was immediate. as it quickly became clear no—one else would be found alive, news arrived that a signal master at the nearest city had been charged with manslaughter by negligence. he has blamed a possible technicalfailure. greece's prime minister, visiting this carnage, vowed to find out what had gone so catastrophically wrong. translation: our thoughts | are with the victims' relatives. our duty is to treat the injured and then to identify the bodies. i can guarantee only one thing, we will find out what caused this tragedy and we will do whatever we can to avoid anything
similar in the future. this evening greece's transport minister resigned, saying his efforts to improve the railway hadn't been enough to prevent such an accident. but who is to blame is not a straightforward question. many feel, though, this was a disaster waiting to happen. no tonight, that same transport minister has said he does not believe the greek rail network is fit for the century. the trades unions have been stressing to us that the biggest part of this main line is still manual, not operated by computers, and so drivers are still relying on phone calls and text messages before they proceed. clearly, something has gone catastrophically wrong here tonight, sophie, and tonight, as greece enters three days of official
national mourning, there is a deep sense of anger too. she was 22 stone when she died at the family home in october 2020. her father, who was found guilty of gross negligence manslaughter, was sentenced to seven and a half years. the teenager's mother, who admitted the same charge, was jailed for six years. police are searching for a missing baby in the brighton area say they want to keep the child's parents in custody for another 36 hours. constance marten and mark owen were arrested on monday, having disappeared at the beginning of january. detectives still do not know the whereabouts of the baby, or even its gender, and fear the new one has come to serious harm. daniel sandford joins us now. yes. one has come to serious harm. daniel sandford joins us now.— sandford “oins us now. yes, first of all, i sandford joins us now. yes, first of all. i should _ sandford joins us now. yes, first of all, i should tell— sandford joins us now. yes, first of all, i should tell you _ sandford joins us now. yes, first of all, i should tell you that _ sandford joins us now. yes, first of all, i should tell you that we - sandford joins us now. yes, first of all, i should tell you that we had i all, i should tell you that we had been told to expect a significant
development in this investigation in the next half hour, we do not know what it is, but that is why we are broadcasting this evening from sussex police headquarters and not from the scene in brighton. as you said, officers have warned that the baby could have come to serious harm, the baby's parents, constance marten and mark gordon, still in custody on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter. what we have been seeing today is an ongoing search, we have seen officers going across the south downs, looking in the undergrowth, following darren little pass to see what is at the end of them, going through bins in parks. —— following down a little pass. they have been using helicopters, thermal imaging cameras, sniffing dogs and appealing to the public to report anything they have seen suspicious since the 8th of january. in the next half
hour, we expect a significant development. they're called mortgage prisoners — homeowners who are trapped on expensive mortgage deals because they don't meet the criteria allowing them to switch to cheaper ones. with interest rates at their highest level in years, the situation is getting harder and harder for many people. now campaigners are urging the government to take urgent action to help them remortgage. our economics correspondent andy verity is here to explain. if you're worried about your monthly payments jumping when your mortgage deal expires, imagine if you were already trapped paying standard variable interest rates, twice as high as a competitive deal, and you couldn't remortgage or move onto a new deal with your existing lender because of something the government had done. that's what's happened to an estimated 200,000 people who took out regulated mortgages where the loan's high relative to the house price, with the likes of northern rock or bradford & bingley before they were nationalised in the 2008 financial crisis. years later, the government made £2.11 billion after selling their loans to unregulated investment firms that don't offer new mortgage deals.
in woodford green, east london, sharron clark has to cover the mortgage out ofjust her own income and her interest rate's leapt from just over 4% last year to almost 8% now. her opponents have nearly doubled from £868 to £1607.— her opponents have nearly doubled from £868 to £1607. we're 'ust stuck with these people, h from £868 to £1607. we're 'ust stuck with these people, there's _ from £868 to £1607. we're just stuck with these people, there's nothing i with these people, there's nothing you can do. there is no way out, it is a hopeless situation. my health is a hopeless situation. my health is impacted terribly by all this. to have you here today is a strain, but i want people to know what they are doing, because i am not the only person they are doing this to. well. person they are doing this to. well, toda a person they are doing this to. well, today a report _ person they are doing this to. well, today a report by — person they are doing this to. well, today a report by the _ person they are doing this to. well, today a report by the london - person they are doing this to. well, today a report by the london school of economics proposed solutions to release mortgage prisoners, like a
government backed loans so borrowers can access new deals. it says the net cost to the government would be less than £350 million.— less than £350 million. there is a suite of solutions _ less than £350 million. there is a suite of solutions the _ less than £350 million. there is a | suite of solutions the government could _ suite of solutions the government could pick— suite of solutions the government could pick from, making sure these individuals— could pick from, making sure these individuals have financial advice, underwriting the way the mortgages work, _ underwriting the way the mortgages work. to— underwriting the way the mortgages work, to take the risk of new lenders— work, to take the risk of new lenders to _ work, to take the risk of new lenders to offer these people cheaper _ lenders to offer these people cheaper rates. the solutions are complicated, but we hope, if done right, _ complicated, but we hope, if done right, following the report, many of these _ right, following the report, many of these mortgage prisoners will be freed _ the treasury says they are open to further practical and proportionate solutions to help mortgage prisoners and will carefully consider all proposals put forward. the singer ed sheeran has opened up about the the fear, depression and anxiety he experienced last year after a series of events. he says he spiralled into depression after his wife was diagnosed with a tumour while pregnant, and his close friend, music entrepreneurjamal edwards, died unexpectedly at the age of 31.
ed sheeran says he used songwriting to make sense of his feelings and get through those experiences. here's our music correspondent mark savage. too i'm in love with the shape of your... too i'm in love with the shape of our... , , ., too i'm in love with the shape of our... ,, ., , ., ., your... upbeat pop songs have made ed sheeran a — your... upbeat pop songs have made ed sheeran a global _ your... upbeat pop songs have made ed sheeran a global superstar, - your... upbeat pop songs have made ed sheeran a global superstar, but i ed sheeran a global superstar, but earlier this year he released a one—off single that was filled with angst and despair. it was a tribute to his friend and mentor, jamal edwards, who died suddenly last february. # it hits me most when i'm alone, every morning i remember you're really gone... every morning i remember you're really gone- - -_ every morning i remember you're really gone... now he has revealed that the death — really gone... now he has revealed that the death coincided _ really gone... now he has revealed
that the death coincided with - really gone... now he has revealed that the death coincided with a - that the death coincided with a series of traumatic events in his personal life. in a handwritten letter, he told friends that his wife, cherry seaborn, got told she had a tumour with no route to treatment until after the birth. around the time, he was at the centre of a copyright trial, and he wrote... , , wrote... the best feeling in the world, wrote... the best feeling in the world. the _ wrote... the best feeling in the world, the best _ wrote... the best feeling in the world, the best feeling, - wrote... the best feeling in the world, the best feeling, is - wrote... the best feeling in the world, the best feeling, is the l world, the best feeling, is the euphoria around the first idea of writing a great song, like the first spark, where you go, this is special, we can't spoil this, this is amazing. that feeling has now turned into, oh, wait, let's stand back, have we touched anything? and you find yourself in a moment second guessing yourself. you find yourself in a moment second guessing yourself-— guessing yourself. facing depression and anxiety. — guessing yourself. facing depression and anxiety. he _ guessing yourself. facing depression and anxiety, he turned _ guessing yourself. facing depression and anxiety, he turned to _ and anxiety, he turned to songwriting, scrapping more than 100 tracks he had written for his sixth album and starting again. announcing the record today, he described it as
opening the trapdoor to my soul. fans will get to hear the results in may. mark savage, bbc news. if you've got teenagers, you'll know all about the social media app tiktok and just how much time kids can spend on it, hours and hours scrolling through endless videos. well, tiktok have today announced that they are introducing screen time for anyone under 18, limiting them to just an hour a day. our tiktok correspondent — we do have one — isjonelle awomoyi. these social media platform taking the world by storm, known for its clever algorithms which get to know what you like very quickly. in fact, it has been downloaded more than 3 billion times, and draws over 150 million people to it every month across europe. but it has been announced today that it will be setting a 60 minute daily screen time limit in the next few weeks for users under 18. banga university
found that it is so popular because the videos are short and snappy, keeping you glued to the screen. tiktok have stressed that there is no right amount of screen time, but they have consulted with experts to set the new limit. if people under 18 are on it for an hour, they will have to work out a pass code to keep using the app. a site is to help people stay in control of how they use it and that you would have to opt into the new feature. the chinese owned app has been banned from work devices for people working for the us government all the european commission, but it is still one of the world's most popular social media platforms. this is bbc corresponding sean dilley and his guide dog, he is waiting for a replacement because of a national shortage of people wanting to try and guide dogs. we
highlighted the issue at the start of the air, and since then the charity says that more than a500 people have come forward offering to volunteer, a record number. it could mean sean gets a new dog much faster. here is his report. i can only see light if i look directly into the sun or into a light bulb. i couldn't imagine my life without rio. she's so important. she's my best friend, my constant companion, my means of independence. this is the freedom guide dogs give their blind and visually impaired partners. ella started to lose her sight at four years old. when she was 15, she received some bad news. i think because it happened gradually, it wasn't like an immediate shock of, "you're not going to see again." i was told i had a retinal detachment, and i definitely broke down then, i was with my dad. i can remember him hugging me and the nurses kind of bringing me a cup of water, just kind of comforting me. and then i got booked in for surgery the next day. doctors operated to try to save any sight they could, but those attempts failed.
never, says ella, would she ever want to be without a dog again. good boy! it's been six months since my guide dog, sammy, retired. sammy is more important to me, you always will be, sammy, you will always be my boy. sharing my story is by far the hardest thing i've ever done in my career. the impact, though, has been huge. you are actually- quite moved today... the niblock family were one of many watching that day. it was heartbreaking to watch it, really. itjust made us think, why not sign up when we've got the time, the space and everything, just to help make a difference? they're among more than a,500 people who've applied to volunteer since sammy's last walk. thank you so much to everyone who's already applied to volunteer at guide dogs. since the coverage, we've seen a peak in applications. so in january alone, we received almost 3,000 volunteer applications. the charity's new volunteers will go on to help people like me and ella.
she gives me that independence that i do kind of need and i crave, that i need to live the life i want to lead. sean dilley, bbc news. time for a look at the weather. here's susan powell. we start off with news that all of the uk had a very dry february, the driest in england for some 30 years. today there has been a lot of cloud across the country once again, but in the north of scotland, clearer skies, edging into north—western areas for tomorrow, and these clearer skies across the near continent will be clearing the cloud out from east anglia, parts of southern england and the south midlands as well. the thicker cloud across the north sea, that will be heading into northern england, where it will continue to be pretty damp with patches of light rain coming and going, notjust tonight but into tomorrow as well. where the sky is clear across the north west and parts of the south, a cold night
with a widespread frost in these areas, the lowest figures of minus fourin areas, the lowest figures of minus four in scotland, but where it stays cloudy, it will be frost free, 3—6 degrees. tomorrow, extensive cloud across northern england, the south east of scotland, with light rain and drizzle for much of the day. with southern areas, more in a way of sunshine, at least for a time, also sunny skies working into the highlands and probably western counties of northern ireland. for friday, another day of chasing the cloud around, most of us will see some bright weather with sunny spells coming through, temperatures not changing too much, looking at highs of eight or nine celsius, pretty typically. on into the weekend, probably a dry day on sunny spells, thicker cloud, if eu patches of light rain coming through, but big change in the weather, next week cold northerly winds diving down