this is bbc news. the headlines at 5.00pm. president trump says he'll strengthen links with allies in the pacific region following north korea's latest missile launch. the commons speaker, john bercow, insists he's impartial — no matter how he voted in the eu referendum. labour's deputy leader, tom watson, denies the party has been considering possible successors tojeremy corbyn. a group of retired bishops accuses the church of england leaders of suppressing the views of gay christians. also in the next hour — hollywood's biggest names are flying into london for this year's bafta film awards. and i hope they are wrapped up well. join me,jane and i hope they are wrapped up well. join me, jane hill, live at the royal albert hall for the biggest night in british film, the british academy film awards. we will have a special programme coming up at
quarter past. and star performances on the rugby field. we will have the latest on the match between france and scotland. france beat them 22—16 in paris. good afternoon and welcome to bbc news. the united states and japan have condemned north korea for test—firing a ballistic missile — the first such test since donald trump took office as us president. japan's prime minister shinzo abe said the launch was "intolerable" and president trump said the us stood behind japan, 100%. the missile flew for about three hundred miles and landed in the sea ofjapan. our tokyo correspondent rupert wingfield hayes has more. it's now thought the missile fired from north korea earlier this morning was one of these — a musudan intermediate range ballistic missile.
it flew about 500 kilometres before splashing down in the sea ofjapan. north korea's dictator, kimjong—un, had been promising to test fire a much longer range missiles capable of hitting the united states. that has not happened. instead, mr kim is almost certainly using the launch to crash this weekend party in florida. japan's prime minister, shinzo abe, has been spending it golfing with president trump. mr abe was very unamused by the intrusion. translation: north korea's most recent missile launch is absolutely intolerable. north korea must fully comply with the relevant united nations security council guidelines. then, in his response, president trump appeared to forget to condemn the north korean launch. thank you very much, mr prime minister. i just want everybody to understand and fully know that the united states of america
stands behind japan, its great ally, 100%. thank you. in south korea, the military made the normal noises. translation: our military is poised to respond immediately to any provocations from north korea that threaten the security of the republic of korea. missing from all of this so far, is china — the country that many think holds the key to stopping north korea. china's leaders say they do not want a north korea armed with nuclear missiles, but nor do they want the kim regime to collapse. with each new test, north korea comes a step closer to that goal of becoming a nuclear—missile—armed state. the prospect makes south korea and japan extremely nervous. but nobody seems to have any idea
how to get north korea's nuclear genie back in the bottle. the commons speaker, john bercow, has insisted that his impartiality has not been compromised, after a video emerged of him declaring that he voted remain in the eu referendum. the parliament website states that "speakers must be politically impartial. " mr bercow is already facing calls to stand down after saying last week that he would veto a parliamentary address by president donald trump. the latest comments, published in the sunday telegraph, were made at an address to students at reading university three days earlier. this may not be popular with some people in this audience, personally, i voted to remain. i thought it was better to stay in the european union than not, partly for economic reasons, part of being within a trading bloc, and partly because we are in a big
power bloc and because it is better to be part of a bigger power bloc in the world. earlier we spoke to the conservative mpjames duddridge, who has called for a motion of no confidence in speaker bercow. i'm incredibly surprised that the speaker now has expressed views on a number of the issues — on brexit, on immigration, on the state visit, on diplomacy. he is incapable of impartially chairing debates in the house of commons now and must go. but speaking to the bbc this morning, the commons leader david lidington, defended mr bercow. i think, had this been before the referendum, that, yes, i would've had concerns. i mean, he said what he said, every member of parliament's responsible for what they say. what i can say is, i had more
than six years as europe minister under david cameron, and, in that time, i never found the speaker was shy of calling lots of people who were critical of the eu to ask me difficult questions. earlier i spoke to our political correspondent susannah mendonca, and i asked her why impartiality is such an important issue for the speaker. if you actually look at the way it's written on the parliament website, it does say that the speaker is supposed to remain separate from political issues, even in retirement. if you take that to the letter, the speaker was talking about political issues. but it is whether you consider it to be any political issues or party political issues. and so, if you look at the issue of the european union, which the speaker declared how he voted, well that was an issue that the conservative party were not united on. he is a conservative mp and so he wasn't taking a party political line on it. and certainly, his supporters have made that point. they've also said that he actually only expressed how he voted several months after the vote itself.
a spokesman compared it to how he voted in the strictly come dancing final, but isn't that a slightly flippant response to what some seem to see as quite a serious allegation? that he's kind of broken with a precedent that has been established for centuries and established for a very good reason? and also, of course, it comes off the back of comments that he made on monday about donald trump, which a lot of people took issue with, where he was talking about sexism and racism and basically vetoed donald trump appearing in parliament, and questions about whether or not the speaker should be doing that, whether the speaker has the power to do that, so there are serious questions to be answered, but the thing is about the speaker is, although he has his critics, he also has a lot of supporters in parliament, and today a lot of those... at least presumably labourmps, snp mps? yeah. the opposition who he is perceived to have helped hold government to account? exactly, somebody who is very much
seen as the voice of parliament and so he's not seen as voice of government, not a speaker who gives them an easy ride, he chooses people to speak who often have quite challenging points of view, and that is actually something that david lidington, you had a clip there of him, actually used as an example of a good thing thatjohn bercow does and certainly the labour party have been saying that they still have full confidence in him, so there is this early motion calling for a motion of no confidence in the speaker. so far it only has one signatory, the person who's actually come up with that, james duddridge, who you just mentioned there. of course, we are in the recess, so that could pick up thing. of course, we are in t recess, so that could pick up strength. people could come back and sign it? exactly, sign up to it. but the feeling that we get, certainly the government is saying this is a matterfor parliament, not something they want to get involved in, and certainly in terms
of opposition parties, he's got a lot of support there, so the feeling that we are getting is it's unlikely to end up in him being removed. in theory, he is expected to stand down from the post within the next year anyway. yes, i believe he sort of give that commitment when he was first elected. yeah. he wouldn't do the full two parliaments. he suggested he would do the nine years. leave just before the election? exactly. and there are those who have been coming to his defence, john whittingdale for example, saying how it's not helpful to express a vote of no—confidence in the speaker and saying that he hopes that the speaker will honour his pledge to stand down by next year. susannah mendonca. labour's deputy leader, tom watson, says the party's leadership is "settled for this parliament". speaking to the bbc this morning, mr watson played down reports that labour is using focus groups to test out the popularity of alternative candidates tojeremy corbyn. he said that this was "not the time" for another leadership election. we've had a tough 18 months. we had a damaging second leadership election, so we've got an uphill struggle ahead. the polls aren't great for us, but i'm determined now that we've got the leadership settled for this
parliament that we can focus on developing a very positive, clear message to the british people in a general election. medical teams have been called to hamburg airport, after reports that a corrosive substance was released inside one of the buildings. firefighters subsequently confirmed they found a pepper spray in a rubbish bin will stop that have been a series of incidents in hamburg where people have let off pepper sprays as a joke. the problem is this particular spray was drawn up into the air conditioning system inside the terminal building and as a result, a number of people, 50, required treatment in hospital for eye irritation, breathing difficulties and nausea. they are not treating this as a suspected
terrorist incident. 14 retired bishops have written an open letter to church of england leaders accusing them of failing to fully reflect the views of gay christians in an official report on the church's position on homosexuality. last month, the church announced it did not support gay marriage. the decision will be debated at the general synod later this week. helena lee reports. last month, the church of england decided its position on the divisive issue of sexuality. it followed three years of so—called shared conversations, and stated that "marriage should only be between a man and a woman." the church said all potential clergy, gay and straight, should be asked about their sexual conduct and their lifestyle. but 14 retired bishops have today expressed their concern that the views of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender members have been ignored. in an unusual move, they have written an open letter to the church of england, a group led by the former bishop of worcester. they entered those negotiations knowing that they would have
to reveal themselves, in a circumstance that might carry a price in terms of their life and their career, their ministry, what was offered to them, how they were regarded. and they nonetheless did that. and they feel that what has come out here is a betrayal in the specific sense that their voice is not heard. the church of england said the shared conversations were not changing people's views, but recognising jesus in people with whom the participants disagreed. the divisive debate over sexuality will continue, and the church's governing general synod will meet next week in london. let's end on some more positive news. more than 200 pilot whales stranded on a remote beach in new zealand, are heading back out to sea with the help of a high tide. they were part of a second pod of whales beached
at farewell spit on south island. just to warn you, you might find some of the scenes in this report by virginia langerberg distressing. weary volunteers form a human chain to help guide the remaining few whales out to sea with the help of a high tide. justjoy, just complete happiness that they're in the water floating. and they look like they are going out, so we're obviously making sure that they don't come back. this time, rescuers are buoyed by the success of saving most of this pod. just they are bright! it's been a pretty full—on couple of days, to be honest. 0n the remote coastline of golden bay, it had been a exhausting case of deja—vu, after a second pod of about 200 pilot whales had become stranded just days after a group of more than 400 whales had accidentally beached themselves. the incident was new zealand's la rgest—known whale stranding since 1985 and the third largest on record. of the pod which became stranded on thursday,
around 300 died before rescuers could reach them. while, in the latest pod to get stuck on farewell spit, 20 whales in a bad condition needed to be put down to stop those refloated from coming back to shore. i'm pretty unhappy myself, but that is the job and it needs to be done, just to stop those other ones coming in. conservationists aren't certain why beaching happens. one theory is that the shallow waters confuse the whales. golden bay's shoreline, now a mass whale graveyard, as officials try to determine the best way to dispose of the carcasses. the surviving whales have been tagged, and we can only hope won't get stuck again in the murky waters of farewell spit, which is proving to be one of new zealand's greatest hazards for the pilot whale. that's the news, this is the baftas.
it is the biggest night of the year in british film. hello and welcome to the royal albert hall in london for this bbc news shall programme for this bbc news shall programme for the annual british academy film awards. i am jane for the annual british academy film awards. i amjane hill and with me for the next hour and a half or so is the film criticjason solomons and the fashion writer lorraine candy. all the stars will be writing here on the red carpet very shortly and we will be talking to plenty of them. let's start our special programme here tonight by reminding ourselves which films are nominated in that all—important category, best film.