this is bbc news. i'm rebecca jones. the headlines at 11:00pm: sorting brexit is the key to driving the country forward — says borisjohnson as he calls for people to give the conservatives a majority so they can deliver it. it is the blue peter deal. all we need — all we need is a working majority. we need is a working majority. we need is a working majority in parliament make parliament work. meanwhile, labourfocuses on the nhs vowing to outspend the tories with an extra multi—billion pound cash boost for the health service. labour will and posterity to bring waiting lists down, stabilise our accident and emergency services and deliver the quality cancer care
agents deserve. —— patients. the army arrives in south yorkshire to help with flood relief as some in the worst—hit areas are told it could be weeks before they can return home. after weeks behind closed doors, the first public hearings in donald trump's impeachment inquiry begin in washington, broadcast live on tv. and seven months after the devastating fire at notre—dame cathedral, the first tv pictures show the extent of the damage. and at 11:30pm, we'll be taking an in—depth look at the papers with our reviewers david davies and anna isaacs. stay with us for that. good evening and welcome to bbc news.
the conservatives and labour have been outlining their main pitch to voters. the prime minister in his first major speech of the campaign said a conservative government would unite the country and "level up" the prospects for people with massive investment in health, better infrastructure, more police, and a green revolution. but he said the key issue to solve was brexit. meanwhile labour vowed to outspend the tories on the nhs in england, promising an additional £6 billion a year by 202a. wales, northern ireland and scotland would get the same percentage increase. but it's not been an easy day on the campaign trail, as our political editor laura kuenssberg reports. voters tried to take charge today. you took your time, boris, haven't you?! where have you been?! the prime minister in yorkshire, given a talking to by people whose lives have been turned upside—down by floods. is there anything in particular that you would like us to do? no, thank you! no? no. too late, his offer
of help, they said. it is a little bit too late. yeah, it's a little bit too late, isn't it? while... do you think the man that's going to be prime minister of this country should be a terrorist sympathiser? ..the labour leader was confronted on the campaign trail in glasgow. aye, he's running away! and even the lib dems‘ battle bus was blocked in. can we observe a minute's silence for the victims of austerity, and jo swinson? in a well—heeled part of north london, protest at decisions they took in coalition with the tories years ago. this is the smoother side of the campaign the conservatives want you to see. promising a greener government and, again and again, borisjohnson‘s vow to take us out of the eu without delay. it's done, it's complete, it's ready to go. it's the blue peter deal, here's one i made earlier. all we need is a working majority, all we need is a working majority in parliament to make parliament
work, just nine more seats. none of his answers are good enough, though, for one of his former colleagues, who will stand as an independent and thinks you should think about voting lib dem. traditional conservative voters like me should lend their support to the liberal democrats, but i think i'm best placed to run as an independent. today we've seen voters in yorkshire be very unimpressed by your handling of the floods and several of your former colleagues, who were even conservative ministers, suggested people should think seriously about voting lib dem. do you think you're in control of this campaign? i made clear throughout my time there the government stands ready to support in any way that we can. i hope that people understand the messages of reassurance we have been giving. your second question was about the election. and all i would say there, laura, is, look, of course we need to get brexit done, i make no apology for mentioning it.
because it has been paralysing politics for three and a half years. and i am afraid to say the only way to get brexit done at this election is to vote for the conservatives and hope we can get a working majority. the trail looks the same, but this is the strangest, least predictable and most important election in a long time. all of the parties will try to stick to their favourite subjects, but as they clock up the miles and criss—cross the country, every leader is likely to be pushed well beyond their comfort zone. labour wanted to concentrate on the extra—big cheque they would write for the nhs. with a labour government, there will be £26 billion extra in real terms for our nhs. change is coming for patients and nhs staff. vote labour for our nhs. thank you very much. but there was confusion, too. thejohn on the left said this morning that nhs staff would not be
part of their promise of a four day week, but thejohn on the right? at the labour conference, mr mcdonnell, you suggested a hugely ambitious policy to put everybody on a four—day working week. this morning, john said it was nonsense to suggest that could include the nhs — which is it? we work to live, we don't live to work. cheering and applause and that will apply to everybody. it is early in this campaign. the parties‘ official manifestos won't emerge for another week. but all sides have been forced already to go off the script. laura kuenssberg, bbc news, coventry. the outgoing european council president donald tusk has urged british voters not to "give up" on stopping brexit. as campaigning ramps up ahead of next month's general election, he warned that leaving the eu would leave the uk a "second—rate player. " in a speech, he also said brexit
would likely mark the "real end of the british empire." the uk election takes place in one month. can it since be turned around? month. can it since be turned around ? before things month. can it since be turned around? before things become irreversible or people start to think so? so the only words that come to my mind is today i simply don't give up. in this match we have added time, now we are in extra time, perhaps it will even go to penalties. our political correspondent chris masonjoins us now from westminster. chris, here we have the president of the european council saying brexit might not actually happen? what are we to make of this? well, he has regularly pined about brexit in his job as president of the european council, and it has always been
pretty clear he is not a fan of it and he mourns the uk's loss or the european union's loss of the uk from its membership. but he feels the shackles its membership. but he feels the s ha ckles of its membership. but he feels the shackles of office slowly being lifted because he will be out of office in a matter of weeks. so he has given this lecture today in which he acknowledges he can be more candid than he was in the past because he may have been sacked if he had that this sort of thing in the past. and he is pretty directly intervening in the election debate. yes, he is saying stuff we knew was his established view, but groups that may delay or stop brexit support this. due to the election the government is not nominating a candidate to be part of the eu's
next commission. how significant is that? i think it's inevitable, given where we are politically at the moment. conventions as if you are a member of the european union you have to be a european commission, thatis have to be a european commission, that is the year's executive. each country has a commissioner and the uk is still a member of the you, so convention would dictate we have someone on convention would dictate we have someone on the eurostar or a plane and send them to brussels and they would have a confirmation hearing and they would be given a portfolio. the european union has reminded the uk of its obligations but tim burrow, armani and brothers —— our man in brussels has that it isn't going to happen. why? well, yes there is still technically a government in the uk, we are in an election period where the government can't do anything overtly political. this kind of appointment would be a political appointment. there is clearly a political message being sent by the government not sending someone sent by the government not sending someone along, which is basically to save the government is of the same colour after the election as it is now, than their won't need to be a european commission at —— then there
are, because they will be leaving the european union. but if it is a different flavour of government, thenit different flavour of government, then it will be up to the new prime minister to decide what they do. and if it is a non— conservative minister than a commissioner would be sent because the uk would not be leaving the eu anywhere near as likely as boris johnson would leaving the eu anywhere near as likely as borisjohnson would like us likely as borisjohnson would like us to. so under labour a big increase in spending on the nhs in england — six billion a year on top of the extra £20 billion already promised by theresa may. what difference could the extra money make for patients and nhs staff? our health editor hugh pym has been looking at the figures. once again, the nhs is front and centre in the run—up to polling day, with the parties vying to outspend each other. the conservative government's already promised an extra £20 billion a year after inflation, by 2023 in england. labour have said they will add another £6 billion to that, bringing the annual increase to £26
billion, and spend some of that on cutting waiting times for patients. are you ready? that's it. here. frances, who has arthritis, is finding life a lot easier after a hip replacement, but she had to wait more than six months to get it done, two months longer than the official nhs target. she says the delay affected her in many ways. waiting that extra time was hard. i mean, i was deteriorating. almost week by week, i could do less and less and less. so, not only had i problems with my left hip, but, basically, my right hip and right knee were taking an awful lot of the strain. and they were playing up, big time, as well. so, i was in a really bad physical shape. whether it's a hip operation or managing a long—term health condition, the big challenge for the nhs is keeping up with increasing demands for patient care. and finding the money
for that is never easy. government spending this year on the health service in england is £139 billion. that sounds like a lot — and there has been an upward trend for total spending over the last decade. but spending per person actually fell for a while, once you've adjusted for the needs of a growing and ageing population. that's the bottom line. it's only started picking up in the last couple of years. and, as a percentage of gdp — that's the uk's national income — you can see here that uk health spending has actually fallen over recent years. labour plans higher spending than under the conservatives, though slower increases than under tony blair and gordon brown. funding is one thing, but workforce planning, with more done to retain staff, is what many in the nhs says top priority. laura, who's a matron on a children's ward, told us the pressure was relentless. it's exceptionally challenging at the moment. we struggle day in, day out, and looking after our patients.
we do our absolute best for our patients at all times. but there just aren't enough of us to keep things going at this level. the politicians will have to persuade us they really are serious about supporting the people at the heart of the nhs. hugh pym, bbc news. let's take a look at some of today's other election news: the liberal democrats are promising a £500 million per year increase in funding for youth services in england to help tackle what their leader, jo swinson, called an "epidemic" of knife crime. unveiling the plan at a boxing gym, she said the hope is to stop young people falling into violence by co—ordinating help from teachers, health professionals and social services. scotland, wales and northern ireland would also receive extra money. nigel farage — who also chose a boxing theme for his campaign speech — has again refused to stand down brexit party candidates in labour marginal seats.
he's been under pressure to withdraw from some constituencies where conservatives fear he could split the leave vote. on monday, he withdrew brexit party candidates from all of the seats won by the tories at the last election. the labour leader, jeremy corbyn, has faced questions over his position on allowing a second referendum on scottish independence. today at the start of a 2—day tour of scotland he said wouldn't allow one in the first term of a labour government but later rowed back saying it wouldn't be a priority in the early years. jeremy corbyn began his visit in glasgow, as the party fights for seats in scotland, which a decade ago was a labour heartland. in 2010, labour won 41 of the 59 seats. but in 2015, the year after the first independence referendum, the snp swept the board,
leaving labour with just one seat north of the border. 2017 saw the party make a slight comeback, returning seven scottish labour mps. but jeremy corbyn's chances of becoming prime minister depend on winning back more. here's our scotland editor, sarah smith. a tartan scarf and the gift of some brand—new gloves may well be required for winter campaigning in scotland, where labour is facing a tough election. the choice is quite simple — a tory government or a labour government. he didn't mention the snp, or the demand for another independence referendum, but that is the big question in scotland. no referendum in the first term of a labour government, because i think we need to concentrate completely on investment across scotland. but that's not quite official policy, his advisers rushed to clarify. labour might permit another vote after 2021. when would you allow another
referendum on independence, mr corbyn? i've answered that question about ten times today already. so what exactly is the formal position? in the early years of a labour government, i want to concentrate totally on investment across the uk, including the £70 billion that i want to put in... and that means no to a referendum on independence? it means saying, in the early years, let's say no to that and concentrate on what matters. independence matters in scotland, and you need to know where you stand. labour will have to work really hard if they want to try and win any new seats in scotland. in truth, they are hoping to hold on to the few they already have. with its proud industrial heritage, central scotland used to be rock—solid labour. but the machinery is now in a museum, and in the cafe, voters have moved on too. my political outlook has always been left of centre,
slightly left of centre, and that hasn't changed. and the labour party, to me, is drifting off into yesterday's politics. i would vote for labour if they were a separate party in scotland, and if they represented what they used to represent. probably got a choice between boris johnson and jeremy corbyn. who would you rather see in numberten? jeremy corbyn. do you look forward to the idea of a jeremy corbyn prime ministership? well, i would dread it less than the alternative. snp leader nicola sturgeon says she would work with a minority labour government to keep the tories out of power only ifjeremy corbyn allows an independence referendum. i won't help him in power, to get to power, to stay in power, if he doesn't accept the principle that, whether there is a referendum in scotland, and what the timescale of that referendum should be, should be determined by the people of scotland. she knows she can't become prime minister, but nicola sturgeon doesn't want to be left
out of the argument. she is taking legal action, demanding to be included in televised leaders' debates. sarah smith, bbc news, coatbridge. the headlines on bbc news: sorting brexit is the key to driving the country forward, says borisjohnson, as he calls for people to give the conservatives a majority so they can deliver it. meanwhile, labour focuses on the nhs, vowing to outspend the tories with an extra multibillion—pound cash boost for the health service. after weeks behind closed doors, the first public hearings in donald trump's impeachment inquiry begin in washington, broadcast live on tv. the prime minster has been confronted by angry residents in south yorkshire during a visit to some of the towns and villages affected by flooding. the first televised hearings in president trump's impeachment inquiry have got under way in washington, after weeks of testimony behind closed doors. donald trump is accused of pressuring ukraine to dig up damaging information onjoe biden, a possible presidential rival in next year's elections. the impeachment inquiry could eventually see trump removed from office. he denies any wrongdoing.
0ur north america editor jon sopel has been watching. history in the house... this is like the super bowl for politics, the day the impeachment hearings go public. and coast—to—coast, all the us tv networks are gearing up for the unfolding drama that could be the decisive moment of the trump presidency. and early this morning, in the white house residence, the light is on and the tweets are angry. in the committee room, it's a scrum, an hour before the hearing gets under way. first up was this man, george kent. he is a senior state department official, overseeing ukraine affairs. i do not believe the united states should ask other countries to engage in selective, politically associated investigations or prosecutions against opponents of those in power, because such selective actions undermine the rule of law. in other words, the president
ordered a halt to military aid to ukraine until it agreed to dig dirt on a gas company, burisma, that hunter biden, son of former vice president joe biden and donald trump's potential 2020 rival, was a director of. next up, bill taylor, acting ambassador to ukraine. he says the president was trying to strong—arm kiev. by mid—july, it was becoming clear to me that the meeting that president zelensky wanted was conditioned on the investigation of burisma, and alleged ukrainian interference in the 2016 us elections. the republican strategy seems to be to cast doubt on everyone and everything involved in this impeachment inquiry, including the undermining of these lifelong public servants. ambassador taylor and mr kent, i'd like to welcome you here. i'd like to congratulate you for passing the democrats' star
chamber auditions, held for the last weeks in the basement of the capital. it seems you agreed, wittingly or unwittingly, to participate in a drama. republicans have dismissed much of the evidence as hearsay, and complained that the whistle—blower hadn't been called. now, there is one witness that they won't bring in front of us, they won't bring it in front of the american people, and that is the guy who started it all, the whistle—blower. i'd be glad to have the person who started it all come in and testify. president trump is welcome to take a seat right here. laughter a rare moment of humour, in a sour, partisan hearing. impeachment is the mechanism by which a sitting president can be removed from office for high crimes and misdemeanours. the first stage is a vote in the house of representatives, which has to be carried by a simple majority. if that is passed, then the articles of impeachment go to the upper house, and here the president is put
on trial, with the 100 senators acting as the jury. for donald trump to be removed from office, two thirds of senators would have to find him guilty, a threshold that has never been reached before. on this blockbuster wednesday, donald trump is meeting president erdogan of turkey at the white house. i'm too busy to watch it. it's a witch—hunt, it's a hoax. i'm too busy to watch it, so i'm sure i'll get a report. donald trump has railed against the unfairness of the process, and has insisted repeatedly he has done nothing wrong. jon sopel, bbc news, washington. 0ur washington correspondent chris bucklerjoins me now. where do we go from here, chris? yes, simply more impeachment hearings. and you got a real sense today of what you can expect, and thatis today of what you can expect, and that is republicans and democrats drawing lines and trying to put out their own message about exactly what donald trump did with ukraine. they may have been questioned here today by american politicians, but all of this was for the benefit of the american public. actually, we didn't learn that much new. instead, what we saw were democrats and republicans trying to use the facts,
what there is known, into their way of thinking. democrats saying very clearly that the president was abusing his powers, that they were going to far in trying to use a foreign government to investigate his political rival for domestic reasons. 0n the other hand, republican saying, actually, he did nothing wrong. military aid, which was threatened to be suspended, was not actually suspended, and an investigation wasn't actually launched, so what is the big deal here? the reality is this is going to continue, but as we get each of these witnesses, they are going to drill down into information about president trump and try and get nuggets of information that try to sway the public one way or another. but i don't think there is any doubt that we are heading towards impeachment and to a trial of some sort in the senate. in the meantime, as we saw injohn sobel‘s report, donald trump has been saying he is too busy to watch the impeachment hearing —— sopel. he has been meeting the turkish president, has he? what has he been saying,
exactly? yes, president erdogan and trump meeting at the white house, and there is still that controversy about the whole circumstances surrounding president erdogan's invasion of northern syria, suggestion of course that donald trump gave that the green light, strongly denied by the white house, but which continues to haunt the president. actually today, during the news conference, we saw two men doing their best to try and paint a good relationship to each other. in fa ct, good relationship to each other. in fact, president trump said at one stage that relationships with president erdogan and turkey have been outstanding stop but actually, thatis been outstanding stop but actually, that is not entirely true when it comes to the countries, because congress is very concerned about president erdogan and turkey, particularly over their buying of a russian air missile system, and of course about their engagement with the kurdish forces that saw a lot of chaos and conflict in northern syria. and there remains this pressure inside congress for sanctions to be placed on turkey, for there to be action taken against them. on the other hand, president trump seems to say about president
erdogan that, a, he is a fan great president, those were words he used in the news conference today, although i suspect that actually of all the words that were said, they will be overshadowed by the things that president trump said about impeachment. he was asked about whether he paid any attention to the hearings. his work —— his words were no, and he described them as a joke and a sham and a witch—hunt. it gives you an indication that in washington they are going to keep talking about those same allegations involving president trump's foreign policy, about ukraine, rather than turkey. and we shall continue talking as well. thanks so much, ta ke talking as well. thanks so much, take care. the prime minster has been confronted by angry residents in south yorkshire during a visit to some of the towns and villages affected by flooding. mrjohnson told residents in stainforth and fishlake that he understood their anguish. he promised the government would do more to help those who have lost their homes and businesses. 0ur north of england correspondent
judith moritz reports. borisjohnson may have hoped for a warm reception in stainforth, instead some gave him the cold shoulder and others vented their angen shoulder and others vented their anger. we need to know. shoulder and others vented their anger. we need has low. shoulder and others vented their anger. we need has lost her home lake, where she has lost her home and business. i made a direct appeal to him, directly in the eyes. i said please, mrjohnson, come and see what is happening. i can tell you what is happening. i can tell you what is happening. you can't see it and fill it for yourself. pam got
her wish and steered the prime minister towards the relief centre. inside, he saw something of the community response. there have been people who have been angry today, mr johnson. can you understand that? people who have been angry today, mr johnson. can you understand thawm course, i've got absolutely massive sympathy with people whose lives have been so badly affected. and you know, clearly we're going to do everything we can to help them. but some people and businesses are uninsured, and there has been criticism of the amount of money on offer to help. is £500 per household enough? 200 pounds per businesses, is that enough? there will be more available, and i made that clear to people today. so he has given a pledge here now to the national press that nobody will suffer as a consequence of this. believe me, i will hold him to task about it. she will, as well. there is an extra reassurance as well with the arrival of troops drafted into shore up
flood defences ahead of more forecast rain. people here tell me they are just thankful that the army has come in, because some of their homes have been underwater now since the weekend, and the thought of further flooding is more the weekend, and the thought of furtherflooding is more rain comes down is unbearable. tonight they have been racing to pump water out for more rain false. the community has already suffered so much, they can't afford to take any chances. the first television pictures have been broadcast tonight showing the extent of the damage inside notre—dame cathedral in paris after the devastating fire in april. the images broadcast by france 3 show the huge task ahead to rebuild it. 0ur paris correspondent lucy williamson reports. behind its familiar towers,
the shape of notre—dame has changed, its soaring spire now a gaping hole, lead melting into new sculptures on its grizzled face. walking into notre—dame was always humbling. philip villeneuve is one of very few to have seen how the cathedral looks today. it's silent, floodlit by sunlight, the charred remains of the collapsing spire still piled on the floor. translation: the wood continued to burn on the ground, and burned the bases of these two columns. if they weren't reinforced like this to stop them shattering, they could have collapsed, and taken the walls and vault with them. it would have been a catastrophe. firefighters say they came close to losing notre—dame that night, but the reconstruction could risk its survival again. architects here say there is still a major risk of the vaults collapsing because of the effect of intense heat and water
on the stones. teams are working to stabilise the structure over the next few months, so reconstruction can begin. it took an evening to burn through this building. it'll take much more than a single night to really save it. lucy williamson, bbc news, paris. now it's time for the weather, with mel coles. hello there. for many, wednesday was a quieter day. there were some good spells of sunshine around, and for many areas it was dry. but not for all. down towards the south—west of england and into wales, the next weather system began to show its hand. down to an area of low pressure sending this rain bearing weather front our way, which will be a feature of our weather for the next couple of days. we start thursday with rain draped across south—west england, up into wales and across to east anglia. it is heavy, persistent and slow—moving. gradually it starts to