this is bbc news. i'm lu kwesa i'm lukwesa burak. the headlines at 11:00: leaders of the four main parties at westminster are grilled by voters in a question time election special, as they made their pitches with less than three weeks to go before polling day. we area we are a very ambitious one nation conservative government. we have amazing plans for this country. investigating and educating, investing in health, and that is what we want to get on with. we want to get brexit budget do it. this is an opportunity for our country to come together, deal with the inequality, injustice, and poverty, and go forward to the future with some ray of hope. meanwhile, nicola sturgeon and jo swinson were both challenged on their views over scottish
independence and cancelling brexit. ikard for scotland to choose independencejust as ikard fozz ikard for scotland to choose independence just as ikard fozz the uk two state in the eu, but open to believe we should have that choice so believe we should have that choice so that whatever path we take as a country, whatever kind of country we become it is one we choose our cells. -- ikard. it is alleged to my conscience would not be clear if they did make sure that right across they did make sure that right across the country people have the chance to vote for a remain party, for a candidate that wants to stop brexit. grace millane was strangled by a 27—year—old man she met online while visiting new zealand. but her parents say his conviction, won't ease their pain. grace was our sunshine and she will be missed forever. she did not deserve to be murdered in such a barbaric way. a group of orphaned british children caught up in the war in syria return to the uk.
two weeks to write 2a songs. and a tight schedule for robbie williams — adapting david walliams's bestselling book into a musical. and at 11:30 we'll be taking an in—depth look at the papers with our reviewersjoe twyman and caroline frost. stay with us for that. good evening. with less than three weeks to go to the election, the leaders of the four biggest parties at westminster have been given a grilling by members of the public in a special edition of the bbc‘s question time. jeremy corbyn revealed he would stay neutral in the event of a new brexit referendum, which he says a labour government would deliver, while boris johnson was forced to defend the conservatives' handling of the nhs and explain why voters should trust him.
the studio audience in sheffield also asked tough questions of the liberal democrat leader, jo swinson, on her plan to scrap brexit if she becomes prime minister. for the snp, nicola sturgeon was quizzed whether she prioritised scottish independence over brexit. this report from our deputy political editorjohn pienaar in sheffield, contains some flash photography. he's looking confident, it's what he does but this campaign isjust getting going. everything is still to play for. just look atjeremy corbyn. young voters often like him and he needs them. jeremy corbyn! tonight, though, he wants to reach more than just the converted.
so does the lib dems leaderjo swinson, keen to build more momentum. and snp leader nicola sturgeon. looking forward to tonight, first minister? looking forward to it, yes. for them all, it's a big night. first up, the labour leader and forjeremy corbyn, a clear answer to the brexit question that has dogged him. will you campaign to remain or leaving the eu if elected? why would anyone vote for labour not knowing the answer to that question? his answer was neither one and his frustration showed. 0ne, we will negotiate a credible deal with the eu. let me finish, please. i'm trying to a nswer let me finish, please. i'm trying to answer the gentleman's question. secondly, we will put that alongside remain in a referendum. i will adopt a neutral stance so that i can credibly carry out the results of that, to bring our communities and country together. then, a question that hurt him. anti—semitism in the party, his own treatment of a jewish mp. ajewish mp was heckled at that press conference and there you are at the end of the press conference chatting happily to that same heckler.
i don't buy this nice old grandpa, i see that video and that shows me all i need to know. misogynism, racism in any form is not acceptable whatsoever. there is a big question over the union. the snp wants a referendum, he says not his priority, so when? what does the early years mean, year two, three, four? the early years, the first two years, at least. another answer that will be remembered, but nicola sturgeon once more and hopes to get it if no party wins the election outright. if there is a hung parliament, what is the price of your cooperation with a minority government? i could not in good conscience ever put borisjohnson into number 10 downing street. applause. in terms of what i would seek to win from a minority labour government, obviously i would ask for and expect jeremy corbyn to respect the right of the scottish people
to choose their own future. and if she wanted another brexit referendum... why was one vote on independence enough? you want a referendum on the brexit but not for independence? so you want a referendum for brexit, a second one, but not for you? the point i'm making is i don't think the position we are in now with brexit had to be like this. it was down to bad planning. jo swinson next, potential power broker as well but the lib dems to one question i was still carrying the baggage of being junior party to the tories in coalition. do you regret consistently voting with the conservatives in favour of harsh and uncaring benefit cuts? there are far, far too many people in our country living in poverty and life is too hard and we did not get everything right. the lib dem pledged to block brexit came with a cast, the anger of leavers. is revoking article 50 confirming
to 17.4 million people that you think we're stupid and didn't know what we are voting for? pat you want to leave and that doesn't make you a bad person, i want to remain in the eu and i hope that means you don't think i'm a bad person. you can disagree with me, but you lost. i can't change my view and if i think we're better off in the european union. and some anger from those who never want to brexit at all. but the lib dems standing on a mandate to unilaterally cancel brexit has cost you my vote. this is the essence of democracy. i am standing here and telling you honestly what i would do if i was elected as prime minister, i would revoke article 50 and if you vote me into that position, i will do what i've said i will do. then, the one they all want out of his job and a tricky one for borisjohnson, who is so often accused of bending and breaking the truth, this time to his face.
how important is it for someone in your position of power to always tell the truth? i think it's... i think the issue of trust in politics is central to this election and fundamental to the corrosion of trust in politics at at the moment is... let's be clear are you being upset? the failure of politicians to deliver brexit. we have a deal and it's a good deal. it will allow us, it's a great deal, it's there and ready to go. asa as a never tire of saying, other than ready. a potentially awkward moment used to make the case for brexit. no shortage of tough ones, this one to the man who compared muslims in bikers to bank robbers and letterboxes. racist rhetoric in this country is com pletely racist rhetoric in this country is completely rife. will you admit that you have personally contributed to this and say the words" i'm sorry"?
i've written many words in my life as a journalist and i genuinely never intended to cause hurt or pain. what i was really doing is mounting a strong liberal defence of the right of women in this country to wear what they choose. and again, could the country believe what he says? why on earth should i believe another pledge that you will recruit an additional 6000 gps over the course of the next parliament? well, richard. 5000 more doctors this year than last year. we are making progress. yes, of course i want more gps and of course i want more investment in the nhs. and we're putting in, now, the biggest ever cash boost into the nhs under this one nation conservative government. he'd survive the ordeal, they all did. borisjohnson even seemed pleased or at least relieved with how it had gone. trust is an issue for all the leaders in this campaign and somehow they all seemed rather defensive. john pienaar, bbc news, sheffield.
let's get the thoughts of our political correspondent helen catt who's in westminster. helen, is it fair to say the british public gave everyone a pretty tough night tonight? yes, as they generally do. and that is the great i°y generally do. and that is the great joy of elections, isn't it? it is when politicians have to come out and face the voters directly. and you often find that what the voters wa nt to you often find that what the voters want to talk about isn't necessarily what the politicians would like to. a really good example for that for example, is that clarity onjeremy corbyn‘s position on brexit. journalists have been asking that question for weeks and weeks and weeks, you put him in front of the public for half—an—hour and you get the clearest indication yet he will stay neutral in any new exit referendum. but all four of them got a pretty ha rd referendum. but all four of them got a pretty hard time. nicola sturgeon, perhaps, the most comfortable ground talking about the idea of a new independence referendum. as she was jallet on some of the domestic issues in scotland. it has first minister she is responsible for. so it wasn't plain sailing for her. jo
swinson heavily challenged about her time in the coalition government. and also that flagship policy which informs everything the lib dems are doing of stopping brexit. having someone doing of stopping brexit. having someone there who said she was a former lib dem boater who didn't like the policy and thought it was undemocratic. you know, that is a big challenge. and borisjohnson, we heard him, he wanted to talk about brexit. we could see him going there within the first of his first answer. but voters wanted to talk about other things. they wanted to talk about the nhs. they quizzed him about not releasing a report on possible russian interference into british democracy. and you heard him being challenged, on a personal level there, but those things that he wrote a newspaper articles. so thatis he wrote a newspaper articles. so that is the great thing about elections, it is the voters is that the agender. very quickly, helen, before you leave us. we have got a very important we can coming up for the conservatives. yes, we are expecting the conservatives to finally launch their manifesto, their list of pledges over this weekend. they are of course the only major party has not yet done that.
we had the greens, liberal democrats, and labour, plaid cymru monsters, the brexit party is having a contract with the people instead. we have had lots of lodges all week. the one we haven't had yet is the conservative. 0k. helen catt team westminster. thank you very much. well, we heard from four of the main party leaders tonight, and in a week's time voters will be hearing from all seven leaders or senior figures whose parties are contesting the election. that debate will be held in cardiff and broadcast live on bbc one and on bbc radio 5 live, and hosted by nick robinson. the leader of the brexit party, nigel farage, has unveiled their election policies, promising what he calls a "political revolution that puts ordinary people first". apart from leaving the european union, there's a pledge to cut the foreign aid budget, abolish the house of lords and put a cap on permanent immigration, at 50,000 people a year. 0ur political correspondent, alex forsyth has more.
nigel farage! he might be synonymous with brexit but, today, nigel farage tried to widen his pitch, setting out what else his party stands for, insisting it has a place. we now want to lead the next phase, which is a political revolution that puts the ordinary people first. maintaining his anti—establishment stance, this was not called a manifesto but a contract with the people. not a programme for government — he knows he won't get there — but a small book calling for big change. a new voting system, capping immigration, cutting the cost of living. a pitch to labour voters now he's pulled out of tory seats. the question, though, is his strategy right? would it make sense for us to stand against sitting conservatives when they're now beginning to say the right thing? that wouldn't have made sense. we're taking on labour
in their heartlands. in those seats, we're the challenger, and if we can get brexit party voices in the house of commons, we can then keep boris to his promises. you've effectively said the conservatives can get brexit over the line, so you've cut off what is your central message... well, what i've said is... ..at the knees. what i've said is the conservatives have shifted their position because we exist. if we didn't exist... but the conservatives have now shifted their position... yeah, and... so why would you vote for the brexit party? because the conservative party have let us down over the course of the last three and half years by making promises and not delivering on them. in coventry, where the party first launched, they are still standing, trying to tap into brexit frustration. nigel farage says he needs mps in parliament to keep brexit on track, but he's struggled to turn support into seats in the past and there is a risk, in limiting where his party is standing, that he's put it on the sidelines of this contest. in this labourarea, some brexit party supporters aren't persuaded. farage has got some really good policies. i agree with a lot of the stuff. i feel that staying with the conservatives,
hopefully, the deal will go through. at the pilot pub, jim had a similar view. farage has done a good job as far as getting out of europe. i agree with a lot of them things. but as far as a general election, it will split the vote. but for some avid brexit party backers, the only wish is they were standing more widely. i think they should have stuck it out, gone for all the 600—odd seats, because i think the people of this country are so sick of the people in parliament today. that's what this campaign is banking on — a brexit backlash to win support, but it might not be an easy ride. alex forsyth, bbc news. meanwhile, plaid cymru is promising a £20 billion investment in what it calls a ‘green jobs revolution‘ for wales. launching its election manifesto, the party's leader, adam price, said there would also be major investment in rail and bus services, a new offshore wind farm and three tidal lagoons to generate electricity. he also talked about his ambition
for an independent wales. here's hywel griffith. once, these valleys powered britain's industrial revolution. now, the rhondda's coal mines have become museums. post—industrial wales is a place struggling with its political identity, where some sense an opportunity. plaid cymru sees this brexit election as a chance to sell its vision. although most people here voted to leave the eu, it wants wales to remain as an independent nation. we want to be at the heart of europe, on our own terms, in our own right, standing proud. the pa rty‘s manifesto calls for another referendum on eu membership. it also pledges thousands ofjobs from green energy projects like tidal lagoons and wind farms. and it offers an extra £35 a week for every child
in a low—income family. as it sets out ideas for the future, plaid has been drawing on the past and talking about wales as a country once rich in natural resources like coal, which has been stripped of its assets and left in poverty. it has demanded reparation payments to be made after decades of what the leader calls "british rule". adam price wants £20 billion to reboot a nation. who should pay this money? what we're saying is, the uk government should actually increase its level of infrastructure investment. as a debt owed to wales, as reparation payments? look, as an investment in our own future. exactly what the welsh contribution... some of these first—time voters say they are curious about independence, but are they persuaded to back plaid? in theory, i am indy—curious, because i do like the idea. but i really don't see myself voting in that direction. i don't think people know the ins and outs of, like, how a trade deal would be
formed, how we would get money into the country, what we would export and i feel like because of that, it's a big stumbling block for people. remaining in europe, breaking out of the uk, plaid hopes its manifesto can bring more voters on board. hywel griffith, bbc news, pontypridd. let's ta ke let's take you through the headlines here on bbc news. leaders of the four main parties at westminster have been questioned by voters in a question time election special as they made their pitches with less than three weeks to go before polling day. a man who strangled a british backpacker in new zealand and hid her body inside a suitcase is found guilty of murder. a group of orphaned british children caught up in the war in syria are returning to the uk. a man who strangled a british backpacker in new zealand and hid her body in a suitcase
has been found guilty of murder. grace millane was discovered buried in bushland outside auckland last december. the family of the 21—year—old wept in court as the killer, who can't be named, was convicted. shaimaa khalil‘s report from auckland contains some distressing details. this is grace millane the night before her 22nd birthday in december — the last time she was seen alive. she arrived in auckland last november after graduating from the university of lincoln. grace had been on a round—the—world trip and travelled to new zealand after spending six weeks in south america. today, united in their grief, david and gillian millane left court after their daughter's killer was convicted of murder. grace was taken away from us in the most brutal fashion a year ago. 0ur lives and family have been ripped apart. grace was a beautiful, talented, loving daughter.
grace was our sunshine and she will be missed forever. she did not deserve to be murdered in such a barbaric way. grace's killer appeared in court today. his identity cannot be disclosed for now due to a court order. cctv showed the pair out drinking, but within hours, she was strangled in his apartment in a hotel in the city. this is the killer telling police why he didn't call an ambulance to help grace. i dialled 111. i didn't hit the button. because i was scared how bad it looked. why did you think it looked bad? well, because...a dead person in my room. the jury heard that after the murder the man searched online
for how to dispose of a corpse and watched extreme pornography. they also saw him going out on a date with another woman while grace's body was still in his room. this is him later, moving the body in a suitcase. he then buried it in a shallow grave in bushland on the outskirts of auckland. the defence argued that grace died accidentally, that this was a consensual sex act gone wrong. but the jury simply didn't believe it. they heard forensic evidence of how grace endured sustained pressure on her neck for five to ten minutes. they also heard the prosecution's argument that the killer sexualised her death by taking intimate photos of her dead body. grace's murder shocked this nation. the outpouring of sorrow and support was felt strongly by her family. we would love to thank the people of new zealand. they have opened their hearts to grace and ourfamily.
we must return home and try and pick up the pieces of our lives and day—to—day without our beloved grace. today's verdict brings some justice for grace's family, but it will not bring back the daughter they say will be missed for ever. shaimaa khalil, bbc news, auckland. the first group of orphaned british children to be allowed to return to the uk from an area of northern syria once controlled by the islamic state group have arrived back in britain. the children are all from the same family and were taken to syria in 2015 as our diplomatic correspondent james landale explains. they are still reporting restrictions in place to protect them. according to the judge restrictions in place to protect them. according to thejudge in restrictions in place to protect them. according to the judge in the case, they arrived in london this morning, they were in good spirits and after all that time away he said they immediately recognised other family members when they got home,
which is considered a good sign. the judge said they seem to have settled in and were as happy as they could possibly be under the circumstances. the question now is what happens to the other british children who remain held in detention camps in northern syria. charities are pushing for them to be released, they estimate there are about 60 of them left. but i wouldn't expect large numbers. there are logistical difficulties in finding them, negotiating their release, legal difficulties over who has rights, security issues about what happens if they are considered a risk but can't be prosecuted. the prime minister says the government will do everything it can but will be over optimistic to expect all these children to be repatriated. they are living in abject conditions at the moment and some charities feel they will not survive the winter. that was james landau speaking to us earlier. the owners of the hotel in eastbourne ravaged by a fire today have said they are "devastated at the loss".
the blaze at the grade two listed claremont hotel broke out this morning. flames have destroyed the roof and gutted the inside of the victorian—era building. firefighters with 12 fire engines have been pumping water from the sea to try and fight the blaze. it's being reported that everyone inside was safely evacuated. prince andrew has today been riding with the queen in the grounds of windsor castle, the first time he's been seen with his mother since stepping down from royal duties. but the fallout continues following his bbc newsnight interview concerning his friendship with the convicted sex offender jeffrey epstein. from buckingham palace, our royal correspondent nicholas witchell sent up this update. not a good week for the royal family. a disastrous one for andrew. more organisations cutting their ties to him, the english national
ballet, the royal philharmonic 0rchestra dropping him as patron. 0thers expected to follow. berkeley is, the latest financial institution to end its support for his initiative helping new businesses. what role if any he will have without going forward is unclear. all this is his private office here at buckingham palace is being wound down, possibly closed completely, and his private secretary is moving across to be chief executive of pitch@palace. they are acting this week very assertively when they perceived a reputational risk to the monarchy itself. for andrew, there may yet be further difficulties. the bbc has said today its panorama investigation programme will be transmitted on december the second. that will contain the first british television interview with the young woman, virginia roberts. the boy in the dress, the best selling children's book, written by the tv star
david walliams, has been turned into a musical with the help of the royal shakespeare company and the singer robbie williams. it's about a 12—year—old footballer who wants to wear a dress, and robbie williams had just two weeks to write the songs. here's our arts editor will gompertz. # though it feels so right to me # how do i know that it isn't wrong? you gave us two weeks! two weeks to write 24 songs. # feel like i belong... eltonjohn wrote the songs for billy elliott in one week. yeah, but i can go... but, you know, i can't... i don't know how to do that! words are very different. i bet eltonjohn did, but i bet you... lee hall, i think, wrote the lyrics. well, i bet you lee hall took about two months to think of the words. all right. # you have to admit # that's a perfect fit
# i've never dressed up like a girl # you wouldn't ever know it... it's written before you had a child. it's written before instagram and social media has become a big thing. if you were writing it today, would you write it differently? um, i hope not because i think the theme is always relevant, because the theme is what it is to be different and the celebration of someone who has the courage to be different and do their own thing. the interesting thing is, that debate has kind of moved on a lot in ten years, because when the book came out, it wasn't much of a success commercially because i think that people were quite resistant to maybe the title of the book. and then the creative process? my process is, "i'm going into the studio today to get a hit." you know, where i think that other people that may have written musicals before are thinking about the book and the journey and where it needs to go and the elements,
it's like, each individual song, i'mjust thinking, should be a number one somewhere in the history of music. # dance, dance, dance # forget about the world outside... does this show relate to shakespeare? i think it does in a way. there was a point where i decided on a cunning piece of programming, which was that we would do as you like it and the boy in the dress, so the girl in the trousers and the boy in the dress. you know, rosalind in as you like it puts on her trousers and understands a different perspective on humankind and i think dennis does the same in the boy in the dress. # dance, dance, dance! that report coming to us. and we'll be taking an in—depth look at the papers with our reviewers joe twyman and caroline frost. that's coming up after the headlines at 11:30. now, it's time for the weather
with chris fawkes. 0ver recent days we have seen the number of flood warnings reduced across the country but that trend looks set to stop as we get into saturday. heavy outbreaks of rain are on the way and it is likely to cause some localised flooding issues inafew cause some localised flooding issues in a few places. the second half of the weekend, sunday easily the better of the two days. 0ften the weekend, sunday easily the better of the two days. often a lot drier and still pretty cloudy. we have had lots of rain through the night, continuing for the first part of saturday. a0 to 50 millimetres, similar rain across the hills. could bring some localised flooding issues. as it extends into eastern england, similar amounts of rain on the high ground. 15 to 25 millimetres lower down, this is one area that has been impacted severely by flooding over recent days. it is a sensitive area, the ground is saturated and that extra rain could further some further significant problems. a little bit of surface
water here. eventually the rain will start to move across into scotland as well. it is here as we go on through the night that we could see further problems. around 60 to 80 millimetres over the high ground from the grampians into the highlands as well, but heavy rain from fife to aberdeenshire and that could cause some issues as well. as we go through saturday and saturday night, we could see some localised flooding issues in places due to the heavy rain and the persistent rain. 0n heavy rain and the persistent rain. on sunday, and improving scenario. the rain moves across the shetlands, strong winds at time. a drier and brighter slice of weather but often pretty cloudy and still a few showers around. this time yesterday we we re showers around. this time yesterday we were talking about the rain coming back into the southwest and that could have some timing issues. it will arrive late in the day which means more sunday will have the dry weather. at the moment the jetstream pattern has a big bridge over the western side of the united states.