tv Review 2020 BBC News December 27, 2020 12:30am-1:01am GMT
cases of the more contagious variant of covid—19 first identified in the uk have been confirmed in several european countries — including spain, sweden and france. the variant strain has also been found injapan and canada. some eu nations are now rolling out their mass vaccine programme 2a hours early. us federal agents have searched a house on the outskirts of nashville as part of their investigation into the christmas day explosion in the city. local police say they have identified at least "one person "of interest" connected to the motor home vehicle that exploded in the city centre. and the russian president vladimir putin has paid tribute to the cold war spy george blake who has died in moscow, aged 98. blake was a soviet double agent who worked in the british secret service. he escaped to russia from a london prison in 1966.
now on bbc news, a look back on the year in politics with leila nathoo. the beginning of a new decade filled with promise, but 2020 didn't play out as any of us expected. from this evening, i must give the british people a very simple instruction — you must stay at home. it was a year of decisions politicians never imagined they would have to make... look at the huge temporary hospitals being created for coronavirus patients. the nhs is bracing itself. ..situations they hoped they would never have to face... we've got one of the worst death rates across europe, and now we're going to have one of the worst recessions.
..as the coronavirus pandemic took hold and the economy plunged into crisis. we're all prepared, we've got the covid—secure chairs, we've got hand sanitisers everywhere. the city isjust being picked on! the story of 2020 is one that we will never forget. for all of us, it's been a year of struggle and challenges including for those in power making the calls that have affected us all so profoundly. it was boris johnson's first year as prime minister. labour chose a new leader in sir keir starmer. you might remember 2020 as the year that life stood still, but in politics, it's been a whirlwind. boris johnson began the year having secured an emphatic election victory with an 80—seat majority and delivering on his promise to get brexit done. with the eu divorce deal backed by parliament, he had a new slogan of what he called "leveling up".
people don't feel that they have a chance to get to the opportunity areas, to the high skill, high pay jobs, and that's one of the things that i hope by the end of this parliament, we will attack. it was supposed to be a fresh start... and there you have it, we are no longer a member of the european union. ..leaving the bitter brexit battle far behind, now the issue that had dominated politics for years had been settled. unless something really, really odd happens, we're going to be sitting here next year and the biggest thing that will have happened politically and all the rest will be the uk's out of the european union. well, something was happening on the other side of the world. in central china, a man has died following an outbreak of an unknown pneumonia—like virus which officials say comes from the same family as the deadly sars virus. prime minister, are you concerned about coronavirus? at first, the risk to people in the uk was deemed to be low. this is not wuhan,
but brighton. but the virus soon arrived on our shores. what had at first seemed a distant concern was soon at the government's front door. this budget is taking place against the backdrop of the coronavirus. it's almost overwhelming every thing else, of course, with a dramatic news that our health minister has now gone down with it. things were moving fast. the government's top of scientific advisers were making public appearances, but initially, the government's response was low—key. i was at a hospital the other night where i think there were actually a few coronavirus patients, and i shook hands with everybody. morning. officials arriving this morning for the emergency cobra meeting on the growing threat of the coronavirus. wash your hands... but just what was the government's strategy for getting on top of this virus that was spreading through the country? the world health organization advice was very clear — test, test, test.
at an earlier stage, the uk changed its testing requirements. our aim is not to suppress it completely. also, because most people, the vast majority of people, get a mild illness, to build up some degree of herd immunity. is allowing this to spread to achieve herd immunity in any way government policy? herd immunity is not our policy, it's not our goal. our goal is to protect life. knowing now where we would end up, confined to our homes for months with restrictions on our lives for the rest of the year, it's easy to forget that in early march, the situation was changing rapidly and the government's response had to quickly evolve. but looking to parts of europe, ministers and their advisers could see what was coming down the track. it's estimated we're three weeks behind italy, and if no action is taken, the epidemic here will double every 5—6 days. now is the time for everyone to stop non—essential contact with others and to stop all unnecessary travel.
we need people to start working from home where they possibly can. it's a dramatic shift in policy, and critics will say it should've happened sooner, but officials here at the department of health say it was only today when government scientific advisers predicted a significant escalation in case numbers requiring radical new measures. the crucial choices the government made in those early days of the pandemic will be poured over for some time to come. ultimately, borisjohnson, against his libertarian instincts, joined leaders across the world in delivering this shocking message to the nation. without a huge national effort to halt the growth of this virus, there will come a moment when no health service in the world could possibly cope, because there won't be enough ventilators, enough intensive care beds, enough doctors and nurses. from this evening for my must give the british people a very simple instruction —
you must stay at home. the four nations moved in lockstep — england, scotland, wales and northern ireland in lockdown. schools closed for all children except those of key workers keeping essential services going. international travel ground to a halt. and the economy shut down, prompting an unprecedented intervention from the government, a conservative one at that, to try to save jobs. we are paying people's wages up to 80% so someone can be furloughed rather than laid off to protect theirjob. we prepared for the worst and cut ourselves off from each other to try to contain covid—i9. we should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return. we will be with our friends again, we will be with our families again, we will meet again. in all of this, labour had spent months choosing a new leader to replace
jeremy corbyn who'd inspired his followers and shifted his party to the left but presided over two failed general election campaigns. in his place came his former shadow brexit secretary, sir keir starmer, his virtual victory speech delivered to little fanfare. we've got a mountain to climb. where that requires change, we will change. us to rethink, we will rethink. but while the new leader of the opposition was getting his feet under the table in extraordinary times, the virus had struck at the very heart of government. the prime minister and the health secretary, the men in charge of britain's fight against coronavirus, both test positive for the disease as the uk's death toll climbs again. i am working from home, i'm self—isolating. we were told his symptoms were mild, but borisjohnson‘s condition took a dramatic turn for the worst. less than a mile from downing street, borisjohnson is intensive care tonight —
in a personal fight against the virus that the government and the country is trying to beat. as the first world leader to test positive for coronavirus, the prime minister was out of action in intensive care at a time of acute national crisis. borisjohnson would later reveal that it was 50—50 whether he would be put on a ventilator used to treat the most serious of cases. mercifully, borisjohnson recovered and in time to see the birth of his son, wilfred, at the end of april. but others were not so lucky. the number of dead continued to rise, soon surpassing the figure of 20,000 that the government's chief scientific adviser had said would be a good outcome. official statistics are only now starting to give a sense of the scale of what's happened in england and wales. 10% of all deaths connected to the virus are happening in care homes. critics claim the government was struggling with key tasks,
sourcing reliable and adequate supplies of protective equipment for hospital staff, and increasing the capacity for coronavirus testing and deciding whether to recommend the use of face coverings. while most of us were still grappling with the stay—at—home instruction and the heartache of not being able to see our loved ones, it emerged that some prominent people hadn't been sticking to the rules. to help save lives, stay at home. scotland's chief medical officer resigned after she admitted having visited her second home. but it was the revelation that the prime minister's most senior adviser, dominic cummings... social distancing. ..had travelled across the country during lockdown that proved to be the most controversial... you're supposed to be more than two metres apart. you understand for some people, it seems as if there was one version of the rules for you and one version of the rules for everyone else. no, i don't regret what i did. as i said, i think, you know, reasonable people may well disagree about how i thought
about what to do in these circumstances. ..especially since he kept hisjob. streets were deserted. silence descended. and all the while, the economy was taking a battering. in ordering lockdown, the government — like other governments around the world — was requiring and requesting a big drop in economic activity on a scale and at a speed we've never seen before. yes, i can see the long—term consequences of lockdown as clearly as anyone, and i want to get this economy moving as fast as i can, but i refuse to throw away all of the effort and the sacrifice of the british people and to risk a second major outbreak. i really fear that, you know, unemployment on a scale we haven't seen for a generation, 2 million plus possibly 3 million. i don't think that people appreciate the scale
of the economic crisis that could be coming down the track. the chancellor was already paying 80% of the wages of those that had been furloughed. while our interventions have saved millions ofjobs and businesses, we can't save every job and every business. and there were calls for more support for industries collapsing under the weight of restrictions. meanwhile, the government was trying to get a system of test, trace and isolate working, hoping to use it to be able to relax restrictions. there has been no effective tracing in place since march the 12th when tracing was abandoned. we will have a test, track and trace operation that will be world beating, and yes, it will be in place, it will be in place byjune the 1st. but it was struggling to deliver. have you fixed your system yet? chanting: black lives matter! 2020 was also the year
that issues of racial inequality and injustice came to the forefront... nojustice, no peace! ..with black lives matter protester erupted in ..with black lives matter protests erupting in the uk after a black man, george floyd, was killed by police in america. we are not learning and we are not growing from our past mistakes. we consistently put things under the rug and then move on and start something new. at the same time, there was concern that covid was disproportionately hitting those from ethnic minorities. the protest lead to tensions over how we represent the country's past... this was how the churchill statue outside parliament was left. the prime minister calling it "shameful". the monument had to be secured. ..and claims of a culture war. this feels to me like a bit of a deflection. let's get to the action, let's have some substance, let's do something about these historic injustices. there were concerns, too, over other gaps widening. with children out of school and forced to try to learn from home, it was clear that for some, their education
was suffering. for those at critical stages of their studies, there was confusion about how they would be graded in counseled exams. a lot of people will be sad and disstressed, it's a very stressful time. your future is uncertain. i was predicted aaa, and i've got given bcc, and ijust think it's unfair that we got given these grades even though we didn't actually sit exams in the first place. and each of uk nations changed their policy. i do acknowledge that we did not get this right, and i am sorry for that. incredibly sorry for all of those students who have been through this. in england, the footballer marcus rashford secured not one but two u—turns of government policy... ijust don't want people to go through the same things. ..in his campaign to continue providing free school meals during the holidays. it was a hot summer, and after months of us staying at home or camped in our local parks, the infection rate started to fall,
and some restrictions were gradually lifted. for the chancellor, it was time to get the country back out, spending and "eating out to help out", he said, with a major government subsidy. morning. but there were questions about his future flagship job supports package. leaving the furlough scheme open forever gives people false hope that it will always be possible to return to the jobs had before. butjust as the government hoped the economy was starting to get back on its feet... tonight at ten, concern and confusion in leicester, as local firms face a further period of lockdown. ..as life started to return to some communities, in others, especially in the north of england, infections were still on the rise and local lockdowns were imposed. we are all prepared, we've got the covid secured checks, we have got hand sanitisers everywhere.
the city's just being picked on! sudden rule changes affected eid celebrations. i'll paint you a scenario, you've put the turkey in the oven and then you see a twitter feed which is telling you that christmas is cancelled. so, yeah, disappointing. the four nations were moving at different speeds with the relaxation and re—imposition of restrictions, exposing tensions in our system of devolved government. soon, a gulf opened up between westminster and the north of england over levels of support. is this a game of poker? are they playing poker with places and people's lives through a pandemic? is that what this is about? the people who drive those taxis, who work in the pubs, many of them who may have voted for them, they said to them they would "level up" — what we have seen today is a deliberate act of leveling down. over 70% icu capacity in manchester, in bolton, and in other hospitals within the region, that's a serious situation, and it demands action. but that action meant businesses forced to close again. it's my livelihood, it's
the people who work for me, they have mortgages, kids, i'm bitter, i'm angry. borisjohnson never thought that he would be the prime minister to take away what he called "the ancient right" of british people to go to the pub, something he said at the time he recognised was a huge wrench. but as well as some extraordinary firsts for a uk leader, he also had to contend with matters more familiar to his predecessors. are you going to get a breakthrough, sir? are you close? we will see how things go today. good morning, mr bennett. how are you, good afternoon. britain had left the eu, but time was running out to put in new trade arrangements once the transition period came to an end. deadlines to strike a new post—brexit trade deal came and went, and the government's strategy continued to shock. yes, this does break international law in a very specific and limited way.
that's not the kind of thing you hear very often in the house of commons — riling even conservative how can we reproached russia, or china or iran when their conduct falls below internationally accepted standards when we are showing such scant regard for our treaty obligations? but in the midst of all the uncertainty around brexit and covid—19, borisjohnson was still trying to look to the future, promising a green recovery. the uk government has decided to become the world leader in low—cost clean power generation. and he had the future of the union to worry about too. you can see for the duration of the pandemic that there has been an increase in the "yes support" to 56%. i will seek your authority, no one else's, for independent legal referendum to be held in the early part of parliament.
shame on you! labour had its own concerns. in the autumn, the equalities watchdog found the party had acted unlawfully in handling claims of anti—semitism under jeremy corbyn‘s leadership. his response, that the issue was one that had been exaggerated by his political opponents, prompted his extraordinary suspension from the party he had been a member of for more than 50 years... very shocked and very disappointed. ..and which he was in charge of at the start of the year. i made it clear that we won't tolerate anti—semitism or the denial of anti—semitism through the suggestion that it's exaggerated or faction. meanwhile, coronavirus infections began rising once more. would we all be forced back into our homes for the cold months ahead? i don't want a second national lockdown, and i think it would be a completely wrong for this country. the government's scientific advisers privately recommended three weeks ago that it was
time to go much further. a circuit break is needed now to get this virus under control. but then... large swathes of the country come under tougher coronavirus measures with a full national lockdown starting in wales. over 3 million people there, whether in a higher low whether in a high or low infection area, will be under full restrictions now for the next 16 days. the uk government eventually went into reverse. i'm afraid the basic message is the same — stay at home, protect the nhs, and save lives. on this and on extending the furlough scheme, rishi sunak has gone from you now to help out to eating his words. we need a chancellor who is in front of the problems we face, not one who is always a step behind. there was disquiet on the government's own back benches too over the system of tiered restrictions in england. by putting down legislation
of how people live their lives in their private homes, that is not a space we should enter easily. madam deputy speaker, it stinks. collapsing the economy and destroying people's jobs and livelihoods can never be the right solution. there was desperation in some parts of the economy. see all these people? they have children. we need to social distancing, or we are going to get in trouble! hungry children. we put a range of different support in place right at the beginning of this when there was such acute anxiety and worry for the country, but the good news is, that support lasts all the way to next spring, and that is there alongside lots of other things we've done. in each of the nations, those in charge were under pressure to explain how and why we were here again. the cabinet has agreed to take further specific and targeted action to reinforce the current national measures we have in place. coronavirus was also playing a starring role in the key political event
across the atlantic. this is quite an unbelievable scene, the president who is being treated for coronavirus is waving at his supporters while he is meant to be in the hospital. president trump recovered from the virus. we were getting ready to win this election. frankly, we did win this election. applause the president—elect, joe biden. when in fact, he'd lost the election to his democrat challenger. mr biden, a quick word for the bbc? the bbc? i'm irish. and then the news all governments had been hoping for, the promise of a vaccine. a great day for science and humanity, that sentence alone tells you what a big day this could be in the fight against coronavirus. there was 50011 more scientific breakthroughs. just delighted here in oxford. huge, huge congratulations to you and your teams. it's the third goal
in the back of the net now. 0xford has created a vaccine notjust for britain, but for the world. meanwhile, a major bout of office politics triggered some big changes inside number 10. the prime minister's most senior adviser, dominic cummings, was out. no longer loyal to the man who'd been by his side for years, boris johnson did stick by his home secretary, priti patel, when she was found to have broken the ministerial code in a bullying inquiry. i am sorry if i have upset people in any way whatsoever. that was completely unintentional. the cost of coronavirus had been building up. our health emergency is not yet over, and our economic emergency has onlyjust begun. many key workers who willingly took on so much responsibility during this crisis are now being forced to tighten their belts. in contrast, there has
been a bonanza for those who have won contracts from this government. the chancellor would have to decide how to start paying for it all. we have all spent most of the year not being able to share meals with our loved ones, but over christmas, the four nations decided to relax restrictions for a few days to allow us to meet. it was a much needed respite from the isolation of 2020, but scientists warned the government it was playing with fire given that any mixing over the festive period could send infection rates soaring in the new year. but it was a gamble that ministers were willing to take. until... given the early evidence we have on this new variant of the virus, the potential risk exposes, it is with a very risk it poses, it is with a very heavy heart, i must tell you, we cannot continue with christmas as planned. dozens of countries shut their doors on the uk. lorries backed up, unable to cross the channel. the new variant is out
of control and we need to bring it under control. and this news about the new variant has been an incredibly difficult end to, frankly, an awful year. meanwhile, brexit talks were coming to a head with the end of the transition period looming. negotiators had shuttled back and forth between london and brussels... keep distance. keep distance. a deal for post—brexit is there... a good deal is still there to be done. ..until it wasn't. the two sides kept us guessing until the last possible moment. we have completed the biggest trade deal yet, worth £660 billion a comprehensive canada—style free trade deal between the uk and the eu because although we have left the eu, this country will remain culturally, emotionally, historically, strategically, geologically
attached to europe. so we have finally found an agreement. it was a long and winding road, but we have got a good deal to show for it. it is fair, it is a balanced deal, and it is the right and responsible thing to do for both sides. in the year since borisjohnson secured his place here, our world has turned upside down. the prime minister himself fell victim to the virus that he was in charge of tackling. his recovery was short, the economies and societies will take far longer. where and how we go from here with britain in a new relationship with the eu are the crucial political questions for the year ahead and beyond.
hello. after a night of wind and rain, sunday won't be as windy. there will be showers around but also sunshine, too. but right now, it's still very wet and very windy out there for some of us. from this area of low pressure, storm bella as named by the met office to raise awareness of the impacts from the wind and rain but not just that. in areas that have seen the back of the rain and the strongest winds overnight, the colder air moving in — and for some of us in scotland and northern ireland icy, and a few wintry showers around to start the day. damaging winds from storm bella could cause some disruption, particularly into parts of england and wales and there will be more heavy rain in areas already seeing some flooding. so, that's not going to help. the greatest chance of disruption from the wind will be in the areas where the met office has an amber warning in force for the potential of some gusts up to 80 mph or sojust
slowly easing as we go on through sunday morning. once this overnight rain will have cleared away, clearing around mid—morning from the east of kent. you can see it's a colder start the day, particularly across scotland and northern ireland where it will be icy in places, potentially parts of northern england. we have these wintry showers moving in. some snow, mainly on hills, but perhaps not exclusively on hills. it is the west that sees most of sunday's showers. it is sunnier and drier the further east you are. it is still windy. these are wind gusts but we're talking around 30—110 mph, just a little higher around some coasts in the west. and it is going to be a colder day, temperatures in scotland just hovering close to freezing during the day, and a longer spell of snow pushing across parts of scotland, northern ireland, northern england, north wales overnight sunday into monday — notjust on hills, that snow. a few centimetres to lower levels in some spots, too. and even where you don't get that, it could be icy, frosty as monday starts.
so, a cold start to monday. the area of low pressure right across us. so if you are close to that, we can expect some cloud. and around that, there will be some bands of rain, sleet, and snow around on monday morning. so, there could be some problems from that. it could well be the further away you are from that low pressure system in scotland and northern ireland by the afternoon, the greater chance for you to see a bit of sunshine. but it's cold, and it's a cold week to come. but a reminderfrom storm bella, damaging winds potential, and also further flooding. there are weather and flood warnings. keep up—to—date online.
this is bbc news. a very warm welcome if you're watching here in the uk or around the world. i'm rich preston. our top stories: the new coronavirus variant that first emerged in england is spreading across many european countries and has now been confirmed in canada and japan. us federal agents search a house on the outskirts of nashville as part of their investigation into the christmas day explosion in the city. i'm explosion in the city. confident in the ten that we have i'm confident in the ten that we have that would get to the bottom of this. we will find out the story of this individual, or individuals. president putin pays tribute to the former mi6 officer and soviet spy, george blake, who has died aged 98 in moscow. and, a fast—food joint, roman—style — archaeologists unearth