tv BBC News at One BBC News April 28, 2021 1:00pm-1:31pm BST
the electoral commission launches a formal investigation into the funding of the refurbishment of boris johnson's downing street flat. are you worried about the investigation, prime minister? who coughed up for the flat, sir? the watchdog says there are reasonable grounds to suspect an offence or offences may have occurred. labour went on the attack. the ministerial code says, and i quote, ministers who knowingly mislead parliament will be expected to offer their resignation. you— to offer their resignation. you to offer their resi-nation. should know that i paid ' downing you should know that i paid for the downing street refurbishment personally, mr speaker, and i contrast— personally, mr speaker, and i contrast it _ personally, mr speaker, and i contrast it any further declaration that i_ contrast it any further declaration that t wilt— contrast it any further declaration that i will have to make, if any, i
will be _ that i will have to make, if any, i will be advised upon. as the prime minister faces continuing pressure over whether he was initially loaned the money and by whom, we'll bring you the latest from westminster. also this lunchtime... an acute covid emergency in india. more than 200,000 are now dead and it's feared the actual number is much higher. as people die waiting for beds, and oxygen supplies remain critically low, the much—criticised government considers lockdowns in the worst—hit areas. 0ne dose of the 0xford/astrazeneca or pfizer vaccine vaccine halves the likelihood of a person who gets coronavirus passing it on. i wonder if you both remember when you first met? it i wonder if you both remember when you first met?— you first met? it was a few years auo. it was a few years ago. and after a year spent on our sofas watching tv in lockdown, who's been nominated for this year's baftas? and coming up on the bbc news channel... wales star george north is ruled out of the british and irish lions tour of south africa this summer after suffering a serious knee injury.
good afternoon and welcome to the bbc news at one. a formal investigation has been launched into the funding of borisjohnson�*s downing street flat refurbishments by the electoral commission. the watchdog announced it was satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to suspect that an offence or offences may have occurred. mrjohnson came under sustained pressure from the labour leader today during prime minister's questions about whether he initially borrowed the money. the prime minister said again he had covered costs but has asked the new advisor on ministers' interests to advise on whether any further statements are needed. 0ur political correspondent iain watson reports.
dominic cummings let the political views. the prime minister's former adviser accused his old boss of asking conservative donors to pay for refurbishing the downing street flat. he said this would have been unethical and possibly illegal. today, the party political watchdog, the electoral commission, announced a formal enquiry into the funding of the flat, saying it was satisfied there are reasonable grounds to suspect an offence or offences may have occurred. pare suspect an offence or offences may have occurred-— suspect an offence or offences may have occurred. are you worried about the investigation, _ have occurred. are you worried about the investigation, prime _ have occurred. are you worried about the investigation, prime minister? i the investigation, prime minister? it is not the backdrop to pmqs ideally that boris johnson wanted. unsurprisingly, the labour ideally that borisjohnson wanted. unsurprisingly, the labour leader asked the prime minister about the electoral commission investigation. it is incredibly serious. can the prime minister tell the house does he believe that any rules or laws have been broken in relation to the refurbishment of the prime minister's flat?— refurbishment of the prime
minister's flat? ~ , m minister's flat? prime minister. no i don't, mr— minister's flat? prime minister. no i don't, mr speaker. _ minister's flat? prime minister. no i don't, mr speaker. keir _ minister's flat? prime minister. no i don't, mr speaker. keir starmer i i don't, mr speaker. keir starmer wanted to explore _ i don't, mr speaker. keir starmer wanted to explore whether - i don't, mr speaker. keir starmer wanted to explore whether there | i don't, mr speaker. keir starmer - wanted to explore whether there was a conflict of interest and whether borisjohnson initially paid for it or someone else. i boris johnson initially paid for it or someone else.— boris johnson initially paid for it or someone else. i did the taxpayer -a the or someone else. i did the taxpayer pay the invoice. _ or someone else. i did the taxpayer pay the invoice, or _ or someone else. i did the taxpayer pay the invoice, or it _ or someone else. i did the taxpayer pay the invoice, or it was _ or someone else. i did the taxpayer pay the invoice, or it was the - pay the invoice, or it was the conservative party, or it was a private donor, or it was the prime minister. i am private donor, or it was the prime minister. iam making it easy private donor, or it was the prime minister. i am making it easy for the prime minister, it is now multiple—choice. the prime minister, it is now multiple-choice.— the prime minister, it is now multiple-choice. the answer is i have covered _ multiple-choice. the answer is i have covered the _ multiple-choice. the answer is i have covered the costs - multiple-choice. the answer is i have covered the costs and - multiple-choice. the answer is i | have covered the costs and most people _ have covered the costs and most people will find it absolutely bizarro _ people will find it absolutely bizarre. 0f people will find it absolutely bizarre. of course there is an etectorat— bizarre. of course there is an electoral commission investigating this. electoral commission investigating this i_ electoral commission investigating this~ i can— electoral commission investigating this. i can tell you i have confirmed in full with the code of conduct — confirmed in full with the code of conduct. �* �* , confirmed in full with the code of conduct. �* , , conduct. don't the british people deserve a prime _ conduct. don't the british people deserve a prime minister - conduct. don't the british people deserve a prime minister they i conduct. don't the british peoplel deserve a prime minister they can trust and a government that is mired in sleaze, cronyism and scandal? week after week, the people of this couhtry_ week after week, the people of this country can— week after week, the people of this country can see the difference between — country can see the difference between a labour party that twists and turns — between a labour party that twists and turns with the wind, that thinks of nothing _ and turns with the wind, that thinks of nothing except playing political games _ of nothing except playing political names. ,, , ., games. the snp focused on boris johnson's denial _
games. the snp focused on boris johnson's denial of _ games. the snp focused on boris johnson's denial of reports - games. the snp focused on boris johnson's denial of reports he - games. the snp focused on boris| johnson's denial of reports he said that he was willing to see bodies pile high rather than go into a lockdown last autumn. the prime minister has _ lockdown last autumn. the prime minister has repeatedly _ lockdown last autumn. the prime minister has repeatedly lied - lockdown last autumn. the prime minister has repeatedly lied to i lockdown last autumn. the prime | minister has repeatedly lied to the public over the last week. can i ask the question, are you a liar, prime minister? i the question, are you a liar, prime minister? ., ., , minister? i did not say those words. what i do believe _ minister? i did not say those words. what i do believe is _ minister? i did not say those words. what i do believe is a _ minister? i did not say those words. what i do believe is a lockdown i minister? i did not say those words. what i do believe is a lockdown is i minister? i did not say those words. what i do believe is a lockdown is a | what i do believe is a lockdown is a miserable _ what i do believe is a lockdown is a miserable thing and i did everything i miserable thing and i did everything i could _ miserable thing and i did everything i could to _ miserable thing and i did everything i could to try to protect the british— i could to try to protect the british public throughout the pandemic, to protect them from drop downs. _ pandemic, to protect them from drop downs. trut— pandemic, to protect them from drop downs, but also to protect them from diseaso _ downs, but also to protect them from disease. , , ., , ., disease. this is the new adviser of ministerial — disease. this is the new adviser of ministerial standards, _ disease. this is the new adviser of ministerial standards, a _ disease. this is the new adviser of ministerial standards, a former i ministerial standards, a former parliamentary secretary to the queen, and borisjohnson will take his advice on when anything further needs to be said. ever since the allegations were made, number ten has insisted no codes of conduct have been breached and no electoral laws broken, but the timing of the electoral commission investigation is far from electoral commission investigation is farfrom ideal, potentially distracting the conservatives from campaign messages they would prefer to be talking about ahead of crucial
elections next week. and the government will need to do more if it is to reclaim the agenda. damian grammaticas is at westminster. the prime minister clearly under severe pressure now.— the prime minister clearly under severe pressure now. what happens next? several _ severe pressure now. what happens next? several things _ severe pressure now. what happens next? several things to _ severe pressure now. what happens next? several things to focus i severe pressure now. what happens next? several things to focus on. i next? several things to focus on. the first thing is the electoral commission investigation. that now is ongoing. they have powers to investigate the funding, where that came from, where that went, so that will come back. on that issue the question there is whether they will choose to impose any sanction if they find there was wrongdoing. that could be a fine of up to something like £20,000, or in extreme cases, and this is very rare, to refer it to the police. secondly, you have that investigation that will be done tjy that investigation that will be done by the new adviser on ministerial standards into whether borisjohnson needs to declare anything.
confusingly on that, if the new adviser finds something was done wrong, he will refer it back to the prime minister and it is the prime minister who decides if there is a sanction on himself. that is a slightly odd situation. lastly is the political fallout from this. we saw these very angry exchanges, sir keir starmer reminding the prime minister that in the ministerial code if you mislead parliament, you are expected to resign. and the last thing is the comment about bodies piling high and the lockdown. that is where he wanted the prime minister on record in the house. thank you. the number of coronavirus deaths in india has leapt to over 200,000 with parts of the country devastated by a second surge of the disease. there's a continuing acute shortage of oyxgen, along with desperately overcrowded hospitals. in some cases, people are dying while waiting for beds. experts believe the real number of infections and deaths is much higher than official figures show.
the government, which is coming in for increasingly bitter criticism for its handling of the second wave, is now considering lockdowns in 150 of the worst—hit districts. with india in such crisis, we'll hear from our correspondents across the country and also report on reaction here in the uk. first, our correspondent yogita limaye has spent the day with one nurse at a hospital in delhi. years of training. but nothing could have prepared them for this. manjusha mathew — a nurse and the mother of three young children. a new patient is brought in. seema! 0xygen mask...
she's constantly scanning how others are are holding up... ..treating as many as they can. "people say, "sister, please save our loved one." they call us god. that makes us so emotional because we can only do so much." with resources so short, they're having to choose who they might save — decisions they should never have had to make. "at times we break down. some nights i wake up crying. but i also feel a sense of satisfaction that i'm doing something to help." this is a hospital in a big city, and out of reach for most indians.
the situation at this point is so difficult that all the people who work here, everyone who's exposing themselves to risk on a daily basis, knows that if they or their families were to get sick, even they would struggle to find the right medical care. in a city overrun, it's hard to leave the trauma behind. the risks follow you home, too. manjusha's children know not to hug her when she'sjust back from hospital... ..but they're too young to fully understand what their mother does — her front line role at one of the most grim times in india's history. and we can speak to yogita limaye now. desperate scenes there. is there a feeling that india has hit the peak yet? feeling that india has hit the peak et? ~ , , feeling that india has hit the peak et? . , , ., ., yet? well, it is very hard to estimate — yet? well, it is very hard to estimate that _ yet? well, it is very hard to estimate that primarily i yet? well, it is very hard to i estimate that primarily because it
is such a vast country. what we also saw during the first wave was that different parts of the country peaked at different times will stop certainly from what we have been seeing over the past week in the capital there has been no improvement in the situation. these deaths are caused by covid—i9, but they could have been saved, but they can't be because there is not enough oxygen and not enough hospital beds. we know that in some other parts of the country, for example in the state of uttar pradesh, the state of west bengal, we are seeing extremely sharp surges in cases there. these are areas where large gatherings were allowed to happen just about a week or ten days ago for religious festivals, for political rallies, for elections, and so i think when the people come is a question that doctors, epidemiologist, no one really knows the answer to that
right now. what we know is that the government has made promises about oxygen supplies reaching on the ground, but they are not reaching people in need at this moment. thank ou. thank you. that is the latest from the capital delhi. how are other parts of india coping? 0ur correspondents from across india have sent us these updates. first, here's the view from maharashtra state in the west of the country. india's western maharashtra is the worst affected state by covid—i9 pandemic, along with cities like mumbai and pune. its rural areas like palghar where i am today are also suffering from rise in coronavirus cases. some districts in maharashtra have reported a massive 700% rise, as compared to last year in the first wave. the availability of icu beds is a major cause of concern as a few districts
have already run out. maharashtra is the home of world's biggest vaccine maker, but one in ten indians have managed to receive the covid—i9 jab so far. the north indian state of punjab has the highest death rate in the country and is a major cause of concern. experts say that people are reluctant to get themselves tested for covid—i9. this is a majorfactor contributing to the high death rate. outside the district hospital in mohali, people have told me that covid does not exist. they say it has been created by the authorities to stop protests by farmers who have been gathering in big numbers since last year. health experts say that people only reach hospitals after developing serious complications when it is not easy to save them. here in the state of west bengal
elections remain the main focus up until now. i am outside this covid hospital here in kolkata. the health care system is under serious pressure. people are now worried, as 15—16,000 new cases are being reported every day in the state. during the past one month, people have been voting here for the state elections and huge campaign rallies were organised. thousands of people attended those rallies, most of them didn't wear a mask or didn't maintain physical distancing. the rallies were attended by the prime minister and the home minister who flew down from delhi almost every other day. but people are now frightened that cases may explode. the view from west bengal. here, many british indians are waiting anxiously for news about their loved ones abroad
and turning their attention to what they can do to help as sima kotecha reports. special prayers here for those thousands of miles away. a small hindu congregation at a temple in wembley chanting what is known as the hanuman chalisa. it is a devotional hymn believed to have immense power in helping those in need. 0ur duty, we should do, and we should pray to the god to protect the india, protect all the people, protect all the indians and the whole universe and give us the strength to fight this covid. through continuous prayer worshippers think about their loved ones living in the midst of the crisis. some of them want to travel there, they can't see their relatives, and some of cannot attend the funerals and some of them who are here from india and they can't travel back. 0n the whole, generally, the indian community here are really upset.
the media and whatsapp messages have kept british—indian connections with the motherland and with the covid crisis in vivid focus. the horror and helplessness many here feel is really striking. with their relatives and friends thousands of miles away some have told us their only option is to pray. some uk charities have set up donation pages, urging those who want to help to give money for essential medical supplies. right now one of the big issues is getting sufficient oxygen to the front line, to the hospitals. much of the story over the last week has been around mumbai and delhi, but the secondary cities and tertiary cities have got huge challenges that are about to hit them, so we are really working very closely with organisations to acquire those, but notjust acquire them, distribute them, manage them and ensure they get to the places of greatest need. the stream of horrific pictures are a constant reminder of what people are enduring. hospitals overwhelmed
and a struggle for survival. the situation is very critical because so much very spread everywhere. we have never seen people piling up outside hospitals and the images we are seeing here at the moment are people just stuck outside hospital not being able to get intensive, icu treatment. it is very sad so i do hope it does improve in india. british doctors have been providing people in india with advice and support. my knowledge of treating covid and also research, sharing the knowledge with my professional friends in india, that has been useful. chanting. the racial and cultural connection is strong. many british indians are pulling out all the stops to try and hold up a nation apparently teetering on the brink of a medical collapse. sima kotecha, bbc news.
so, why is this second wave of coronavirus in india quite so devastating? our global science correspondent rebecca morelle considers now the covid—i9 variants which have risen to such deadly prominence. the death toll keeps on rising, as india struggles to cope with its covid crisis. but how did they get to this point and are variants behind the surge in cases? since april, india has reported 5 million covid infections. each day is bringing record numbers. but are changes to the virus causing this explosive growth? 0r people's behaviour? it's always a combination of things. the increase in social mixing that's happened over the last several months, the sort of dropping of the guard of people, thinking that they can go back to being normal, as well as potentially the variants that have emerged. so how is the virus mutating and what do we know about the variants?
the picture is different in different parts of the country. in delhi and punjab, the uk variant is dominant. it has a mutation to the spike of the virus that allows it to enter cells more easily, so it can infect more people. but in maharashtra and west bengal, a new indian variant has emerged. it has two key mutations. lab studies suggest it's slightly more infectious, but less so than the uk variant. but the changes mean mean that antibodies find it harder to block the virus. but scientists need to assess how much immunity is lost. it probably means the virus is a bit less well able to be neutralised by vaccines, but certainly i don't think there's any evidence that it's an escape mutation or that it fundamentally can't be stopped by the vaccines. and i think we have to obviously watch carefully but there is at present no reason to panic about it. so, is this only affecting india? what does it mean for the rest of the world?
the priority now is to get medical care to the sickest, but there is also an urgent need to reduce transmission because if the virus is out of control in one country, it is likely to spread to others. and these are ideal conditions for the virus to evolve. the way to limit viral variants emerging in the first place i is to prevent the virus replicating in us. i that's when they get the chance for the mutations to arise. i so the best way to control variants is actually to control the global- amount of disease that we have at the moment. _ globally, the pandemic shows no sign of easing. the world health organization says vaccines are vital, but until they are available everywhere, this is a bleak reminder that no one is safe until we are all safe. rebecca morelle, bbc news. and throughout the rest of the day,
the bbc is bringing you a special day of coverage on the deepening coronavirus crisis in india and its significance for the globalfight against the pandemic across tv, radio and our digital platforms. the time isi:20pm. our top story this lunchtime: as the electoral commission launches a formal investigation into the refurbishment of borisjohnson's dowing street flat, the prime minister defends his actions and coming up: could self—driving cars be on our roads by the end of the year? coming up on the bbc news channel, as manchester city continue their bid for a champions league title, they face paris saint—germain in the first leg of their semifinal, with familiarface mauricio pochettino in charge of the french side. a single dose of a covid vaccine can cut transmission of the virus by up to half. a study by public health england found that people given either the astrazeneca or pfizerjabs were less likely to pass on the virus than those who are unvaccinated.
and new data shows that more than 60% of people in the uk now have antibodies to coronavirus either from vaccination or past infection. dominic hughes reports. vaccines can't stop every case of coronavirus, but the evidence they have prevented serious illness, hospitalisation and death in thousands of people is strong. and now there's further good news, suggesting vaccines can reduce transmission of the virus, cutting the risk of catching coronavirus for those who live and work with vaccinated people. a study looked at 2a,000 households where someone had a confirmed case of coronavirus but had received vaccination. but had received a vaccination. it found that those given a first dose of either the pfizer or astrazeneca vaccines and who became infected three weeks later were between 38 and 49% less likely to pass the virus on than unvaccinated people. vaccines are not 100% effective,
either at preventing severe symptoms or at allowing yourself to be infected, but the evidence is suggesting that they are providing at least some level of protection from passing the virus on if you do get infected. and this morning mps on the science and technology select committee were told this was a significant bonus to the vaccine effect. vaccinated individuals themselves were less likely to become a case in the first place, so that is an additional benefit on top of the benefit we've already seen in the actual reduction in cases in people who've been vaccinated. and there's more good news on the side effects caused by the vaccines. another study has found only one in four people experience mild short—lived side—effects after receiving either the pfizer or astrazeneca vaccines. headache, fatigue and tenderness are the most common symptoms, but they usually last only a day or two. | you are more likely to get a local| painful bruised arm with the pfizer
you are more likely to get a local painful bruised i arm with the pfizer one _ than you are with the astrazeneca, but slightly less likely to have these mild side—effects. i and this reallyjust tells us i that those severe side—effects are incredibly rare. as lockdown eases and people return to shops and bars, levels of the community and the population become even more important. the latest figures show more than 60% of people in the uk now have antibodies to coronavirus, either via infection or vaccines. but experts warn now is not the time to let down our guard. if we all go completely wild and just ignore everything that we've learned over this last year in terms of social restrictions, there will be another wave, and that wave will be much larger. the message remains the same. a successful vaccine programme doesn't mean the danger has passed. dominic hughes, bbc news. the wales football manager, ryan giggs, has pleaded not guilty to assaulting two women. the former manchester united player also denied accusations of coercive or controlling behaviour.
0ur sports editor dan roan is in manchester. bring us up to date with the latest. well, wearing a dark suit and tie, ryan giggs arrived here for his first court appearance, one of the most decorated players of course in british football history, flanked by two of his lawyers. inside, in a short court appearance lasting just 30 minutes, he spoke only to confirm his name, age and address and to plead not guilty to three charges of domestic abuse, including that he allegedly assaulted his former girlfriend kate greville in november of last year at his home in the west of last year at his home in the west of manchester, along with her younger sister, and that he subjected his ex partner to coercive behaviour over a three—year period.
for the prosecution, it was said that he subjected her to a head—butt and he used violence, isolation, bullet going, degradation and abuse. giggs was granted bail and will appear in front of manchester crown court on may 26 in a trial it is expected to lastjust under three weeks. expected to last 'ust under three weeks. . ~ expected to last 'ust under three weeks. ., ,, , ., expected to last 'ust under three weeks. ., ~' , ., , expected to last 'ust under three weeks. ., ,, i. , . expected to last 'ust under three weeks. ., «r , . the prime minister has welcomed the formal approval of the post—brexit trade deal by the european parliament, as the final step. the deal was agreed just before christmas and came into effect on new year's day but ratification was delayed due to the short amount of time in between the two dates. so called self—driving cars could be allowed to operate on uk roads by the end of the year. the department for transport says the first type to be legalised will
be automated lane—keeping systems. let's speak to our correspondent rory cellan—jones. rory, what are they? it's important to stress this _ rory, what are they? it's important to stress this is _ rory, what are they? it's important to stress this is a _ rory, what are they? it's important to stress this is a pretty _ rory, what are they? it's important to stress this is a pretty small i to stress this is a pretty small step into the self driving future. we are talking about driver assistance features, in this case, automated lane keeping where the car is able to keep within a lane and at a safe distance from the car in front. they are available in just a few cars at the moment, but it's not legal to actually take your hands off the wheel, so making them pretty useless. the law change would allow you to do other things, perhaps check your e—mail or watch a video, rather than —— while the system was at work, but only up to a maximum of 37 mph, in other words using it during a trafficjam where you were stopping and starting. so pretty limited use. but the use of the term
self driving has raised concerns, especially amongst car insurance. they say it is important not to give drivers an impression that we are that far down the road to automation. these are not really self—driving cars, they're pretty limited features, there could be accidents of people overestimate what occurs can do. so words of caution from the insurers. qm. what occurs can do. so words of caution from the insurers. 0k, many rory celian-jones — caution from the insurers. 0k, many rory cellan-jones there. _ as the pandemic and lockdowns forced many of us to spend hours at home, we turned to the tv in our millions. so many of us will be very familiar with this year's nominations for the bafta television awards. bbc 0ne's small axe leads the field with 15 nominations, and the netflix drama the crown has ten. lizo mzimba reports. enough is enough! there's been significant campaigning in recent years for award ceremonies to better represent the uk's diverse communities.
and oscar winner steve mcqueen's impactful series small axe, about the experiences of west indian immigrants, with its predominantly black cast, leads the way with 15 nominations. those recognised include actress letitia wright and actorjohn boyega. you are silent now. why didn't you back me? i am out there on the field with no back—up! 2020 was the year of lockdown, and viewing figures for streaming services increased, meaning even bigger audiences surged to shows like netflix's royal drama the crown. its ten nominations include roles for best actor forjosh 0'connor�*s prince of wales. a few years ago now, i i was visiting her sister. diana was still quite young then. tobias menzies' prince philip and helena bonham carter's princess margaret. like small axe, drama i may destroy you has a predominantly black cast. it's creator, michaela coel, has three nominations for starring, directing and writing.
i had a not great experience. a drug—facilitated sexual assault and i was trying to get back on track. her co—stars weruche 0pia and paapa essiedu have also received acting nominations. lockdown meant that audiences that may never have seen it otherwise raved about normal people. the relationship drama has seven nominations, two of those going to its two stars. i think it's pretty obvious i don't want you to leave. i don't find it _ obvious what you want. daisy edgar—jones and paul mescal. there was also a posthumous nomination for friday night dinner�*s paul ritter. he died earlier this month, before his nomination for best male comedy actor was announced. lizo mzimba, bbc news. time for a look at the weather. good afternoon to you. we have a lot more cloud around them recent days,