tv BBC News at Six BBC News April 28, 2021 6:00pm-6:31pm BST
today at 6pm... yet more pressure on borisjohnson — the political finance watchdog is to investigate his downing street renovations. it says there are grounds to suspect an offence may have occurred — labour says mrjohnson�*s behaviour is part of a pattern. what do we get from this prime minister and this conservative government? dodgy contracts, jobs for their mates and cash for access, and who is at the heart of it? the prime minister — major sleaze, sitting there. week after week, the people of this country can see the difference between a labour party that twists and turns with the wind, that thinks of nothing except playing political games, whereas this party gets on with delivering on the people's priorities. also tonight, arlene foster, northern ireland's first minister, is to step down.
it follows mounting discontent within her democratic unionist party — we'll be looking at the implications for brexit and the future of the uk. here in belfast, a change of leadership raises questions over what it will mean for the power—sharing dynamic at stormont and the recent tensions on the streets over brexit. india's covid crisis — hospitals overwhelmed, record infections, and soaring death rates. what's driving this new surge in the pandemic? the former manchester united player ryan giggs appears in court — he denies assaulting two women. a new study finds thatjust one dose of a covid vaccine cuts transmission by up to a half. and coming up on sportsday later in the hour on the bbc news channel... we look ahead to manchester city's first champions league semifinal in five years, as they look to get the upper hand
against paris st germain. good evening and welcome to the bbc news at six. the independent watchdog that regulates political finance in the uk has launched a formal investigation into the funding of renovations to borisjohnson�*s downing street flat. the electoral commission said there were "reasonable grounds to suspect an offence or offences may have occurred". the row over who first paid for the renovations dominated prime minister's questions today. as our political editor, laura kuenssberg, explains, it's not against the rules to receive donations, but politicians must declare them so the public can see where the money has come from. there is no place like home. are you
worried about _ there is no place like home. are you worried about the _ there is no place like home. are you worried about the investigation, - worried about the investigation, prime minister? ﬁnd worried about the investigation, prime minister?— worried about the investigation, prime minister? and no fix like this for boris johnson _ prime minister? and no fix like this for boris johnson before. _ prime minister? and no fix like this for boris johnson before. his - prime minister? and no fix like this for boris johnson before. his flat i for borisjohnson before. his flat had an expensive makeover and he will not say who first played, a mystery now subject to a serious investigation. the electoral commission today said, we are now satisfied there are reasonable grounds to suspect that an offence or offences may have occurred. with claims tory donors might have picked up the tab there are suspicions rules might have been broken. ~ ., . , suspicions rules might have been broken. ~ ., ., , suspicions rules might have been broken. ., ., , ., broken. who initially paid for the redecoration _ broken. who initially paid for the redecoration of _ broken. who initially paid for the redecoration of his _ broken. who initially paid for the redecoration of his downing - broken. who initially paid for the i redecoration of his downing street flat? i redecoration of his downing street flat? ., ., , ., flat? i paid for demonstrate refurbishment _ flat? i paid for demonstrate refurbishment personally. l flat? i paid for demonstrate i refurbishment personally. any further— refurbishment personally. any further declaration that i have to make, _ further declaration that i have to make. if— further declaration that i have to make, if any, further declaration that i have to make, ifany, i further declaration that i have to make, if any, i would further declaration that i have to make, ifany, iwould be further declaration that i have to make, if any, i would be advised upon _ make, if any, i would be advised upon by— make, if any, i would be advised upon by the lord.— make, if any, i would be advised upon by the lord. used to work for the queen — upon by the lord. used to work for the queen but _ upon by the lord. used to work for the queen but he _ upon by the lord. used to work for the queen but he will— upon by the lord. used to work for the queen but he will now - upon by the lord. used to work for
the queen but he will now watch . upon by the lord. used to work for i the queen but he will now watch over ministers' behaviour, but the question isn't who stumped up in the end but who paid borisjohnson�*s bills at the start. end but who paid boris johnson's bills at the start.— end but who paid boris johnson's bills at the start. what do we get from this prime _ bills at the start. what do we get from this prime minister- bills at the start. what do we get from this prime minister and - from this prime minister and government? dodgy contracts, jobs for their mates and cash for access, and who is at the heart of it? the prime minister, major sleaze, sitting there. don't the british people deserve a prime minister they can trust and the government which isn't mired in sleaze, cronyism and scandal? ~ ~ ., ~ isn't mired in sleaze, cronyism and scandal? ~ ~ . ~ , ., , scandal? week after week the people ofthe scandal? week after week the people of the country — scandal? week after week the people of the country can _ scandal? week after week the people of the country can see _ scandal? week after week the people of the country can see the _ of the country can see the difference between a labour party that twists and turns with the wind and thinks — that twists and turns with the wind and thinks nothing except playing political _ and thinks nothing except playing political games, whereas this party -ets political games, whereas this party gets on— political games, whereas this party gets on with delivering on the pe0pie's— gets on with delivering on the people's priorities. this gets on with delivering on the people's priorities.— people's priorities. this isn't about spending _ people's priorities. this isn't about spending cash - people's priorities. this isn't about spending cash on - people's priorities. this isn't - about spending cash on cushions or curtains but where the money came from to do so at the start. all politicians have to declare any money or loans they receive so that we can all be absolutely sure precisely what is going on. the
prime minister appears to be feeling the heat now on several fronts, angry denials down there were the order of the day. did the prime minister rage he would rather see bodies pile up and locked down again, as several sources familiar with the exchanges have told the bbc and other news organisations? can the prime minister tell the house categorically, yes or no, did he make those remarks or remarks to that effect?— make those remarks or remarks to that effect? no, mr speaker, and i thinkthat, — that effect? no, mr speaker, and i thinkthat, if— that effect? no, mr speaker, and i think that, if he — that effect? no, mr speaker, and i think that, if he is _ that effect? no, mr speaker, and i think that, if he is going _ that effect? no, mr speaker, and i think that, if he is going to - that effect? no, mr speaker, and i think that, if he is going to repeat| think that, if he is going to repeat allegations like that, he should come _ allegations like that, he should come to— allegations like that, he should come to this house and substantiate those _ come to this house and substantiate those allegations. the come to this house and substantiate those allegations.— those allegations. the prime minister has _ those allegations. the prime minister has repeatedly - those allegations. the prime minister has repeatedly lied | those allegations. the prime i minister has repeatedly lied to those allegations. the prime - minister has repeatedly lied to the public over the last week, but can i ask, are you a liar, prime minister? i believe a lockdown is a miserable thing _ i believe a lockdown is a miserable thing and _ i believe a lockdown is a miserable thing and i— i believe a lockdown is a miserable thing and i did everything i could to try— thing and i did everything i could to try and — thing and i did everything i could
to try and protect the british public— to try and protect the british public throughout the pandemic, to protect— public throughout the pandemic, to protect them from lockdowns but also from disease. yet protect them from lockdowns but also from disease-— from disease. yet the prime minister's — from disease. yet the prime minister's opponents - from disease. yet the prime minister's opponents are - from disease. yet the prime i minister's opponents are trying from disease. yet the prime - minister's opponents are trying to peck awake at boris johnson minister's opponents are trying to peck awake at borisjohnson butler integrity and, at the least, unanswered questions are a big distraction. if a serving government minister is found to have broken the rules on party funding or even the law, should they resign?- rules on party funding or even the law, should they resign? given this is a coronavirus _ law, should they resign? given this is a coronavirus press _ law, should they resign? given this is a coronavirus press conference, l is a coronavirus press conference, you will not be surprised that i'm not going to add to the answers prime minister given to extensive questioning. prime minister given to extensive questioning-— questioning. avoiding questions doesnt questioning. avoiding questions doesn't make _ questioning. avoiding questions doesn't make them _ questioning. avoiding questions doesn't make them disappear. questioning. avoiding questionsl doesn't make them disappear for questioning. avoiding questions - doesn't make them disappear for top there are multiple inquiries now into exactly what happened. political reputations must be tended to with care. you can tell that the health secretary, matt hancock, didn't want to touch this with a barge pole, and i think it's safe to assume he is not the only minister that would feel that way. the connections between money and politics can get pretty toxic. this all matters because there are
strict rules about how politicians are meant to be completely open and transparent about any money they receive from anyone, loans, gifts or any kind of thing, and we know tonight there are enough questions for an independent organisation, the electoral commission, to think it is worth their while starting a formal investigation. it's not about whether or not the prime minister and his fiancee chose persian rugs or velvet cushions, it's about that very important principle. remember, the prime minister was firm today, as far as he is concerned, no rules have been broken. arlene foster is to resign as the leader of the dup and as first minister of northern ireland. it comes after more than 20 dup assembly members and four mps signed a letter saying they have no confidence in her leadership. emma vardy reports on the implications for northern ireland and the future of the uk. this report contains some flash photography.
applause. in its 50—year history, arlene foster is only the third leader of the dup. a party known for its hard—line brand of unionism and staunch british identity now at a rare crossroads. a short time ago, i called my party chairman to inform him that i intend to step down as leader of the democratic unionist party. it has been the privilege of my life to serve the people of northern ireland as their first minister. mrs fosterformed her political ideals growing up during the years of violence in northern ireland. the ira tried to kill her father when she was a child, and a bomb exploded under her school bus in fermanagh in 1988. i closed my eyes because ijust didn't know what was going on. as a law student, arlene foster joined the youth wing of the more moderate ulster unionists before defecting to the dup. i believe that the democratic unionist party is now the mainstream
unionist party in northern ireland. she rose quickly through its ranks, becoming one of the party's most popular and unwavering politicians. when you think about bullying me, think again. before replacing peter robinson to become first minister in 2016. chanting. it meant working alongside sinn fein�*s martin mcguinness, the former ira commander who became northern ireland's deputy first minister. but their power—sharing ownership lasted just a year. he resigned over the dup's handling of a green energy scheme which wasted hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayers' money. where the scheme has brought us to this place is a matter of deep regret for me. but brexit became the party's biggest nemesis.
arlene foster's profile rose as the dup propped up theresa may's government through the confidence and supply agreement. when borisjohnson promised to protect the union, she championed him. he is a fabulous friend to the union and a promoter of the union. but when he agreed a brexit deal which left northern ireland under a different set of rules from the rest of the uk, it was damaging to the party and arlene foster's leadership. now the anger among loyalist communities over brexit has raised the stakes. there is a sense that unionism in northern ireland is weakened and losing ground to nationalists. and now arlene foster is paying the price. we are into uncharted territory now, as the dup has never really had a leadership contest in the past. it's always been more of a coronation. one of the big questions in people's minds now is, will the new leader
take the party into an even more hardened position against brexit arrangements, the northern ireland protocol? if so it could place even more strain on the difficult relationship between the uk and the eu and make that critical relationship between unionists and nationalists here even more fragile. in the last hour, it's been announced that the government has ordered an extra 60 million doses of the pfizer covid vaccine. the new order is thought to be part of a plan to offer booster vaccinations in the autumn. it follows some encouraging evidence about the current vaccination roll—out. a new study has found that, even in cases where people get infected after receiving a single dose of the jab, their chances of passing it on to someone in the same household is cut by up to a half. here's our medical editor, fergus walsh. every day, with every vaccine, our defences against coronavirus get stronger. just one dose of either pfizer biontech or oxford astrazeneca not
only gives substantial protection against severe covid, but for those who do still get infected, it cuts their chances of passing on the virus by up to half. what this means is the evidence is stacking up that the vaccine protects you, it protects your love ones, and it is the way out of this pandemic. the route out of lockdown looks increasingly clear, as cases, hospitalisations and deaths all remain low. the number of covid patients in hospital in the uk has fallen by 96% since the peak injanuary, and is continuing to decline. at the same time nearly seven in ten adults in england, slightly lower elsewhere in the uk, now have antibodies and therefore some immunity to coronavirus, either from past infection or vaccination. it's highest among those aged 70—74, where 87% have antibodies. most of them are fully immunised.
but nearly 20 million adults still haven't had a dose of covid vaccine. but ministers and leading scientists are still urging a cautious approach to lifting restrictions. if we all go completely wild and just ignore everything that we've learnt over the last year in terms of social restrictions, there will be another wave and that wave will be much larger. the government is buying a further 60 million doses of the pfizer vaccine, which should be available from this autumn, as third booster shots. as for this summer the nhs app may be used to show evidence of vaccination or a recent negative virus test, for those wanting a foreign holiday. spain will shortly begin testing digital vaccine certificates,
but the rules here banning foreign travel will remain in place until at least the 17th of may. fergus walsh, bbc news. the latest government figures on coronavirus show 2,166 new infections in the latest 24—hour period, which means an average of 2,299 new cases per day in the last week. and there are 1,634 people in hospital with coronavirus — the number continues to fall. 29 deaths were recorded in the last 21t hours of people who'd had a positive covid—19 test within the previous 28 days. the average number of deaths per day in the past week is 22. the total number of uk deaths is now 127,480. onto vaccinations, and a total of nearly 3a million people have now had theirfirstjab. the overall number who've had their second jab
is now over 13.5 million. our top story this evening... the politicalfinance watchdog has announced an investigation into borisjohnson�*s downing street flat renovations. # everybody was kung fu fighting... and still to come, steve mcqueen's small axe series leads the bafta nominations. coming up in sportsday in the next 15 minutes on the bbc news channel... george north says he's heartbroken. the wales star needs surgery for a serious knee injury and will miss the british and irish lions tour to south africa this summer. let's turn to india now — a country of nearly 1.4 billion people caught in a deadly surge of the coronavirus. more than 200,000 people are now confirmed dead, but the real total is thought to be much higher. on average in the past week,
more than 340,000 cases of coronavirus have been reported each day — that's an increase of more than 20 times in two months. as for deaths, the official count is an average of more than 2,600 people a day over the past week. but for both infections and deaths the numbers are thought to be an underestimate. no wonder that hospitals in the worst—affected states are being overwhelmed with patients, as yogita limaye reports from delhi. years of training, but nothing could have prepared them for this. this woman, a nurse and the mother of three young children. every few minutes, there's a new patient. oxygen mask!
i need an oxygen cylinder! she's constantly scanning how others are holding up. treating as many as they can. translation: people say, "sister, please saved 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. translation: 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, better off than most others. weeks of toil lie ahead in a city that's overrun. everything needed to fight covid is in short supply. every morning in india, we're waking up to news that someone we know has died. through the day, there are frantic pleas for oxygen, hospital beds, medicines on the phone, online, even on the streets. and amidst all of that, we are also seeing people who wake up every morning, put on their protective gear and get down to business trying to help as many people as they can. this man is a volunteer trying to provide oxygen to critical patients. they should be in intensive care. desperation has brought them here.
he offers a temporary reprieve, keeping people alive till they get hospital care. "when people's lives hang in the balance, we thought this is one thing we could do to try to save someone," he says. with each cylinder, they're trying to help as many as they can. once stabilised, the hunt begins again. "hundreds of people are coming here each day. if we had help from the government, we could do so much more," he says. ten days since delhi locked down, people wait by the side of a road for oxygen. this is india's capital city. yogita limaye, bbc news, delhi. so, what's caused this rapid and devastating second wave of covid cases in india? as bad as it is now, some health experts fear
the worst is yet to come. our science correspondent rebecca morelle looks at the different variants of the virus which appear to be driving the infection rate. 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 five million covid infections. each day is bringing record numbers. are changes to the virus causing this explosive growth, or 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 may 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's 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. - that's when they get the chance for the mutation to arise. - 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're all safe. rebecca morelle, bbc news. there are more than 65,000 doctors of indian heritage working here in the uk. as the crisis in india grows more desperate, many are determined to help, finding ways to offer advice from thousands of miles away.
chloe hayward reports. these were the desperate scenes in hospitals across the uk at the start of the year, but now the lessons learned are helping british—based indian doctors support overstretched colleagues back in their homeland. for this consultant, doing patient consultations from his office at the clementine churchill hospital, north london, is helping ease the pressure. how is the cough? still some slight cough. he speaks with up to five patients a day. linesh tested positive for covid ten days ago. he is now getting better but this online support saved him waiting in dangerous queues outside a hospital when he was weak and breathless. we are alljust being basic doctors right now. to look after the people, asking them about their symptoms, ensuring that all their medical parameters are safe for them to stay at home. and also be prepared in case the symptoms are going downhill. escalate them to our
medical colleagues. are you planning to send doctors to india to help on the ground there? it is not that we need physical doctors there. we need access to medical opinion, which i can do with technology. bapio, the organisation that represents physicians of indian origin, is coordinating this effort with the uk's indian doctors. so far, hundreds have already agreed to do this additional work in their free time. support from nhs trusts and private hospitals is making a lot of this work possible. this is the image i'm looking for, where there is increased changes you can see. radiologists are also offering their services and support. doctor aj sahu receives between five and ten ct scans of the chest each day from indian patients. it's his second opinion reports that are helping with early diagnosis of this disease and therefore saving lives in his home country, india. time is precious, obviously. this disease we have seen can change
pretty quickly and triaging, because of a ct's severity can help which patient will stay in the ward. you can predict according to that. but there's only so much that can be done by doctors remotely. one of the patients needs a hospital bed but her family can't find one. he doubts she will survive the night. chloe hayward, bbc news. a murder investigation has been launched into the death of a police community support officer in kent. the body ofjulia james, who was 53, was found in woodland near dover yesterday. detectives say her death is being treated as suspicious, and no arrests have been made. the wales manager and former manchester united player ryan giggs has appeared in court to deny assaulting two women in salford last november. he's facing accusations of actual bodily harm, common assault and coercive or controlling behaviour. our sports editor dan roan reports.
flanked by members of his legal team, ryan giggs arriving at manchester magistrates' this morning, his first court appearance in a case that's already had an impact on his career. during a 13—minute hearing, the former footballer spoke only to confirm his name, address and date of birth before entering not guilty pleas, as three charges of domestic abuse against him were read out. giggs denies assaulting his ex—girlfriend at his home last year and subjecting her to controlling or coercive behaviour between december 2017 and november 2020. the court heard that giggs had caused his former girlfriend actual bodily harm with a deliberate headbutt while in drink, and that during a three—year period he used violence, isolation, belittling, humiliation, harassment, degradation and abuse. he also denies beating a woman understood to be his former partner's sister. one of britain's most decorated footballers, giggs spent his entire playing
career at manchester united. he was appointed manager of the wales national side in 2018, but will not now be in charge of the team for this summer's european championship. having been granted conditional bail, giggs is due to appear at manchester crown court on may the 26th. dan roan, bbc news, manchester. the bafta television awards nominations have been revealed, with steve mcqueen's small axe series leading with 15 nominations, followed by the crown from netflix with ten. our entertainment correspondent lizo mzimba reports. enough is enough! there's been campaign after campaign for award ceremonies to better represent the wider public. small axe, with its predominantly black cast, tells stories from the west indian community. its nominations include ones for actress letitia wright and actorjohn boyega. you're silent now! why didn't you back me? in 2020, the year of the lockdown,
streaming services' popularity increased. bigger audiences surged to shows like netflix's royal drama the crown. its ten nominations include one for prince of wales actorjosh o'connor. a few years ago now, i was visiting her sister. like small axe, drama i may destory you has a mostly black cast. it's creator, michaela coel, is nominated three times, for writing, directing and writing. i had a not great experience. a drug—facilitated sexual assault. lockdown meant the audiences that may never have seen it otherwise raved about normal people. the relationship drama's seven nominations... i think it's pretty obvious i don't want you to leave. ..include its two stars. i don't find it _ obvious what you want. daisy edgar—jones and paul mescal. and there a posthumous nomination for friday night dinner�*s paul ritter. he died earlier this month, before his nomination for best male comedy performance was announced. lizo mzimba, bbc news.
time for a look at the weather here's stav danaos. a wet end to the day across southern britain, some much—needed rainfall, down to this area of low pressure and this weather front is slowly moving south—east and will become confined to the south east cornwall of england by the end of the night. as it is pulling into the near continent it is allowing arctic north lees to head back in across the country so we'll see overnight frosts again, something went used to now in april. a record—breaking month for frosty now in april. a record—breaking month forfrosty nights. now in april. a record—breaking month for frosty nights. the now in april. a record—breaking month forfrosty nights. the rain confined to the south—east corner the night, so not as cold as elsewhere under clear skies. plenty of showers in north—east scotland. wintry over the hills. in sheltered areas you're likely to see some frost here. a cold start to thursday. thursday looking like being a day of sunshine and showers. quite a bit of sunshine in the
morning. they will develop widely into the afternoon and some may be heavy. cloud and rain pushing out of the south—east quickly on thursday morning and then it's the south—east quickly on thursday morning and then its bright, plenty of sunshine. showers in scotland and north—east nz, becoming widespread. some could be heavy. disappointing temperatures for the time of year, single digits in the north and east coast and highs of 12 or 13 across the south. similar on friday and as we go into the start of the bank holiday weekend. cold frosty mornings with sunshine and showers in the day and then a chance of a significant area of low pressure for bank holiday monday which may bring a spell of wet and when weather. that's all from the bbc news at six, so it's goodbye from me. on bbc one we nowjoin the bbc�*s news teams where you are.