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tv   Newswatch  BBC News  April 30, 2021 8:45pm-9:01pm BST

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julia james, the community support officer whose body was found in woodland, died of serious head injuries, police say. now on bbc news, it's time for newswatch. we'll have mormon news at the top of the hour. —— more news. hello and welcome to newswatch with me, samira ahmed. a week of questions about how the refurbishment of borisjohnson�*s flat was paid for, but are viewers as interested as bbc news thinks they are? and was a downing street press briefing on covid the right place
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to ask about those redecorations? for several weeks, allegations of improper conduct on the part of borisjohnson and his government have been swirling around the media, and this week, three such stories all related to the prime minister's integrity dominated bbc news. most prominent was the question of who paid what and when toward the redecoration of mrjohnson�*s downing street flat. in an interview on saturday on the news channel, martine croxall suggested to the former labour party director of communications, alastair campbell, that many people might not be that bothered about the details of the case. do voters really care? doesn't this just look like the rough—and—tumble of politics in what's been an extraordinary year? i think people should care about this because we're talking about the nature of our government, the nature of our democracy. jon byrne agreed with alastair campbell, writing...
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but caroljude was not that view that the public was less interested in the details of who soft furnishings when bbcjournalist seemed to be continuing to feature prominently in our inbox during the next few days as the story remains prominent in the headlines. todd? next few days as the story remains prominent in the headlines. today at six :m., prominent in the headlines. today at six p:m-. boris _ prominent in the headlines. today at six p:m. , boris johnson _ prominent in the headlines. today at six p:m. , boris johnson and - prominent in the headlines. today at six p:m. , boris johnson and his - six p:m., borisjohnson and his downing street flats, the questions thatjust downing street flats, the questions that just will not downing street flats, the questions thatjust will not go away. where exactly to the prime minister get the tens of thousands of pounds he spends doing it up? brian ricard wondered, why is the bbc so obsessed with boris's flat? he played for the work
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himself, excepted and move on. no one cares. there's so much more important stuff going on the world. we ask the bbc news about the priority it has given to the subject and a spokesperson told us... the electoral commission has launched an official investigation into how home improvements of the prime minister's downing street flatware funded. if the prime minister accepted money for the free riff —— refurbishments, he would be expected to make the public. this is a significant story about the conduct of a prime minister in public office. we believe our coverage is therefore fair and proportionate. we'll return to "cash for curtains", as it's been called, later. but another incendiary charge against the prime minister was made in the mail online on sunday that he said last autumn that he would rather see bodies piled high than take the country into a third lockdown. anonymous sources also told the bbc they had heard the remarks,
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but borisjohnson strongly denied saying the phrase, describing the reports as "total rubbish." have you ever said that you would rather see bodies pile up than go into another third lockdown? no, but again, i think the important thing people want us to get on and do as the government is to make sure the lockdowns work. so, was that on—the—record denial by the prime minister the end of the story? no — much to the disgruntlement of neville rhodes, who e—mailed on tuesday. there was a similarly robust denial of wrongdoing by borisjohnson last
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we point at that point to bbc news who gave us the statement. there was a similarly robust denial of wrongdoing by borisjohnson last week after the bbc published leaked text messages between mrjohnson and sirjames dyson. the messages showed the prime minister saying he would "fix" concerns the businessman had over his employees' tax bills if they moved to the uk to make ventilators at the start of the pandemic. if you think that there's anything remotely dodgy or weird or sleazy about trying to secure more
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ventilators at a time of a national pandemic and doing everything in your power to do that, then i think you're out of your mind. and on wednesday, sirjames dyson wrote an article in the daily telegraph in which he laid into the way bbc news had reported the story. he went on to criticise laura kuenssberg, writing... sirjames added that he was responding to the prime minister's urgent call for help with ventilators, and that he was looking not for any favours, but for clarification on the tax status of his employees. and this is what the bbc had to say on the matter.
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but some newswatch viewers were still unhappy, with nick riley describing the coverage as... on several occasions this week, bbc journalists questioned government ministers about these various allegations, and one of those occasions came during wednesday's downing street press conference, with this encounter between laura kuenssberg and the health secretary, matt hancock. if a serving government minister is found to have broken the rules on party funding or even law, should they resign? given that this is a coronavirus press conference, you won't be surprised that i'm not going to add to the answers the prime minister's already given to very extensive questioning.
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thanks. a number of newswatch viewers thought that wasn't an appropriate forum for a question on that subject. one of them, bridget herniman, recorded this video for us. i find the national coronavirus - briefings a really important portal for all of us in the uk to get the most up—to—date and i accurate information- on the coronavirus agenda. i also find the questioning - from the press really important. l i was therefore horrified to find . that laura kuenssberg chose to use i bbc's slot to ask a, quite frankly, i ridiculous question on the pm's flat renovation costs while we have thousands dying in india. - i would've much ratherl seen a specific question on the england variant - and implications to us in the uk. so, please, laura, don't hijack these briefings. for political questions. you provide excellent analysis - and information on other platforms. in reply to those points,
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the bbc told us... well, we asked bbc news for correspondent and editor or an executive to come on and discuss any or all of the points we raised on the programme, but were told that no one was available. instead, let's talk to another newswatch viewers who got in newswatch viewer who got in touch with us, mike denny. mike, you complained specifically about laura kuenssberg asking the question she did about the flat at that covid news conference. can you tell me what concerned you? i just thought that the question was entirely inappropriate. a lot of people all over the country had been tuning in to hear a very, very important news conference
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about the coronavirus pandemic. and for miss kuenssberg to effectively attempted to hijack that was, i think, quite frankly, appalling, and i think it was a delight for me and a lot of the country to see mr hancock quite firmly but politely put her in her place. there are the journalists who asked a covid question and then added on, "and would you like to respond to laura's question?" to be fair, other journalists felt it was a question worthy of an answer. it's a question probably worthy of an answer, but not in the setting that news conference was taking place, in my opinion. how much coverage did you notice in the build—up to you deciding to complain to newswatch? it felt to me, for several days, that the coverage was completely over the top. it seems to me that every news bulletin i watched over a period of a day or three or four led with this story or things
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linked to this story. and not only did the broadcasts lead with it, but the actual depth that the broadcasts went into was just way beyond, i think, what was necessary. you raised the question of depth, and the bbc argument is — and i think it's fair to say a lot of viewers have also felt — that the flat refurbishment is a big story because it's part of a larger issue for the government. can you see why they made the argument that it does merit as much coverage as it was given? frankly, no, ican�*t. i think it is a story and i think it is an important story, but for me, there are much more — many more, rather — important things going on in this country, and indeed, in the world, than who did and who didn't pay for the refurbishment of boris johnson's flat.
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mike denny, thank you so much for coming on newswatch. you're welcome. thank you for all your comments this week. if you want to share your opinions about what you see or hear on bbc news, on tv, radio, online and social media, e—mail newswatch@bbc. co. uk. or you can find us on twitter at @newswatchbbc. you can call us on 0370 010 6676, and do have a look at previous discussions on our website — bbc .co .uk/ newswatch. that's all from us. we'll be back to hear your thoughts about bbc news coverage again next week. goodbye. good evening. the weather for the month of april has been pretty quiet, hasn't it? with high—pressure dominating, that's led for some chilly nights and i can confirm now that april 2021 was the frostiest on record. those clear skies also lead to plenty of sunshine and it could be one of the sunniest along
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with the driest on record as well. one of the reasons we can't firm up on that — well, that's because we've seen some april showers in the last few days, so those rainfall totals need totting up. and, as you can see quite clearly earlier on today there was a real rash of showers across the country. so, it has been a case of sunny spells and scattered showers to close out our final day of april. but those showers will fade away and, actually, as we go through the night, once again those skies stay clear and those temperatures are likely to fall away. so, there could be an early morning frost for the first morning of may, as temperatures in scotland, northern england a northern ireland sit close to freezing. that cooler air sitting right across the country. the wind direction coming from the north — it is going to remain disappointingly cool for the early half of may, but the winds will be light on saturday and sunday. that means plenty of sunshine first thing. the showers start to develop through the course of the afternoon and we see sunshine and showers
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as we go through the rest of the day, some of them heavy with some hail and thunder, and temperatures once again disappointing, 8—13 degrees as a day time maximum, way down on where they should be for the first few days of may. similar story for sunday — starting off with some sunshine after an early frost but then showers develop, and some of the showers across england and wales really could be heavy, with the odd rumble of thunder and lightning mixed in there as well. but the change will come on bank holiday monday. we're likely to see significant area of low pressure moving in from the atlantic, and the winds will strengthen — we haven't seen that for quite some time. so, yes, it will be wet and windy. what a surprise for a bank holiday monday! that rain pushing into northern ireland, through northern england and wales. on the leading edge, as it bumps into the colder air in scotland, there could be some further snow to higher ground. wind gusting widely to 30 miles an hour but perhaps as much as 55 to 60 mph in the exposed coast down into to the southwest.
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now, under the cloud, the wind and the rain, those temperatures really down for monday. this is bbc news with the latest headlines for viewers in the uk and around the world. tragedy in israel, as a deadly crush at a religious festival leaves 45 people dead. many of the victims found themselves trapped in a narrow passageway as they tried to escape. all of a sudden, we saw paramedics running by, like, mid—cpr on kids, and then one after the other, started coming out in ambulances. then we understood, like, something's going on here. hundreds of mourners have been attending the first funerals, as the israeli prime minister promises an inquiry to ensure such a tragedy never happens again. also ahead — in india several
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states say they've run out of coronavirus vaccines, as the second wave of the pandemic rages out of control.


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