this is bbc news i'm martine croxall. the headlines at 5pm... under investigation — the three government staff gatherings that took place while coronavirus restrictions were in force on meeting indoors. adding to pressure on the prime minister, questions over whether he misled an investigation into how the downing street flat refurbishments were paid for as the conservative party is fined almost £18,000. the government defends plans for tighter covid restrictions in england — as 249 more cases of the 0micron variant are recorded across the uk. if it carries on at that rate you could have a million infections the community transmission by the end of the month. delays to many hospital treatments
in england are the worst on record — nhs leaders say patients are being put at risk. the snp's finance secretary delivers the scottish budget — kate forbes insists it will provide people with "stability and support" as the country seeks to recover from coronavirus. a bbc investigation finds british rubbish is being illegally shipped to romania and dumped. and — after 17 years — it's back. we look ahead to the return of the iconic sex and the city to uk screens tonight.... good afternoon and welcome to bbc news. the government has confirmed the investigation into a party in downing street last december will also look at two other gatherings, allegedly held while restrictions on meeting indoors were in place.
to an event on december 18th. now a second downing street party in november and a gathering in the education department will also be considered. the health secretary sajid javid denied the government had lost credibility by breaking the rules, as he defended the introduction of new covid restrictions in england. from friday, face coverings will be mandatory for most indoor public venues, including theatres and cinemas — but not pubs or restaurants. from monday you should work from home, if you can. an nhs covid pass will be needed to get into nightclubs and large venues. a negative lateral flow test will also be accepted. and daily testing will replace self—isolation for people who come into contact with someone infected. mrjavid said the rules would help to address the spreading 0micron variant, which poses a "credible risk" to the nhs. helen catt reports. it's the 0micron variant of coronavirus and the speed at which it is spreading that
ministers say has left them with little choice but to move england to plan b. we estimated that it spreads — what's called the doubling rate is between two—and—a—half to three days, which means the number of community infections are doubling in that time and what that means is that if it carried on at that rate, you could have1 million infections through community transmission by the end of the month. but some conservative mps don't think it's justified. amongst many of my constituents, there's a sense of exasperation and exhaustion with the imposition of new covid rules and a real fear that we're now back on the conveyor belt to more restrictions, so can we have a debate on how we learn to live with covid and its variants in the long—term without unacceptable measures such as widespread use of vaccine passports? many are also angry about how downing street has handled recent events, including the alleged party
held on the 18th of december last year. yesterday, allegra stratton, a number ten aide shown in a video joking about a christmas party, resigned. i will regret those remarks for the rest of my days and i offer my profound apologies to all of you at home. others in the video, like ed oldfield, the aide who asked the question, remain in theirjobs as the political fallout continues. are you planning to resign? the bbc has had reports that some number ten staff attended a gathering with carriejohnson in the downing street flat on november 13 last year, but this has been denied by her spokeswoman. 0n the 13th and 27th of november, the bbc has been told there were informal leaving drinks for staff at number ten. and conservative sources have confirmed that four members of the party's head office staff working on the london mayoral campaign were disciplined for taking part in an unauthorised social gathering on december 14th last year.
nobody is above the law, it cannot be one rule for everybody else and one rule for the prime minister and downing street. nobody is above the law. it cannot be one rule for everybody else and one rule for the prime minister and downing street. it's incredibly frustrating it has taken a week for the prime minister to admit there was a potential breach of the rules and it looks like it wasn'tjust the one—off incident either. in parliament, questions were asked about which parties the investigation being conducted by the country's most senior civil servant will cover. the government said it will look at the november 27th leaving drinks and 18th december party at number ten and also at a gathering at the department for education on the 10th of december. in the middle of this, the prime minister has a new arrival. his wife carrie gave birth to a baby girl this morning. helen catt, bbc news. the uk health security agency has released the latest numbers of the 0micron covid variant across the uk. another 249 new cases have been recorded in the past 2a hours. the total number of confirmed covid—19 0micron cases in the uk is 817.
let's take a look at the latest overall covid figures for the uk. a further 50,867 covid infections have been recorded in the latest 24—hour period, as well as 148 deaths. that's those who've died within 28—days of a positive covid test. and, nearly 38 percent of people aged 12 and over in the uk have received a booster or third dose. well as we heard, the government is facing opposition from it's own backbench mps over plans to introduce more coronavirus restrictions in england. and there's concern in local tory associations as well. this was the chairman of the south basildon conservatives resigning from the party live on bbc essex. i am actually going to leave the party because of this. i cannot morally defend the party that i consider to be moving in a very tyrannical direction, and i will be sending
in my written resignation to my chairman later on today. i've been conservative all my life, i've been a member of the party for about three years, i have worked, you know, tirelessly campaigning for the party, but i think my morality, something in my stomach, my gut feeling tells me this is not right, and i cannot keep my mouth closed about this any more, and by, therefore, have to do what i think is right for me.
the problems the conservative be stacking up, then?— the problems the conservative be stacking up, then? yes, parties and unatherins stacking up, then? yes, parties and gatherings going — stacking up, then? yes, parties and gatherings going on _ stacking up, then? yes, parties and gatherings going on and _ stacking up, then? yes, parties and gatherings going on and a _ stacking up, then? yes, parties and gatherings going on and a huge - stacking up, then? yes, parties and. gatherings going on and a huge focus on precisely what was going on last christmas in downing street and the cabinet secretary has now been invited look at the gatherings, the 27th of november in downing street, eight december trent in department for education gathering and also the key party in december the 18th. that limit white and just today focus is well on precisely how the —— remit widened. precisely how complex arrangements for refurbishing the flat were paid for and we had a report by the electoral commission that concluded after an eight—month investigation that a £52,000
donation from lord brownlow, a tory peen donation from lord brownlow, a tory peer, should have been declared as such. no it could have even been a gift to the nation, but the standing is this was not a the nation, but the standing is ii�*u 3 was not a donation and that is why the tory party has been fined almost £18,000. ., ~ , ., the tory party has been fined almost £18,000. ., ~ _, , the tory party has been fined almost £18,000. ., ~ _, y a £18,000. then, thank you very much. then riaht £18,000. then, thank you very much. then right in — £18,000. then, thank you very much. then right in westminster. _ £18,000. then, thank you very much. then right in westminster. let's - £18,000. then, thank you very much. then right in westminster. let's get i then right in westminster. let's get more on the land covid restrictions in england and let's discuss how people are likely to react to the measures. we are going to speak to stephen, who is professor of psychology at the university of st andrews, injust a andrews, injusta moment, but first let's andrews, injust a moment, but first let's speak to doctor catherine haddon, a seniorfellow let's speak to doctor catherine haddon, a senior fellow at the institute think tank... welcome.
first, in your view, institute think tank... welcome. first, in yourview, how institute think tank... welcome. first, in your view, how credible is the government at the moment with what it is asking people to do? well, it has a major problem because all the appearances about the discussion of the party last year and then the way in which covid restrictions have been brought in at the moment. in actual fact, the restrictions it is bringing in are in line with scientific advice. we know that advisors to the government have been pushing the release for some time. but coming at a time when it has been accused of breaching guidance last year and the massive public reaction to that and then the political pressure, in particular on the prime minister at prime minister's questions on wednesday. all of this is obviously raising concerns, including amongst the government's own backbenchers with one of them asking if this was a diversionary tactic, so of course all of them are going to be seen in the context of it, so whether or not the context of it, so whether or not the government is doing the right thing and trying to react early to omicron, which it very likely is,
there is still a danger about how this then affects the public reaction and how they can respond to the restrictions.— the restrictions. yes, you mentioned that all important _ the restrictions. yes, you mentioned that all important context, _ the restrictions. yes, you mentioned that all important context, of - that all important context, of course, which we now know that the cabinet secretary is going to look at three different gatherings of different types last year. what is clear in your mind about those events at the moment?- clear in your mind about those events at the moment? well, it seems difficult to argue _ events at the moment? well, it seems difficult to argue that _ events at the moment? well, it seems difficult to argue that some _ events at the moment? well, it seems difficult to argue that some kind - events at the moment? well, it seems difficult to argue that some kind of- difficult to argue that some kind of festivities, gatherings, what you want to call them, i don't know, happened. what the cabinet secretary will have to determine obviously the scale of them and the nature of the breach, in particular whether that means disciplinary action for civil servants and that is important if it is the cabinet secretary looking at that, is anything about discipline for officials, then there that is his right to do so, but there are questions about how the government has responded to those stories in the last week and it repeats either its denials or implication that something had not happened or it was
within the guidance, so there are also questions about how much the prime minister knew, either last year about various gatherings and any that he was at himself and what he has been telling parliament for the last week.— he has been telling parliament for the last week. . , ., , the last week. dominic cummings has .0 . ed u . the last week. dominic cummings has penned up again _ the last week. dominic cummings has penned up again on — the last week. dominic cummings has popped up again on social _ the last week. dominic cummings has popped up again on social media - the last week. dominic cummings has popped up again on social media and| popped up again on social media and he has been referring to a party that happened in thejohnson household. don't know whether that is going to be included in this investigation.— is going to be included in this investigation. yes, we got the impression — investigation. yes, we got the impression yesterday - investigation. yes, we got the impression yesterday that - investigation. yes, we got the impression yesterday that the | impression yesterday that the cabinet secretary was not going to be looking into that and actually dominic cummings himself said that one of the other parties that was referenced by the times newspaper did not happen in the way it did and johnson came in and gave a speech at, but it was all rather awkward and not the way the paper implied, so there are obviously a lot of question marks about exactly what kind of gatherings and whether there was a breach, but i am not sure the cabinet secretary has the authority to look into all of them unless the prime minister asks them and this is
one of the problems with the standard system, too often it is people close to the prime minister who have to wait for his authority before they are able to investigate properly. to before they are able to investigate --roerl. ., . before they are able to investigate --roerl . ., . ., ., properly. to what extent now, all this time later, _ properly. to what extent now, all this time later, does _ properly. to what extent now, all this time later, does it _ properly. to what extent now, all this time later, does it matter . properly. to what extent now, all. this time later, does it matter what these investigations find, as opposed to the public perception of what has gone on? i opposed to the public perception of what has gone on?— what has gone on? i think that is a really important _ what has gone on? i think that is a really important point _ what has gone on? i think that is a really important point because - what has gone on? i think that is a really important point because i i what has gone on? i think that is a | really important point because i am not sure... you know, obviously there could be a major consequences here for officials working in downing street, so they will be very concerned about it, but in terms of the political damage it is already done and i am not sure the public will believe if they are told, oh, it was a gathering, you know, the cheese and wine line that allegra stratton was unfortunately using on that video. i don't think that will work for the public at this stage. i think the only thing that really these investigations can bring out thatis these investigations can bring out that is going to make a difference at the moment is more negative stories. we still need to know and it is important that they happen and they happen rapidly, but i am not
sure that this at the moment well, as it were, salvage the situation, which is what we see the per minister yesterday and how he now reacts whenever these investigations do respond. that is going to be more important for public trust then i think the consequences for officials because i think that horse has bolted. idr because i think that horse has bolted. , . ., ., ., bolted. dr catherine haddon from the institute for government _ bolted. dr catherine haddon from the institute for government think - bolted. dr catherine haddon from the institute for government think tank. i institute for government think tank. thank you very much. let's get more now on plan b, we can speak to stephen reicher, professor of psychology at the university of st andrews and a member of the sage subgroup on behavioural science. bay, of course, are advisers to the element, but independent minded. thank you very much forjoining us, stephen reicher. what do you believe is needed now in response to the omicron variant, which looks to be highly transmissible? thankfully not causing as many deaths, it would appear, but still somewhat unknown.
well, there are some things that are unknown, but one thing is becoming increasingly unclear, which is how rapidly the new variant spreads. so if it spreads a free to add a bit days it means that in one week you are going to have eight times as many infections, in two weeks 64 times as many and in three weeks 512 times as many and in three weeks 512 times as many and in three weeks 512 times as many, so we cannot afford to wait, we need to act now or we are going to be in very, very hot water indeed and even if it is less severe and we don't know that yet, it would still mean with so many cases that they would be huge numbers of hospitalisations and deaths, so the simple fact of the matter is we cannot afford to dilly—dallying and we can't act now. in terms of what we do, it seems to me the first thing of course as vaccination, but vaccination is going to take a while and it takes a while for vaccinations to kick in, so the things we need to immediately another one, the more contacts you
have, it is very simple at one level, the more contacts you have the more spread there is, so we need to decrease numbers of contacts. 0ne to decrease numbers of contacts. one way of doing that, of course, is to limit contacts at work and another is to limit our socialising and i think we all need to think very seriously, are all the contacts we have strictly necessary? if we meet up have strictly necessary? if we meet up too much before christmas, is that going to lead to a level of spread would then compromise is what we can do at christmas? the second thing to do is to make sure that when we do meet people, we do so more safely. 0ne when we do meet people, we do so more safely. one way of ensuring that, in many ways the most effective, is to take a test before you meet up with everyone to make sure you are not infected. if we were all to do that, to have a test before we socialise, have a test before we socialise, have a test before we socialise, have a test before we go to a pub or club or restaurant, that would have a huge effect and then there are other things as well, such as making sure we wear masks wherever possible, making sure spaces are well ventilated and so on. now, for that to happen, we need in about things.
the first thing we need is clear communication. we need a government which is not distracted, which is trusted and which can savings to us very clearly about what we need to do. and the second thing is a government that supports us, so if, for instance, one of the major things we need to do it yourself isolate if infected, then we need the support from the government to make that financially and practically possible. and i think people have said that, you know, talking about plan b is a distraction from the parties at number ten. that is precisely the wrong way around. the problem is that all this talk of parties at number ten means we are not talking about how we can keep ourselves safe in the middle of a national crisis and the fact that the government has put itself into the position compromises its ability to do its fundamentaljob, which is to keep the public safe. you fundamentaljob, which is to keep the public safe.— fundamentaljob, which is to keep the public safe. you have tweeted in resonse the public safe. you have tweeted in response to — the public safe. you have tweeted in response to the _ the public safe. you have tweeted in response to the party's _ the public safe. you have tweeted in response to the party's issue - the public safe. you have tweeted in response to the party's issue and - response to the party's issue and also the flat refurbishment story,
which is in the news today, saying, what i want for christmas, politicians who have been interpreted to tell the truth, a prime minister who has the moral courage to tell as difficult truths, a government which has the moral authority to guide us through difficult times. is that really too much to ask? with that in mind then as your view of this government and the prime minister, what sort of bearing is that behaviour going to have on how the public in england respond? are they more likely to do as they are asked or less likely? 0k, as they are asked or less likely? ok, for my life, i have tweeted and nobody has taken any notice, so it is a bit scary when the bbc news talks about the tweets you tweet out when you get up after a bad night's sleep! but what the evidence shows, and this was very clear after the dominic cummings affair, is that when the government does things which gives us a sense of us and them, one law for us and another for them, one law for us and another for them, that undermines trust. the effects of trust on behaviour or a
bit more complex. so some people, for instance, will say, well, if they do it i might as well do it. but a lot of people actually react to the other way. we found off the dominic cummings affair that some of those who are most angry at dominic cummings actually adhered more because they wanted to say, we are not like them. we don't break the rules, we look after each other and we do the right thing, so a lot of people have been adhering, despite the government and i think people still do recognise the science, have been following the science and will understand that we are in a situation where we have got to do something or else we are in real danger of huge spikes of infection and the nhs being overwhelmed. but, having said that, in the midst of a national crisis, and this is what i meant by my tweet, in the midst of a national crisis you want a government that can guide us and be trusted to guide us, otherwise they are not doing theirjob. yes, people might do it on their own. it would be far better if they were doing it with the government, supported by
government and government that was trusted by them, so this loss of trusted by them, so this loss of trust isn'tjust trusted by them, so this loss of trust isn't just a trusted by them, so this loss of trust isn'tjust a problem for the government, it is a problem for all of us had a problem for our safety. how is that trust re—establish? well, one of the ways to establish trust is to respect the public and respecting the public means a number of things, not to treat us as children, not to be patronising, not to hide difficult information from us, but to be clear about the challenges we face, to be prepared to give us bad news and ask us to do difficult things, to deal with it, to admit their mistakes and to be open about those mistakes. you see, the problem is with making mistakes, actually in many ways it is quite interesting to contrast what happened to dominic cummings and what happened to be chief medical officer in scotland because they were both individual mistakes. the difference was that in england, in the case of borisjohnson, he condoned them and supported them, which then turned something individual into something systemic.
in scotland when the chief medical officer broke the rules by visiting 0fficer broke the rules by visiting a second home, it was made clear that this was wrong, it was challenged and there was no such loss of trust. so the problem is not making mistakes. it is how you respond to making those mistakes. and one of the simple lessons in life is if you are in a hole, stop digging. life is if you are in a hole, stop din ”in. ., , life is if you are in a hole, stop dininu. ., ,, , . digging. professor stephen reicher from the university _ digging. professor stephen reicher from the university of— digging. professor stephen reicher from the university of st _ digging. professor stephen reicher from the university of st andrews, | from the university of st andrews, thank you very much for your time. scotland's finance secretary kate forbes has delivered her budget speech at holyrood with pledges to tackle the climate emergency, support economic recovery and reduce inequalities. she announced a record £18 billion of funding for health and social care — and told msps that income tax rates would remain unchanged. 0n income tax, this government's priority has been to make the tax system fairer and more progressive and to protect lower and middle income taxpayers. with increases in the cost of living and rising fuel
prices likely to impact a lower income families the most, i believe that these principles are more important than ever. i can therefore confirm that income tax rates next year will remain unchanged. the starter and the basic rate band will increase in line with inflation and the higher and top rates will remain frozen at their current levels. our progressive come tax policy means the majority of scottish taxpayers will continue to pay less income tax thanif will continue to pay less income tax than if they lived elsewhere in the uk, while those who earn more will pay more. uk, while those who earn more will -a more. ., . h uk, while those who earn more will -a more. ., �*, ., . pay more. scotland's finance secretary. — pay more. scotland's finance secretary, kate _ pay more. scotland's finance secretary, kate forbes. - the scottish conservatives welcomed some of the budget measures — including a commitment to double the scottish child payment to £20 a week. but they warned that businesses needed more help with rates relief. presiding officer, we understand that budgets are about choices and the lead _ that budgets are about choices and the lead up to today's statement, we
made _ the lead up to today's statement, we made choices that show it is possible _ made choices that show it is possible to balance the support for puhiic _ possible to balance the support for public services and the move to net zero with— public services and the move to net zero with the protection ofjobs and stimulating economic growth. such is that concern, and on the back of what _ that concern, and on the back of what businesses were telling us, we wanted _ what businesses were telling us, we wanted the snp to extend 75% rates relief to _ wanted the snp to extend 75% rates relief to customer facing businesses in the _ relief to customer facing businesses in the next — relief to customer facing businesses in the next financial year, a measure _ in the next financial year, a measure which would be worth its hundred _ measure which would be worth its hundred and 31 million to businesses. so we think businesses will he _ businesses. so we think businesses will be disappointed by today's budget— will be disappointed by today's budget statement. liz will be disappointed by today's budget statement.— will be disappointed by today's budget statement. liz smith of the scottish conservatives. _ budget statement. liz smith of the scottish conservatives. let's - budget statement. liz smith of the scottish conservatives. let's speak to david wallace lockhart. what other measures were announced in this budget? it is other measures were announced in this budget?— this budget? it is quite a complex icture in this budget? it is quite a complex picture in this _ this budget? it is quite a complex picture in this budget, _ this budget? it is quite a complex picture in this budget, one - this budget? it is quite a complex picture in this budget, one with l this budget? it is quite a complex i picture in this budget, one with £40 billion to spend. she has got more from the uk government block grant and she has ever had before, but because of those extra funding for covid measures that came last year she actually has less money, sorry,
to spend than she did last year, but one complication removed, the scottish green is now in partnership in government with the snp means this budget should pass easily with the votes already being there. so when it comes to headlines, we heard on income tax there will be no changes there to the rates that people in scotland are paying. changes to the band mean at the lower levels they will rise with inflation, at the higher levels they will be frozen, meaning a bit more tax being paid by those who earn more. welfare, 1.59 billion for aduu more. welfare, 1.59 billion for adult disability payment in 20 22, 2023. that is more welfare power scotland is taking on, but of course a headline measure there is the doubling of the scottish child payment from £10 to £20, but is a benefit for low income families in scotland. we also saw £110 million going towards free bus travel for younger people in scotland and i think that is where you can see the
input of those green and air msps in the budget. rise of the public sector pay targeted at lower earners, an increase in the lower wage for carers as well, up from £10 to 2p, to £10.50, though scottish labour say that is far too low an increase, and when it comes to business rate relief, there has been 100% rates relief for quite some time now in scotland to help businesses get back on their feet after covid. as of april, that will go to 50% rate relief, following a three months duration of small businesses saying that will be a challenge. also something kate forbes did not talk about today, but was buried there in the small print of the budget document, is that councils going forward that had been subject to a council tax threes in scotland will have full flexibility to set what they want people to be paying on local authorities, but there are local elections here in may, which may play at the back of the minds of councils when they use
that power or don't.— that power or don't. david, thank ou ve that power or don't. david, thank you very much- — figures out this morning show another rise in the number of people waiting for non—urgent medical treatment in england — to the highest number since records began in 2007. data from nhs england shows that nearly 6 million people were waiting to start treatment at the end of october. nearly 11,000 people were having to wait more than 12 hours in accident and emergency departments in england last month — a new record. (ani—3)but the average response time last month a new record. but the average response time last month for ambulances in england to deal with the most serious incidents fell to nine minutes ten seconds, slightly down from october. 0ur health correspondent, sophie hutchinson, has this report. hospitals are under pressure like never before. some staff have even said they are working right at the edge of what they can manage. here in newcastle, they say the pressure in newcastle, they say the pressure in a&e is as much as 50% greater than before the pandemic and they cannot see an end to it.— than before the pandemic and they cannot see an end to it. usually the end of winter—
cannot see an end to it. usually the end of winter we _ cannot see an end to it. usually the end of winter we would _ cannot see an end to it. usually the end of winter we would look - cannot see an end to it. usually the | end of winter we would look forward to, but nobody knows if that is actually going to happen this time. right across the nhs, there are more patients and they are circa because so many who needed treatment did not get it during the previous waves of the pandemic and, like many patients with chronic conditions, dawn, who has crohn's disease, has been forced to come to this a&e because her specialist clinic in a different area is still closed. crohn's clinics at the royal victoria hospital are still open. 50 clinics at the royal victoria hospital are still open. so many other people — hospital are still open. so many other people have _ hospital are still open. so many other people have got _ hospital are still open. so many other people have got so - hospital are still open. so many other people have got so muchl hospital are still open. so many - other people have got so much more, you know. _ other people have got so much more, you know, urgent needs than i have and i_ you know, urgent needs than i have and i think— you know, urgent needs than i have and i think it— you know, urgent needs than i have and i think it is terrible that people _ and i think it is terrible that people are being, you know, left, basically, — people are being, you know, left, basically, to... you know, it is a must _ basically, to... you know, it is a must like — basically, to... you know, it is a must like people are starting to have _ must like people are starting to have to — must like people are starting to have to fend for themselves, you know, _ have to fend for themselves, you know, ratherthan have to fend for themselves, you know, rather than getting the support— know, rather than getting the support they need properly. and the otential support they need properly. and the potential threat _ support they need properly. and the potential threat from _ support they need properly. and the potential threat from the _ support they need properly. and the potential threat from the new - potential threat from the new variant is not helping. documents from government advisers, sage, have warned that without new restrictions the peak of the 0micron wave could lead to more than 2000 hospital
has launched an nhs tracker to show people how services in england, scotland and wales are coping. by entering a postcode, it will allow patients and families to track any ambulance delays, waits in a&e and to get onto awards, vital information about the state of nhs emergency services. through this, the most challenging winter they had faced. sophie hutchinson, bbc news. a little bit of breaking news now about coronavirus at the moment. public health scotland are urging people to call off their christmas parties. call does not have any legal status, the guidelines there, the rules and regulations in scotland have not changed, but they say people should defer their parties until the new year. that is because of the concern about how the 0micron is infecting so many people and how transmissible it is. they say people can help protect themselves and their loved ones if they go without their christmas
party for now. during lockdown police broke up a number of parties that were held in scotland in clear contravention of the rules. in england, of course, rules are different. people can still have their christmas parties, but they are being urged to obviously follow the usual rules and regulations and social distancing if possible, and plenty of lateral flow tests. a major financial settlement paid to the actor sienna miller over phone hacking is "tantamount" to an admission of illegal activity by the sun newspaper, a court has heard. ms miller's settlement remains confidential but it may be one of the largest pay—outs by rupert murdoch's organisation to victims of phone hacking. sienna miller spoke outside the high court after the hearing. i wanted to share news group's secrets just as they have shared mine. unfortunately, that legal recourse is not available to me or anyone who doesn't have countless millions of pounds to spend in the pursuit of justice. until someone comes along who can confront murdochs' endless means, all i have left are these words and they are the truth.
as recently as this afternoon, lawyers from news group attempted to get this agenda to stop me and others from having the statement said today. it is more than a little ironic that they will go to such lengths to conceal and protect their privacy. sienna miller there. now it's time for a look at the weather. louise has joined us. louise hasjoined us. how is it going to be looking over the next few days? certainly getting a lot milder, than it has been over the last couple of days, but we have some rain around at the moment, spreading infamy west steadily through the day today and it will clear its way out into the north sea overnight tonight and then behind we will have a north—westerly wind, so tomorrow could be a chilly start and a ghoulish day, but the real milder air arrives into the weekend. so yes, temperatures close to freezing in scotland and we will see that north—westerly wind feeding in a frequent rush of showers, some of
those wintry through the course of the morning, but there will be a good slice of sunshine for many of us, particularly sheltered eastern areas and it stays dry, sunny through the afternoon and top temperature is around 4—9 . however, as we go into the weekend, yes, we will see milder weather, but it will potentially turn wetter. it is this frontal system here and the wind direction will change to a south—westerly, feeding in the milder air, south—westerly, feeding in the milderair, but south—westerly, feeding in the milder air, but as the fronts come through they could bring some rain, some of that heavy, potentially on saturday. a slightly quiet day on sunday, but a loss of cloud around, temperatures peaking at 14 celsius. —— lots of cloud around. hello this is bbc news. the headlines... under investigation. the three government staff gathering that took place while coronavirus restrictions were on force on meeting indoors. conservative party is fined nearly
£18,000 of the prime minister's downing street flat refurbishments. and tighter restrictions are announced in england. 249 additional confirmed cases of the 0micron variant has been reported across the uk. they health secretary insists the government has not lost credibility. delays to many hospital treatments in england are the worst on record. nhs leaders say patients are being put at risk. the snp's finance secretary delivers the scottish budget. kate forbes insists it will provide people with stability and support as the country seeks to recover from coronavirus. sport and for a full round up, from the bbc sport centre, here's gavin. yes! thanks very much. thejockey robbie dunne has been banned for 18 months — the last three suspended after being found guilty of bullying and harrassing rival bryony frost. an independent disciplinary panel found dunne guilty of four charges, of conduct "prejudicial to the reputation of horse racing"
over a seven month period in 2020. frost, who's one of britain's most successful female jockeys, said in a statement she would like to thank people for the support she's received, and that she'll take a few days to reflect on the outcome. the panel added it has real concerns about the weighing room culture in horse racing. england have a realjob on their hands if they're to stay in contention in the first ashes test ahead of day three in brisbane. australia were in control for much of the second day, david warner and marnus labuschagne both making half centuries. england did finally make the breakthrough, removing both men — warner falling for 94. two further quick wickets followed, but travis head took away all english hope, hitting an unbeaten century — it was the third fastest in ashes history. and england's bowlers ran out of ideas, so resorted to a different type of tactic... thankfully head was ok and all smiles. australia closing on 343—7 — a lead of 196. 0ur cricket correspondent, jonathan agnew, insists england should take pride for never giving
up on a hot day at the gabba. he's been speaking to our reporter, henry moeran. i reporter, henry moeran. think first of all people wi look i think first of all people will look at the scorecard and grimace, but you have got to take your hat off to wood and woakes and robinson for the way they bowled today. there thursday in the field since early september and for those who have not done it let me tell you it is a painful experience. i saw robinson go off with cramp, stokes appeared to havejigged his knee and australia played absolutely the game we knew they would and i'm not going to criticise jack leach, he has hardly played either, and barring the same miracle england pulled off here 11 years ago, they will lose the game and they might lose it in three days. then they go to adelaide for a day night game, where again you are expecting them to perform well. they will have james anderson for that and stuart broad, albeit having played and no cricket. but at least they will have those bowlers on the side. we don't know whether ben stokes will be fit enough, but
england are used to, i am afraid, do not playing well here in brisbane and the fact that australia hold the ashes means it is more difficult to come back from one behind to win them, but this match now has to be used really as preparation and the batsmen have got to get something out of tomorrow. england will almost certainly lose the game, but i want to see the english fight and the batsmen get in and make the most of what is effectively practice for them, to go into adelaide and they have got to hit the ground running there and try to level things up. let's see how they fare a little later on. 0nto the football. west ham and celtic are in europa league action later this evening — rangers and leicester have games too — and it's a pivotal one for brendan rodgers. his leicester side need a draw against italian high fliers napoli, to make the knockouts. but the squad are missing several key players in naples due to covid and illness in the squad. i think it is just something that in general you are starting to see now, a few more cases, just something that for us is always about the help
of our players and our own players and obviously travelling to foreign country as well. we have to respect the travel and also we do have a strong squad here, but unfortunately not a fully fit squad. the football supporters association is urging fans to check how they will be impacted by a change in covid rules. from wednesday, fans in england will need to show proof of double vaccination or a negative test to attend games with crowds of over 10,000. it's one of the new measures introduced by the government in england to help reduce the spread of the 0micron variant. we'll have more for you in sportsday with jane dougall, at 6.30pm. thank you very much, gavin. we look forward to that. an unofficial tribunal looking into allegations of human rights allegations in the chinese region of shing jan has concluded that beijing has carried
out crimes against humanity. in a finaljudgment, it accused china of torture, rape and religious destruction against uighurs and other minorities. he uighur tribunal was set up in london to hear evidence against them in a legal setting. it has no force in law, but emphasises itsjudgment will setting. it has no force in law, but emphasises its judgment will be used ljy emphasises its judgment will be used by states, companies and individuals to inform their relationship with china. china accused the tribunal of being a machine turning out lies. he was the chair of the tribunal. ﬁn was the chair of the tribunal. on the basis was the chair of the tribunal. 0“! the basis of evidence heard in public, tribunal is satisfied beyond all reasonable doubt that the prc temperament measures to prevent... intended to destroy a significant part of the uighurs injing yang, as such, has committed genocide. that was cqc. such, has committed genocide. that was cqc- our _ such, has committed genocide. that was cqc. 0ur correspondent ms crawley has been speaking to one man who gave evidence at the tribunal.
he was detained in 2017 and subject to force labour, political indoctrination and beatings. you may find some of the details distressing. this is a first—hand witness of china's he is an ethnic cat sack, one of those who gave evidence here in london of what they went through. as arrest in 2017, accused of insulting whatsapp, which is blocked in china, and including videos about islam. the first was the worst. he says he was once punished for
what was china's aim, do you think, in putting you through this? towards the end of his incarceration, he told me he was forced to work in this building where he would sew trousers and uniforms. then, before his release, he said he had to sign papers promising not to reveal what had happened to him. he's one of at least 1 million uyghurs, kazakhs and other ethnic minorities believed
to have been detained in xinjiang. an unofficial tribunal looking into allegations of human rights allegations in the chinese region of shing jan has more now on the investigation by the cabinet office into allegations that staff in downing street broke covid restrictions by holding a christmas party will look into three gatherings in november and december last year. the investigation will look into who attended, and whether any disciplinary action is needed. the findings could be passed to the police. the announcement was made in the commons earlier by the paymaster general, michael ellis.
the cabinet secretary's investigation will establish the facts surrounding the following... allegations made of a gathering at number ten downing street on the 27th of november 2020. a gathering at the department for education on the 10th of december 2020. a gathering at the department for education on the 10th of december 2020. many: "a gathering"? and allegations made of a gathering at number ten downing street on the 18th of december 2020. now, the primary purpose of the cabinet secretary's investigation will be to establish swiftly a general understanding of the nature of the gatherings... laughter. ..including attendance, the setting, and the purpose and with reference to adherence to the guidance in place at the time. now, if required, the investigation will establish whether individual disciplinary action is warranted. we can speak now to anne mcelvoy, senior editor at the economist. it is an interesting week the
government and conservatives generally, isn't it. how bad is it for borisjohnson? i generally, isn't it. how bad is it for boris johnson?— generally, isn't it. how bad is it for boris johnson? i think it is the fact that these _ for boris johnson? i think it is the fact that these crises _ for boris johnson? i think it is the fact that these crises and - fact that these crises and scandals are coming so thick and fast the number ten on borisjohnson in the heart of it as prime minister are not really having time to regroup the ability to regroup and have normal cabinet meetings and get on with the business of government letter a long press on with what we have covered in our school years and his premiership needs to be the agenda heaney wants to find himself in. conservatives i have spoken to formally supportive ones including many who are close ones are beginning to get very worried indeed. not the people have always wanted to bring down borisjohnson your career about here. it is people saying he is doing lots of things i don't understand not terribly well explained and not sure if they are going to happen anyway and every time he walks it or he walks into another series of pratfalls. that is very much the mood in the party. ii'iin�*n�* very much the mood in the party. how could he have — very much the mood in the party. how could he have handled this differently without getting himself embroiled into it to this extent?
the news no evidence he is embroiled in the parties and that is why was so mishandled once it was clear. thanks to some very good reporting by colleagues and from the podcast it did come out and it was no light going to be of see him nothing happening in the opposition we now have his full on investigations by the cabinet secretary is your above—mentioned, by the metropolitan police into events which the prime minister and his team still seem to be insisting were not worthy of taking another look at so i think you have crossed a point where he could have simply said obviously some things may have happened last yearin some things may have happened last year in terms of socialising and we need to take a look at we take this very seriously and is, you know, i will deal with it due vigour. that
was what he needed to say. ashley was what he needed to say. ashley was not difficult. easily missed the window to say it. his spokesperson decided to resign _ window to say it. his spokesperson decided to resign on _ window to say it. his spokesperson decided to resign on the _ window to say it. his spokesperson decided to resign on the strength l window to say it. his spokesperson | decided to resign on the strength of any questions about what she is resigning for and there is nothing to see here and what the somewhat belated investigations by the cabinet secretary is going to a nurse, public perception is what is right now and how damaging is that for the government?— for the government? think we will see when it _ for the government? think we will see when it settles _ for the government? think we will see when it settles down - for the government? think we will see when it settles down and - for the government? think we will see when it settles down and is i for the government? think we will see when it settles down and is a l see when it settles down and is a wave of anger which settles into the camps of political opinion or visit one of those seismic movements and is one of those things for people who did vote conservative in the last election but now the vita solution. we don't really know that yet but there is a lot to surmise is
the case and various political views and there is confusion and a sense in which you do think borisjohnson and his government were being too stringent last year on the measures wise are they not apply the more in—house and ensure that was driven by the cabinet secretary administers and staffers? 0r by the cabinet secretary administers and staffers? or you are the way insight, inclined and horrified anybody should have been getting together in large numbers next year but the difficulty is that he is now not sure what his position was if he was he wasn't particularly bothered about reinforcing it close to home. that is really where the voters i think might raise an eyebrow or feel bad that the solution. and think might raise an eyebrow or feel bad that the solution.— think might raise an eyebrow or feel bad that the solution. and much more interestin: bad that the solution. and much more interesting does _ bad that the solution. and much more interesting does it _ bad that the solution. and much more interesting does it make _ bad that the solution. and much more interesting does it make the - bad that the solution. and much more interesting does it make the north - interesting does it make the north shropshire by—election next week which, of course, was triggered when 0wen paterson stepped down because about lobbying rules? it is owen paterson stepped down because about lobbying rules?— about lobbying rules? it is one roblem about lobbying rules? it is one problem after _ about lobbying rules? it is one problem after another - about lobbying rules? it is one problem after another for - about lobbying rules? it is one | problem after another for owen paterson and the handling of that really kicked off a trio of things
and it was more borisjohnson's and miscarried speech which she had read himself and we just had a bad one and i'm not sure the outcome of the by—election as i understand it seems to a lot of people on the ground saying no to vote along the interests of what i think is right for the constituency, fair infrastructure or local problems and by—elections are a chance for electorates to give the incumbent a bit of a beating when if you were to choose to have won my guess is you might not want to have one quite so soon after the events of this week. if the call, tories do prevent the loss of things that may have gone wrong around ten but the substance of politics are so unaffected it by the way. either way they fell a virtual win this week and think the former allies, the loyalists, feeling down the other ones you've got to worry about, not the people who hated boris all along. from the
economist. — who hated boris all along. from the economist, thanks _ who hated boris all along. from the economist, thanks very _ who hated boris all along. from the economist, thanks very much - who hated boris all along. from the economist, thanks very much your. economist, thanks very much your time. now for ladie — and quite a few gentleman — tonight is all about one thing and one thing only — reuniting with some old friends. theme music plays. ooh, it takes you back, doesn't it? that's right — tonight is the uk premier of the sex and the city reboot, and just like that... and just like that i have a pair of fabulous shoes on the desk and a cosmo being made on set! this is killing. you can very well prepared for work today. where have you got the ingredients and equipment from? i you got the ingredients and equipment from?— you got the ingredients and equipment from? you got the ingredients and ea-uiment from? �* ., ,, equipment from? i didn't make it m self equipment from? i didn't make it myself but _ equipment from? i didn't make it myself but i _ equipment from? i didn't make it myself but i got _ equipment from? i didn't make it myself but i got it _ equipment from? i didn't make it myself but i got it from _ equipment from? i didn't make it myself but i got it from the - equipment from? i didn't make it myself but i got it from the free i myself but i got it from the free house venice just across the road. they be kind of them to help us out. just like the free house and hotel
the nest. just like the free house and hotel the nest. well after the week we've all had who doesn't need a drink?! so the girls are back in action — well, three of them, anyway — for a new series of the hit tv show. it aired last night in the us, and hits our screens the daily beast�*s senior entertainment reporter kevin fallon has been waiting feverishly to give his verdict and joins us now from wherelse but the big apple, and is that a cosmo i see kevin?! look at the size of that one! is this a real one? it is a very different colour. i'm not going to drink it because that would probably be against the rules. anyway, chin chin. it be against the rules. anyway, chin chin. , , ., , be against the rules. anyway, chin chin-_ yes. - chin. it is christmas! yes, christmas _ chin. it is christmas! yes, christmas has _ chin. it is christmas! yes, christmas has come - chin. it is christmas! yes, | christmas has come early. chin. it is christmas! yes, - christmas has come early. services chin. it is christmas! yes, _ christmas has come early. services a new name, not six and the city anymore and so does that give us an idea of what this says is going to be like that it is called and just like that. . .. be like that it is called and just like that. . . .—
be like that it is called and just like that. . .. yes, i think this is distancing _ like that. . .. yes, i think this is distancing itself— like that. . .. yes, i think this is distancing itself from _ like that. . .. yes, i think this is distancing itself from the - like that. . .. yes, i think this is i distancing itself from the original fantasyland of single girls dating in the city where the hbo series signed off and they are older and a different place and the lies and conversations are more serious this time around. they are dealing with the things that people deal with in their 50s and have to do a lot of love and also of loss. not going to spoil anything but it gets a little dark and i think some people might be surprised that.— dark and i think some people might be surprised that. whether samantha? how have they — be surprised that. whether samantha? how have they got _ be surprised that. whether samantha? how have they got around _ be surprised that. whether samantha? how have they got around the - be surprised that. whether samantha? how have they got around the fact - how have they got around the fact that samantha, one of the most outrageous of the characters... where has she gone? it is hard to imagine her not being part of it. it really is hard to imagine and as a fan who treated the show like a bible for myself in a move to new york city i also couldn't imagine it continuing without samantha. i will say the address it within the first minute of the show. the way that they write him off is very
believable, a little sad but, you know, it is true to what happens to friends over time. i think people will be satisfied mostly with how they handled her but she is sorely missed. you do miss her particular brand of humour and her lifestyle. in its day when it first emerged it really took people by surprise with the kind of frank nature of the conversations that they had, not least the conversations that samantha had about her rather exciting six life. how have they replaced that?— exciting six life. how have they replaced that? what is interesting is that 20 years _ replaced that? what is interesting is that 20 years ago _ replaced that? what is interesting is that 20 years ago they - replaced that? what is interesting is that 20 years ago they were - replaced that? what is interestingj is that 20 years ago they were the ones who are saying the things that were to do and now they are unable to generation and they are reacting to generation and they are reacting to what the young people are now doing and saying and they are kind of clutching their pals about it and they are the ones who are saying the wrong things and, you know, making woke missteps and raising their eyebrows at the youth culture so thatis eyebrows at the youth culture so that is a really interesting of old thing with this series. part
that is a really interesting of old thing with this series.— that is a really interesting of old thing with this series. part of the excitement _ thing with this series. part of the excitement of _ thing with this series. part of the excitement of six _ thing with this series. part of the excitement of six and _ thing with this series. part of the excitement of six and the - thing with this series. part of the excitement of six and the city i thing with this series. part of the i excitement of six and the city was the fantasy idea of those beautiful clothes, shoes, the endless shoes, the manolo plan x that carrie bradshaw played by sarahjessica bought that she really couldn't afford. is there still a glamorous element to it? it afford. is there still a glamorous element to it?— element to it? it is very early on in the first _ element to it? it is very early on in the first episode _ element to it? it is very early on in the first episode when - element to it? it is very early on in the first episode when you - element to it? it is very early on | in the first episode when you see carrie walking to closet and open the doors and she says hello, darlings to her beautifully arranged stilettos and malone 0s and all of her fancy clothes and so the fantasy of the high fashion and the glamour is still very much there. what makes thumbs up from you so far? for me, yeah. i think that people don't have a lot of opinions and camino, wish that may is a little bit more true to the original but i think there is no way of replicating a says that 20 years ago and it was smart to in a slightly different direction with the same characters we love. i(esrin the same characters we love. kevin fallon from — the same characters we love. kevin fallon from the _ the same characters we love. kevin fallon from the daily _ the same characters we love. kevin fallon from the daily beast - the same characters we love. kevin fallon from the daily beast i - the same characters we love. kevin fallon from the daily beast i look . fallon from the daily beast i look forward to it. thank you very much
forward to it. thank you very much forjoining us. enjoy a tipple and thank you to kiran who is not only produce this section but also made the cocktails. thanks very much. merry christmas! new zealand is proposing some of the toughest anti—smoking laws in the world. under the plans, anyone born after 2008 will never legally be able to buy cigarettes in their lifetime. it's part of a package of measures, including drastically cutting the numbers of licensed tobacco shops, but there are warnings it could create a black market. lucy grey reports. at the moment, you have to be 18 to buy cigarettes in new zealand, but under planned new laws, anyone under the age of 14 will never be able to buy cigarettes legally. the age limit will then be increased every year until the whole country is smoke—free. we want to make sure young people never start smoking. so we're legislating for a smoke—free generation by making it an offence to sell or supply tobacco products to those aged 14, when the law comes into effect. as they age, they and future generations will never legally be
able to purchase tobacco, because the truth is there is no safe age to start smoking. the government particularly wants to help maori smokers kick the habit. i reckon it's a good move, really. because, right now, there's a lot of young kids walking around with smokes. how are they getting these smokes? and it's also good for myself, too, because i can save more money. if people still want to smoke, well, they can just grow their own, - which they are doing. maybe it's a good idea because at the end of the day smoking is bad for you and it's really hard to quit. so being a smoker, you know, and going through all this, i know that, so maybe it's a good thing at the end of the day because forcing people to sort of quit or cut down a little bit, so i mean i have nothing really against that. the new legislation, being introduced to parliament next year, will also only allow cigarettes with low levels of nicotine and reduce the number of shops selling them.
vaping won't be affected. the aim is to get all ages to stub out the habit by 2025. lucy grey, bbc news. sophie is with you next but now the weather with louise. that evening, everybody! a tale of two halves today out to the east glorious sunshine but further west rain arriving in you can see the cloud that has been gathering across the south coast over the last hour orso the south coast over the last hour or so and an indication of what is to come. in fact, that rain is pushing its way quite steadily eastwards as we speak and it will clear away from the east coast in the early hours of tomorrow morning so a wet night for many but then turning increasingly windy once again, particularly in the north—west end in a north—westerly direction quite a cool source but what if you had heard it is getting milder it will do so but we have to wait until the weekend and so that means a chilly start, really, to our friday morning with temperatures close to single figures in sheltered
rural areas of scotland and with that north—westerly wind it is going to feed in some showers which will still have quite a wintry flavour to them even at low levels for a time. some of the showers running down through the irish sea along the cheshire cat was the midlands as well but for many there will be a good slice of sunshine around sheltered eastern areas, central and southern areas as well in some showers which will still have quite a wintry flavour to them even at low levels for time. some of the showers running down through the ivc along the cheshire cat was the midlands as well but many there will be a good slice of sunshine around sheltered eastern areas, central and southern areas as well and temperatures struggling for— nine degrees. however, the mild weather is on its way. it does come at a price, though, because these weather fronts will be gradually pushing in and circulating around the weather front is a south—westerly wind driving in this manner the air so, yes, the wind direction bringing the milder air with it wind direction bringing the milder airwith itand wind direction bringing the milder air with it and it pulses its way steadily enough about the weekend and that also changed the feel of our weather but unfortunately it will bring some rain, quite a lot of cloud are generally through this weekend so early morning brightness clouding over rain arriving from the west from the west, gradually pushing its way steadily eastwards throughout the afternoon. the temperature in eastern areas we had
those early breaks and 6—7 and while they're starting to show 10—12 from still as we move into the weekend put into sunday certainly quite a cloudy story. 0utbreaks put into sunday certainly quite a cloudy story. outbreaks of rain, particularly stitch stomach stretching up the far north—west of scotland. a damp murky day for many but look at these temperatures, highs of 13—14 and thus isjust above where they should be. it is likely that mile scene is going to continue into the week ahead but again it is quite a lot of cloud and so we have lost the crisp sunny feel and it will be increasingly milder.
at six — christmas parties, downing street renovations and england's plan b. the prime ministerfaces yet more accusations, an investigation into government christmas parties during covid restrictions last year widens amidst claims there were others. and now, more questions over whether the prime minister misled an investigation into how the downing street flat refurbishments were paid for, as the conservative party is fined almost £18,000. what we need now is a bit of grip from no 10. it's no good having these stories dragged out by the media. the government needs to make a clean breast of it, get everything out into the open, transparency is always the best policy. also on the programme tonight... england's plan b covid restrictions in the run—up to christmas — hospitality businesses fear a collapse in demand at their busiest time of year.