this is bbc news. the headlines at 7pm. the figures suggest omicron could be the dominant variant in the uk by the middle of this month. a senior cabinet minister says the situation has become seriously worrying. we situation has become seriously wor inc. ~ situation has become seriously wor in. ~ ., , situation has become seriously wor inc. ., , _ worrying. we face a very deeply concerning _ worrying. we face a very deeply concerning situation. _ worrying. we face a very deeply concerning situation. we - worrying. we face a very deeply concerning situation. we know. worrying. we face a very deeply l concerning situation. we know we have the highest number of covid reflections across the united kingdom recorded today since the 9th of january, kingdom recorded today since the 9th ofjanuary, we know that kingdom recorded today since the 9th of january, we know that the omicron variant is doubling every two to three days in england and possibly even faster in scotland. the three days in england and possibly even faster in scotland.— even faster in scotland. the first minister in _ even faster in scotland. the first minister in scotland _ even faster in scotland. the first minister in scotland nicola - even faster in scotland. the first. minister in scotland nicola sturgeon bronze of a tsunami of omicron cases and cautions against people holding christmas parties. and failures by the metropolitan police were responsible in part for the deaths of three people who were murdered by the serial killer stephen port, an
inquestjury has found. two separate sources have told the bbc that the prime minister's director of communications jack doyle offered his resignation to borisjohnson because of his attendance at the christmas party was revealed. but borisjohnson would not christmas party was revealed. but boris johnson would not accept christmas party was revealed. but borisjohnson would not accept it. coming up and have now�*s time, we will discuss exactly that story and the prospect of borisjohnson surviving as prime minister with the foreign correspondence based in london, giving an outsider�*s view of that and this week in ukraine. that is coming up at 7:30pm. stay with us on bbc news. hello, if you've justjoined hello, if you'vejustjoined us, a warm welcome to bbc news. it is a busy hour coming up. let me begin with the government warning tonight
of a deeply concerning situation, as new data confirms omicron in the uk is growing rapidly in all parts of the country, and ministers have been advised that it will likely be the dominant strain here within the week. uk health security agency is suggesting vaccine protection against mild symptoms has been substantially reduced because of the new variant, but the boosters are effective, and in the past hour, the government is now announcing £300 million of funding to protect social care this england in winter. it also there is a limit on the number of people that can be received as guests. the omicron variant is spreading incredibly fast, despite our highly immunised population. the growth rate is higher than last christmas, when very few had been vaccinated and the alpha variant hit. new data shows that if you have had two doses of vaccine more than three months ago, it is unlikely to prevent you getting infected with omicron or stop you from passing it on.
but if you had a booster, it is likely to give 75% protection against a mild infection with omicron. infection with omicron. that booster should give even greater immunity against severe disease. but it is the sheer growth rate of omicron which is worrying scientists. it may produce the biggest wave of infections so far in this pandemic. if we continue to double at this rate, i would expect that, without mitigations, we could have 100,000 or 200,000 cases, or even more, by the end of the month in the case numbers that we see every day. if those cases then translate into hospitalisations, you can look at a ratio of how many cases could turn he into hospitalisations. we don't know if it would be 1% or 0.5%, and we have to wait and get the data to raise the concern any further. the key unknown is how serious an illness omicron causes. the evidence from south africa is unclear.
they have a much younger population who are much less vaccinated. we won't know for several weeks what proportion of cases here will need hospital treatment. the government is not ruling out further measures beyond plan b to control omicron. but no ones yet is using the l—word — lockdown. we absolutely do need to keep everything under review. i think the measures we are taking are proportionate. we recognise the importance of balancing the ability for people to get on with their lives with the need to protect against this virus. but action is absolutely required, and as new data comes in, we will consider what action we do require to take in the face of that data. this is the last news people wanted to hear in the run—up to christmas. we face an anxious wait before we knowjust how big and how serious the omicron wave will be. fergus walsh, bbc news.
in scotland, the first minister nicola sturgeon has when they could be a tsunami of omicron coronavirus cases within days. ms sturgeon an ounce from tomorrow, saturday, all household contacts of anyone who test positive will need to isolate for ten days, regardless of whether they have been vaccinated or not or indeed whether they get a negative pcr test. ms sturgeon also urged people to cancel christmas parties. another christmas overshadowed by uncertainty. with a sharp increase in daily covid cases, the scottish government said the omicron variant is likely to be the dominant strain within days. to be blunt, because of the much greater and faster transmissibility of this new variant, we may be facing,
indeed we may be starting to experience a potential tsunami of infections. starting to experience a potential tsunami of infections. while out celebrating with friends, the advice came to think carefully about mixing in crowded spaces, and about deferring work christmas parties. kind of worried it's going to get worse as the weeks go - on and we are going to go back into lockdown. - it's a good step to take, i think. i don't think people will follow the rulesjust as much as they did in previous years. whether they are getting used to it and accepting it. this glasgow restaurant is one of many that have suffered cancellations. we are sitting in a space that would have had a table of ten, but they cancelled this morning off the back of the advice they've been given by the government. we have picked up some smaller tables to fill it, but it is the uncertainty that hurts us the most. this is not the news anyone wanted to hear, and not the message the first minister wanted to deliver, especially again in the run—up to christmas on what should have been one of the busiest party nights of the year. the doubling time for omicron... but the scottish government wants to act now due
to the rapid transmission rate of this new variant. if you have a room of 100 people and a single unknown omicron case is in that room, you could in the days after that find 50 or 60 or 70 positives. that is what we are trying to prevent. in a bid to reduce that spread, household contacts of people with any covid case are being asked to isolate for ten days. alexandra mckenzie, bbc news, glasgow. let's talk to paul hunter, a face very familiar to do, at an ri of medicine at the university of east anglia —— professor of medicine. is there anything surprising in what there anything surprising in what the government had to say today? tile. the government had to say today? no, not reall . the government had to say today? no, not really- i— the government had to say today? iirr, not really. i mean, ithink the government had to say today? iirr, not really. i mean, i think the report from the health security agency gave us figures that we hadn't known exactly, but we knew
what sort of ballpark they were. the fact that vaccines were after two doses having virtually no impact on preventing mild infection in omicron, but the rooster still gives very —— the booster still gives very effective come up to 70, 80% protection, and of course that is against mild disease, so protection against mild disease, so protection against severe disease is likely to be even greater, perhaps even up to the 90% region. [30 be even greater, perhaps even up to the 90% region-_ the 90% region. do you understand wh that the 9096 region. do you understand why that might _ the 9096 region. do you understand why that might sound _ the 9096 region. do you understand why that might sound a _ the 9096 region. do you understand why that might sound a bit - the 9096 region. do you understand. why that might sound a bit confusing to people, that it is less effective thanit to people, that it is less effective than it was against delta from mild disease, but more effective, perhaps not more effective, but as effective against serious illness?— against serious illness? yeah, i mean it is _ against serious illness? yeah, i mean it is a _ against serious illness? yeah, i mean it is a very _ against serious illness? yeah, i mean it is a very competitive i against serious illness? yeah, i. mean it is a very competitive issue really, because to a certain extent whether you get infected is dependent on the antibodies that you
have come to a large extent, whereas severe disease, protection against severe disease, protection against severe disease, protection against severe disease is a mixture of all sorts of things, t cells and antibodies as well. so, yes, you can get a situation where you've got very little protection against infections, but you still have reasonable protection against severe disease, and of course given 70% plus protection against infection, that would almost certainly give you much better protection against severe disease than that. so yes, it isn't all bad news, but it is still quite alarming, some of the transmission data.— quite alarming, some of the transmission data. what we don't know presumably _ transmission data. what we don't know presumably at _ transmission data. what we don't know presumably at this - transmission data. what we don't know presumably at this stage, i transmission data. what we don't l know presumably at this stage, and you might be able to help us with some sort of timescale which we might have a better idea, is whether the extra transmissibility, the increasing cases, effectively overtaking delta will lead to similar problems in hospitals, as we have experienced in the past? yeah,
i mean, whenever _ have experienced in the past? yeah, i mean, whenever the _ have experienced in the past? yeah, i mean, whenever the infection - have experienced in the past? yeah, i mean, whenever the infection is i i mean, whenever the infection is increasing numbers, certainly well certainly well as well. the issue we don't know at the moment is how rapidly hospitalisations will increase, in relation to how quickly the case numbers are increasing. we are hoping not as great as we have seenin are hoping not as great as we have seen in the past, but we don't really at this stage know exactly what that will be. but the early evidence is that people with omicron won't need to go into hospital as often as they would have done with delta. . , ., ,,., often as they would have done with delta. . , ., , ., delta. paul hunter, professor of medicine at _ delta. paul hunter, professor of medicine at the _ delta. paul hunter, professor of medicine at the university - delta. paul hunter, professor of medicine at the university of. delta. paul hunter, professor of. medicine at the university of east anglia, thank you so much. with the latest coronavirus figures show 58,000 new infections. on average 49,000 58,000 new infections. on average 19,000 cases reported every day over the last week, close to 7500 people are in hospital with covid, or were
as of yesterday, thursday. there are 120 deaths recorded in the 2a hours to friday, that is people who tested positive within the last 28 days with covid, and that means the average number of deaths over the past seven days were some 119. the total number of people who have died with covid during the course of the whole pandemic across the whole of the united kingdom and that this is people where covid was recorded as a contributory or cause of death on death certificates and similar recording, “16,255 people. on vaccination, 89% of people aged 12 and over have now received a first dose, 81% have been double jabbed and more than 22 million people have received their boosterjab. now, let's move on to the other dominant story of the day. affecting the prime minister, borisjohnson. this year's downing street christmas party has been effectively cancelled, —— officially cancelled
as borisjohnson continues to face questions over a gathering last december when covert restrictions meant the right space to be any christmas parties. it emerged the prime minister's chief press officer jack doyle appeared at that event. the cabinet secretary, along with some other gatherings that took place in government. two sources have told the bbc mr doyle has offered his resignation, but that borisjohnson won't offered his resignation, but that boris johnson won't accept it. offered his resignation, but that borisjohnson won't accept it. this morning, numberten borisjohnson won't accept it. this morning, number ten denied borisjohnson won't accept it. this morning, numberten denied he borisjohnson won't accept it. this morning, number ten denied he had offered to quit. besieged on three fronts, his authority, competence and integrity under scrutiny. after a torrid week for borisjohnson, there is no sign the pressure on the prime minister is easing. for a start, continuing questions about a party held in downing street last december. one of three gatherings now being investigated by the country's top civil servant. cabinet secretary is i'm sure investigating all these questions,
so we will see the results of that in due course, but last christmas, i was spending my time getting trade deals over the line. we now know this man, number ten press chiefjack doyle, was at the event on december 18th. sources have told the bbc mr doyle offered borisjohnson his resignation, but the prime minister would not accept it, something downing street denies. but the murkiness around last year's party is putting conservative mps taking to the airwaves on the spot. everyone has to respond equally to the restrictions and then pay the penalty equally if those restrictions are broken. should the prime minister pay a price if he knew about it? i i am here to speak about the uyghur tribunal. the second political headache facing the prime minister concerns his costly flat refurbishment. downing street has said officials are now liaising with borisjohnson's advisor on standards, lord geidt,
following the publication of a report yesterday into how the work was paid for. sir keir starmer today meeting people in the aftermath of storm arwen stopped short of calling for mrjohnson to quit, but... he is not fit for office, because he's not fit i for office he won't resign, i and the question is really tory members of the cabinet, i tory mps, to ask themselves, are they prepared l to put up with this? he is not fit for office, i and because he's not fit for now, the answer is yes. many tory mps are miserable but they are not yet mutinous. one former cabinet minister told me he thought borisjohnson was being let down by a number ten with no common sense and little political nous. and tory mps are likely to stick with mrjohnson, so long as he still looks like an electoral winner, and a by—election in shropshire next thursday will put that to the test. before that, parliament will vote on new covid measures,
the third problem facing boris johnson. his party is in open revolt on social media. more than 50 conservative mps have said they will vote against the government's latest package of protections that would require covid vaccine certificates for entry to crowded events. the plan may rely on labour support to go through. so, there is little respite for number ten, which today cancelled this year's christmas party. ben wright, bbc news, westminster. let's talk to professor tim bale, professor of politics at queen mary university in london. and an acknowledged expert on the conservative party. how serious is the position borisjohnson finds himself in at the moment, do you think? ~ ~' himself in at the moment, do you think? ~ ~ , himself in at the moment, do you think? ~ ~ ., .. , 1, , think? well, i think accepting boris johnson coming — think? well, i think accepting boris johnson coming down _ think? well, i think accepting boris johnson coming down with - think? well, i think accepting boris johnson coming down with covid i johnson coming down with covid himself in coming into intensive
care, this probably is the biggest crisis he has faced, at least politically. there are so many problems seeming to pile up over the last week that it is i think making tory mps, as ben wright said, miserable, even if they are not necessarily mutinous right now. i expect that he and they will hope to limp on till christmas and then hope something turns up in the new year but certainly at the moment he is in crisis mode. ﬁnd but certainly at the moment he is in crisis mode-— crisis mode. and is this about his leadership _ crisis mode. and is this about his leadership or _ crisis mode. and is this about his leadership or his, _ crisis mode. and is this about his leadership or his, if— crisis mode. and is this about his leadership or his, if you - crisis mode. and is this about his leadership or his, if you like, i leadership or his, if you like, judgment and the people here appoints and the people he accepts reassurances from?— reassurances from? well, to be honest, i _ reassurances from? well, to be honest, i think _ reassurances from? well, to be honest, i think there _ reassurances from? well, to be honest, i think there is - reassurances from? well, to be honest, i think there is always i reassurances from? well, to be| honest, i think there is always a tendency for people to blame the evil advisers if you like rather than the king himself. that goes right back to medieval times and it's no difference nowadays. i would have thought that most tory mps in their heart of hearts know that the problem stems right from the top rather than those around boris johnson. nevertheless, it has to be
said that of course when they picked him as leader, they knew about some of his faults, and i guess if he had a good team around him some of those faults could be minimised. that doesn't seem to have been the case. david gauke, former conservative cabinet minister honestly fell out with mrjohnson over brexit, but i think it is fair to say he is broadly still conservative in his outlook. i don't know if he is a member of the conservative party any longer, that's a matterfor him, but he was saying the conservative party always knew that boris johnson perhaps was a bit shaky on always knew that borisjohnson perhaps was a bit shaky on detail, that he didn't necessarily always have a wholly consistent relationship with the facts. famously of course he didn't tell the truth to michael howard, which is why he sacked him over i think that was an extramarital affair when mrjohnson was on the shadow front wench, that's years ago. but on that basis, it would be rather unfair, wouldn't it, of tories to turn on him, if, say, lord geidt decides actually he can't stay in his job because he doesn't think the prime
minister was wholly disclosed all the evidence and information about the evidence and information about the flat refurbishment? yes. the evidence and information about the flat refurbishment?— the flat refurbishment? yes, but i think there _ the flat refurbishment? yes, but i think there is _ the flat refurbishment? yes, but i think there is a _ the flat refurbishment? yes, but i think there is a difference - the flat refurbishment? yes, but i | think there is a difference between choosing someone as a leader who has let's say a difficult relationship with the truth, and then that person actually being found out, caught out again and again and again. i think clearlya again and again and again. i think clearly a problem that he has with lord geidt is that if it does turn out that he hadn't told him everything, then lord geidt is made to feel like a bit of a fool to be honest, presumably if he stays on, will he insist on some sort of quid pro quo, and that presumably will be more power in some ways for any kind of investigation he does in the future. of course tory mps can't necessarily guarantee this is the only thing boris johnson necessarily guarantee this is the only thing borisjohnson or his ministers will get into trouble for over the coming months and years. i have a feeling we may well be speaking again for christmas is upon
us. for now thanks very much for joining us. now, the families of four men murdered by the serial killer stephen port have accused the metropolitan police of homophobia. an inquestjury has found that police failures probably contributed to the deaths of three of the four victims. anthony walgate, gabriel kovari, daniel whitworth and jack taylor were all killed in barking in east london by stephen port over a 16 month period beginning in 2014. the englishjury found 16 month period beginning in 2014. the english jury found a string of failures in the police investigations. what was eventually jailed for life in 2016. daniel sandford has more. four lives cruelly cut short by serial killer. fashion student anthony
walgate from hull. gabriel kovari from slovakia. young chef daniel whitworth from kent and forklift driver jack taylorfrom dagenham — all murdered with the date rape drug ghb but the police could have stop the killing. it isa it is a devastating finding. our thoughts are with everybody who loved these young men. we are so sorry for their loss. i give my own and the met�*s heartfelt apologies. the bereaved families remain shocked that the officers involved are still in theirjobs. that the officers involved are still in theirjobs— in theirjobs. what faith in olicin: in theirjobs. what faith in policing and _ in theirjobs. what faith in policing and the _ in theirjobs. what faith in policing and the british i in theirjobs. what faith in i policing and the british public in theirjobs. what faith in - policing and the british public have when _ policing and the british public have when failure is not only go punished but are _ when failure is not only go punished but are instead rewarded? how can the much _ but are instead rewarded? how can the much touted platitude of lessons bein- the much touted platitude of lessons being learned to be true when there is a culture — being learned to be true when there is a culture of rewarding that failure? _ is a culture of rewarding that failure? it— is a culture of rewarding that failure? ., , ., is a culture of rewarding that failure? . , ., . ::' failure? it all began in june 2014, when 23-year-old _ failure? it all began in june 2014, when 23-year-old anthony i failure? it all began in june 2014, l when 23-year-old anthony walgate failure? it all began in june 2014, i when 23-year-old anthony walgate was when 23—year—old anthony walgate was found dead outside stephen port�*s flat in barking. it was thought to had called the ambulance, and almost immediately the police ever started mounting up. the mistakes are too many to list, they went on for 15 months before fought was finally
arrested for murder, and by that time three other young men were also dead. —— stephen port was arrested. after anthony died and port report of the body, the police missed this record in the police national database of port with a man who could barely walk after taking the date rape drug ghb. they did not examine his computer which would have seen him constantly searching for videos of young men being raped while unconscious on drugs. anthony's mother is convinced that a competent police investigation would have stopped stephen port there are men. bill have stopped stephen port there are men. �* ., . , ., men. all the other victims would have been _ men. all the other victims would have been known _ men. all the other victims would have been known if— men. all the other victims would have been known if they - men. all the other victims would have been known if they had i men. all the other victims would i have been known if they had bothered to investigate anthony's murder. stephen port was arrested for lying about moving anthony's body, but he remained on bail, free to kill again, and in weeks in a nearby church graveyard, two more bodies were found. first gabriel kovari and then daniel whitworth. he had what appeared to be a suicide note, in which he also said he had taken
gabriel's life. detectives just accepted that when simple checks would have shown that the two had never met. in march 2015, stephen port was jailed for lying to police about moving the first victim's body. for now, the killing stopped, but so did any further investigations, and in september 20 15, three months after stephen port was released from prison, body of jack taylor was found. cctv showed him walking with a stranger, but his sisters had to beg officers to use the pictures in a public appeal. we were asked a member told no, we asked _ were asked a member told no, we asked again — were asked a member told no, we asked again and _ were asked a member told no, we asked again and we _ were asked a member told no, we asked again and we were - were asked a member told no, we asked again and we were told i were asked a member told no, we asked again and we were told no, | were asked a member told no, we i asked again and we were told no, and then eventually— asked again and we were told no, and then eventually they _ asked again and we were told no, and then eventually they listen _ asked again and we were told no, and then eventually they listen to - asked again and we were told no, and then eventually they listen to us i then eventually they listen to us and they— then eventually they listen to us and they did _ then eventually they listen to us and they did put _ then eventually they listen to us and they did put it— then eventually they listen to us and they did put it out. - then eventually they listen to us and they did put it out. the i and they did put it out. the sister's hand _ and they did put it out. the sister's hand written i and they did put it out.- sister's hand written notes and they did put it out— sister's hand written notes from the time showed how they had spotted many of the key suspicious factors linking the deaths that the police had missed. they told me they want the incompetent officers involved to be sacked. �* ~ , the incompetent officers involved to be sacked. ~' , , ., be sacked. don't think they should be sacked. don't think they should be in the position _ be sacked. don't think they should be in the position therein - be sacked. don't think they should be in the position therein any i be sacked. don't think they should l be in the position therein any more. our whole _ be in the position therein any more. our whole world _ be in the position therein any more. our whole world tipped _ be in the position therein any more. our whole world tipped upside i be in the position therein any more. i our whole world tipped upside down.
but they— our whole world tipped upside down. but they get— our whole world tipped upside down. but they get promoted. _ our whole world tipped upside down. but they get promoted. they - our whole world tipped upside down. but they get promoted. they get i our whole world tipped upside down. but they get promoted. they get to i but they get promoted. they get to carry on— but they get promoted. they get to carry on their— but they get promoted. they get to carry on their lives. _ but they get promoted. they get to carry on their lives. the _ but they get promoted. they get to carry on their lives.— carry on their lives. the families think the four _ carry on their lives. the families think the four men's _ carry on their lives. the families think the four men's deaths i carry on their lives. the families | think the four men's deaths were investigated so badly partly because they were gay. they say officers even made assumptions orjust didn't care enough about the men, but the metropolitan police does not accept that. daniel sandford reporting. at 7:30pm we will be back for dateline london. first for a full round—up from the bbc sport centre withjohn watson. >> mac where we're going to start with the ashes fightback that we saw today, dawid saying england can't get ahead of themselves just yet but they have dragged themselves back into that first ashes test, mallan and joe root closing in on centuries. they still trail australia by 58 runs. they still trail australia by 58 runs at the close on day 3 in brisbane, but they've given themselves half a chance. that will a lwa ys always be the thought in the back of people's
head, but the one thing we did need to learn, as soon as we think too far ahead you open the door for them and they are so brilliant at the sort of closing that door for us. so i think that first hour is really important for us tomorrow and then we can start thinking about how well can play, but we need one more good 100 run partnership to put a good score on the board, and who knows what can happen?— what can happen? england need another big _ what can happen? england need another big day _ what can happen? england need another big day to _ what can happen? england need another big day to come. - the bbc�*s henry moeran is in australia with the test match special team, he's been speaking to former england bowler steven finn about england's chances with 2 days left to play. to only be 58 runs in arrears now has been a fantastic effort by the batters, hameed, joe root and dawid in particular showing defiance, but regardless of the result today it was important those guys did show that fight and resolve, more to show the rest of the way through the series. ., ., ., ., ., the rest of the way through the series. ., ., ., . . series. tomorrow, same again? yes, no wickets — series. tomorrow, same again? yes, no wickets or — series. tomorrow, same again? yes, no wickets or day _ series. tomorrow, same again? yes, no wickets or day would _ series. tomorrow, same again? yes, no wickets or day would be _ series. tomorrow, same again? yes, no wickets or day would be ideal i series. tomorrow, same again? yes, no wickets or day would be ideal but | no wickets or day would be ideal but again it is that mantra, and if they just focus on the method with which
they wish to core —— score the runs then the end product will look after itself. if the players in the dressing room now start looking too far ahead, dressing room now start looking too farahead, and dressing room now start looking too far ahead, and looking, dressing room now start looking too farahead, and looking, oh, we dressing room now start looking too far ahead, and looking, oh, we could set them there so we could think about getting a 200 run lead, that's when your mindset gets carried away, you lose two quick wickets and australia are all of you again. so if you think about the little building blocks to get you into position to potentially be able to for something out of this game on the last day, on a hopefully deteriorating pitch, then i think it is those more targets you need to look at. it's the climax to the formula one season this weekend. the abu dhabi grand prix could be one for the ages. max verstappen and lewis hamilton level on points, verstappen only top by virtue of winning 9 races to the reigning champions 8. it's the briton who topped the timesheets in friday's second practice. he was more than half a second quicker than his title rival, which is a huge margin in formula one. although the dutchman was fastest in the morning session. remember, it's a straight shootout for the title between hamilton and verstappen, presuming that they finish
in the points, whoever crosses the line first on sunday is world champion, or if neither car finishes, verstappen can take the title that way. andy murray has split with long—time coach jamie delgado. murray brought him into his team during the 2016 season when he won a second wimbledon title and finished the year as the world number one. former british davis cup player delgado took over as full—time coach in late 2017. murray has decided to give a trial to germanjan de witt, who has previously coached gael monfils, gilles simon and nikoloz basilashvili. ronnie o'sullivan is through to the semi—finals of snooker�*s scottish open. as in his previous match, the rocket wasn't at his best, but he just had too much for china's li hang. a fantastic double, here, in frame seven was the highlight of his 5—4 win. earlier anthony mcgill beat stephen maguire to make the last four.
the premier league has instructed all of their 20 clubs to revert to emergency covid measures in light of the new government guidance with cases of the new omicron variant on the rise. tottenham are dealing with an outbreak that saw their match postponed in the europa league last night and their game at brighton on sunday is also off. leicester have cases in their squad and norwich have revelaed today that they have covid related issues, chelsea's matteo kovacic tested positive earlier this week. every club is on high alert. the more important thing is all the players must be vaccinated, because we play every three days now, and we meet a lot of players, and it is important they have a vaccine, because if something happens with the vaccine it is very slow. without the vaccine it is very slow. without the vaccine, it is a big risk, and i understand conte, and i hope he and
watford, everything continue to be ok. ., ., ., , , 0k. claudio ranieri suggesting the health of the _ 0k. claudio ranieri suggesting the health of the players _ 0k. claudio ranieri suggesting the health of the players and - 0k. claudio ranieri suggesting the health of the players and everyone at those respective clubs must come first. plenty more on that story on the bbc website, including the build—up to tonight has met game between watford and brentford. for now though, that is all from me.
hello and welcome to the programme which brings together columnists on uk newspapers, bbc specialists and the international journalists who write, blog and broadcast from london. this week — party blues for british conservatives — how much trouble is borisjohnson now in? and joe biden says defending democracy is "the defining challenge of our time" but does of our time", but does vladimir putin believe him? to discuss those topics, we're joined by michael goldfarb, who's been a foreign correspondent for national public radio in the united states.