tv BBC News BBC News May 7, 2022 2:00pm-2:30pm BST
this is bbc news. i'm rebecca jones, with the latest headlines. at with the latest headlines. two an historic moment for nationalists in northern ireland, as sinn fein is on course to become the largest party at stormont. andjoin me in and join me in belfast where i bring you up—to—date on the position of the parties in the assembly northern ireland elections. across the rest of the uk, the conservatives have lost almost 500 seats in the local elections, with labour and the liberal democrats taking control of a number of councils. cheering. the snp remain the largest party in scottish councils — with labour overtaking the conservatives to finish second. labour was the biggest winner in wales, where the conservatives lost more than 80 seats.
in other news — more attempts are being made to rescue civilians trapped at a steelworks in the beseiged ukrainian city of mariupol. 50 people were taken out of the city yesterday. chelsea get their new owners — terms have been agreed, with the consortium led by american todd boehly. on the 15th anniversary of the rotary young citizen awards, we're hearing from some remarkable young people who've made outstanding contributions to their communities hello. good afternoon and welcome to bbc news. sinn fein is on track to win the most seats
in the northern ireland assembly for the first time ever — signalling a historic shift in the political landscape. let's cross live to belfast and get all the latest from annita mcveigh. good afternoon to you, annita. rebecca, thank you. discount centre one of three about northern ireland counting the votes in this election and as you mentioned in the introduction, as polls have predicted in the run—up to the vote, sinn fein look set to emerge as the biggest party here and with the entitlement to nominate to the position of first minister in the power—sharing executive. we will talk a little more in a few moments about whether that will be happening or not, because that is one of the big talking points of this election but first let's look at the relative positions of the parties in terms of seats won so far. i think we can bring it up on the screen for you. sinn fein, the nationalist party,
who want a united ireland on 21. dup, anti—northern ireland protocol, they are run 19. the alliance party on 12, that is one of the other big talking point is that this election, how well that central party is doing. the ulster unionists are on six, the sdlp on four. those two parties, their votes getting squeezed in this election. traditional unionist voice on one and there is an independent candidate as well, one independent candidate. so those are the figures so far. just to give you a couple of bits of information from around the various count centres, we hear the ulster unionist party leader doug bt looks 0k. ulster unionist party leader doug bt looks ok. i think there was a little anxiety around his position knowing into the end of the account yesterday and this morning but he looks as though he will be ok. then in the north antrim constituency,
the dup losing their very well known candidate there, mervyn storey and the alliance�*s patricia olin winning and becoming the first ever female mla for that constituency. so just a couple of scenes from around the counts here in northern ireland. let's try and put all of this into context. with me as political commentator brian rylan. good to have you back with us here. you were telling me earlier that this election is really shaking things up in northern ireland, that it shows that we are no longer talking about two tribes here? that that we are no longer talking about two tribes here?— two tribes here? that is right. often when — two tribes here? that is right. often when people _ two tribes here? that is right. often when people talk- two tribes here? that is right. often when people talk about | two tribes here? that is right. . often when people talk about the politics of this place, it is orange and green, nationalist and unionist, the tug—of—war between the two. but over a period of years a third pillar has been growing and you talked about it in your introduction. the alliance party currently on 12 seats. they think
they will get to at least 1a, possibly 15 or 16 seats, that would be a big shift and would mean that that political conversation about this place would have to be stretched out, if you like, into the wider canvas, with those three significant blocks within it. the other important thing about that is that lots of talk about a border poll in the build—up to this election, a lot of it coming from the dup. neither orange or green on their own can win a border poll. the deciding voice and all of that, whenever that vote eventually comes, will be within that third block. what is their thinking and their mood on that question? ﬁgs what is their thinking and their mood on that question?- what is their thinking and their mood on that question? as for the immediate future _ mood on that question? as for the immediate future and _ mood on that question? as for the immediate future and what - mood on that question? as for the immediate future and what is - mood on that question? as for the | immediate future and what is going to happen with regards to resetting, i suppose and restarting the northern ireland executive, jeffrey donaldson the dup leader telling the bbc earlier he will consider whether to make a decision next week, once he has heard what is in the queen�*
speech. now is that a slight shift or is that reading too much into this? ., , , or is that reading too much into this? . , , ,_ or is that reading too much into this? . , , ., , or is that reading too much into this? ., , ., , ., this? he has been saying he wants to see action. — this? he has been saying he wants to see action, unilateral— this? he has been saying he wants to see action, unilateral action - this? he has been saying he wants to see action, unilateral action from - see action, unilateral action from the uk government in relation to the sea border. the sea border has caused a tremor and some trauma within the unionist community, not just because of its new trading arrangements between this place and the rest of the united kingdom but because unionists see it to a threat to the union itself and has created further difference in distance between this place and the rest of the united kingdom. so the history of stormont since 1988 and the good friday agreement stands and falls. three years in the last monday whether stormont executive was not functioning. itjust about whether stormont executive was not functioning. it just about staggered through to this election and i don�*t think there is a quick way back to a new stormont executive come the beginning of next week at the end of next week. let�*s see what the uk government says or does not say but
at this stage, i think we are potentially in for a long negotiation because aside from the protocol, unionists have said they want to talk about a programme for government, want to talk about a multi year budget and there is a lot to talk about and not much time to talk about it. the to talk about and not much time to talk about it— talk about it. the westminster government — talk about it. the westminster government clearly _ talk about it. the westminster government clearly and - talk about it. the westminster government clearly and the . talk about it. the westminsterj government clearly and the eu talk about it. the westminster i government clearly and the eu do talk about it. the westminster - government clearly and the eu do not want to see a stalemate at stormont. what more do you think they can do to actually give a little bit of this, when i spoke tojulian smith earlier he was looking to the eu for movement, for compromise, wasn�*t he? you can do something around those trading arrangements but the problem is that if it is in the unionist mine at it�*s about more than that, that it�*s about the union itself and it must be scrapped and it must go completely, that is a much more difficult proposition. so i think what the eu would want, what the uk government would want is a settled
negotiation, this thing talked out and the last thing they want is a crisis moment here. but the politics of this place is a constant crisis. so i think we wait to see what happens next week, but unionists also, going back into a stormont where they may no longer have the first minister title and that itself will be another difficult moment because it in a period and in a trend of elections from 2017, unionists have had that sense of losing. unionists have had that sense of losina. ., ~ ,, unionists have had that sense of losina. . ~' ,, , unionists have had that sense of losina. ., ~ ,, , . unionists have had that sense of losina. ., ~' ,, , . ., losing. ok, thank you very much for the moment- _ losing. ok, thank you very much for the moment- i _ losing. ok, thank you very much for the moment. i know— losing. ok, thank you very much for the moment. i know you _ losing. ok, thank you very much for the moment. i know you will - losing. ok, thank you very much for the moment. i know you will stick i the moment. i know you will stick around to talk to us brian rowan there. let�*s assess where we are so far, a day and a half in discount without ireland correspondent chris page. applause the political ground in northern ireland is shifting. that is generating delight for new assembly members and disappointment for the party which has won the last five elections.
the race for the final few seats tends to be very tight but the picture is clear. a surge in support for the cross—community alliance party and a drop in votes for the democratic unionists, and sinn fein is on course to be the largest party in the northern ireland assembly. for the first time, a party which wants to take northern ireland out of the uk is expected to be its largest political force. sinn fein�*s vice president, michelle o�*neill, is in line to become first minister. no irish nationalist has ever held the post before. michelle has led from the front, so i am delighted that michelle o�*neill is leading sinn fein. i am delighted that michelle o�*neill will be the next first minister. so michelle�*s vision and foresight and drive has created an atmosphere in politics which means it can work, so let�*s make it work. cheering and applause. another major sign of change is the success of the party, which is neither unionist nor nationalist. alliance is set to move up
from fifth place to third. its leaders say voters had sent a firm message. they actually want to see government that works for them. instead of being divided, instead of being fragile, constantly falling over, constantly held to ransom by one party or another, what they want to see is continuity of government and focus on delivery. but the democratic unionist party has lost a fifth of its support. a strong focus of the campaign was opposition to the brexit trade border with the rest of the uk. the dup says it will block the formation of a devolved government until checks on goods arriving in northern ireland are scrapped. but it�*s shed voters to a more hardline party, the traditional unionist voice, which says the dup has been too weak on the issue. there�*s no point denying it. it�*s been a very, very difficult period of time, i think it�*s been a very difficult yearfor the dup. i think that�*s been well rehearsed. and i think most people would concede we are doing
better than was expected, even a few weeks ago. but, look, i think what we�*ve seen in this election is what happens whenever unionism shreds the votes. under the power—sharing rules at stormont, unionists and nationalists have to agree to run northern ireland jointly before ministers can take up their positions. the dup�*s likely to be even less enthusiastic about going into a coalition with sinn fein in front. it�*s far from clear whether the politicians who have been elected will ever get to govern. chris page, bbc news, belfast. and with me now from sinn fein i have the candidate who has been elected in the south belfast constituency, we carry the speech a little earlier. i thought it was a nice touch when you paid tribute to
the late dup representative for the area. ed edwin poots had paid tribute before that as well and you did as well and i thought it was a very human moment, irrespective of political traditions, you were reaching out there. i suppose a lot of people watching this and looking on will say, why can�*t politicians in northern ireland do more of this and what is it going to take to get and what is it going to take to get a functioning executive back up and running? a functioning executive back up and runnina ? , ., , a functioning executive back up and runnina ? , .,, ., , running? christopher and i grew up in belfast and _ running? christopher and i grew up in belfast and working _ running? christopher and i grew up in belfast and working class - in belfast and working class communities and there are commonalities we shared. often i think that is the politics people don�*t always see what the media don�*t always see what the media don�*t always see what the media don�*t always shine the light on. i�*d think now the electorate has given a resounding result that they want to see politics working, they want a new kind of progressive, forward—looking politics and that is what we�*re seeing here today and yesterday, in terms of the results we are getting with new mlas and seats that are being won. the job now is for monday morning. all of
the parties need to get back around the parties need to get back around the executive table and form government and we need to start delivering four people. that is the resounding message we have all been getting on the doors over the last six weeks. we need to work on the issues that matter most to people, the health care, the cost of living crisis, education, childcare and so much more. crisis, education, childcare and so much more-— crisis, education, childcare and so much more. the dup leaderjeffrey donaldson says _ much more. the dup leaderjeffrey donaldson says he _ much more. the dup leaderjeffrey donaldson says he will _ much more. the dup leaderjeffrey donaldson says he will wait - much more. the dup leaderjeffrey donaldson says he will wait after i donaldson says he will wait after the queen�*s speech to consider whether returning to the power—sharing executive. do you understand the unionist nervousness at this point, if i can put it that way? they say they feel a lack of trust in the government in westminster. they feel squeezed by the results you are getting. do you understand that nervousness? we don't understand that nervousness? - don't have trust in a tory don�*t have trust in a tory government in westminster. but we are elected to the powell dill power—sharing in the north. we have
all given a commitment we will work together to form a government and i think we�*ll need to get around the table. we do not have time. people who are struggling now to pay their household bills, to pay fuel costs, who wake up in the mornings with those real worries, what we were getting on the doors is they want us to get back around the table right away but we are ready to do that on monday morning. team sinn fein will be there with michelle o�*neill to start delivering four people. there are £331; million that we can be unlocking on monday. we need to be getting that money out of the door and into people�*s pockets and that is the importance of the work on the task ahead. ,, is the importance of the work on the task ahead-— is the importance of the work on the task ahead. sinn fein doesn't have a roblem task ahead. sinn fein doesn't have a problem with — task ahead. sinn fein doesn't have a problem with the _ task ahead. sinn fein doesn't have a problem with the protocol, - task ahead. sinn fein doesn't have a problem with the protocol, albeit. problem with the protocol, albeit that you didn�*t support brexit in the first place but would you be prepared to work on some changes to that if that was what it took to bring the dup back into a power—sharing government? the bring the dup back into a power-sharing government? the dup need to come — power-sharing government? the dup need to come back _ power-sharing government? the dup need to come back into _ power-sharing government? the dup need to come back into the _ need to come back into the power—sharing government. the
reality is the protocol is here to stay because that is the consequence of brexit, which we did campaign against because we warned that this would be the consequences of that. we acknowledge that there may be parts of the protocol and what we are calling on... the only way to resolve these issues is not walking out of institutions, it�*s getting back around the table again. it is negotiating and discussing those issues and finding solutions. so we will make a commitment that we do that. we have always done that and working with the european union and british government and the irish government, but you can�*t do that outside the executive. it has no control over the protocol. we need to get back around the table and deliver on the behalf of people and of course we need to keep the discussions around the protocol going. it is there to stay, it�*s not going. it is there to stay, it�*s not going anywhere and we need to make it work for everybody. we are willing to do that but the power—sharing institutions cannot be held to ransom. people are struggling in the here and now, that is the resounding message coming from this campaign. people want to
change. people want delivery and we need to get back around the table and deliverfor them. need to get back around the table and deliver for them.— need to get back around the table and deliver for them. thank you very much. and deliver for them. thank you very much- let's — and deliver for them. thank you very much. let's take _ and deliver for them. thank you very much. let's take a _ and deliver for them. thank you very much. let's take a look _ and deliver for them. thank you very much. let's take a look into - and deliver for them. thank you very much. let's take a look into more i much. let�*s take a look into more detail at what is happening with the elections with lewis goodall. i thought it would be useful to have a little history lesson and walk—through where exactly we have beenin walk—through where exactly we have been in northern ireland since the stormont executive was first created in 1998. you can see over here, essentially what has happened, there has been a change and continuity with a northern irish politics over that time. continuity in the sense you always have those two major blocks, the nationalist bloc and unionist block that they have been represented by different forces over time. the creation in 1998, the unionist and right limb nationalist blocks were presented by two different parties than today. they had the ulster unionist party, they tended to come out on top with primary vehicle of northern ireland unionism and then the sdlp,
represented by the dark green here. they were the primary vehicle of nationalism. but pretty much on the get go, almost from the get go, that inverted. you saw a rejection of those two more moderate forces within nationalism and unionism in favour of sinn fein, the light green line and the dup, the red line. they overtake those two parties. since 2003, they have been the primary vehicle and then you have the nonsectarian alliance party skirting around the bottom here. up until 2017, where you can see the dup and sinn fein basically nip and tuck, the dup on top by only 8% or two. everywhere to feel data now with 2022, what would happen? let�*s look at the scoreboard. 18 of 18 constituencies declared. the dup have fallen way back in a minor 7%. they are now firmly in second place in terms of percentage of the vote
and will no longer have the most seats. sinn fein will be firmly on top and the alliance has scooted ahead, leapfrogged into third place from way beyond the eight or 9% they were on before and are now on 14%. so you can see it again, it is not that the primary vehicles of each party have changed but their respective popularity has done so and that has primarily happened, why? sinn fein getting more popular customer not really, it�*s up about 1%. yes they have eaten a bit into the sdlp share there but it is because instead the dup�*s vote is being fragmented by both the tuv primarily, the new party that contested last elections underjim alistair. if we look into the detailed breakdown of each constituency, you can see we can just pick one, let�*s pick lagan valley. you can see here, the dup still on top, largest vote share for
the dup since 2007 but down 7%. some of it is going to the alliance party, and that�*s an important part of the breakdown of all this, the idea of the unionist votes going perhaps to the nonsectarian alliance party. it makes them a crucial potential opponent of northern irish politics to come but some is bleeding directly to the more hardline tuv. rejected the northern ireland protocol is that the dup would say they have rejected as well and they have but they are considered to be implicated in the whole brexit process and their support for theresa may�*s conservative ferment. we can pick any of the constituencies in stormont and we see the same thing. here we have strangford. you can see the dup 2003, yes, they are still on top. but let�*s see what has happened? down 4%, some clearly going to be alliance party, some going to be alliance party, some going to be alliance party, some going to the tuv. if we have a look,
let�*s just take one more to hammer home the point, east antrim. we can see it here. the dup still on top. but down 6%. tuv up 5%. that is what we�*re seeing now, we are seeing brexit up with northern ireland. we saw it happen in britain in 2019 come in great britain. you saw the conservative party start to change the electoral map as a result of brexit. so now post—actual brexit in 2020, it first northern ireland election since then and it is transforming the electoral map and the percentage of the vote in northern ireland politics. back to you, rebecca. thank you a much more from lewis in the course of the afternoon, hopefully with his microphone fixed. we shall also hear much more from annita as well. the education secretary nadhim
zahawi has said the government must not be complacent after the conservatives suffered substantial losses in local elections across england, scotland and wales. the party lost almost 500 council seats, with the liberal democrats and labour making gains. our political correspondent leila nathoo reports. the full picture of elections across england, scotland and wales is now clear. and the losses for the conservatives have been significant, down almost 500 councillors, 11 more councils now out of tory control. ministers say they are listening. very much around making sure we have the plan for recovery continues, that we continue to bear down on the household budget pressures. 22 billion in 12 months is what we�*re delivering now. we�*re not going to be complacent. we�*re going to continue to bear down on that, safer streets and, of course, the nhs backlog. these are the things that i think win us votes and that�*s what borisjohnson is very much
focused on delivering. labour had hoped a national backdrop of rocketing living costs and fines at the top of government for breaking lockdown rules would send voters flocking their way. the party did do well, securing symbolic victories in london and gains elsewhere. but these were tentative steps forward, rather than emphatic strides. we know we�*ve got to rebuild trust. we had a terrible near—death experience at the last general election, so we�*re not taking anyone for granted. but i think what we saw in the results on thursday is a firm foundation for going on to win the next general election. but labour�*s successes were overshadowed by police announcing they were now investigating leader sir keir starmer for a possible lockdown breach of his own. it�*s definitely been a good morning for the lib dems, who tempted traditional tory voters away to add almost 200 councillors in england. conservative support also melted away in wales, with labour profiting.
in scotland, the snp increased its support again, forcing the tories into retreat. the snp is a party 15 years into government. so it�*s a big vote of confidence in our leadership of scotland, both nationally and at local level. i don�*t take it for granted, though. people want to see us deliver now. the reason we keep winning elections is because we work really hard, at elections, between elections, to deliver for scotland. votes are counted in the verdicts are in. it�*s only a snapshot but for all parties, plenty to chew over. leila nathoo, bbc news. our wales correspondent, tomos morgan told us how people voted across wales and the unexpected losses for the conservative party. after the brexit vote in 2017, i think it�*s fair to say a number of disgruntled labour voters and brexit voters moved over and started voting tory, we saw that in the general
election in 2017, the local election and general election after that as well. but since the pandemic, things are beginning to change most of last year we had the senedd elections in wales and mark drakeford�*s labour government exceeded expectations and did much better. i think we basically mirrored that in wales in the local elections. what we didn�*t expect potentially was such a big downfall for the tories here in wales. they have done worse, losing all over the gains they made in 2017, losing the majority and the only councils they controlled, monmouthshire in wales are now in monmouthshire, for the first time, labour is now the biggest party. that is the first time for labour there. labourtook that is the first time for labour there. labour took back control two of the council is a last time around. they were unable to take the third one and they lost one as well due to a local issue. some of the other stories of the day yesterday were plaid cymru, who have gone from
one council to controlling four but their overall vote share is down and they have lost six seats. i think they have lost six seats. i think the question for them will be if they can�*t take seats and hold onto voters in traditional labour heartlands, how will they be able to push forward in the next senedd in the general election? the other story, the lib dems taking ten seats in mid wales and the greens for the first time in wales are gaining eight seats across wales, the first time they have had so many in local elections. that was the picture in wales. in west dunbartonshire we heard from our scotland correspondent, alexandra mackenzie. gains in scotland from the snp but also for labour, the liberal democrats and for the greens. a very different story for the scottish conservatives. here they lost more than 60 councillors across the country. the snp remains the largest party. there was no surprise there. they had their best ever local
election after 15 years in government. now, labour has overtaken the scottish conservatives for second place. so big disappointment there for the scottish conservatives. their leader douglas ross, he said he believed that public anger over partygate had a part to play in that. he also said today that he was determined to win back trust and votes. it was a good day for scottish labour here in west dunbartonshire. they took overall control but they are still some way behind the snp. alexandra mckenzie there in scotland. let�*s bring you up—to—date with the headlines on bbc news. an historic moment for nationalists in northern ireland, as sinn fein is on course to become the largest party at stormont. across the rest of the uk the conservatives have lost almost 500 seats in the local elections,
with labour and the liberal democrats taking control of a number of councils. in other news — more attempts are being made to rescue civilians trapped at a steelworks in the beseiged ukrainian city of mariupol. 50 people were taken out of the city yesterday. ukraine says it has recaptured five villages north—east of kharkiv, as it continues a counter—offensive against russian forces. the ukrainian military say they could soon make it impossible for russia to use their artillery on the city. moscow has succeeded in making small advances in the eastern donbas region, although those have been described as costly. with all the latest developments, joe inwood has this report. it was a simple house, but built with his own hands. this man fought for the soviets during the second world war. a few days ago, his home, along with all his possessions, were destroyed by russian shelling.
transaltion: if i had the strength, i would be the first to defend. - i would stand and help our troops. you know, it hurts a lot. what did we fight for? what did we set free? but it seems ivan could be one of the last victims of russian shelling in kharkiv. explosion. ukrainian forces say they�*ve recaptured a number of villages on the outskirts of the country�*s second city. analysts believe the russians could soon be pushed out of artillery range. that would be welcome news to the defenders of barvinkove, a strategic town on the edge of the donbas. they�*re well dug in here, but know the russians are coming. "they want to go to dnipro and zaporizhzhia", maxim says. "they want to capture our territory, to encircle us, surround us. but this will not happen. we will not allow it." in the port city of mariupol, the un and red cross say they will continue their attempts to free civilians from the besieged azovstal steelworks. yesterday, they escorted a further 50 civilians to safety.
president zelensky says he hopes they will not be the last people to walk out alive. translation: we are also working on diplomatic options _ to rescue our soldiers who still remain at azovstal. powerful intermediaries are involved, powerful states. this war is also one of information. ukrainian activists in berlin released this video, parodying the images from the start of the war as they pull former soviet tanks from their pedestals. it came as russia made final preparations for its annual victory day parade. a show of might from a military that, in places, now appears to be on the back foot. joe inwood, bbc news, lviv. let�*s speak to ben brown in kyiv. yes, thank you. i want to try and give you a clearer sense of what is
happening on the battlefield in ukraine, especially in the east, because we have been getting those reports that ukrainian forces are successfully counter attacking the russians around ukraine�*s second city, kharkiv. let�*s discuss this a bit more with a militaryjournalist and analyst for ukrainian television. can you, you have been out to the east, you have been watching your soldiers in action. in fact, you got wounded earlier on in the conflict. what is the latest around kharkiv in particular? such a big city, ukraine�*s second city and your troops are doing quite well there? what we see on the ground is a slight transformation of simultaneous counter strikes, counter attacks into a bigger, broader counter offensive operations. ukrainian forces are creating a broad art, a broad bow
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