tv BBC News BBC News May 7, 2022 5:55pm-6:31pm BST
ireland assembly election. while the counting continues, the leader of the dup conceded this evening that sinn fein will win the vote. a short time ago, sinn fein had 23 assembly members, the democratic unionist party had 22, and the cross—community alliance party had 15 seats. 78 of 90 seats have been declared so far. it will be the first time a nationalist party in northern ireland has won the most seats —
with sinn fein�*s ultimate goal being for northern ireland to leave the uk and become one country with the republic of ireland. our correspondent chris page reports, and a warning — there is some flash photography. it's all over bar the cheering. cheering when the final election result is in sinn fein will be on top. for the first time, a party which is dedicated to taking northern ireland out of the uk is the biggest political force here. it's a huge historic moment for irish nationalism and a massively symbolic shift. sinn fein�*s vice president michelle o'neill is in line to become first minister. no irish nationalist has ever held the post before. todayit today it ushers in a new era, which i believe presents us all with an opportunity to reimagine relationships in this society on the basis of fairness, on the basis of equality, and on the basis of social
justice. irrespective of religious, political or social backgrounds, my commitment is to make politics work. another major sign of change is the success of the party which is neither unionist nor nationalist. the alliance has moved from fifth place to third in the assembly. it's leader said the breakthrough had come through many years of work. people wrote us off and said there was no future for a shared future in northern ireland and we have proven them wrong. it has taken us a while to get here but we are here now and we have proven there is a third way in politics here. but we have proven there is a third way in politics here.— in politics here. but the democratic unionist party— in politics here. but the democratic unionist party has _ in politics here. but the democratic unionist party has lost _ in politics here. but the democratic unionist party has lost about - in politics here. but the democratic unionist party has lost about a - unionist party has lost about a fifth of its support. a strong focus of its campaign was its 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 the traditional unionist voice says the dup has been
too weak on the issue. we unionist voice says the dup has been too weak on the issue.— too weak on the issue. we will acce -t too weak on the issue. we will accept the _ too weak on the issue. we will accept the outcome _ too weak on the issue. we will accept the outcome of - too weak on the issue. we will accept the outcome of the - too weak on the issue. we will - accept the outcome of the election. however, our position remains that we need to remove the long shadow of the protocol that is inhibiting our ability to operate and function properly within the political institutions. and the sooner that happens the sooner we will be in a position to move forward.- happens the sooner we will be in a position to move forward. under the power-sharing _ position to move forward. under the power-sharing rules _ position to move forward. under the power-sharing rules at _ position to move forward. under the power-sharing rules at stormont, i power—sharing rules at stormont, unionists and nationalists have to agree to run northern ireland jointly before ministers can take up their positions. but it's far from clear whether the politicians who have been elected will ever get to govan. the dup is even less likely to go into a coalition now that sinn fein is in front. after the disappointment and the delight of today, the future is uncertain. chris page, bbc news. before its rise, sinn fein was once a party ostracised by many in the political sphere. during the 30—year conflict in northern ireland known
as the troubles it was seen as being associated with a campaign of violence. but once the party decided on a way forward through politics, and had members elected as mps in the 1980s, it began to gain popularity. our ireland correspondent emma vardy looks back — her report contains flashing images. steeped in the violence of the past, sinn fein�*s political aims were born out of a northern ireland's darkest days. the freedom fighters of the ira are now continuing the struggle against foreign occupation and domination! during the 30—year conflict here, sinn fein were the voice of the paramilitary group the ira... explosions ..who fought an armed campaign to try to break british rule in northern ireland. gerry adams, the leader of sinn fein during some of the worst of the ira violence, became both a hated and revered figure. i haven't gone away, you know! today, the ira dead are remembered at the republican plot in milltown cemetery.
many who served time in prison on their release became involved in the political movement to achieve a united ireland through peaceful means. those were very, very formative days and clearly the idea that we have to move forward politically is very much entrenched now in republican ideology. sinn fein sees the conflict as having been a legitimate armed struggle but the party now strongly advocates peace. what's been key to their success, do you think? there's that organic link. sinn fein republican activists were part of the community. in the 1990s, sinn fein played a key role in bringing about the good friday agreement, which largely ended the violence. in the years after, their support at the ballot box grew. martin mcguinness, a former commander in the ira, became deputy first minister, sharing power with the dup. for those who remember the past, sinn fein still deeply divide opinion but in the party today,
there are far fewer elected representatives who were involved in the armed conflict and their electoral success is a new milestone in what has been a remarkable political journey. if we look back to the good friday agreement, they would have been ex—prisoners, they would have been people who would have had links to that sort of republican wing of sinn fein/the ira. what we see now is a very young party, a very progressive party. it's full of young women — the two leaders are women, both of whom have no connection to that sort of previous past. but sinn fein�*s success is a bitter blow for unionism. the immediate challenge for the party's current leaders will be to form a new power—sharing executive at stormont and governing in the first minister role may yet be some way off. dietz have just been declared here, and while it has been a decisive result for sinn fein, it presents a brand—new challenge for
power—sharing at stormont. next week the parties will meet and they will be required to nominate a first and deputy first minister. the dup has already said it will not do that because of the opposition to the brexit arrangements. while those roles arejoint, brexit arrangements. while those roles are joint, they are equal, there will be less enthusiasm in the dup to go into the deputy role serving alongside a sinn fein first minister. meanwhile, there are negotiations continuing with the eu to try to sort out the problems with the irish sea border but if there is no agreement between the parties here, in six months' time we could be back here again, more votes being counted in another set of elections. emma, thank you. emma vardy reporting. 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, ii 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. 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. cheers 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. sir keir, good morning. will you resign if you're fined...? 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... i wasn't expecting that! ..who tempted traditional tory voters away to add almost 200 councillors in england. conservative support also melted away in wales, with labour profiting. and 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 and the verdicts are in. it's only a snapshot but for all parties, plenty to chew over. leila nathoo, bbc news. well, we heard in leila's report about the difficulties for sir keir starmer, too, after being made the subject of a police investigation into alleged lockdown rule—breaking. this afternoon he had this to say when asked if he might resign. as i've explained a number of times, i was working in the office, we stopped for something to eat. there was no party, there was no breach of the rules — i'm confident about that. leila joins me now. how serious is this for the keir starmer? it could be quite serious indeed. durham police originally looked at reports of this gathering in the constituency office of one of keir starmer�*s fellow mps ahead of a by—election last year when they were campaigning and they concluded no covid rules had been broken last february but now they say they have significant new information and they are looking again. not only has it
overshadowed the gains on thursday because �*s elections labour wanted to talk about, it neutralised sir keir starmer�*s attacks on the prime ministerfor breaking keir starmer�*s attacks on the prime minister for breaking covid keir starmer�*s attacks on the prime ministerfor breaking covid rules in downing street, and there are more investigations into more gatherings there. keir starmer called for boris johnson to resign, even at the point of being investigated for possible lockdown breaches, before he had even received a fixed penalty notice and now is facing questions about why he is not abiding by the very standards he himself has set. keir starmer maintains no rules were broken, it was a work event, but he is a former director of public prosecutions presenting himself as a man of integrity. he will be in trouble if he gets fined. for labour it will be an anxious and uncomfortable wait for the police to conclude their investigation. leila nathoo, conclude their investigation. leila nathoo. many — conclude their investigation. leila nathoo, many thanks. _ ukraine's deputy prime minister has said all women, children and the elderly have been evacuated from the azovstal steelworks, in the southern port city of mariupol. the plant has been the focus of heavy russian bombardment in recent weeks, as ukrainian fighters — holed up inside —
have prevented russia from taking complete control of the strategically important city. that's it — we're back with the late news at 10.00. now on bbc one, it's time for the news where you are. goodbye. good evening, i'm asad ahmad. the people of croydon have bucked the trend in london by electing a conservative to become their first directly appointed mayor.
good evening. this is bbc news with rebecca jones. sinn fein has hailed a new era for northern ireland as it's 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— and a first for a nationalist party. it comes as the democratic unionist party leaderjeffrey donaldson, has said his party will decide next week whether to consider entering a power—sharing government.
let's speak to lewis goodall with the latest. yes, we are edging towards the completion of this stormont election. i know it feels like we're getting there in increments and believe me we feel it as well. we are on 81 out of 90 seats declared so far and nine outstanding. let's just remind ourselves of what happened so far. we knew yesterday from the first preferences that sinn fein were going to be on top and they had outstripped and overtaken they had outstripped and overtaken the dup and managed to put an extra percentage point of the vote also meant that the dup design —— decline of about 7% they got into second place. we can see them currently on level pegging that we expect sinn fein to go by if you must each of the course of the next hour or so, if you seats outstanding and once they hit 26 that is effectively the
magic number for the selection because the way the distribution of seats is also a comic shaken out thatis seats is also a comic shaken out that is what we think dup is basically unveiled, numerically with the remaining seats available will not be able to catch up with sinn fein. the other big winner we can see here is the alliance nonsectarian nonaligned party led by naomi long and they have gone from fifth to third by nine seats. 0ther fifth to third by nine seats. other big loser of the night is sdlp the more historically moderate republican national is false and they've just lost foresees a very disappointing result indeed. —— republican nationalist force. if we have a look at five at five after five seats declared and this is naomi long's seats in the sdlp didn't lose here, beg your pardon, of course it is belfast north which we have just had an just come of course it is belfast north which we havejust had anjust come in belfast north and this is the sdlp leader nichola mallon�*s seat and she
has just found out because you got five out of five seats declared she has lost her seat and is to beat the benefit of the alliance party so a really difficult night for the sdlp. quite a bit of their support has gone to sinn fein. now the biggest republican forces also perhaps a little bit into the alliance as well. that nonsectarian full suddenly emerging from the shadows to the big unveiling post and play the northern ireland politics and with just not had this of course the northern line before, have we? northern line before, have we? northern ireland politics by its very nature very definition has 0s been sectarian between republican and unionist, loyalist. what does this mean when you suddenly have a big block not that far behind the dup in terms of where we want seats. what does that mean for the future of politics and where might sinn fein, why are we so confident that sinn fein are going to make up the numbers and definitely get to 26? partly because as i say the remaining seats outstanding including fermanagh and south to vote on which is something of a sinn
fein stronghold pretty much these days and has been since 2000 and 344% of the vote in terms of first preference share and currently have one cep and one seat out towards the enniskillen but before they had three sinn fein mps in the last election and now they have only got one in their tally because if you get to all you need to do is match what they had before and they are up 3% so there's no reason why they shouldn't get those two so that takes them to 25 and then in terms of very confident they will get another seat outstanding for example in foil. 0f another seat outstanding for example in foil. of course this is the historic home of the sdlpjohn hume's seat and the have dominated their historically and are still not far off the biggest party and it is a real national stronghold 30% to 30% to sinn fein are down a little bit and namely the alliance has benefited the dup as well. in some ways the story of the selection is not so much that sinn fein has done spectacularly well it is that the
dup has done spectacularly quite badly worst result since thomas elections in 1998! should say on the tradition of the last election that had to sinn fein mps in foil and there is no reason it shouldn't happen again and if they don't pick it up there for whatever reason there were certainly would be able to do so in east londonderry which is still counting as well. no sinn fein return at the moment. you just see numerically as it is going to happen. they're going to get 26, they are going to top the poll and it will be historic evening. thank you so much that day. thank you. all women, children and elderly people have now left the besieged azovstal steel plant in the ukrainian southern port of mariupol — that's according to the country's deputy prime minister. the operation to rescue civilians, which has been coordinated by the united nations and red cross, began a week ago. ukrainian soldiers have been continuing to resist russian forces trying to capture the plant. to other news, 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. danilo lubkivsky is a former ukrainian deputy foreign minister. he's been speaking to my colleague ben brown in kyiv. yes, well the laces from the battlefield in eastern ukraine is that ukrainian forces seem to be making some advances around the second city car key and they if some five villages north—east of that city is an important counteroffensive going on there. let's talk now to the former deputy foreign minister of ukraine who joined me here in this year. can i
ski festival president putin on monday, victory day in russia which marks soviet victory over nazi germany. it is a big day in russia and big day in moscow. what you think president putin is going to say then about ukraine and the war he? �* , , ., say then about ukraine and the war he? ~ , , ., , he? apparently it might not be difficult to _ he? apparently it might not be difficult to predict _ he? apparently it might not be difficult to predict what - he? apparently it might not be l difficult to predict what vladimir putin might say on the of may. in my opinion, he will continue with his military propaganda and aggressive rhetoric. foryears, russia has military propaganda and aggressive rhetoric. for years, russia has been celebrating victor vide is a kind of worship of the demons of war. instead of commemorating the millions who perished during world war ii including from five to 7 million ukrainians, they celebrate what they think is important. they celebrate themselves as a threat to the world. and they, if we speak
about what you may say about ukraine i have no doubts that he will continue to intensify his offensive rhetoric and his offensive plans against ukraine. he may consider different options from the official declaration of war against ukraine which cannot be excluded and any kind of the form of public threat towards ukraine or the west. his primary goal in my opinion is to grab and gain militarily in ukraine as much as he can end at some point to enforce the rest to start or approach security negotiations. haifa approach security negotiations. how successful do _ approach security negotiations. how successful do you think russian forces are being at the moment on the battlefield? 0r forces are being at the moment on the battlefield? or in some areas of kharkiv we have just mentioned your troops are doing pretty well and in other areas this is very difficult for your troops. other areas this is very difficult foryourtroops. in other areas this is very difficult for your troops.— other areas this is very difficult for our troo s. , .,, ., for your troops. in my opinion putin
has already — for your troops. in my opinion putin has already lost. _ for your troops. in my opinion putin has already lost. he _ for your troops. in my opinion putin has already lost. he lost _ has already lost. he lost politically strategically and militarily. ukrainians fight with a very strong enemy but nevertheless ukrainian showed how strong ukraine is and how strong ukrainian military is and how strong ukrainian military is and how strong ukrainian military is and how strong is our alliance with our united nations, our partners in the west to help ukraine a lot. today i spoke with my friends on the front. they have only one call dress with the international community. they feel and will feel that we can win. the only thing that we need is to get more weapons and this is the appeal to the international community to get more weapons to ukraine, more quickly now. �* , weapons to ukraine, more quickly now.�* , , weapons to ukraine, more quickly now.�* , weapons to ukraine, more quickly now. , now. because weapons are coming in that ou're now. because weapons are coming in that you're just _ now. because weapons are coming in that you're just saying _ now. because weapons are coming in that you're just saying they're - now. because weapons are coming in that you're just saying they're not - that you're just saying they're not coming in fast enough? understand that a lot of — coming in fast enough? understand that a lot of necessary _ coming in fast enough? understand that a lot of necessary deliveries i that a lot of necessary deliveries of already in ukraine but no specifics but nevertheless we understand much more vicente ukraine to have the standing point in this battle for humanity, this battle for
truth, this battle of ukraine's independence.— truth, this battle of ukraine's independence. truth, this battle of ukraine's indeendence. ., ~ , ., , . independence. thank you very much indeed. independence. thank you very much indeed- that — independence. thank you very much indeed. that is _ independence. thank you very much indeed. that is a _ independence. thank you very much indeed. that is a former— independence. thank you very much indeed. that is a former deputy - indeed. that is a former deputy foreign minister here in the ukrainian government. that is the latest from me here in the ukrainian capital kyiv. back to you in the studio in london. that was ben brown there. we can return to the news that sinn fein is on track to win most seats in the northern ireland assembly for the first time ever. my colleague joins us now. annita mcveigh. this the first time ever. my colleague joins us now. annita mcveigh. as you can see behind _ joins us now. annita mcveigh. as you can see behind the _ joins us now. annita mcveigh. as you can see behind the increasingly - can see behind the increasingly empty looking town centre here in belfast, done and dusted here actually and sinn fein are sitting at 23 seats at the moment with more of course predicted to come and expected to come. before i talk to my guest here ijust want expected to come. before i talk to my guest here i just want to also tell you about the cross community
alliance party. the other big story of the selection back in 2017 they won eight seats but in the selection they have won 17. that is 17 seats with newly mcallister in belfast north, probably surpassing even their own expectation. —— nuala mcallister. their own expectation. -- nuala mcallister-— their own expectation. -- nuala mcallister. ., . ., mcallister. you are confident now and getting _ mcallister. you are confident now and getting 26 — mcallister. you are confident now and getting 26 and _ mcallister. you are confident now and getting 26 and 27 _ mcallister. you are confident now and getting 26 and 27 seats? - mcallister. you are confident now and getting 26 and 27 seats? i - mcallister. you are confident now. and getting 26 and 27 seats? i think 27 as a minimum. _ and getting 26 and 27 seats? i think 27 as a minimum. we _ and getting 26 and 27 seats? i think 27 as a minimum. we have - and getting 26 and 27 seats? i think 27 as a minimum. we have received and getting 26 and 27 seats? i think i 27 as a minimum. we have received a huge _ 27 as a minimum. we have received a huge endorsement and for that we are very grateful and recognise that with that — very grateful and recognise that with that huge vote there is a responsibility and the responsibility and the responsibilityjust as i told you on tuesday— responsibilityjust as i told you on tuesday that irrespective was the results _ tuesday that irrespective was the results of — tuesday that irrespective was the results of the election we are now ready— results of the election we are now ready to _ results of the election we are now ready to go — results of the election we are now ready to go back to work. the
message, _ ready to go back to work. the message, we are now ready to go back to work_ message, we are now ready to go back to work because people need that. listen— to work because people need that. listen to _ to work because people need that. listen to your party leader here in northern ireland speaking in magherafelt a little early and she said we will show respect and we want to be shown respect. was that a message the dup with regard to the nomination process for first and deputy first minister should sinn fein be able to nominate for the first minister position in the dup first deputy first minister position. first deputy first minister osition. , first deputy first minister position-— first deputy first minister osition. , . ~ , position. yes and i think dup need to resect position. yes and i think dup need to respect democracy _ position. yes and i think dup need to respect democracy and - position. yes and i think dup need i to respect democracy and democratic outcomes _ to respect democracy and democratic outcomes. some participants in the head of— outcomes. some participants in the head of the — outcomes. some participants in the head of the pin and we have now had the election— head of the pin and we have now had the election and it is clear we received _ the election and it is clear we received the biggest vote and we are entitled _ received the biggest vote and we are entitled to _ received the biggest vote and we are entitled to that position of first minister— entitled to that position of first minister and entitled to that position of first ministerand we entitled to that position of first minister and we will be receiving michelle — minister and we will be receiving michelle o'neill is first minister and the — michelle o'neill is first minister and the big issues of cost of living and the big issues of cost of living and our— and the big issues of cost of living and our health crisis here needs to be dealt _ and our health crisis here needs to be dealt with and we can only deal with that _ be dealt with and we can only deal with that of ministers in place sol think— with that of ministers in place sol think it _ with that of ministers in place sol think it is — with that of ministers in place sol think it is incumbent upon all of us to get— think it is incumbent upon all of us to get back— think it is incumbent upon all of us to get back to work as soon as possible — to get back to work as soon as ossibl ' , ., ,., .,
possible jeffrey donaldson leader the dup has _ possible jeffrey donaldson leader the dup has said _ possible jeffrey donaldson leader the dup has said he _ possible jeffrey donaldson leader the dup has said he is _ possible jeffrey donaldson leader the dup has said he is going - possible jeffrey donaldson leader the dup has said he is going to l possible jeffrey donaldson leader | the dup has said he is going to be waiting until after the queen's speech to decide whether there is a shift in the executive. to your mind was that a shift in the gp's position? i think what is clear as there is nobody i met over the last six or seven weeks of the campaign he was going to be casting their vote for the representative is not as big work. i think if there is no executive all we're doing is inflicting more hurt on people who are really struggling to heat their homes, put fuel on the table, food and their cars, more hurt in health staff and health service so i think the message loud and clear needs to be that we get back lambton executive table and actually start to deliver four people. fein across o- osed to deliver four people. fein across opposed brexit — to deliver four people. fein across opposed brexit brexit _ to deliver four people. fein across opposed brexit brexit and - to deliver four people. fein across opposed brexit brexit and you - to deliver four people. fein across opposed brexit brexit and you canj opposed brexit brexit and you can work with protocol and it allows trade between gb and northern ireland but ended with the eu was well lots of businesses see that as an advantage and it is increased trade in northern ireland are some
businesses look to get their supplies from within northern ireland rather than gp but of course for the dup the protocol is also about a constitutional issue and say it undermines the northern ireland in the united kingdom and northern ireland wants a united ireland. how do you work with the protocol? is there anything from a sinn fein perspective that you have to get on the protocol which might ease unionist anxieties? haste the protocol which might ease unionist anxieties?— the protocol which might ease unionist anxieties? we need to remind peeple _ unionist anxieties? we need to remind people the _ unionist anxieties? we need to remind people the critical- unionist anxieties? we need to remind people the critical is - unionist anxieties? we need to| remind people the critical is not everyone's gift to tinker with and is now codified in international law between the british government and european union. we recognise the protocol is necessary because we have brexit in that vote needs to be effectively implemented but we also need to implement the weight of the good friday agreement is protected. what i will say is the political is an issue. the dup have there though
and we have ours and i don't want to go into our views on that but the key thing is anything the political can be dealt with and should be dealt with in parallel to a functioning executive because the agreement the british entered into with the european union is and agreed to go down and unlock hundred millions setting to be spent by the people's products tell my pockets and i don't accept that as a argument of at all and i think this is effectively holding people hostage. but potentially changing it may raise other issues in resolving one issue on raise other issues he a party? i one issue on raise other issues he a -a ? ~ one issue on raise other issues he a .a ? ~' , ., . ., , party? i think the political is here to sta . party? i think the political is here to stay- the _ party? i think the political is here to stay. the political _ party? i think the political is here to stay. the political is _ party? i think the political is here to stay. the political is a - party? i think the political is here to stay. the political is a vehicle l to stay. the political is a vehicle has an— to stay. the political is a vehicle has an ability to identify problems and create solutions to them. we have _ and create solutions to them. we have examples of that in how european _ have examples of that in how european union responded to our manufacturing and business community when he _ manufacturing and business community when he visited last year but all of that takes— when he visited last year but all of that takes place within the parameters of the protocol and threatening unilateral action is not
the way— threatening unilateral action is not the way to— threatening unilateral action is not the way to progress this issue. people — the way to progress this issue. people here put party politics to one side — people here put party politics to one side but our business community especially— one side but our business community especially once tbilisi and they want _ especially once tbilisi and they want to— especially once tbilisi and they want to have the space to realise the economic potential which you referred — the economic potential which you referred to in your opening. that economic— referred to in your opening. that economic potential we have here, we have witnessed some success being able to _ have witnessed some success being able to identify in wind bits and create — able to identify in wind bits and create jobs because of the protocol. that is _ create jobs because of the protocol. that is what people want. they want the stability in the also want a stable — the stability in the also want a stable government and executive. just before i let you go, one final question in the moment you're waiting on which will be hugely symbolic when all the results then and sinn fein is officially declared the largest party in the northern ireland assembly. just your personal reflections on the journey from sinn fein to that point on what it will mean. i fein to that point on what it will mean. ~' , , mean. i think it is hugely significant _ mean. i think it is hugely significant and _ mean. i think it is hugely significant and we - mean. i think it is hugely significant and we had i mean. i think it is hugely significant and we had a l mean. i think it is hugely - significant and we had a general election— significant and we had a general election the south and sinn fein will return— election the south and sinn fein will return as the most popular party— will return as the most popular party and — will return as the most popular party and had the most votes and we now have _ party and had the most votes and we now have the selection button is in
similar— now have the selection button is in similar position north of the border so i similar position north of the border so i think— similar position north of the border so i think it — similar position north of the border so i think it is clear our message north— so i think it is clear our message north and — so i think it is clear our message north and south we are serious about implementing real change on this island _ implementing real change on this island i_ implementing real change on this island. i think the country needs real change in a different way of doing _ real change in a different way of doing politics and i think people recognise that we are very serious about— recognise that we are very serious about actually getting in and delivering four people and tackling theissues delivering four people and tackling the issues i have mentioned today with you — the issues i have mentioned today with ou. ., ~' , the issues i have mentioned today with ou. ., , . with you. thank you very much your time. we with you. thank you very much your time- we are _ with you. thank you very much your time. we are at _ with you. thank you very much your time. we are at 23 _ with you. thank you very much your time. we are at 23 votes _ with you. thank you very much your time. we are at 23 votes this - with you. thank you very much your time. we are at 23 votes this sinn l time. we are at 23 votes this sinn fein, 23 seats sorry, and is remains the position. i'm getting the thumbs up the position. i'm getting the thumbs up on that one sums constituency results still to come. i am told that in londonderry east, daily east, there is one sinn fein candidate very close to being declared as a winner there and that will take the party to 2a also nudging towards being declared the largest party here in northern ireland. a historic moment of course and one that raises lots of
questions for the other parties in this process as we have been discussion through the day. we are continuing to stay here even though they are dismantling the count centre around us to bring you the very latest. back to you in london. many thanks for that. the taliban in afghanistan have ordered all women to veil their faces when in public, returning the country to the dress code enforced during their previous time in power. it recommended that women wear the all—encompassing burqa. the move has been met with dismay by women's rights campaigners, who say that nine months after seizing power, the taliban are again rolling back women's rights. 0ur correspondent secunder kermani has more from kabul the last time they were in power, the taliban made women wear the all—encompassing burqa. it was one of the measures most closely associated with their regime. after taking power last august, however, they held off issuing any new laws on what women should wear — until now, that is.
today, they decreed that all women must cover their faces with a veil in public, and they laid out an escalating series of punishments for any woman not complying, beginning with their male relatives being talked to at home, then, if a woman still isn't complying, those male relatives being summoned by taliban officials, then potentially being jailed for three days and taken to court. now, this is a conservative country, and many women already wore a face veil of sorts, but in kabul and other big cities, as you can see from this market, many women cover their hair but not theirfaces. and women's rights activists, as you can imagine, have reacted to this decree with dismay. they see years of fragile progress on women's rights being rolled back. remember, teenage girls are still not allowed back into the classroom in most of the country. many female employees have been told not to return to their offices. across the world, the majority
of muslims don't believe it's a compulsory part of the religion for women to wear a veil over theirfaces, but here in afghanistan the taliban seem adamant on imposing their interpretation of islam. despite having initially appeared more lenient, their hardline ministry of vice and virtue, which issued this decree today, has grown increasingly active in recent weeks. an explosion at a luxury hotel in the cuban capital, havana, has killed at least 25 people. the blast tore through several floors of the hotel saratoga. the president, miguel diaz canel, said the explosion was caused by, what he called, a �*gas accident�* — though investigations are under way. more than 60 people have been injured. time for a look at the weather with ben rich... hello there. saturday sunshine amounts have certainly varied. the picture behind me is from the north coast of northern ireland. there was some sunshine here. and look at this beautiful shot
from one of our weather watchers in the western isles of scotland. gorgeous blue skies overhead. contrast that with the rather gray conditions for this weather watcher walking along the coast in kent. this grey shading here shows where we did have some clouds today. it produced some showery rain in places. there's more cloud waiting in the wings out in the atlantic, initially very weak frontal systems introducing a bit more cloud into northern ireland, western scotland, a little bit of rain here by the end of the night. some areas of low cloud, mist and mark elsewhere. rather chilly for eastern scotland and eastern england, milderfurther west, ten for belfast for liverpool, 12 degrees for cardiff. so into tomorrow, high pressure trying to hold firm. but these frontal systems will be grazing in from the atlantic, introducing a bit more cloud for a time in northern ireland, especially the north west of scotland. there will be some rain here pushing up towards shetland by the afternoon. but elsewhere early mist and murk tending to clear lingering for some of these western coasts.
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