this is bbc news. i'm jane hill. the headlines at 2.00pm: there are flood warnings along the east coast of england — as a tidal surge and strong winds force people from their homes. snow and ice have affected much of the uk, causing travel chaos and school closures in some areas. the other headlines this afternoon: under increasing pressure — nearly half of hospitals in england declared a major alert in the first week of the year. tristram hunt resigns as a labour mp — triggering a by—election in stoke on trent central. and british tennis number one johanna konta cruises to victory in herfinal warm up tournament before the australian open. good afternoon.
severe flood warnings are in place along much of england's east coast, with thousands of homes at risk, as snow and strong winds continue to hit much of the uk. the risk of high tides has led the environment agency to issue severe flood warnings — meaning danger to life. this is the environment agency map and as you can see, there are dozens of locations along the east coast at risk. evacuations are under way injaywick in essex, and here in great yarmouth. 17 severe flood warnings across england and wales and 18 flood warnings —— 86 flood warnings where immediate action is required. there
are also 56 alerts where flooding as possible and individuals should be prepared for rising water levels. my colleague ben brown is in great yarmouth. jane, good afternoon. it is filthy weather here. very windy, very rainy as well. 5000 homes in great yarmouth are being evacuated as we speak. troops and police going around those homes trying to get people to leave their homes because of the high tide this evening at 9:15pm and they are very worried that there could be surge waters coming over the coastal defences here in great yarmouth. this is where you can see behind me they are making sandbags to give to people to ta ke to making sandbags to give to people to take to their homes. already, a lot of people have left their homes and gone to shelter. it is a similar story up and down the country along the east coast of england. we can get this report from danny savage in
skegness. along the east coast of england, the floodgates on sea defences have been slammed shut. the hours of darkness were used for preparation. seaside business owners cleared out all they could, in anticipation of trouble. full moon, high tides, strong winds, the wind in the right direction coming down the north sea, rather than blowing off the land or onto the land. so, there will be a significant rise in the water, but whether it will be enough to top the defences depends on mother nature, i suppose. soldiers were drafted in to lincolnshire to help with the operation. about 100 of them were briefed at the local police station. they were then sent door—to—door, warning residents that a storm surge was possible. sorry to disturb you. we are here to warn you about the storm and the flood. is it reassuring or alarming to have the army knock on the door? it's reassuring that they are looking after us, but also a bit alarming, you're thinking, is the house going to be flooded or something?
but i think we are fairly safe, anyway. high tide in lincolnshire was early this morning. it passed without event, despite concerns. but there are worries about other parts of the east coast later today. the issue with the storm surge is, it is about the high winds, coinciding with what would be high tides anyway. if you get that, you get really, really high levels. that can be changeable through the day. we are forecasting it as closely as we can. but it's really important that people stay alert, because some of these high tides will happen very late through tonight. by lunchtime, east anglia was where the most severe warnings were in force. in great yarmouth, sandbags were being filled, ahead of tonight's high tide. further south in essex, a reception centre has been opened after a decision was made to evacuate people from their homes injaywick, mistley and west mersea. have a look at individual situation, take some steps around planning and preparation. that could be bringing additional clothes, or looking at your medication. and really listen to what we are
saying, which is try and use the facilities down here in the education centre injaywick, or make plans to stay with friends and relatives. people are being urged not to be complacent about the situation through tonight and into tomorrow. the highest risk of flooding is tonight. here in skegness it is quarter to seven. but in east anglia at great yarmouth it is nine o'clock and in essex and jaywick and clapped and in essex and jaywick and clapped and it is the hour after midnight tonight. these are the times when things are most risky for people living in the coastal communities —— cla cton. living in the coastal communities —— clacton. well, it is very unpredictable trying to work out exactly what this high tide this evening is going to do, what the
storm surge will be like, whether it is necessary to evacuate people from their homes. but the environment agency say they want people to leave their homes in the hour of light, before it gets dark, otherwise it could be chaos later on this evening. 0ur correspondent debbie tubby is in great yarmouth for us. what is the picture here in the town, our people leaving their homes willingly or are they reluctant to be evacuated? i spoke to a lady across the road and she said last time they were flooded the water came up to the curb and she decided to stay put. she said she will stay put and i think many people feel that way. a lot of people have taken their carpets up already. they have removed their pets from the ground floor and their furniture because they are expecting water to come in. i think the decision will be last—minute depending on how high the winds are and if the high spring tide comes through. if we look behind us we can see what is going
on with making the sandbags. who are those for and what is going on? the council is offering the sound for free that people have to bring their own spade and fill up the bags and transport them back to their own houses to put against the door to stop the water coming in. are people sceptical because they have seen flood warnings before and perhaps it has not been as bad as the authorities have warned? the high spring tides and surge tides in 2013 will on the north coast other ones which really hit home, they are the most which really hit home, they are the m ost rece nt which really hit home, they are the most recent ones, and people have become more wary because of those tides. there have been warnings since. they don't know what the high winds will do, they are expecting 50 01’ winds will do, they are expecting 50 or 60 mph, if that happens, people will probably get water through their doors. if the winds dropped, they may be safe. i gather it is not only the police involved in the
operation, it is also the military? the authorities are trying to evacuate 5000 homes. the environment agency cannot do that on their own so agency cannot do that on their own so they are calling on police officers and military personnel to knock on people's doors and divides them to leave their houses. there is a rest centre which has been set up in christchurch in the town where people can go to get warm this evening. debbie, thank you. let's go south of the humber now and join my colleague kate sweeting. what is happening? as you can probably tell, the wind is certainly getting up this afternoon. it is a very different picture from the calm weather we had this morning. this village, like so many along the east coast is poised for potential flooding. you can see the temporary flooding. you can see the temporary flood barriers and sandbags. this morning, the high tide passed without a vent and that is partly
because the wind was not as strong as expected but are not out of the woods yet because there is another high tide being predicted and people are being warned that could be more severe. we have people from the council, police, fire and rescue and environment agency to help people. in lincolnshire the army have been drafted in to help evacuate people. more than 3000 residents were told they should leave their homes or go u psta i rs they should leave their homes or go upstairs and temporary work centres we re upstairs and temporary work centres were up for them. —— temporary rest centres. in 2013 there was a tidal surge here. it flooded many of the homes in this village. 11100 properties were flooded in this area. it was the worst tidal surge since 1953, when hundreds of people died. when it happened in 2013, people were told and believed it was a once in a 60 year event, and here
we are three years on on high alert once again. thank you very much indeed. that is kate sweeting reporting there. let's show you the scene in jaywick reporting there. let's show you the scene injaywick in essex, right on the coast there, and real concerns about a storm surge there today. and so evacuation orders for sam 2500 homes in that area. bbc reporters have been talking to some people in that area who are pretty reluctant to leave their homes. they had similar warnings a couple of years ago and feel that when they did leave their homes it was not justified, so some people have been relu cta nt to justified, so some people have been reluctant to leave, although they have been told to and they would rather stay with their homes and protect their homes as best they can themselves, rather than go to the local community centre as they have
been instructed to do. we know quite a few people have gone and they have taken their pets with them, for example, and there are special provisions for people and their pets. that is the latest from jaywick. around the united kingdom, there has been snow, ice and high winds causing problems. just driving up winds causing problems. just driving up here from london today, a lot of snow on the motor ways and traffic moving pretty slowly i have to say. let's get this report from helena leave. heavy snow in some parts of the scottish borders meant driving conditions were difficult. up to seven inches of snow fell in parts of scotland overnight. in newcastle, on the a19, traffic came to a standstill, with thick snow on the road. for others, it was even worse. impossible conditions led to cars being abandoned. in the village of battle in east sussex, icy roads meant emergency services were dealing with cars which had come off the road. in canterbury, icy pavements
made the school run this morning a challenge. across parts of the country, dozens of schools were shut because of the bad weather. for those who didn't have to travel, the snow brought much excitement to younger people, and left many parts of the country enjoying some beautiful scenes. helena lee, bbc news. and we are very much keeping an eye on that story throughout the day. we will have more from my colleague ben in great yarmouth in a little while and we will keep you up—to—date. if you need urgent information there is more on your bbc local radio station and we will have a full weather forecast coming up for you just before half past. now our other main story here today. nearly half of hospitals in england declared a major alert in the first week of this year. nhs figures released this morning
reveal that 66 of the 152 hospital trusts raised the alarm, as large numbers of patients experienced trolley waits and delays in a&e. eight of the trusts declaring a major alert reported the highest level of alarm — meaning patient safety was at risk. 0ur health correspondent dominic hughes reports. another busy day for the health service, where the pressure of winter is unrelenting. earlier this week, leicester royal infirmary was one of more than 60 hospitals in england to declare a major alert as the strain on services grew. the latest data from nhs england exposes how the health service is struggling to cope. one in five patients admitted as an emergency last week experienced a delay of at least four hours for a bed. nearly one in four patients waited over four hours to be seen in a&e. in some place it's reached nearly half. more than a quarter of ambulances arriving at a&e units waited longer than 30 minutes to hand
over their patients, twice as long as they should. these latest figures are further evidence, if any more evidence was needed, of the immense strain the entire nhs in england is facing this winter. those strains are felt most acutely in accident & emergency departments, which are the front doors to most hospitals. the pressure is being felt right throughout the health service. a&e is the canary in the coal mine here for the health service. people arriving at a&e because they can't see a gp. they're arriving at a&e because they're poorly, but could have been kept well if only they could have got access sooner. they're stuck in the hospital because of problems in community services and in social care. they can't get them out quickly. just as they have across the nhs, staff at northwick park hospital in north west london have been working flat out. there have been moments in the last two weeks, like the whole country, it's been frightening for the members of staff, for the nurses, doctors, for the ambulance crews who are bringing patients in. there have been moments
where it's been very sticky. but we have managed as best we can. everybody‘s worked incredibly hard. it's not just england. the latest available figures from wales and northern ireland show a&e departments there are also struggling to treat patients within four hours. in scotland, the picture over christmas week was better. but every part of the nhs is finding this winter to be one of the toughest in recent memory. with me now is mark porter — the chair of the bma. good afternoon. first of all, in terms of all those stats and the experiences they show, from the first week of the year, i wonder if any of that surprises you? ? not really, to be honest. i am a working
doctor myself. winter comes around every year, the nhs is placed under strain but this year it feels different. it feels as if the service is under more pressure than previously, to do with a variety of factors to do with long—term underfunding, the huge rush is on social care and the fact that the government has made an explicit decision not to fund the nhs to the level that the population needs in order to carry on giving the care that we need at the moment. putting all those things together and of course, the next crisis will not things further off balance. in terms offunding, things further off balance. in terms of funding, the government would say it has funded what was requested, an extra 10 million i think, is it simply not enough as far as you are concerned? there are two things there. firstly, the amount they talk about having funded the nhs is in fa ct about having funded the nhs is in fact made up of a small amount of extra funding, along with a certain amount of double announcement and
indeed some money which has simply been taken from another part of health and put into the nhs budget, so money that has been moved around. fundamentally, what we know, is in order to match demand in the nhs, funding needs to rise by 20 to 26 billion and the government is and even under the most generous interpretation of the figures they are talking about, only prepared to put in eight to ten. that gap in ca re put in eight to ten. that gap in care will grow larger with every passing year. and the issue of social care, i have a sense, even from a journalist's perspective, that people are talking more and more about this in the last year or so, that there has certainly been an awareness that the two have to go hand—in—hand, they have to be thought of and work together, which is why we have seen some of the problems we have seen with people well enough to leave hospital simply not able to. is that something that health professionals have been talking about for some time?
absolutely. social care is funded differently. if we take the example ofan differently. if we take the example of an elderly frail person who comes into hospital with an acute illness, we can get them back to health but they will still need support when they will still need support when they leave hospital. that support comes from social care and social ca re comes from social care and social care has been cut to a greater extent care has been cut to a greater exte nt tha n care has been cut to a greater extent than health has per head of spending. the result is that most hospitals in the country have a large number of patients, typically plus or —10%, a large number of patients who are ready and fit to leave the acute hospital but do not have the right social care package in place to do so. the reason for thatis in place to do so. the reason for that is the 20 to 30% cuts in social ca re over that is the 20 to 30% cuts in social care over the last few years and the fa ct care over the last few years and the fact that 100,000 fewer receive social care than they did a few yea rs social care than they did a few years ago. if there is in a position where there is not going to be enough money, are we as a nation i mean going to have to have a debate
about how we all can use the nhs and the distinctions will have to be made between critical care, urgency is versus operations that are deemed slightly less important? that goes to the question of who decides but are we going to have to start having that conversation as a nation? personally i believe we should have the conversation of how we fund the nhs and social care to the level the population needs and wants. the problem is, in our country at the moment, that is dominated by debates are not increasing tax, on how we cope with austerity, what we are not doing is focusing on how we meet the needs of the population. we have fewer doctors per head in this country than most countries in europe. we have less nhs funding, less social care funding, the point is it is a choice about the level to which we fund the services people need and i would rather be having that conversation rather than trying to work out, which is what is going
on at the moment, what we are presently providing that can cut in future in order to meet the budget. doctor mark porter, thank you. the headlines on bbc news: there are flood warnings along the east coast of england — as a tidal surge and strong winds force people from their homes. meanwhile, snow and ice have affected much of the uk, causing travel chaos and school closures in some areas. nhs figures show nearly half of hospitals in england declared a major alert in the first week of the year. in sport, johanna konta wins the syd ney in sport, johanna konta wins the sydney international while dan evans makes it to his first atp tour final. he beat andrey kuznetsov in sydney. the survival hopes of the manor
formula 1 team are boosted after administrators find money to keep on all staff until at least the end of january. and the two—time european ryder cup captainjohn and the two—time european ryder cup captain john jacobs has died and the two—time european ryder cup captainjothacobs has died at the age of 91. he is credited with creating the european tour. i will be back with those stories in ten minutes. thank you, jessica. the labour politician tristram hunt is to stand down as mp for stoke—on—trent central. the former shadow education secretary is to become the director of the v&a museum in london. his resignation will trigger the second by—election of the year following jamie reed's resignation late last year. we can talk more about that latest resignation with our political correspondent carole walker. he was seen as one of the big stars of the labour party? that's right. he is a charismatic engaging figure, well known, and i think mps on all sides
of the party have been saying it is a big loss to the labour party, that he has decided to resign. i think it is also a further sign of the disillusioned there is among many labour mps who do not sharejeremy corbyn's views, and as you mentioned there, it will pose quite a big challenge for the labour leadership as it faces another difficult by—election. in his resignation letter, tristram hunt said he is not trying to rock the boat, he said thisjob hunt said he is not trying to rock the boat, he said this job as director of the dna will enable him to combine his passion for history and education with engaging with the public. he also talks about his frustration that with labour out of power he is not able to do as much as he would like to tackle the problems of social inequality and social mobility and so on. he is very restrained in that language in his resignation letter, but in the past he has been openly scathe the critical ofjeremy corbyn. he
resigned from the shadow cabinet whenjeremy resigned from the shadow cabinet when jeremy corbyn resigned from the shadow cabinet whenjeremy corbyn became labour leader, and after the eu referendum in the summer, he said jeremy corbyn had failed to inject labour values into the whole referendum debate and he said he felt labour voters needed nu labour leader. he is clearly someone who has clashed with tremor corbyn, who did not feel that he could serve on the front bench —— jeremy corbyn. he has a very different perspective on how issues should be dealt with on the way jeremy corbyn did. i think it is a sign of these wider concerns that there are amongst quite a few labour mps who are simply wondering what sort of future they will have under a labour party led by somebody like jeremy corbyn. and a quick thought about the constituency itself because ukip is very strong there? that is right. stoke is a traditional labour seat, working class, it has higher than average unemployment. ukip edged the
conservatives out and took second place at the last general election. they will clearly think they have very good prospects here. they will clearly be fighting this hard. the tories will be wanting to fight hard as well. mps on all sides realise this will be a tough fight. this will be another test ofjeremy corbyn's leadership. the poll ratings are frankly dire at the moment. i think this will raise further questions aboutjeremy corbyn's leadership. thank you. a woman who says she was indecently assaulted by former tv entertainer a woman has alleged rolf harris put
his hand up her skirt when she was 12. dan johnson has his hand up her skirt when she was 12. danjohnson has been at southwark crown court. this woman said that she and her mother went to a radio station imports met when they heard rolf harris on the radio talking about his favourite records. —— in portsmouth. they collected autographs and thought they might get him to sign their autograph books. as he left the radio station they approached him. the woman said, it was quite pleasing seeing him on —— in real life. he signed her mother's autograph book and then turned to her. he said, i think now it is your turn, let me give you a little cuddle. she explained to the court how rolf harris put one hand behind her back, one hand down her leg and then up her skirt, touching her beneath her underwear she said. she said, it felt horrible, it did
not feel right. i did not know anything about sex at the time but it felt wrong. she explained that her mother was stood right beside her mother was stood right beside her but did not realise what had happened. after rolf harris signed her autograph book they left. she told her mother what happened but was not believed. she was challenged in court that she had made this accusation up after rolf harris was convicted previously but she said, no, this was true. a a0 year study by british scientists has revealed clues as to why some species stop having babies half—way through life. human beings and killer whales are two of only three species where the female goes through the menopause. researchers say they have a much clearer idea of the crucial role older females play among the killer whale population — and how that could teach us something about human evolutionary history. 0ur science correspondent victoria gill reports. chasing an evolutionary mystery. these researchers have been documenting the lives of killer whales here for four decades.
here we go! and their findings have revealed new insight into something we humans share with a mammal so very different from us. 0rcas and humans are two of only three mammals on the planet that stop reproducing partway through our lives. this ito—year study of killer whale society has already shown that grandmothers play a crucial role, leading their pod and helping theirfamily survive. but scientists have now used this unique dataset, that's recorded births and deaths in every orca family here, to prove that it is crucial for the survival of new calves for grandmothers to stop reproducing when their daughters start. when a mother and daughter breed at the same time, the calf of the mother has about a 1.7 times higher risk of dying in the first 15 years of life. the benefits of grandmothering are not enough to explain why human menopauses evolved. it's only when you consider the conflict of competition
within the family group, and that older females lose out, that you can actually understand and explain why menopauses evolved. avoiding this so—called reproductive conflict between the generations seems to give babies the best possible chance. it's really interesting just how important that bond is for the survival... and that's something that could finally explain human menopause. at some point in the evolution of our ancestors, the researchers say that menopause evolved as an adaptation, to prevent reproductive conflict between older and younger women. this, combined with the fact that grandmothers are of such huge benefit to their grandchildren, explains why our reproduction stops, while our life span continues to increase. we can't go back in time to study our own ancestors' lives. but this long, careful observation of killer whale society has finally revealed the origin of menopause, something so fundamental to our own. victoria gill, bbc news. we are going to pause and catch up
with the weather prospects now, very important now. tomasz schafernaker has all the details. there is still concern about the eastern coast of the uk. there is still concern about potential flooding. we had wintry weather across south—eastern areas earlier on. the weather system is in the near continent now. what we are left with for the rest of the day is lots of clear sunny weather for the rest of clear sunny weather for the rest of the day and occasional showers in the north west and west, and also parts of northern ireland and western scotland. temperatures dropping rapidly and it will be a very cold night tonight. we are expecting a lot of that slash, if we have had snow, to refreeze and also the winds will be switching
direction and easing or continuing to ease from the eastern coast. let's have a look at the temperatures by early on saturday. in ruralareas, temperatures by early on saturday. in rural areas, possibly down to minus six degrees, as far south as central england. then late on saturday and into sunday, we are expecting much milder weather. that is it from me. take care. hello, this is bbc news. the headlines: there are 17 severe flood warnings for england and wales, as snow and strong winds hit much of the uk. almost half of the hospitals in england declared a major alert in the first week of the year as the health service comes under increasing pressure. the labour mp for stoke—on—trent central, tristram hunt, is to stand down. his departure triggers a by—election. coming up in the next few minutes...
we're expecting to hear from theresa may, who is holding a news conference alongside new zealand's prime minister bill english. we'll be back there for that. we hope that will begin in a few minutes, because that will give us time to hear all of the latest sports news from jessica crichton. hello there. johanna konta has won the sydney international tennis tournament. the british number one beat agnieszka radwanska in straight sets. konta dominated the world number three with some stunning returns and powerful hitting, and convincingly won her second wta title. her performance in sydney will move her from tenth up to ninth in the world rankings. i'm very pleased with the level that i was able to produce today. yes, especially in the final, i think it can especially in the final, i think it ca n always especially in the final, i think it can always be a bit tricky. both of usi can always be a bit tricky. both of us i think to produce a good level
and play a great match i think was great for us, but also great for the fa ns great for us, but also great for the fans and for the people watching. but again, i'm also happy with just the progression i was able to make throughout the week. and i felt each match i played ijust got that much, i guess, match fit. better overall. i knew going into the match that it couldn't be anything short of a great level from me if i was going to have a chance, so i was happy i was able to produce it. and dan evans is through to his first atp tour final. he beat russia's andrey kuznetsov 6—2, 3—6, 6—3 at the sydney international. evans will face gilles muller in tomorrow's final. evans and konta are two of seven british players who'll feature in next week's australian open. the draw took place overnight. it's the first grand slam andy murray has been top seed for. from melbourne, here's our tennis correspondent, russell fuller. andy murray's first challenge as top
seed at a grand slam will be against the ukrainian player. already there isa the ukrainian player. already there is a lot of interest in a potential fourth—round meeting between murray on the return of roger federer. the trouble with being seeded 17, as federer now is after six months away from the tour in the second—half 2016, is that you can have some very tough matches early on. federer is due to start against a couple of qualifiers, but he may have to play tomas berdych as early as the third round. however, if you make progress, murray and federer could meet in the book so much last eight. all of the british men have drawn opponents outside the top 50 in the opening round. it's tough for the women, they are playing seeded australians. naomi broady. against gavrilova. konta, seeded nine, has a really tough looking weeks, bust up against kirsten flipkens, wimbledon semifinalist in 2013. the arsenal manager, arsene wenger, has spoken out against the january transfer window. amid all the rumours and signings taking place at the moment, wenger says the window "goes
against the spirit" of what a football club should be. i always was against it. you know, you would not have this kind of story, i believe it is completely... in a way, it's in a way easy news, and easy interest for the premier league. but on the other hand, i believe it is completely against the spirit of what football club should be. once you are on the train at the start of the season, you stay on the train until the end of the season. and you do not have a stop in the middle and where half of the team goes out and another half comes in and you continue your trip. i personally don't think that it is right. the survival hopes of the manor formula one team have been boosted after administrators found the money to keep on all staff until at least the end of january. manor, who finished last in the constructors championship last season, employs around 100 people at their base in 0xfordshire. the team's operating company, just racing, went into administration last week.
the manor team will collapse if a buyer isn't found. finally, the two—time european ryder cup captain john jacobs has died at the age of 91. jacobs is largely credited with creating the european tour. the player, coach, administrator and writer was included in the world golf hall of fame in 2000. that's all the sport for now. i'll have more in the next hour. thank you, jessica. see you later. more now on our top story, and the nhs has released figures which show nearly half of hospitals in england declared a major alert in the first week of this year, as large numbers of patients experienced trolley waits and delays in a&e. so, are the united kingdom's other national health services facing similar pressures to those in england? let's find out how other health services are faring.
0ur scotland health correspondent lisa summers explains how the health service there differs. data in scotland is collected in similar ways, but it would be fair to say that the nhs is performing better here. but that doesn't mean to say that if it is not without challenges. if you look at accident and emergency waiting times here in scotland, the figures show that we are performing better than england, 10% better, but the scottish government targets of seeing 95% of patients within four hours have not been met in september last year. that goes for other key waiting time targets as well. last year, only one out of eight key waiting time targets was met in scotland. we have also talked about social care, we are quite far down the journey of blending health and social care today here in scotland, but still people are in hospital longer than they should be.
because their care packages are not in place at home. a particular problem is recruitment, there is a crisis in recruitment problems, because we have got so many people living in the islands and in rural areas, but also in cities, it is quite hard to attract the top talent to work in our cities. it is also worth bearing in mind that in scotland, 40% of the entire budget is spent on health, but we have a situation where health boards are struggling to balance the books and cope with the rise in demands while they also meet the challenging rising costs, like staff costs, and things like costs of drugs. reallyjust keeping hospitals open. we will move away from the nhs for now. we must return to number ten downing st, because the news conference is just getting underway. the prime minister is alongside the prime minister of new zealand. our strong ties are rooted in our shared
values and the deep history. for over 100 years, our men and women have stood together to defend our freedoms and way of life. from gallipoli, the somme and passchendaele, to sir keith parks' leadership in the battle of britain. as the uk leaves the eu and forges a new role in the world, we want to strengthen the relations with partners like new zealand. so today, we've talked about brexit and the opportunity it presents to deepen our bilateral ties, increasing our trade relationship and continuing our close security cooperation. i'd like to say a few words on each. first and brexit, i've updated the prime minister and the work we were doing to prepare the leaving the eu. we will trigger to go 50 before the end of march. and next week i will set out more on our objective is for those negotiations —— we will trigger article 50. we will work to get the right deal for britain and embark ona get the right deal for britain and embark on a new constructive partnership with the european union that makes sense for us all. we've
also talked about trade. 0ur that makes sense for us all. we've also talked about trade. our two countries enjoy a strong and growing trading relationship worth over £3 billion last year. the uk is new zealand's fifth largest bilateral trading partner, we are the second largest foreign investor there. as to island nations, we know that trade is essential to the prosperity of our countries. it is natural that we share a firm, deep—rooted belief in the power of free trade, and open markets, to drive economic progress and the importance of ensuring the benefits of growth are shared widely unfairly. while the uk remains in the eu, we will work together to support an eu— new zealand trade deal so widely and fairly. we will look to the future and work out how we can expand our trade and investment partnership. from our dialogue, we will push the book so much greater trade, and identify ways to strengthen our own trading relationship. the international trade secretary by fox will visit
new zealand in the coming months to launch these important talks. in the longer term, we agree on the potential for a bold new longer term, we agree on the potentialfor a bold new uk— new zealand free trade agreement, and i look forward to starting early discussions on this in due course. we have also talked about the different threats our countries face and how we can work together to keep our country safe. at the un security council, our countries have stood together securing a landmark deal galvanising international action to improve protection at airports around the world and to focus support an country one a bold terrorist attacks. and syria, we welcome the fact all ceasefire agreed last month. it is vital that russia and turkey use their influence to ensure the ceasefire is fully implemented, and so create the right conditions for talks in astana later this month. we support these effo rts later this month. we support these efforts to return to negotiations, because the only way to end this terrible conflict is to achieve transition to a genuine and
inclusive political settlement. we've also discussed ourjoint effort to tackle global threats, including through our intelligence sharing under the alliance. and finally, as committed members of the commonwealth, we will support effo rts commonwealth, we will support efforts to reinvigorate the organisation. the un is looking forward to hosting the meeting next year, with the opportunity to strengthen its core values of democracy, peace and prosperity for all people. and to conclude, we've had an excellent first meeting today. we may be many miles apart in our geography, but our countries are side—by—side in our values. and i look forward to working closely with prime minister english in the years ahead to strengthen the ties we share. prime minister. thank you, prime minister may, it's been a real pleasure to meet with you today. as you have said, there are fewer countries who have such a shared history as ours. the trade and culture, war and peace. and a
relationship that has continuously adapted through our respective evolving positions in the world. and we are natural partners, particularly with respect and values. and we're learning, i think, not to take this for granted in an uncertain and changing international environment. in fact, these partnerships are more important than ever. 0ur relationship will remain strong once the uk leaves the european union. and we will continue to forge ties. we're here to work with both the uk and the eu, and we're ready to negotiate a high—quality free trade agreement with the uk when it is in a position to do so. we already have a strong and diversify trading relationship with the uk in a free—trade agreement, we will build on that. we will seek a comprehensive and
high—quality trade agreement, because we know the benefits that free trade delivers. it helps create jobs, to raise incomes, and delivers prosperity and opportunity at the level that new zealanders and britons deserve. and because we understand those benefits, and in new zealand we have seen them developed consistently over the last 20 or 30 years, alongside the uk, we will continue to make the case for trade liberalisation in a world where there is a risk that it increasingly turns inward. prime minister may and increasingly turns inward. prime ministermayandi increasingly turns inward. prime minister may and i also discussed today the uk is planned departure from the european union. i must say, i'm impressed by the sheer size and complexity of the task, and the clarity and determination the prime minister is bringing to it. i reiterate new zealand's commitment to working constructively with the uk and the eu through this process.
we want to acknowledge the way in which the uk government has communicated with countries such as ours over the last six months or so in orderto ours over the last six months or so in order to create as much certainty as is possible in the environment of negotiating the exit. i was also grateful for prime minister may's insight in the security challenges that we face together. including our joint contributions to the fight against terror, and the battle against terror, and the battle against isil. finally we discussed a range of areas with the uk and new zealand have shared policy interests. probably few countries have a longer tradition of poaching each other's best policy ideas. now this includes primers the may's vision of the shared society. and alongside that, our own social investment approach we are implementing in new zealand. we agreed we must ensure that the benefits of growth are widely
shared. to ensure a just and equal society, where nobody is left behind, and to ensure that government support for people, particularly the most honourable is effective, particularly when budgets are tight —— particularly the most vulnerable. thank you for the warm welcome, it has been a pleasure to meet you, to discuss a wide range of issues with you, and we very much looking forward to continuing to work closely in this dynamic relationship. thank you. now we can ta ke relationship. thank you. now we can take a small number of questions. i'll start with the british press. chris? chris mason from bbc news. a question for prime minister may one on the nhs, if i may. four in ten hospitals say in the last week in england but they are a major alert status. the chief executive of nhs england says we can no longer deliver everything that has been asked of the nhs. is the nhs in crisis. and a quick question for
prime minister english, hausding do you think after brexit can new zealand negotiate a trade deal? on the nhs, i recognise and acknowledge that the nhs is under pressure. we a lwa ys that the nhs is under pressure. we always see increased pressures in the nhs overwinter periods. i mean, that's why we are preparing for the winter period this time, £400 million was put into ensure this winter preparing us. but of course what we have seen, we saw on the tuesday after christmas, the busiest day for our hospitals. and the hard work of medical professionals up and down the nhs in providing their vital service that people need. so the nhs is under pressure, but i'd like to say thank you and recognise the huge amount of work that is being done by our medical professionals. with respect to the trade agreement. we would hope that we can negotiate as soon as possible after the exit is completed. if the uk want to demonstrate that they can
negotiate a high—quality trade agreement, then new zealand is the ideal partner for that. thank you. would you like the new zealand press... please. why is new zealand favoured as one of the first countries to negotiate a free—trade agreement, and how comprehensive would you like that to be? well, from my point of view, new zealand is an important country for us precisely because of the historic ties that we share, the shared values that we have, the shared belief in free trade that we have. asi belief in free trade that we have. as i said in my remarks earlier, as two island nations we recognise the importance of trade in bringing prosperity to our economies. i think we both also recognise the importance, once you do that, of ensuring that prosperity can be spread across the economy. sol think it's natural that we would look to a partner like new zealand, and of course we will by negotiating and of course we will by negotiating a free—trade agreement, but we will
be looking to get the agreement that is going to work for both sides. jack? how straightforward do you think a free—trade deal will be to conclude? and on the events in the us, ifi conclude? and on the events in the us, if i can, prime minister may, can you reassure the public that neither the british government nor any of its agencies had any role in producing or distributing this dossier we have been reading about this week? first of all, if i can come onto the free—trade and just address the second issue that you raise. you know it is a long—standing position that we don't comment on such matters, but i think from everything that you will have seen it is absolutely clear that the individual who produced this dossier has not worked for the uk government for years. on the question of trade, i think precisely because we both file you free—trade, because we have those shared values —— we both value free trade. i hope it will be
possible for us to conclude an agreement with new zealand, certainly in a reasonable space of time. we know the legal position that we cannot formally sign up to free—trade agreements while we were ina member of free—trade agreements while we were in a member of the eu. as i indicated earlier, we are already starting discussions with new zealand. liam fox will be visiting new zealand, and a dialogue has started to see how we can scope out the work that needs to be done. is there a further one from the new zealand press? verse, prime minister may, under your watch the uk has clamped down on the rights of new zealanders living in the uk. how do you justify the chipping away of kiwi writes? and is there any chance ofa kiwi writes? and is there any chance of a commonwealth free—trade area that could include freedom of movement? and the question of visas, we welcome the brightest and best to the united kingdom. i think the figures show that something like 97%
of these applications from new zealand are actually granted. there area number of zealand are actually granted. there are a number of avenues in which new zealanders are able to come here, including the youth mobility scheme for example, that is available to new zealanders. we welcome the brightest and best to come to the uk. but i think it's also important here in the uk that we do ensure that we have that control, we want to see net migration coming down, because of the impact that we feel that it has on people here in the uk. and about the commonwealth free—trade agreement?” uk. and about the commonwealth free-trade agreement? i think that isa fairly free-trade agreement? i think that is a fairly bitter as idea. we would be focusing on the first place with the uk. and i think what we can bring to that is the commitment to the values and principles of open trade. but also a pretty wide range
of experience. new zealand has a lot of experience. new zealand has a lot of experience. new zealand has a lot of experience that is relevant with the uk, for instance in our close economic integration with australia, but it's not a customs union. and also the range of other agreements we've been part of, including more re ce ntly we've been part of, including more recently a negotiation for the tbp. we come to the table as an experienced trader, but also experienced trader, but also experienced in the understanding of what could work for particular circumstances of the uk. thank you very much. studio: theresa may alongside her new zealand counterpart, as you will have gathered. quite a lot of interesting questions about trade agreements, british— new zealand trade agreements, once britain is no longer part of the european union. the prime minister clearly saying that new zealand is an important country for us, and we for a desire to discussions with new zealand in terms of some form of trade agreement —— we have already started discussions. the prime minister was
also asked about the situation in the nhs. that is one of the stories dominating here today again. as we have heard her stay in the last few days, as we heard her say at prime minister's questions for example, i recognise the nhs is under pressure, said theresa may, £400 million was put in to help it cope with its winter preparing this, said theresa may, and she thanked nhs staff who are working hard at this time of year. we are running late because of that news co nfe re nce we are running late because of that news conference from number ten. a reminder of today's headlines. there are flood warnings as a tidal surge forces people out of their homes. snow and ice have caused travel disruption. nhs figures show
that nearly half of hospitals in england declared a major alert in the first week of the year. a public health crisis on a par with obesity and diabetes. that could be the result of not properly assessing the needs of children in care, according to the head of a young people's charity. mark kerr from the institute of recovery from childhood trauma says the failure of successive governments to properly care for looked after children could cost society billions of pounds a year. jayne mccubbin has been to a children's home in yorkshire to see what life is like for those who live there. it's rare for a camera to be invited inside a children's care home. here in yorkshire, i'm struck by how normal it all is. and it feels really homely. everything in the whole house is picked by the young people as well. this is their house, this is their home, this is where they live. nothing here feels institutional.
only two young people live here, looked after by eight specially trained staff. we have one young man who is 14 and a young lady who is 17. those who live here will probably have suffered serious neglect, trauma or abuse. to understand how happy feels, or how angry feels, or how anxious can feel like anger but it's not really the same. we have to do a lot of work with them about that. that's one of the sleep rooms just over there, and then this is one of our young people's rooms who, it's just that full of photos and clutter, there's no way... we'll leave well alone. in one room, we've been left a note by a young man who lives here. to jayne, i give permission for you to read this out. i asked him to tell me what kind of things he into, and he says, cars, going to school, playing football, playing on the xbox. jayne, can you say thank you to all my foster parents in the past. clearly, he's had lots of connections with people in the past.
but he feels more settled here. yeah, he bounced through about six or seven different placements. but he's been here now for? over two years with us now. and he's doing well. doing really well. there are no timetables. friends are welcome to visit. day trips and holidays are taken. this is, this is christmas day? yes, so we like to take pictures, we've got memory boxes we keep for the young people, but then a lot of them do go up around the house. because the plan is always for a young person to eventually move on from here. hopefully back to their own home. not always possible. what is the relationship like with the neighbours, people in the area? i think the majority of the time, it's really good. ijust think, when things go a little bit wrong in the community, we're the first one that kind of gets a knock on the door because unfortunately, our kids are perceived as being bad kids. and that's not the case at all, they've just been through a lot in their lives, a lot of trauma,
and theyjust need that help and support from us, and that's what we try to give them. that report by jayne mccubbin. we are edging up to the all—important we are edging up to the all—importa nt weather forecaster at the moment. before we get the details, a little further afield, let's ta ke details, a little further afield, let's take a look at the international space station, as you do, because there is a space war going on at the moment, as you can tell. we are told this is to replace batteries —— a space walk. two astronauts taking part in a space walk in order to replace some batteries. that's the information we've been given. oh, it's fantastic to see those images, isn't it. a little closer to home, let's assess what the weather means for us wherever we live in the uk. tomasz s hafe na ker wherever we live in the uk. tomasz shafenaker has the details. i, thomas. almost as cold as up there,
a few degrees above absolute zero. up a few degrees above absolute zero. up there it is what, —273 degrees? not quite so cold for us today, thank goodness. this is what we've got on the way for tonight, frosty with some icy stretches as well. many of us have had a bit of snow, it has turned slushy during the day and unfortunately it is going to refreeze. this part of the country, the winds are starting to ease right now, it doesn't mean that the danger is not there. we still expecting a high tide, there will still be waves around. heed the warnings, this is the nub of the environment agency. the biggest danger will be around the coasts of east anglia —— this is the coasts of east anglia —— this is the number. for the rest of us, let's look at the short term. 5pm, wintry showers affecting parts of western scotland, clear mostly across the east, through the lowla nds across the east, through the lowlands as well, although we are getting some showers across this pa rt getting some showers across this part of the country right now. one or two showers across northern
ireland of course. and also wintry showers affecting a few spots in wales. but for most of england that this page it's looking fairly clear. temperature is already not far off freezing. through the night, the temperatures are going to drop rapidly. still some wintry showers around. freezing temperatures, snowfall, a little bit of busting here and there. cities around freezing also. in rural spots, especially where the snow is lying, temperatures will dip to minus six. temperatures tend to be a lot lower over the snowfields rather than if you've just got grass, it is contradicted physics, that! this is what we've got for tomorrow, lots of sunshine around. a few showers across the west, wintry showers affecting the eastern coasts, norwich might catch a bit of wintriness around. look at these temperatures, they are starting to creep up a little bit across these western areas. that's because milder
air is trying to push on off the atlantic. as we had through saturday and into sunday, there is a change on the way. certainly by sunday we've got thick cloud strewn across the uk, a layer of grey that, outbreaks of rain. nothing too heavy but it may take time for things to warm up across the extreme east of the country here, around 5 degrees. many western areas getting temperatures into double figures. the mild weather continues through monday and tuesday. this is bbc news. i'm ben brown live in great yarmouth. the headlines at 3.00pm. there are flood warnings along the east coast of england — as a tidal surge and strong winds force people from their homes. meanwhile, snow and ice have affected much of the uk, causing travel chaos and school closures in some areas. i'mjane hill, the other headlines this afternoon. under increasing pressure — nearly half of hospitals in england declared a major alert in the first
week of the year. tristram hunt resigns as a labour mp — triggering a by—election in stoke on trent central. the prime minister, theresa may, has held talks with her new zealand counterpart in downing street. trade and security were top of the agenda. and the british women's number one johanna konta wins