top stories, just after 6:30pm: northern ireland is to hold new elections, following the collapse of its power—sharing executive. secretary of state james brokenshire has set the date for march 2nd. the us president—elect, donald trump, has promised a "quick and fair" trade deal with britain. theresa may will be making a speech on brexit tomorrow morning. an inquest into the deaths of 30 britons on a beach in tunisia in 2015, has heard local security units were deliberately slowed down, to delay their arrival at the scene. and in south carolina, in the southern united states, a young woman abducted as a baby 18 years ago, has been reunited with both of her biological parents. in a moment it will be time for sportsday, but first a look at what else is coming up this evening on bbc news. we'll have more reaction to the collapse of northern ireland's power—sharing executive — and the new elections set to take place in march.
i will speak to the former business secretary vince cable about the president—elect‘s plans to secure a trade deal with great britain and i will be discussing all that. and tomorrow morning's headlines in the papers. that is all ahead on bbc news, but now, let's get the latest on the political crisis in northern ireland, with new election set for march the 2nd after sinn fein refused to name a new deputy first minister. my colleague at nita mcveigh is at stormont for us. —— nita mcveigh. thank you very much and good evening from stormont. it has been another eventful day up there on the hill. it was deadline day and that 5pm deadline to try and find some sort of deal to salvage the power—sharing executive here came and went without any solution.
today we have heard a considerable amount of vitriol from the two main parties at stormont who had until a week ago been sharing that power with the post of first minister and deputy first minister. we heard from the unionist dup who said sinn fein, instead of working with them, chose to pursue a path of political self—interest. and from the republican party sinn fein, we heard them accuse the dup of arrogance and a lack of respect for certain sections of the community. so that'll put the ball, at least at the moment, into the court of the northern ireland secretary james brokenshire and this is what he had to say a short time ago. lam now to say a short time ago. i am now obliged, under relevant legislation, to propose a date for the next northern ireland assembly election. in forming a view on a
potential polling day i have consulted the chief electoral officer for northern ireland on operational matters, and been informed by my ongoing dialogue with northern ireland's political leaders. in the light of this, i propose that a draft order in council be brought forward shortly, to set an election date of thursday the 2nd of march, and to dissolve the assembly from the 26th of january, and to dissolve the assembly from the 26th ofjanuary, meaning that its last sitting day would be the 25th. no one should underestimate the challenge faced to the political institutions here in northern ireland and what is at stake. while it is inevitable that debate during an election period will be intense, i would strongly encourage the political parties to conduct this
election with a view to the future of northern ireland, and re—establishing a partnership government at the earliest opportunity after that poll. this is essential to the operation of devolved government, and this means that all must remain open to dialogue. the government continues to stand firmly behind its commitment to the belfast agreement and its successors, and our responsibilities to safeguard political stability here in northern ireland. we will continue to do all that we can, to find a way forward, to secure the continuation of devolved government, and i will make a further statement in parliament tomorrow. james brokenshire. it was interesting we heard from him not
once but twice. quite a firm warning to the political parties about how they would conduct themselves during this election campaign. he is clearly concerned about further political division and creating a situation which will make it even more difficult to return to what he called that partnership government here at stormont. basically, once the elections are over the parties have three weeks to try and come up with a deal that would return them to that power—sharing arrangement. but with all the issues that are left outstanding, it's going to be very difficult to see how they will actually do that within that short time frame. and then what do we have after that? perhaps a return to direct rule. that is not a situation mr brokenshire is contemplating right now. he says he is contemplating on the return to a assembly. we know over the weekend the dup and sinn fein were already putting themselves on an election footing, even before this deadline
was due today. we have heard, for example, from the ulster unionist party, once the dominant unionist party, once the dominant unionist party here in northern ireland, they said earlier in a brief statement to the media, look, to the voters who are frustrated by the collapse of the assembly, come and vote for parties at these elections, parties who are willing and ready to return to government. so as i began, clyde, another very eventful day here on the hill and what promises to be a very eventful period in politics over the next few months. indeed. many thanks for that. much more coming up but now it is time for sportsday. hello and welcome to sportsday — i'mjohn watson. coming up this evening: some murray magic in melbourne takes andy into the second round of the australian open. big boots to fill — bottas replaces rosberg at mercedes. and the record breaking efforts of the british sailor chasing
victory in the vendee globe. it's ended in defeat for andy murray every time he's reached the final of the first tennis major of the year. but could 2017 be the year when the world number 0ne breaks that run? 0n the opening day in melbourne, murray got his campaign off to a winning start, beating ukraine's illya marchenko to reach the second round. as nick parrott reports. will this be the year andy murray finally steps out of the shadows at the australian open? he has reached five finals, but has yet to win it. top seed for the first time at a grand slam, on the other side of the net was world number 95, illya marchenko. if anyone thought this would be a gentle introduction to the first big tournament of the year, they were wrong. murray was given a good work—out
in the 31 degree heat, made to sweat for almost an hour before he could take the first set. the ukrainian was determined not to give the world number one an easy ride, breaking at the first opportunity in the second. the briton needed a tie—break to overcome his opponent's stubborn resistance. but after that, it was how many would have expected it to be from the start — co mforta ble. murray rattled through the third. it was a far from world—class performance, but to be a champion, you have to win when you're not at your best. i think marchenko played well, with very aggressive, so that made it hard. also the conditions, it was playing very fast out there, the ball was very lively, which it hasn't been in the practice week. ifound it hard, but managed to get through. the british number three dan evans is also through to the second round.
he beat argentina's facundo bagnis in straight sets, but faces a tough second round match, as he comes up against the former us open champion and seventh seed marin cilic. no, it's good to sort of feel accepted a bit more in these tournaments. 0bviously last week helps, and to come out today and get a good straight sets victory is a lwa ys a good straight sets victory is always good for me and my body. making a return to competitive tennis for the first time in six months was roger federer. after missing the second half of 2016 because of injury, the 17 time major winner reached the second round, beating jurgen melzer in four sets. the 35 year old admitted his comeback was harder than he expected. . his compatriot stan wawrinka is also through, but he did it the hard way. he needed five sets to come past slovakia's martin klizen. the fourth seed was a set and a break down in the decider, before taking the last three games to go through.
and in the women's draw, the defending champion and world number one angelique kerber was also taken to a deciding set, before beating lesia surenko of ukraine injust over two hours. johanna konta plays herfirst match at around midnight — there's commentary on radio 5 live sports extra. valtteri bottas will partner lewis hamilton at mercedes next season. he's been announced as nico rosberg's replacement after the german world champion quit just days after winning the formula one title. he departs the williams team, to be replaced by felipe massa, who had onlyjust retired, but returns to his old team with the vacant seat opening up. let's bring you some of the day's football stories...
west ham have rejected a second bid from marseille for striker dimitri payet. the french side have reportedly added another million pounds to their initial £19 million offer. but west ham are still refusing to sell him, despite the fact that he's not currently playing or training with the first team. west bromwich albion have made a £10 million bid for hull city midfielderjake livermore. head coach tony pulis is a long—time admirer of livermore, having tried to sign him when he was crystal palace manager. and he still needs to strengthen his squad, after missing out on morgan schneiderlin. diego costa has trained alone at chelsea's base in surrey for a second day, after missing his side's win at leicester on saturday. manager antonio conte says costa has a back injury, but there's has been speculation that his absence was more to do with
a possible big—money move to the chinese super league. premier league clubs have been accused of prioritising their finances, over improving disabled access in their stadiums, according to a report by the culture media & sport committee. 0ur sports correspondent katie gornall is here to look further into this. we have heard a lot about this issue in the past. katie, what has the report highlighted? a very critical report saying the rich clubs haven't done anywhere near enough for disabled sports fans in recent years. mps supported the idea club should face legal action if this continues. the pressure has been growing for some time on those clu bs been growing for some time on those clubs at the top of football. there was a bbc investigation in 2014 that found there was a lack of disabled facilities at the premier league
clu bs. facilities at the premier league clubs. following that, the premier league made a promise, saying all clu bs would league made a promise, saying all clubs would comply with minimum access guidelines, in the form of access guidelines, in the form of access poole stadium guide by the start of next season, but already it seems there are some clubs that missed that deadline. i understand that chelsea, liverpool and watford will break the pledge. there are also fears over crystal palace and bournemouth. the premier league are submitting a progress report on this at the end of the month, so we should know more then. is this likely to force clubs into any kind of action, are things going to change any time soon?|j of action, are things going to change any time soon? i have seen a much more proactive approach from the premier league in the years i have been covering this, with that promise they made. in response to today's report from the select committee the premier league this statement, saying they made an ambitious commitment in this area. they said some grounds, particularly the older ones, there are issues because those grounds are in use
throughout the football season, there is a limited time frame in which significant structural changes can be made. they said cost was not the determining factor. that they have to take it seriously, and there isa have to take it seriously, and there is a possibility for clubs for a fine or points deduction if they fail to comply, although in the report today, the committee was quite scathing on that point, saying it wasn't convinced that suitable penalties forfailing to it wasn't convinced that suitable penalties for failing to comply would be imposed by the league. thank you for that. goalkeeper karen bardsley has withdrawn from the england women's squad to face norway and sweden this month. she has a thigh injury and birmingham city's sophie baggaley has been called up as a replacement. it's a blow for manager mark sampson, although his side is unbeaten in 10 matches, he says they still have a lot of work to do, in order to reach the right level for the european championship this summer. ending the year ten unbeaten was a
good step for us. we wanted that year to be a winning year, we focused a lot on results and found ways to win, but 2017 changes. now we have to be a better team. we're nowhere near the team we want to become the start ofjuly, so we have a lot of learning to do, hard work to get through, but i think the team are ready for that, looking forward to it and it starts now, injanuary. ireland hooker sean cronin has been ruled out of the six nations. he was expected to be rory best's deput for the championship, but he tore a hamstring while playing for leinster at the weekend, and he's likely to be out for 10 weeks. northern ireland's mark allen has knocked out former world champion john higgins at the masters snooker. a dramatic deciding frame. allen beat the world number three in a thrilling match, winning by 6 frames to 5 at alexandra palace in london. it's the third time higgins has lost to allen in the first round of the masters. four—time olympic champion laura kenny could miss the world track cycling championships in hong kong in april.