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tv   BBC News at One  BBC News  December 21, 2017 1:00pm-1:30pm GMT

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the sacking of damian green, one of the prime minister's closest allies, prompts a furious backlash from tory mps over information leaked by police. they call for action against former officers who revealed pornography was found on a computer in from green's office nine years ago. they should be investigated for misconduct in public office, that's a criminal offence. what they've done is completely wrong and undermines trust in the police. scored says it's asked the information commissioner to investigate the disclosure of the material gathered during the police investigation. also this lunch time: a man's arrested in the australian city of melbourne, after he drove of melbourne, after he drove into a crowd at a busyjunction, injuring at least 19. more than 60,000 mothers and babies in england have been harmed during incidents at maternity units over the last two years according to new figures. hanging in the balance; the future of the struggling retailer toys r us and more than 3,000 jobs could be decided this lunchtime. birmingham is confirmed as host city for the 2022 commonwealth games; it'll be the uk's most expensive
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sporting event since the olympics. and the official engagement portraits as prince harry and meghan markle prepare to spend christmas at sandringham. good afternoon and welcome to the bbc news at one. the sacking of damian green, one of theresa may's closest allies, has prompted a furious backlash from conservative mps who are angry about how confidential material gathered during a police investigation came into the public domain. the first secretary of state
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was sacked from the cabinet last night after a government inquiry found he made "inaccurate and misleading" statements about the pornography on his parliamentary office computer. he is the third cabinet minister to leave their role in the space of two months. 0ur political correspondent ben wright has this report. sacked from the cabinet and out the door. the third senior minister to leave theresa may's team in less than two months. reporter: why did you liethe public, mister green... this morning, damian green wasn't keen to talk, but former cabinet collea g u es keen to talk, but former cabinet colleagues did, accepting mrs may had no choice but to fire, with a heavy heart, her de facto deputy and long time friend. he lied on a particular incident, yes. i think lots of people who understand the context would appreciate why that might have happened but that doesn't make it any more acceptable. i think
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what this shows is that in our democracy, we hold cabinet ministers to the very highest standards of conduct. it stems back to this police raid on mister green's parliamentary office nine years ago. 0fficers parliamentary office nine years ago. officers say legal pornography was found on computers. damian green's a lwa ys found on computers. damian green's always denied it was his but as recently as last month insisted he'd not been told about it. that wasn't true. he's now admitted the police talked to his lawyers about it in 2008 and the police raised it with him in 2013. in his resignation letter mister green said: damian green was judged to have broken the minutial code and he had to pay the price for that, and the prime minister, not letting a life long friendship with him entire fear with calling for him to do the right thing, which was for him to resign. the concerns were aired by a former
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commissioner of the met police bob quick and a number of people are angry. they should be investigated for misconduct in public office, that's a criminal offence. what they've done is completely wrong, it undermines trust in the police. how can any of us trust giving information to the police if senior officers leak in this way. the cabinet office investigation also examined claims from this tory activist about inappropriate behaviour by damian green. her account was said to be plausible but there was no clear conclusion about what happened. mister green apology islands for making her feel uncomfortable but denied any wrongdoing. his resignation and a consequence for an action sends a very, very clear message to young men and women who work in and around politics to feel that if they do come forward, there is a chance there'll be consequences. damian green's departure is a personal loss for the prime minister. he was a quietly powerful member of the
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government and, an adviser and friend to theresa may, but all tory mps seem to accept he had to go and the political damage feels limited. this morning, theresa may arrived in poland, having survived a turbulent difficult political year. but her readiness to dismiss one of her closest allies shows some steel and a determination to carry on. ben wright, bbc news, westminster. in a moment we'll talk to our political correspondent eleanor garnier who is in the polish capital warsaw with the prime minister but first lets talk to our assistant political editor norman smith who is in westminster. real anger now amongst tory mps about how this information came to light in the first place?” about how this information came to light in the first place? i think that gives you a sense ofjust how much venom there is felt about the demise of damian green, because although there's been an attempt really to play down the significance of this resignation, saying the fact
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mrs may despatched damian green so ruthlessly, demonstrates a killer instinct, the fact she's got her mojo back, she's showing authority and leadership. but you look at the backlash against the police, significantly even from mrs may in her letter to damian green, expressing her concerns about the conduct of these former officers. the health secretary saying their behaviour raises questions about the conduct of the police in a democracy and then that suggestion that they should now be charged for misconduct in public office, a charge which, if they were found guilty of, could come with a potential prison sentence and the fact the information commissioner's now confirmed that they are going to be investigated i think is evidence of just how seriously this demise of damian green is viewed. it may be this whole saga has some way to run and there could be other casualties beyond damian green if these two
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police officers are prosecuted and convicted of misconduct in public office. eleanor garnier in warsaw, theresa may is there today, at a summit about strengthening the ties with poland ahead of brexit. that is likely to overshadow what has happened here? theresa may came here wanting to talk about the uk's deepening relationship with poland, how she wants the countries to grow closer, not further apart with brexit. this trip's been overshadowed by the sacking of her close confidante and colleague damian green. there's a press conference in little under an hour with theresa may and her polish counterpart, but everyone will of course be asking about damian green. it will be the first time we have heard from theresa may since she asked him to resign last night. while she might have lost her deputy prime minister, brexit of course continues and so too the need to win
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over allies as talks with brussels go into their next phase with trade and a transition period. britain wa nts and a transition period. britain wants the support of poland, as it tries to get that free trade deal, with the european union. but poland also wants the support of britain. it's currently facing its own battle with the eu over reforms here to the judiciary and it faces unprecedented disciplinary action from brussels. i think sophie, it's a little reminder that whilst brexit might be the uk government's number one priority, the other 27 member states each have their own agendas, they each have their own agendas, they each have their own agendas, they each have their own difficulties and, in the end, britain is one against many. eleanor and norman, thank you both. two men have been arrested in australia after police say a car was deliberately driven into a crowd of pedestrians in a busy street in melbourne. 1a people have been injured, several of them critically. police say the driver was a 32—year—old australian citizen of afghan origin with a history of mental health issues and drug use.
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a second man, who was arrested nearby, was said to be filming the incident and was carrying a bag containing knives. but police say at this stage there's no evidence of a terror link. from there, hywel griffith reports. pinned to the ground, a man arrested by the policejust around them, paramedics rushed to help the injured pedestrians left lying in the street. minutes earlier, the city centre was packed with commuters and christmas shoppers. the car drove towards them at speed, leaving some in a critical condition. the police say the driver was a 32—year—old australian of afghan decent with a history of mental health problems. at this time we don't have any evidence or intelligence to indicate a connection with terrorism. having said that, however, we continue to support this investigation with our
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counter terrorism command to ensure that there isn't that connection and that there is no ongoing threat. eyewitnesses were left in shock. 0ne business owner watched events unfold in front of him. he just ploughed into them without stopping. all i could hear was people hitting the front bumper and windscreen and people screaming and the only reason i think he slowed down was because of the sheer volume of people he hit. special security measures to prevent vehicle attacks have been introduced in melbourne after a similar incident in january. but nothing was able to stop the 4x4 bringing chaos to the city once again. we have seen a horrific act, an evil act, an act of cowardice perpetrated against innocent bystanders, we are all caught up in this. we are all deeply sad and deeply wounded. police are still questioning the driver and a second man
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arrested at the scene. they've stressed they believe this was a one—off incident, but melbourne remains a city on high alert. hywel griffiths, bbc news. shots have been fired from both sides of the border separating north and south korea as a north korean soldier defected to the south. officials in seoul said the soldier appeared in front of a south korean military post in dense fog early on thursday. it's the second such incident in weeks. last month a soldier from the north was shot and seriously injured by his own side after driving to the border and dashing across. the man accused of the finsbury park attack lastjune has pleaded not guilty to murder and attempted murder. darren 0sborne is accused of deliberately driving a hired van into worshippers close to the muslim welfare house in north london. one man, makram ali, was killed. more than 60,000 mothers or babies have been harmed by potential lapses in maternity care in england
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in the past two years. the bbc has learned that more than 250,000 incidents were logged by hospital staff between april 2015 and march 2017, the equivalent of one mistake for every five births. our health correspondent adina campbell reports. three years ago, wendy and ryan agius lost their daughter who was stillborn. an investigation found some maternity guidelines were not followed, something which has deeply affected the couple ever since. leaving the hospital with a box of things instead of your baby was just... having to leave her there, going home having to leave your baby there, just can't comprehend it. going home having to leave your baby there, just can't comprehend itm was at this hospital with a midwifery—led unit where wendy agius was cared for. despite reporting to staff that she had concerns about
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her baby's movements, she was sent home on two different occasions. but she should have been reviewed by a co nsulta nt she should have been reviewed by a consultant at another local hospital with a consultant—led midwifery unit. 0ver with a consultant—led midwifery unit. over the last two years, there we re unit. over the last two years, there were nearly 1.3 million births in england. nhs staff are encouraged to use a voluntary reporting scheme if they have concerns about care and, since 2015, more than 275,000 incidents at maternity units have been reported. the problems included: women being told to stay at home. babies being left brain damaged. and potentially avoidable deaths. just over three quarters of the cases reported did not cause any harm to mother or baby. but more than 60,000 did. something the government says it's hoping to reduce under new plans announced last month. there isjust too much
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heartache, too many appalling tragedies when these kinds of things happen. we want to be the safest investment system in the world, the vast majority of births are com pletely vast majority of births are completely safe. but what is going wrong at the moment is, when we have a tragedy, we are not learning from it nearly as effectively as we should. the royal college of midwives says staffing levels must improve. the royal college of midwives is concerned about the levels of midwifery staffing and they are low. we would like to think of solutions and ways of making sure that we have more midwifes in the future. east sussex healthcare trust have apologised to wendy and ryan and admitted some aspects of their service did not meet their usual standards. but that's no comfort to the couple. can't move forward. we have tried to, but we can't. it's always there every day. memories. it never goes away. to me, always there every day. memories. it
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never goes away. to me, it's the first thing when i think wake up that i think about and the last thing at night. the future of the troubled retailer toys "r" us will be known shortly after creditors voted this morning on whether to agree to a restructuring plan which could save over 3,000 jobs in the uk. our personal finance correspondent simon gompertz is outside a store in south london. when is the decision going to be made public? it could be in a matter of minutes, perhaps an hour or so. i met one of the outlets that is under threat in south london, on the old kent road. it's busy, there is trade going on today, christmas shoppers going on today, christmas shoppers going in to take advantage of the discounts that toys "r" us have, but a lot of trepidation and worry among staff, because they are concerned the talks will break down. on the one side, you have the company. 0n the other side, you have the pension
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protection fund, speaking on the half of the company's pension scheme, and they are holding out for a big payment from the company to shore up the pension scheme, but toys " r" shore up the pension scheme, but toys "r" us says it doesn't have that money. the creditors meeting has been suspended twice while talks between the two sides go on. the latest suspension ends at 1:30pm, and there is a glimmer of hope there, that there is something to talk about. the pension protection fund said they would vote against a rescue deal, but clearly they have got something they are working on, and the hope for staff is that, in the next 20 minutes or so, they arrive at a solution which means that toys "r" us can stagger on. our top story this lunchtime: the sacking of damian green, one of the prime minister's closest allies, prompts a furious backlash from tory mps over information leaked by police. still to come, why this car park has been designated as a site of national archaeological importance. coming up in sport in the next 15 minutes on bbc news: it's official — birmingham gets
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the commonwealth games, and now the race is on to be ready for 2022. homelessness in england — it's been called a national crisis by a committee of mps, with more than 9,000 people sleeping on the streets and tens of thousands in temporary accommodation. homelessness is not just a complex problem, it can also be a hidden one. a bbc poll has found that one in ten young people across the uk has spent at least a month so—called "sofa—surfing" — staying with friends because they've nowhere else to go. 1,000 people aged between 16 and 25 were questioned for the survey. two—fifths said there had been at least one night where they had nowhere to call home. ian palmer reports. four years ago, dale was thrown out of home by his mother on christmas day. he was 16 years old.
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0n the day, ijust called a friend and went over there and that's how i ended christmas day and then, from there, it was sofa—surfing for two months, between friends and families' houses, just finding somewhere to stay while i was doing my a—levels. dale's problems began aged seven, when his father left home. he began living with his grandmother, caring for her after a stroke. but, during his gcses, she needed 24—hour assistance, so he moved back in with his mum. after being kicked out, dale says he often didn't know where he was going to spend the night while studying at school. it was very hard trying to balance worklife and personal life, because it's hard to focus on doing your schoolwork and revision during the day when you're worried where you're going to sleep at night. the poll company comres spoke to more than 1,000 people aged between 16 and 25. the study found just over 9.3% had spent the night on a friend's floor or sofa for up to a month. the most common reasons included parents being unable or unwilling to provide housing, extended family being unable to help, and splitting from a partner.
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the homeless charity key, based in leyland in lancashire, helps young people who have nowhere to live. its operations director says sofa—surfing is a hidden and growing problem. about 70% of the young people we see in our homeless drop—in have sofa—surfed, and that's often before they come to see us at key, perhaps thinking they can go home, back to their parents' houses, or that maybe it's ok in the long—term to stay with different friends or family. when they run out of options, it's often then they seek help, either from the council or directly from ourselves. charities say the government needs to improve the way it counts the number of people who are homeless. there is a really big gap between those people who are actually homeless — they have literally nowhere to live, or they are in temporary, very unsuitable accommodation — and the statistics that the government puts together, and it's really important that, if we are to tackle homelessness, the government gets its figures right because, unless it
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gets its figures right, it won't persuade the treasury to make the resources available to tackle the problem. from next april, the way the government collates information about homelessness will change. it says local authorities will have a legal duty to find out more information on people in a homeless household. dale taylor gentles says, although he never had to sleep rough, he often came close to it. the 20—year—old has found somewhere to live with the help of the charity centrepoint. he is in his second year at university, studying sociology and criminology. ian palmer, bbc news. there's a glimmer of hope for the british mother being held in an iranian prison after her case was made eligible for early release. nazanin zaghari—ratcliffe is serving a five—year sentence for allegedly plotting to topple the iranian government. 0ur diplomatic correspondent james landale is here. she's been in prison for 18 months.
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harperfamily now she's been in prison for 18 months. harper family now hoping she could be out soon? i think they are daring to hope. they see the latest announcement by the iranians not as automatic or definite. they are talking days, weeks rather than months, is what they are hoping for. pa rt months, is what they are hoping for. part of the announcement is technical, when you have served a certain period of time in an iranian jail, you technically become eligible for early release, but this didn't have to happen. thejudiciary could have chosen not to make this happen, but they have, and it's from bad that her family and happen, but they have, and it's from bad that herfamily and campaigners are drawing hope. they see it as pa rt are drawing hope. they see it as part of a trend, the foreign secretary's visit, the decision by the iranians not to go ahead with a planned court appearance, the fact she has managed to get more access to telephone calls to call her family, things like that, they see it as part of a continuum, so they are daring to hope but, as ever, they are being cautious. nothing is
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over until this is over, and there is always the possibility for things to move in another direction. a child's chances of attending a high—performing secondary school depend heavily on where they live, according to a new report. the education policy institute, which is led by former education minister david laws, says that the regional divide in access to good schools in england is getting wider, with areas in the north and north—east being left behind. richard lister reports. it is no secret that where you live can have a big impact on your life chances. but this new report says regional differences in education are getting bigger. the new study looks at secondary schools ranked in the top third for how much progress their pupils make before they leave. it found that of the top 20 such schools, 16 are in london, while high—performing schools in the north and the midlands are getting fewer, with children in blackpool and hartlepool having the worst access to high—performing schools. one of the biggest issues is retaining high—quality teachers in schools with problems.
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it is easier for better schools to recruit better teachers. london has been particularly successful in doing that, and that has contributed to its success over the last few years, whereas parts of the north have been less successful in doing that. and there are localised issues like poverty and isolation that can have an impact on child outcomes. the education secretary, here visiting her old school in rotherham, has already announced more focused investment in areas with particular problems. her department said, we are targeting the areas that need the most support through the £72 million opportunity areas programme, and investing £280 million in the school ‘s most in need. but the education policy institute says some of the places with the fewest high—performing schools aren't getting the help they need. it says the government must find new ways to bring good schools to all communities.
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birmingham has been officially confirmed as the host of the 2022 commonwealth games after beating liverpool in the bidding process. the games are expected to cost £750 million — the most expensive sports event in britain since the london olympics. 0ur correspondent phil mackie is at the alexander stadium in birmingham, which will be one of the venues for the games. this is where they'll have the opening ceremony and where the athletics will take place. it's one of the reasons birmingham won debate, because it already has a lot of facilities. this one needs a reva m p of facilities. this one needs a revamp but it's probably would cost as much as in other parts of the world. birmingham has a young population which is diverse, with lots of people with heritage from commonwealth nations that will be participating but, in the end, it was the only bidder, so the news
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wasn't really a shock. it hardly came as a surprise, but in the end birmingham was the only bidder. but there was genuine joy when the announcement was made. it's my great pleasure to announce that the host of the 2022 commonwealth games will be... birmingham. cheering. the bid focused on the second city's population which is the youngest in europe. it also looked at its diversity. there are people here who can trace their heritage to all of the commonwealth nations. most of the venues already exist and simply need an upgrade. the benefits to the city are huge. not only is this the opportunity to re—position the city of birmingham nationally and internationally, but the economic benefit, it'll generate over £0.5 billion gross for the city of birmingham and over £1 billion for the uk as a whole. so this is a fantastic opportunity. a wonderful christmas present for the city of birmingham. it's all about the legacy, notjust the stadia and infrastructure. these teenagers could be participants in 2022.
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it's great. i thought it would be a great opportunity for me to aim for to get to the 2022 commonwealth games. i'd love to be a part of it with my team england and it's a great opportunity for me as a person to aim for something in my hometown. there are already fantastic facilities here in birmingham like the high—performance centre here at the alexandra stadium. but there are also concerns that the amount of money it will cost to stage the games at the time of austerity could leave the wrong kind of legacy. well, opinion is very mixed about it. some people are very excited about the event coming. it's good news for birmingham. others are very concerned about the effect both on council services, which are not a great standard at the moment, and then they are also concerned about the disruption in the local community and whether we'll end up worse off or better off as a result of it. despite concerns over costs, birmingham desperately fought to win the bid and today is about celebrations. these are the athletes of the future and today when i announced that up there, these 11 and 12—year—olds, any
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of one them could be a competitor. there will be a few spectators. i doubt if any of them will be officiating, but they could be volunteers because 16 is a volunteering age in the commonwealth games. so the world is their oyster here, yes — fantastic. the second city often feels overlooked and disparaged, showing itself off in 2022 is now its goal. birmingham was originally going to apply for the 2026 commonwealth games and it was only when durban dropped out of the race and couldn't post it that the city came in to ta ke post it that the city came in to take over. the commonwealth games needed birmingham as much as birmingham and the west midlands need the commonwealth games. it's a city that often gets overlooked and is perhaps disparaged, but what they really wa nt is perhaps disparaged, but what they really want to use this as an opportunity for is to focus attention on a region that is really growing at the moment. the car park in leicester where the body of king richard iii was unearthed five years
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ago has been designated as a site of national archaeological importance. king richard was buried in a medievalfriary on the site in 11185, after his death at the battle of bosworth. his body wasn't discovered until 2012. he has now been reburied at leicester cathedral. nick higham has this report. 2012, and archaeologists from leicester university mark out a council car park in the centre of the city, just where someone's spray—painted the letter r on the tarmac. then they start digging on the site of what was once the medieval greyfriars, looking for the grave of england's most notorious king. astonishingly, they find it, and the skeleton, complete with crooked spine and fatal injuries to the back of the skull, buried in haste after the battle of bosworth. richard iii became the villainous central character of one shakespeare's plays, the man who supposedly murdered his young nephews, one of them the rightful heir to the throne.
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two years ago, the dead king's body was reburied in a new tomb in leicester cathedral. now, the car park, or at least the archaeological remains hidden beneath it, has been made a scheduled ancient monument. it adds a level of protection for the buried archaeological remains of the franciscan friary and the priory. it's not something that sets it in stone, but it is a way of working with the local authority, with owners, to help manage it in a way that preserves the archaeological remains over the coming years — really, to preserve it forfuture generations. the protection doesn't extend to the modern road surfaces or modern buildings, like the richard iii visitor centre, but it does include the ground beneath, much of which has never been built on. that means archaeologists think the medieval friary‘s remains have stayed undisturbed since it was demolished almost 500 years ago. nick higham, bbc news.
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0fficial photographs to mark the engagement of prince harry and meghan markle have been released by kensington palace. the two pictures were taken by fashion photographer alexi lubomirski earlier this week at frogmore house, windsor. the couple will marry at st george's chapel in windsor castle on the 19th of may next year. they will spend christmas with the queen at sandringham. time for a look at the weather. here's sarah keith—lucas. the shortest day is turning out quite cloudy and drizzly. this foggy dog walk was captured by one of our weather watchers in manchester earlier. like similar across many areas. some glimmers of sunshine, and we had this rainbow in aberdeenshire sent in.
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