this is bbc news. the headlines: the government is drawing up the biggest change to divorce law in england and wales in almost 50 years, allowing more couples to split without apportioning blame. thousands of ba customers cancel their credit cards after a huge data breach at the airline. a special report from libya, where a fragile ceasefire in tripoli appears to be holding. alastair cook made 71 in his final match for england but india's bowlers seized the initiative on day one of the fifth test at the oval. also coming up this hour — a major project to clean up plastic from the ocean. a huge structure to capture the waste is going to be launched into the pacific from san francisco. just stick to the plan. let's do this. and we hear the true story of one
of the biggest heists in us history in american animals — we'll find out what mark kermode thought of that and the rest of this week's releases in the film review at 8:45. good evening. the government is drawing up the biggest change to divorce law in england and wales in almost 50 years, to try to speed up the process of separation and allow more couples to split without apportioning blame. the justice secretary will announce a consultation on no fault divorce, saying he wanted to remove some of the unnecessary antagonism created by the current system. our legal correspondent sent off this update.
there has been pressure for decades for a no—fault divorce system. it was recommended in 1990. many senior judges favourite. why? when you are getting divorced, european rep to port, apart —— you're being ripped apart emotionally and financially and many people feel that adding blame makes a bad situation worse. we almost got it in 1996, it was in an act of parliament, but they pulled back. what lies at the heart of any new system? we will have to wait and see detail but my guess is we will be moving away from a system based around fault and blame. a system that is essentially a notification system. if a spy was the envy marriage has broken down irretrievably and after a defined period of time, could be six months 01’ period of time, could be six months ora period of time, could be six months 01’ a year, period of time, could be six months or a year, if they are still saying that any will be entitled to a
divorce. some people will say that undermine the institution of marriage but many will say it takes a layer of stress and anxiety away from what can be one of the most traumatic experiences any of us could ever go through. with me is liz trinder, a law professor at exeter university, who led a landmark study on fault in divorce cases. and i'm joined from kent by divorcee jenny. it is very interesting, this study that you undertook. essentially, it seems to underline what clive was saying about the fact that the current system has unnecessary antagonism tied up in it. that is right. it causes conflict we are there was no conflict there before, 01’ there was no conflict there before, or makes it worse. but the other problem is that there is a level of the great that underlies the whole system. in order to satisfy the legal requirements, people often make up facts so that they can secure a reasonably quick divorce. the court is unable to test those
allegations. jenny, from your own experience, would you say that is true? that you end up having to create a situation that is not quite there? absolutely. my situation is that i and my now ex—husband were going to call for a no—fault divorce but due to the two—year wait, he ended up alleging my unreasonable behaviour for the reason for the divorce, and that obviously caused a real problem between us. it had not been there. and give us a sense of the follett of that. well, it went from a case where we were sort of talking quite amicably and discussing things quite openly to raging arguments, not speaking at all and actually probably to an extent that it still continues today. that is a real shame. lives,
presumably, in the light of what you we re presumably, in the light of what you were sent, you welcome the suggestion that it will be a consultation on no—fault divorce? speed and maggot is excellent news. there is cross—party support for change. leading judges have been calling for reform for a long, long time. lawyers also relate have been very supportive of change. having a consultation is a good idea so that we can listen to everybody‘s are and come up with the best solution for people going through a difficult process. and what do you think, liz, are some of the issues that need to be looked at more closely? presumably timescale so that it is not so throwaway that people are unhappy with that. what other things might be potentially challenging in creating something that works?|j think creating something that works?” think the law has to be clear, it has to be honest and straightforward andi has to be honest and straightforward and i think the current law is none of those things. really, it will come down to the question of what is
an appropriate timescale. do you have a view on that? we have been talking about nine months as probably the best compromise. that gives people time to adjust, if they have not sought the divorce themselves. but it is not too long for people to wait while their lives are in limbo and they cannot really sort out their finances. jenny, what do you make of the suggestion that intentionally there will be the ability to try to resolve things within nine months and for it to be a simplified process? well, i think anything that is shorter than the two years would be a good move. i do think that this is something that has come up several times over the past five years, and it is about time, actually, the government stopped just consulting on it and did something about it. just stay on with you, jenny, the sense maybe that there will be opponents who will say that we should not be aiming to make divorce too easy. is that an argument you accept?
absolutely not. divorce is never easy. really, all we are doing is making, or would be easy. really, all we are doing is making, orwould be doing, is making the process kinder, not easier. liz, your thoughts on that, but it makes it too simple? i think there is no evidence for that at all. people ta ke evidence for that at all. people take marriage very, very seriously and it is a huge decision to divorce. so, ideas about making it too easy, i just divorce. so, ideas about making it too easy, ijust think, are not based in real life. 0k, both of you, we are very grateful for that. thank you very much indeed. british airways has apologised for a huge data breach which has affected tens of thousands of people. hackers managed to access details of 380,000 bookings made with the airline over a two—week period. ba say personal and financial details have been compromised, although passport information hasn't. it says any customer who's been
affected financially will be compensated. many have been forced to cancel their credit and debit cards. here's our business correspondent emma simpson. i have got six card slot, so it was really annoying trying to find a way of contacting british airways to see if all of my cards have been compromised. like many thousands of other new customers, george's bank details have been hacked and yet had a confusing day working out what he should do. i do not thinki have confusing day working out what he should do. i do not think i have to cancel all of my credit cards, but i do not know. i am in the process of doing that, and it is going to take a long time because each card takes at least 25 minutes to get through the system. so, what do we know about this data breach? well, it affected customers immediate booking
01’ affected customers immediate booking or changed one through the british airways website, or a ba at, from 11pm on august 21 up until 9:a5pm on wednesday evening. 380,000 cards are affected. british airways the hackers stole names, addresses, e—mail addresses and payment information. that included the card number, expiry date and critically the three digit security code on the back. i am the three digit security code on the back. iam not letting the three digit security code on the back. i am not letting you see my three digit number because of is a bit like giving you the keys to my safe. now, with an online transaction, this number should not be stored. ba says they were not. so, how did hackers get hold of them? emily is a cyber security expert. what could have happened? 0ne expert. what could have happened? one theory is that a supplier to be actually got compromised in the first place. so, when you are booking a flight on the website, you may not realise that there are lots
of third—party may not realise that there are lots of third— party software may not realise that there are lots of third—party software used within those web pages. doing things like processing card information. it could be that they were targeted because they were a little weaker on security and are used to extract the data. ba says it is sorry, promising compensation for any customers who may end up out of pocket. this was a very sophisticated criminal attack oi'i very sophisticated criminal attack on ba .com. 0rfor very sophisticated criminal attack on ba .com. or for more than 20 years that it has been operating, we have never had a breach of this type. this attack does not surprise me. we see attacks like this targeting card details all the time to stop but this is a big industry and criminals do do this on a daily basis. but it is unusual for hackers to land so much sensitive payment ca rd to land so much sensitive payment card details at once. it is the first major incident since new data protection rules came into effect, which means be could face a fine of
around half £1 billion. but given the speed of their response, regulators may not impose such a sky—high penalty. we can speak now to steve. he booked a holiday on the arab and found out this morning his card details were among those stolen. jealousy bit more about your situation. —— on the british airways app. i booked a flight in august using the british airways app. all the details and terrifying, payment was taken and got my complimentary e—mailfrom ba was taken and got my complimentary e—mail from ba to say that my seat had been booked and everything was ready for the flight later this month. and yet, some problem has arisen? yes, i walk up like everybody else, i checked my e—mails and sure enough i had received the e—mailfrom ba and sure enough i had received the
e—mail from ba overnight to say that my security details of my bank had been hacked. scanning through the e—mail, trying to find the relevant information, it was to contact my ca rd information, it was to contact my card issuer and to take their advice. and have you done that? yes, idid advice. and have you done that? yes, i did that this morning. they had previously spoken to many customers at that particular time, and i think the advice is still stood, that there was no evidence of fraudulent behaviour on the card and their advisers to hold fire, not cancel the card, which is what i was expecting, and they would monitor the event. throughout the day, i have gone back on to the account many times and no payments have come out that but they have asked me to keep an eye on it and to advise them if anything comes up that i am not expecting. obviously, it is very worrying time, you're trying to
monitor it. what do you make of the advice you have had from british airways and the kind of information they have given you? from british airways, it has been quite scanned. no news since the e—mail this morning. they said you needed to sort this out yourself. the bank have been reassuring me that i uncovered. but in terms of ba themselves, it has been lacking any that more update and details on this morning's e—mail. that more update and details on this morning's e-mail. steve, we are going to leave it there because bullying is not brilliant. a very good of you to give us some insight into your experience. steve hunter, aba into your experience. steve hunter, a ba customer, he booked a holiday and fantasy tales have been compromised. —— and found his details. and we'll find out how this story — and many others — are covered in tomorrow's front pages at 10:40 and 11:30 this evening in the papers — our guests joining me tonight are john rentoul, chief
political commentator at the independent, and henry zeffman, political correspondent at the times. a man who claimed to be a survivor of the grenfell tower fire has been jailed for falsely claiming almost £87,000 worth of emergency funds. yonatan eyob was put up in a hotel and given a food allowance and pre—paid credit cards. drugs, including cocaine, were found in his hotel room, along with around £3,000 in cash, designer clothes and jewellery. after more than a week of fierce fighting between rival factions in libya, a fragile ceasefire brokered by the un appears to be holding. seven years ago, rebel groups, backed by a military coalition which included britain, toppled the dictator muammar gaddafi. since then, there's been political and military chaos. one result has been a huge surge in african migrants using the country as a route to europe. the latest violence between rival militias erupted around the capital tripoli. the bbc has the only international news team there and my colleague, clive myrie, sent this report. we are entering a nervous city.
only now after a week of fighting and three ceasefires do we think it's safe to enter tripoli. on this same road seven days ago fighters from armed groups based outside the capital breached city walls. but rival factions inside tripoli were ready for the fight. the battle has left scores dead including civilians, and forced thousands to flee their homes. darkness provided no respite. the battles are over for now but the scars linger. at his family compound, ali doted on two grandchildren who are now dead. translation: the rocket or missile landed
right where they were playing. there was blood everywhere, on the ground, over the trees. when you see the body of your grandchild in pieces... my daughter had to see it too. i am very, very sad. why are we still fighting? why? this boy was 1a and his friend 15. they were buried one week ago today. libya's problems, the death and destruction of the result of the
messy end of gaddafi's rule. the armed groups who helped topple him covered up the country, leaving no one in overall control and and the militias within the capital are being accused of siphoning off funds and ruining the economy. those groups outside the capital now say that they had to intervene. there is a united nations backed government in tripoli but it is accused of allowing the armed factions in the capital to act with impunity. with so many militias and fighting groups seemingly running the country, libya is a failed state. and seizing on that failure have been the people smugglers. the fighting of recent days has ensnared many of the thousands of migrants trying to use libya as a gateway to europe across the mediterranean. these people had to break out of a detention centre and the fighting got too close. —— when. this man says there was gunfire at night and five people were hit, that's why we escaped,
but even as we ran another man was shot. libyans are tired of the men with guns having all the influence. and hopes for nationwide elections by the end of the year are now in ruins. once again an attempt to stitch together this fractured nation has come to nothing. clive myrie, bbc news, tripoli. president trump has called on his attorney general, jeff sessions, to open an investigation into who wrote the anonymous new york times article into his presidency. mr trump said it was a matter of national security because the writer had questioned his fitness for office, and claimed to have thwarted his inclinations. the open editorial criticised the president's leadership and said white house staff were constantly trying to stifle parts of his agenda. the headlines on bbc news: the government is to draw up the biggest change to divorce law in england and wales in almost 50 years — allowing more couples
to split without apportioning blame. thousands of ba customers cancel their credit cards after a huge data breach at the airline. after more than a week of fierce fighting between rival factions in libya, a fragile ceasefire brokered by the un appears to be holding. sport now, and for a round up from the bbc sport centre. thank you very much. it has been a bittersweet day for alastair cook in the last test between india and england. it is his final game for his country and although he played some of his best cricket, it was in the's bowlers who had the best of the's bowlers who had the best of the first day at the oval, as england were 198—7 at the close of play. well, for about two thirds of this day it was all about alastair cook. he walked out to a guard of honour.
the indian players either side of him, applauding. then a warm handshake from virat kohli. that all seemed very appropriate and a genuine and marked the respect for him across world cricket. then could set out for eight typical innings, painstaking and methodical. there was a time after lunch when scoring almost stopped. he got 271 before he was dismissed. inside edge delivery. the groans around the ground. i have never heard anything like that. india, iam never heard anything like that. india, i am sure, will feel that his reward for their good bowling and their lack of luck throughout the day. moor lane ali particularly survived so many played and missed as he made 50 before he was dismissed. 0nce cooke was gone, england were all at sea. another poor earnings for there store, a duck, it will be down tojoss butler
and rashid to take england to a decent first innings total. in general, the view from the supporters making their way home towards alastair cook may well be, missing you already. 0n missing you already. on to football. scotland started their nation ‘s league campaign against albania on monday, but tonight under a new captain robert cindy have a friendly against belgium and losing 1—0. belgian finished third at this year's world cup. ——. there are ten minutes left made made until half—time but can hear commentary on bbc radio five live. england did not have the luxury of a friendly before starting their nation ‘s league campaign. a juicy encounter with spain at wembley tomorrow as england's first game since the world cup injuly. the manager says it is time to move on. the summer was brilliant and it is great that we have got a full house. it is great that everybody
will feel the appreciation and that we can step out in front of funds again. for others, the summer is finished. —— our fans. again. for others, the summer is finished. —— ourfans. it is about the next challenges. sport does not stand still for anybody. you got to move forward, continually evolve, increase that competition. i know the players have the same mentality. they are all of an age where what is next is the most important thing. tomorrow evening, serena williams will be hoping to equal the record of 2a grand slam singles titles when she takes on sakai in the final of the us open. before that, in the men's semifinals, nadal is hoping to age a step closer to roger federer‘s grand slam record. we have come inside to grand central terminal because there is a threat of rain in there in new york. temperatures have plummeted. humidity does remain high, but the
players will be delighted to know that there is a possibility, with the rain in there, that these semifinals will be played under a river. conditions will be much more bearable than they were in the first 12 days of the event. —— under a roof. novak djokovic remains favoured in semifinal. even though drug that seems to have really struggled in these he is only two sets dropped in the early stages of this us. as for the first semifinal, one question is who will nadal recover after playing for nearly five hours against dominic in the previous trend? the against dominic in the previous trend ? the answer against dominic in the previous trend? the answer is probably very well. he beat his opponent over nearly five hours in the wimbledon quarterfinal in an astonishing match. del pauljewell glint in his life. he has looked one of the best players all season. —— liz was he has dropped only one set all season and after so many wrist surgery is
playing without pain and feel that he can play better. we will have an update on all of the action tonight on a later bulletins, 9:15pm and 10:30pm.join action tonight on a later bulletins, 9:15pm and 10:30pm. join us then. every year millions of tonnes of plastic waste flow into the sea around the world. now, for the first time, there's going to be an attempt to get into the middle of the pacific ocean to try to clean it. in the biggest operation of its kind, a huge plastic—collection system will be towed out from california tomorrow. 0ur science editor david shukman explains. in san francisco, final construction of a massive project with an incredibly bold ambition. to try to clear the ocean of plastic waste. this animation shows how the structure is meant to collect millions of pieces of plastic to make it easier to get rid of. sites like this have shocked people around the world. but images of the damage to wildlife have inspired this effort to clean up.
if we don't do it now, the plastic will break down into smaller pieces. the smaller it is, though more harmful, and harder it is to extract. there is a sense of urgency. there is plastic waste in every ocean around the world, this is a first attempt to clean it up. it will take place in a rotating current, what's called the great garbage patch which is bigger than britain and france combined. so how will it work? a giant tube will float on the surface, shaped like a horse shoe. it will drift with the currents and wind. it will move faster than all the bits of plastic in the water so it should gather them together into a small area. under water, a kind of barrier will hang three metres down to trap
plastic below the surface. the design should mean that any fish pass under it. once the plastic has been drawn into a dense mass, it will be collected by ships and taken away to be recycled. no—one can be sure if the huge system will work. some experts worry it could harm marine life. the major problem is there are creatures that float in the ocean and can't move out of the way. they will be trapped and unable to move. plankton is the bottom of the food chain, so you don't want to be taking it out of our oceans. that is clearly from the teeth of a fish. there is no other explanation. one of the scientists said because the plastic is being eaten by fish, it is entering the food chain, and must be removed. it has been there for years. we find plastic from the 1970s and 1980s, then we also find languages on these bits of plastic,
so we'll find chinese, japanese, english, and we can find out where things may have come from. the plan is to start with one collection device and eventually deploy 60 of them. all the time, more plastic is pouring down rivers into the oceans. on its own, the clean—up operation will never be enough. let's speak now to professor richard lampitt who is an 0ceanographer at the national 0ceanography centre in southampton. thank you forjoining us. we know what a massive problem this plastic is. could this be the answer?” would love to say that it was going to be the answer. unfortunately, certainly there is the first question as to whether it will actually work. this was referred to
in the piece. the second thing, really, the most important, is whether there are going to be some unintended consequences. that could be much more serious. the background to that... i am getting a tremendous amount of eco! the consequence of doing this work is that there will bea doing this work is that there will be a very large amount of carbon dioxide produced as a result of moving ships from the land out to the site in the centre of this and back again. this is bad news and it is very difficult to actually balance the benefits of removing the plastic from the ocean at the same time as generating a whole load of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. just to reassure you, i am sorry about the echo, we can you clearly, thank you. just on that point about
the carbon dioxide, are you saying there may come a point when it is not worth environmentally trying to remove the plastic that is already there? that is really it. there is a cost and a benefit. clearly, the plastics that are in the ocean do a certain amount of damage. nobody can be unmoved by the damage that this does to the marine environment. however, there is a cost and even if one takes... oh, what...? a very optimistic view... are you losing me? yes, i'm afraid the lane is not very clear any more. we will have to leave it there. i know you are struggling as with the technology, causing problems either end, but we are grateful we did hear some of the concerns that you had. thank you
very much indeed. the duke of cambridge went to newcastle and gateshead today to visit the great exhibition of the north — a three—month celebration of the region's art, culture, design and innovative spirit. but football took centre stage for a moment when the prince was given a customised newcastle united shirt for his five—year—old, prince george. excellent! now it's time for a look at the weather. next weather fortunes for the weekend. looks like fun day will have the driest, sunny weather. 0vernight, evening show is clear from east anglia. some outbreaks of rain in the far north—east of scotland. thickening cloud and some patchy rain, with parts of south west england, wales, northern ireland and running into north—west england. cloud overnight, temperatures holding up into double figures. wear it is clear, single figures. wear it is clear, single figures. a weather system is coming in from the atlantic on saturday. it
will brighten up later on. most of the remote one through wales, northern england, the midlands and towards eastern england. much of southern england, a mixture of cloud and some bright sunny spells. mainly dry. breezy through our frontal zone. a bit of early, patchy in scotla nd zone. a bit of early, patchy in scotland but by the afternoon, barring the odd shower, some sunny spells around. dry weather as well and temperatures for saturday in the mid to high teens. hello this is bbc news. the headlines: no—fault divorces are being considered by the government in what would be the biggest change to the law in this area for almost 50 years. ba says sorry after a mass hack of data from its customers — nearly 400,000 payment cards have been compromised. after more than a week of fierce fighting between rival factions in libya, a fragile ceasefire brokered by the un appears to be holding. in the biggest operation of its kind, a huge plastic—collection system will be towed out from california tomorrow to try and clean up the pacific ocean.
also coming up, sir vince cable says he'll stand down as liberal democrat leader after brexit, and wants candidates from outside politics to be given the chance to replace him. there's been an assassination attempt on the leading contender in brazil's presidential election. jair bolsonaro was stabbed in the middle of a crowd of supporters, he's had surgery and is expected to recover. the controversial far right politician has outraged many in brazil with his speeches, which prosecutors have said promote hate and rape. however he's been performing strongly in recent opinion polls. katy watson's report contains images of the attack you may find disturbing. out on the campaign trail and working the crowds, with just a few weeks to go before the elections, far right presidential candidate jair bolsanaro was in his element, but the celebrations came to a sudden end.
mr bolsonaro suddenly gripped his chest in pain, after being stabbed. chaos ensued, and the politician was rushed through the crowd to hospital. initially, his son flavio reported on twitter that the wound was only superficial, but that soon changed. "unfortunately", he said later, "it was more serious "than we'd expected. "he lost a lot of blood and arrived at the hospital almost dead, "but his condition is now stable. "please pray for him." mr bolsonaro is a politician who's polarised opinion in brazil. he's become known for his racist, sexist and homophobic comments, but his tough talk of tackling violent crime and of beating corruption has helped propel him to the top of the race. the latest polls show that if, as expected, former president lula da silva is banned from running because of his corruption conviction, mr bolsonaro would win the most votes in the first round. politicians of all stripes, even his biggest critics, were united in condemning
the attack. translation: whoever did this has to pay, whoever did this cannot stay unpunished. this cannot happen. a democratic country, which respects itself, that wants to be democratic, cannot allow the stabbing of any presidential candidate. police have since released a photo of the suspect who was arrested. he's been named as adelio bispo de 0liveira. next month's elections are the most uncertain this country has seen in decades. with this stabbing, tensions are now running even higher. katy watson, bbc news, in sao paulo. gustavo ribeiro, journalist for the brazilian report — an independent online news and current affairs website — told me he was not surprised by the attack. that happened during a political rally. he was surrounded by a crowd coming he was being carried by supporters. when someone approached him and stabbed him. in the stomach.
he had his intestines had three perforations. his condition is serious but stable, according to the latest doctors report which has been released less than one hour ago. he is consciousness and well according to doctors. but he has lost a lot of blood and there remains risks of infection. so he will have remain in the hospital for at least one week. if we don't know yet if he is going to be able to resume his campaign effort until election day, which for the first round happens in exactly one month, on october seven. we've heard of course condemnation from his rival candidates for the presidency. but also one imagines a sense that the kind of radical discourse we were hearing from him and the polarity in this contest may well have contributed to the kind of frenzy around all of this. well, while shocking and regrettable, yes,
this attack is far from surprising, due to the rising levels of polarisation in brazilian politics since 2014. we had a very traumatic presidential election. the opposing party that lost did not accept the results and ever since then we have had escalating tensions. we had a very controversial impeachment process against the left—wing president. now we had, at the beginning of the year, shots fired at a campsite where a former president was campaigning. we had of course the case of the left—wing rio dejaneiro city councillor who was murdered in what the federal police has already called a political assassination. and now this. it is an escalating process and jair bolsonaro certainly has contributed to this climate due to his homophobic, racist and sexist
rants over the years. the very rise of his presidential bid is also a consequence of how polarised brazil is right now. jeremy corbyn has rejected claims by tony blair that labour has become "lost to moderates." mr corbyn said under his leadership labour had adopted policies, such as renationalising utilities, which were both popular and mainstream. mr corbyn was speaking as the leader of the liberal democrats, sir vince cable, said he wanted to transform his party into a movement for moderates. vicki young's report contains flash photography. is british politics in need of a face—lift? or even a total rebuild? are you a voter who thinks that politicians are failing to represent your feelings? tony blair was the last party leader to win a decisive election victory,
he sasteremy corbyn doesn't have a broad enough appeal for this kind of win. and moderate centre ground mps have lost control of the labour party. i'm not sure it's possible to take it back. in a lot of people associated with me feel like the labour party is lost. an visiting a museum in leicester today the labour leader insisted he is the one in tune with voters. his campaign for an equal society has a mainstream message. tony blair should recognise that membership is much bigger than it's ever been. bigger than it's been in my lifetime. well over half a million people. after the general election we set out what our aspirations are to the people of this country. the liberal democrat leader thinks millions of voters feel homeless, today he offered them a roof over their head, saying he would open up the party to outsiders who share his liberal values. it's a mass movement,
the voice on the inside, in our parliamentary parties. he even suggested that the lib dem leader wouldn't need to be an mp. why are you confident that millions of people would flock to you in this new system? there is clearly a demand out there for a rallying point. large numbers of people are fed up with the drift of the country, and the fact that the two established parties have taken a relaxed status. —— have been taken over by extremists. some conservatives and many labour mps are in and comfortable with the direction their parties are going in, there is talk of a new party, breaking away
from old ones. without a clearfigurehead it's hard to see how any of these ideas would get off the ground. there is certainly no agreement about what could happen next. so what would a new centrist political party in the uk look like? i've been discussing that with the guardian columnist, dawn foster and laura hughes from the financial times. no one is really sure how many people in britain actually occupy that ground. and to actually make a centrist party you need a proper platform on each of these policy issues to convince people to move in. and at the moment, you know, there's a lot of disagreement amongst different people, both in lib dems, both in the left of the tory party and the right of labour. so there will need to be a big platform and at the moment it's very, very contentious. so do you agree that the centre ground is a rather odd and wishy—washy place to be? because politicians do seem to search for it, we hear a lot about this expression and yet, from what dawn said, we don't really quite know where it is. no, it is sort of political journalists like myself that have assumed that everyone was in the centre. we write about tony blair and david cameron occupying that space and winning elections on that sort of platform. but as brexit showed this country
isn't as straightforward as we might like to have thought, and to have written about. and actually it's incredibly divided, and i think the reason we're suddenly saying the ground beneath all the parties split in various directions and crack is because everyone realised, "ooh, actually, we all thought we were here... "crumbs, we're not. "we are so divided." so do you think that the british, we are quite binary, we quite like to know clearly that that's that and you've got this option, and they are far apart and you can choose one or the other? i think there's a really broad spectrum, and i think one of the issues is for maybe the last 30 years both conservatives and labour thought that people who didn't vote would never vote, and therefore elections were fought and won and lost on a small number of people right in the centre of politics who may vote labour, they may vote conservative. and what has happened since is that bothjeremy corbyn‘s labour party and people like ukip have realised that actually the way to win elections could be to get people who haven't previously voted
to start voting, to register to vote. sojeremy corbyn‘s labour party went out and tried to get as many people as possible who weren't on the electoral register onto it. and that was why ukip did so well, it is whitejeremy corbyn broadened his appeal — all the while, moderate labour mps said that actually this wasn't very appealing. so the people at the centre who flip—flopped a bit between tories and labour has a lot of attention. in the meantime there were loads of people on either side who were politically homeless, who are now being courted. laura, you mentioned that it is almost like a concept that people often say the liberal elite have dreamed up. we assume that only if we lay out this sort of moderate ground, so the politicians, then people will come round to our sensible way of thinking. and actually the politicians need to realise that their way of thinking may not be what the general public want. no, it feels like a crisis point and that something we'll have to happen or not or it might be as simple as brexit goes out the way.
but a lot of this is also about political leaders, and how you identify yourselves with them. you know, jeremy corbyn is seen as a left—leaning figure, and people can associate with that quite clearly in a way that under blair it wasjust a bit more confusing, i think. the labour party was a bit confusing. and suddenly these labour mps weren't the traditional, you know, left—wing, socialists that some labour members perhaps wanted. and so it all got really confused and in a bit ofa muddle. and that is why, you know, tony blair talking about a break of group... it probably wouldn't work if it was endorsed by tony blair, because it would be associated with, you know, centre left politics that was successful for a long period of time. i think all this talk and all this speculation is because no one really knows where they are at the moment and i do wonder when brexit is out the way a little bit, are these labour mps who are talking about a breakaway group actually going to do it? we know from history that break off groups don't do very well,
that our voting system does not favour the small breakaway parties, and so that is actually why because of the tribalism as well people just tend to stay in their little family. dawn, could a new party ever be something vibrant and dynamic or is it always doomed to failure? i think the big risk with a centrist party is that it will never really get much power, it will probably never even when seats, but it could scupper any conservative or labour mps in marginals. so, as with the sdp, they cost labour quite a few seats. so that could be what would really happen. but i think it would be very difficult to get people very excited about a centrist party, especially young people who are very enthused by labour at the moment, and older people who will always just vote conservative for the most part. the conservative mp and former foreign secretary, borisjohnson, and his wife, marina wheeler, are divorcing. the couple are believed to have separated some months ago. they've been married since 1993 and have four children together.