tv BBC News at One BBC News February 18, 2019 1:00pm-1:31pm GMT
seven mps announce they've quit the labour party — condemning jeremy corbyn‘s approach to brexit and anti—semitism. the mp5 said they felt betrayed. they aren't launching a new party but urged others to join them. for my part, i have become embarrassed and ashamed to remain in the labour party. i invite you, the british people, tojoin us in this endeavour. jeremy corbyn said he was disappointed the mps felt unable to continue working with labour for the policies he said "inspired millions" at the last election. also this lunchtime. shamima begum tells the bbc she apologises for joining the islamic state group in syria, and says she was used as propaganda. i didn't want to be on the news at first. i know a lot of people, after they saw that me and my friends came, it actually encouraged them... i did hear a lot of people were encouraged to come after i left but i wasn't the one that put myself
on the news. regulate facebook now, say a committee of mps. they say its founder mark zuckerberg failed to show "leadership or personal responsibility" over fake news. and train companies propose an overhaul of ticketing with tap—in, tap—out payments, and better value for passengers. and coming up on bbc news — olympic 800 metres champion caster semenya arrives in court in switzerland to challenge controversial plans to limit testosterone levels in female athletes. good afternoon and welcome to the bbc news at one. seven labour mps have resigned from the party in protest at jeremy corbyn‘s approach
to brexit and anti—semitism. they'll now sit in the commons as a group of independents. one of the mps, luciana berger, said she was "embarrassed and ashamed" to stay in labour, which she said was now "institutionally anti—semitic." another — chris leslie — said that labour had been "hijacked" by the far left. jeremy corbyn said he was disappointed by the mps‘ decision. our political correspondent jonathan blake reports. the time for talking was over. seven labour mps chose this room on this morning to act, frustrated with their party and its leader of the time had come for them to quit and form a new group. this has been a very difficult, painful, but necessary decision. we represent different parts of the country. we are of different backgrounds. we we re are of different backgrounds. we were born of different generations. but we all share the same values. i
cannot remain in the party that i have today come to the sickening conclusion is institutionally anti—semitic. conclusion is institutionally anti-semitic. all seven gave their own reasons, and with that, damning criticism reflecting anger that they and others have felt for some time. which is politics is now well and truly broken and in all conscience we can no longer knock on doors and support a government led byjeremy corbyn, or the team around him. this group of seven hopes to grow. there was an appeal for others from other parties tojoin them. was an appeal for others from other parties to join them. you don't join a political party to spend years and years fighting the people within it. you get involved in politics, you joina you get involved in politics, you join a party, to change the world. so, we invite you to leave your parties and help us forge a new consensus on a way parties and help us forge a new consensus on a way forward for britain. but the group was clear this move was about him, jeremy
corbyn‘s approach to brexit, his failure as they see it to tackle anti—semitism and their unease at labour's lurch to the left. in a statement mr corbyn said i'm disappointed that these mps have felt unable to continue to work together for the labour policies that inspired millions at the last election and sorts increase our vote by the largest share since 1945. election and sorts increase our vote by the largest share since1945.m comes at a time when our constituents are facing real hardship with universal credit being introduced, we have rising crime, homelessness on a scale we have not seen homelessness on a scale we have not seen for decades, the government is bungling brexit. so we should be working together for the long—term interests of the country. it's hard to avoid comparisons to this moment in 1981 when a group of mps left labour and set in 1981 when a group of mps left labourand set up in 1981 when a group of mps left labour and set up the social democratic party, later merging to become what is now the liberal democrats. it hurt labour then and some say the same will happen now. when people leave the labour party there is bound to be damage. we had evidence of this in the early 1980s.
it is not good if people leave a political party but we have to stick to our principles and work for what we to our principles and work for what we put forward in the manifesto. history willjudge them. there is no doubt that if they regard themselves as democrats, i wonder whether they are going to stand down and create by—elections. a lot of them talked about how proud they are to represent their constituents. well, if they're so proud of that, why don't they give their constituents the opportunity to see if they want them elected. party loyalty runs deep around here. it is no small move for any mp to disown their own side, and those who have left labour today will know it is a gamble because there may be others who want to help them and join them. but the move will galvanise jeremy to help them and join them. but the move will galvanisejeremy corbyn's supporters and those against him within labour who believe it is better to stay and fight from within. what this group will achieve, what it will become, is not
clear, but these now former labour mps felt enough was enough and they are better off out than in. jonathan blake, bbc news, westminster. so, what do voters make of today's development? this is what some people in gavin shuker‘s luton south seat had to say. i don't think more divisions are what's needed in the labour party. i think it would be better to try and change it from the inside, as opposed to just cause disruption. labour is stirring the pot more than doing anything else. they are not being constructive on anything, especially with the brexit issue right now. our correspondent simon dedman is in luton. simon, what else have people been saying to you? well, rita, luton southis saying to you? well, rita, luton south is a semi—safe labour seat at the party has won since 1997, and as you heard in those views which we have just got you heard in those views which we havejust got in you heard in those views which we have just got in the last hour here on have just got in the last hour here on the streets of luton, they are
really mixed as to whether gavin shuker has done the right thing quitting labour and becoming an independent. certainly, he has had a lot of problems with his local party. back in september he lost a vote of no confidence, and some people in that party this lunchtime are calling for him to resign so they can have a socialist candidate standing for labour. but i think the question really will be when and if that election comes, will he possibly able to win as an independent? could the tories come through? good labour win? independent? could the tories come through? good labourwin? about independent? could the tories come through? good labour win? about this lunchtime here in luton is farfrom clear. simon, thank you. our assistant political editor norman smith is in westminster. norman, put this into some context for us. how significant is it? well, it is significant but you'd have to say the odds against these seven mps are enormous because the history of smaller breakaway parties tends to bea smaller breakaway parties tends to be a pretty short lived one. they go off like a rocket with a great big bang but then tend to fizzle out and
crashed to earth, and that's not just the fate of the sdp, that's been the fate of pretty much every third party that have had their life crushed out of them because of our two party system and the two main parties have always proved remarkably resilient. added to which, the seven are starting with nothing. they have no name, no leader, no manifesto, no membership, no money, a leader, no manifesto, no membership, no money, a website that seems to be crashing. they are starting really from ground zero and they will have to endure the most awful kicking now from the labour party. they will be accused of disloyalty, of division, of making life easier for the tories, and many labour voters will share that view. their only real chance of success, i think, is if they manage to strike a chord with they manage to strike a chord with the british population outwith westminster. if they manage to appeal to the politically homeless,
those who feel disenfranchised by jeremy corbyn's labour party and feel they have nothing in common with theresa may's brexiteers. those traditional labour voters who share their view that the labour party has changed out of all recognition under jeremy corbyn. secondly, they will have to move quickly. today, in many ways, was the easy part. the press conference, the big announcement. now they have to build and very, very rapidly. and the risk, of course, is like seven stones being dropped into water, theyjust go plow dropped into water, theyjust go plop, and a sink without trace. their hope has to be that the ripples they create may yet cause a wave at westminster. norman, many thanks. norman smith there in westminster. the london schoolgirl who joined the islamic state group in syria, but now wants to come home, has apologised to the british public. but speaking to the bbc, shamima begum equated terrorist attacks in the uk with coalition action in syria. the 19—year—old gave birth
to a boy at the weekend. our home affairs correspondent daniel sandford reports. shamima begum, who left her home in east london aged 15 to join the islamic state group, explaining today what it was that inspired her to go. was it because you watched some beheading videos? is that right? not just the beheading videos. the videos they show of families and stuff in the park. you know, the good life that they can provide for you. and not just the fighting videos, but, yeah, the fighting videos as well, i guess. she left britain with two school friends, travelling through turkey to syria, and became a symbol of young british peoplejoining is. you helped them. you helped the enemy of britain. i wasn't the one that put myself... i didn't want to be on the news at first. i know a lot of people, after they saw that me and my friends came, it encouraged them. i did hear a lot of people were encouraged to come after i left, but i wasn't the one
who put myself on the news. we didn't want to be on the news. she was asked what she thought about the manchester bombing of 2017 in which 22 people died. she appeared to regret it, but then compared it with the coalition bombing of is—held towns in syria. ido i do feel it is wrong that innocent people did get killed. it is one thing to kill a soldier that is fighting with you, it is self defence. but to kill people like women and children, just like people, like the women and children being killed right now in the bombings, it is a two—way thing really. because women and children are being killed back in the islamic state right now. it is kind of retaliation. theirjustification was that it was retaliation, so i thought, ok, that is a fair justification. shamima begum is asking to be allowed back to the uk. she said that if she is sent to prison, she'd like herfamily
to look after her newborn baby boy. daniel sandford, bbc news. with the us—led coalition close to announcing the defeat of is in syria, the government there has already recaptured most of the country. now, across the middle east, 5.5 million syrian refugees are starting to consider whether to go home. the un expects 250,000 to head back this year. our middle east correspondent, yolande knell has been talking to some of those making the journey. this is the border with syria, and after years of people fleeing a brutal civil war, every day now there's a long queue to enter the country. so, all these people are syrians who've been staying injordan, but they've now decided to go home, and it's not an easy decision at all to go back, because they are going to be giving up all of their rights as refugees.
mariam spent two years in a refugee camp. translation: we want to go back to our country, to our house. there's nothing better. when we left, we hoped for calm, and now, god has calmed everything. since government forces retook rebel held areas last year, there have been thousands of returns. over time now, people have been able to hear back from relatives of improved security. we start to see an interest of refugees to go back. at the syrian embassy in amman, refugees wait to sort out the paperwork they need to go home. it's costly. moussa has saved up $170 to register his daughter's birth injordan. she is one of the million refugee babies born during the war. soon, her father plans to take her and all his family back to daraa. it's where syria's uprising began. but after all the turmoil, moussa is glad president assad wasn't
overthrown. translation: if the islamic state group, the nusra front and all those other fronts and factions had their way, syria would have been divided into a thousand pieces. instead, president bashar al—assad preserved a united syria. back at the border, more syrians head home. fighting has devastated much of their country, but people are desperate to rebuild their lives. yolande knell, bbc news, on the jordan— syria border. facebook "intentionally and knowingly" violated data privacy laws, and it needs much stricter regulation, according to a damning report by mps. the commons culture committee said the firm's founder mark zuckerberg failed to show "leadership and personal responsibility" over the rise of so—called fake news — and it accused social media platforms of behaving like "digital gangsters".
facebook said it was open to any form of "meaningful regulation". our media editor amol rajan reports. its totally fake news, it's just fake. i'm telling you, it's just fake news. the term fake news has entered the mainstream in recent years thanks to one man above all. in america there's been grave concei’n that the election of donald trump may have owed something to interference by russia in the presidential election. an investigation by former fbi director robert mueller is looking into the allegations. the nearest thing to that in britain is the culture select committee's report on fake news and disinformation. its findings, published this morning, are scathing about technology companies and the legal and regulatory framework in which they operate. the committee says facebook intentionally violated both data privacy laws and anti—competition laws. it recommends a new code of conduct overseen by an independent regulator. and it says that current electoral law is not fit for purpose. rather having a system where the tech companies just
apologise when things go wrong and carry on repeating the same mistakes, we should have a proper statutory regulatory system which imposes standards on the tech companies with a regulator that can act against them if they fail to meet those standards. this system exists in broadcasting, it is common in other industries, and we need it in the tech sector as well. in his first interview sincejoining facebook, sir nick clegg told me they have taken extensive steps to weed out illegal or harmful content on its platform and to make political advertising more transparent. so, facebook has engaged a huge amount in the course of this report. we have given around ten hours of oral evidence to the committee, we have answered over 700 questions from the committee. this report is incredibly important. we have engaged a huge amount and we have fundamentally changed as a company since the start of this inquiry. if you want to know where a company prioritises, you should look at where it invests, and we've invested a huge amount in people and technology to tackle the issues of online harms that this report raises.
but coming so soon after the outcry over molly russell, the 14—year—old who took her own life after seeing pictures of self—harm on facebook—owned instagram, it shows that technology companies and those who legislate against them are entering a new era. and amol is here now. is anything likely to change? you would think this is the moment because the accusation is pretty shocking. the idea that facebook intentionally and knowingly violated a set of laws is strong and it gets to the two areas where facebook may feel vulnerable. one is on the issue of data privacy where more members of data privacy where more members of the public are conscious that facebook monetise their digital trail, and the other is the issue of competition and that facebook might be too mighty. facebook resists the charges of being a bully but i think it sees itself as slightly vulnerable. this report does the intellectual heavy lifting for a new
framework. there is a consensus that the era of self—regulation has failed and is over but exactly what this new regulation looks like something they are trying to work out. thank you. train companies say they want a complete overhaul of the way rail tickets are bought and sold — so that passengers are automatically offered the cheapest fare. the industry body, the rail delivery group, says peak fares could also be scrapped in the future. our transport correspondent tom burridge reports. getting the cheapest fare can be baffling. the system for issuing tickets in britain is complicated and outdated. when you try and find the prices, they are just quite confusing so you end up, i'll go on trainline, and then afterwards find out that may be virgin have cheaper deals. then on the day, sometimes i'll find out that it would have been better to go on the train ten minutes later but it doesn't always show up that way. it can be a little bit complicated finding out if it's off—peak, on peak, super off— peak, there seems a lot of different categories of time travel. you have to really search
to find what you want to get something cheap. you have to go on the websites, and quite often to go on a certain website. so, train companies want a tap—in tap—out style system forjourneys across the country, like that in london. swipe and you'd automatically be charged at the cheapest fare for yourjourney, and if you travel on the same route often your weekly rate would automatically be capped. the system we have today is full of anomalies. for example, a single can sometimes be almost as expensive as a return. a government commissioned review of the entire rail system is ongoing. train companies say ticketing needs to change. we believe the time is ripe to be able to change the system so that it's much easier for people to use, much easierfor people to understand, and so they can use new technology as well to travel around the country and really bring the rail industry into the 21st—century. the industry wants more flexible fares for long distance journeys to avoid people rushing for the first off—peak service
after the rush hour. passenger groups say change is needed but worry there will be winners and losers. the issues go beyond the railways, this is about ticketing across rail, bus, tram, metro and other forms of transport. we've got a ticketing system and a fare system that doesn't work for a seamless door—to—door journeys. it doesn't work for people day in day out, travelling to work, going to education or going to the shops. we need a simpler system that works across all forms of public transport. train companies say the average price of a ticket wouldn't change under today's proposals. they consulted nearly 20,000 passengers. but real change to the way we buy tickets could take years. and, ultimately, it will be down to the government. tom burridge, bbc news. the time is1:20pm our top story this lunchtime. seven mps announce they've quit the labour party — condemning jeremy corbyn's approach to brexit and antisemitism for my part, i have become embarrassed and ashamed to remain in the labour party.
coming up on bbc news — chelsea's maurizio sarri and manchetser united's ole gunnar solsjaker come face to face in the fa cup tonight with a place in the last eight of the fa cup at stake. the impact plastic is having on our environment was highlighted dramatically by the bbc documentary series blue planet. now the government has unveiled plans for how it thinks the uk could cut down on its use. ministers want to introduce a new tax on plastic packaging, alongside a deposit return scheme for cans and bottles. but large retailers have been accused of trying to water down the proposals, as our environment analyst, roger harrabin reports. plastic litter harms marine life so the government is introducing a deposit return scheme for bottles and also cans. small, on—the—go bottles
are the most likely to appear in the sea so retailers want the deposit restricted to those small containers, but environmentalists say many family sized bottles end up in the ocean, too. they are fighting for all bottles, big and small, to face the deposit. there's another reason for a catch—all deposit. it would improve the quality of materials for recycling. environmentalists say tough policies are needed. for nearly a0 years, industry has been trying to fight proposals to institute a deposit return scheme and we are seeing that return now with them opposing a wide—ranging, all—in deposit return scheme, which would actually have the best impact on the environment. but here's another view — people buying family—sized bottles are likely to drink them at home then put them in their own recycling bin. why make them pay a deposit? well, we share the ambition to reduce bottles overall, but we just want to build
on an existing, successful scheme, which is kerb—side recycling. we know that consumers already recycle lots of their bottles through that and therefore what we are saying is, build on that and have a food—on—the—go system, which picks up the bottles we buy when we are out and about. this sort of norway—style recycling machine is likely to arrive in the towns of england whatever decision the government makes on bottle sizes. there are other questions over what goes into your bin. the government says in today's consultation, it will standardise rules to end confusion over what you can recycle and what you can't. and there are radical thoughts on dumping, too. ministers have raised the possibility — just a possibility so far — that the makers of furniture, mattresses, carpets, tyres and fishing gear might also be obliged to pay for the ultimate cost of getting rid of them. intelligence officials have concluded that the chinese telecoms
firm huawei should be allowed to bid for work on projects in the uk — such as new ultra—fast smartphone networks. some countries have banned the firm because of concerns that it could spy for china. our technology correspondent rory cellan—jones is here. where does this leave britain's relationship with huawei? the uk government has been under great p i’essu i’e government has been under great pressure from the us. the us is convinced that huawei and other chinese firms are a threat to security. they've persuaded australia and new zealand already to shut huawei out of this new generation of mobile phone networks, sg. generation of mobile phone networks, 56. and generation of mobile phone networks, 5g. and britain is in the middle of deciding what to do. this government review has had evidence from the national cyber security centre and its similar evidence they had given to mobile phone operators currently
talking to the ncsc about ordering their equipment. they've been told by the ncsc to be careful, but they can still use it. it seems that similar advice has gone into the government review. there is still politics to be injected, the government has a difficult decision to make. they are being told to proceed cautiously with huawei but they are under great pressure from their allies in the us and from the security industry more generally to be very careful about dealings with huawei. thank you. thejustice secretary has said he believes there is a "very strong case" for abolishing prison sentences of less than six months — except for violent and sexual crimes. david gauke said prison didn't work for those serving short custodial terms. he argued there should be a shift in resources from prisons to probation, to make community sentences more effective. tributes have been paid to the veteran labour mp paul flynn who's died aged 8a.
he represented newport west in the house of commons for more than 30 years. he'd been ill with rheumatoid arthritis. jeremy corbyn said mr flynn was a "credit" to the party. natwest has apologised after a woman who telephoned to apply for a loan was told that "all vegans should be punched in the face". the customer, who's from bristol, wanted a loan to pay for a nutrition diploma. the bank said the outburst by a member of staff, which came after the customer told him she was a vegan — was "wholly inappropriate". one of the world's most successful track athletes, caster semenya, is challenging controversial plans to limit testosterone levels in female athletes. the sport's governing body wants athletes with a higher—than—normal level of male hormones to take medication before they compete, to ensure races are fair. it's a case which will have a huge impact on both semenya's career, and the whole sport. our correspondent richard conway
is at the hearing in switzerland. on one level, this case is about caster semenya and her future. on one level, this case is about caster semenya and herfuture. will she be able to continue to run without taking medication to suppress her naturally high levels of testosterone. it is also about the future direction of sport. lots of governing bodies looking at the outcome to see how sport will progress in the future. issues of gender and identity at the heart of this case that is being heard here in lausanne over the next five days. what's at stake for caster semenya but lots also for all of sport. you have to walk before you can run. caster semenya's journey has brought her all the way to support‘s highest court. the south african 800 metre
i’un court. the south african 800 metre run is challenging new regulations which will require female athletes with naturally high testosterone to ta ke with naturally high testosterone to take medication to lower the hormone prior to competing. her lawyers claimed that is discriminatory, saying hyperandrogenism is naturally occurring. this whole week will be important. obviously, the evidence will be evaluated and assessed at the end of the process. today is the start. athletics governing body the iaaf says it must act given its belief elevated testosterone provide female runners significant performance advantages over their rivals. the core value for the iaaf is the empowerment of girls and won'ien is the empowerment of girls and women through athletics. the regulations we are introducing are there to protect the sanctity of fairand open there to protect the sanctity of fair and open competition. this case has been a long time in the making.
in 2009, caster semenya won her first world title. in 2011 the iaaf introduced its first hyperandrogenism regulations. but in 2015 the regulations were suspended when an indian sprinter won her case against them. then in 2017 the iaaf published new research and said medication to counter the effects from differences of sexual development must be taken. the olympic champion has long maintained what she sees as her right to run. a judgment in this case is expected by late march, and the outcome will have far—reaching implications for caster semenya's competitive future, alongside important issues of ethics and gender within her sport. much will depend and hinge in this case on much will depend and hinge in this case on the science of the research around higher levels of testosterone and what advantage they provide to
female athletes. we'll see that played out over the next five days in lausanne. the verdict not expected until the end of march, is significant because that is just six months before the start of the world championships later this year in qatar. we've all heard about firefighters being called to rescue cats stuck up trees. but usually not cats this size. this is a mountain lion which was spotted perched on a branch 50 feet up in the air near a house in california. the fire crews had to tranquilise it and lower it down with a harness, before releasing it back into the wild. time for a look at the weather — here's darren bett. it's going to get really warm again later this week. right now, it's turning a bit cooler and with the cooler air that's coming in from the west, we've got a lot of shower clouds. also the strip of cloud producing some rain