tv BBC News at Ten BBC News February 20, 2019 10:00pm-10:30pm GMT
the three left the conservative benches to join forces with eight former labour mps, who formed the new group earlier this week. at a packed news conference, they urged those of a like mind tojoin them — at such a critical point in the brexit process. if brexit was a call for change, then we hear it. our parties have been unable to grasp the magnitude of the challenge and have no plan. i'm not leaving the conservative party, it's left us. meanwhile in brussels, theresa may was asking the eu for more give on the issue of the irish backstop. we'll have the latest from brussels and from westminster — with no sign of a brexit
breakthrough. also tonight... the british teenager whojoined is in syria says she is shocked and disappointed by the uk decision to revoke her citizenship. i thought they'd be a bit more sympathetic, because of my situation. i did explain that i didn't know fully what i was getting into and i made a mistake. after a0 years of the tornado, the raf‘s iconic warplane is being retired. we report on the final fly—pasts. commentator: scores, i—i! and — the controversy that led to this penalty in manchester city's champions league game tonight against fc schalke. and coming up on sportsday on bbc news: england go for their highest ever one—day international chase, as chris gayle helps the west indies make 360.
good evening. there's been a new round of defections at westminster — this time it's from the ranks of conservative mps, with three of them joining the independent group, set up by former labour mps earlier this week. sarah wollaston, anna soubry and heidi allen criticised what they called the government's "disastrous handling" of brexit, and said the process had undone "all the efforts to modernise" the conservative party. our deputy political editor john pienaar has the latest. there is some flash photography coming up. small in number, big in ambition. today, a trio of mps walked away from the tory party and joined the breakaway band who'd already quit labour, taking theirfirst steps into the political centre as an independent group. with the labour quitters, they make 11. joan ryanjoined last night.
the newest recruits setting out their grounds for divorce from the tory party for today's emotional break with party workers. friends and family who enabled me to win... brexit a big reason for going. ..the hardline, anti—eu awkward squad that have destroyed every leader for the last a0 years, are now running the conservative party, from top to tail. they are the conservative party. i'm not leaving the conservative party — it's left us. the conservatives said another had grown too harsh. i am tired of feeling numb. i can no longer represent a government and a party who can't open their eyes to the suffering endured by the most vulnerable in society. suffering which have deepened, whilst having the power to fix. all three had lost faith in mrs may's handling of brexit. the party that was once the most trusted on the economy and business is now marching us towards the cliff
edge of a no—deal brexit. why do you believe that such a small handful of mps can really transform politics in the way that you say? and, if i may, is a new party part of your plans, and if it is, do you accept that the odds in the political system i heavily against you succeeding? in whatever order, yes, yes, yes and yes. they are against us, but you know what? we've got to try. we have got to try. over the coming weeks and months, we'll be having conversations and, most importantly, reaching out to the country, to see what they would like from a new moderate centre ground party. high drama has become commonplace. brexit at a critical stage. the prime minister cornered and cornered again. now, here's more evidence of the huge strain on traditional party loyalties. is it a turning point? far too early to say, but what we can say is we've reached something of a breaking point. the prime minister's in brussels, still seeking a brexit deal and tonight, she reacted more
in sorrow than in anger. i'm saddened by the decision that three former members of my party have taken today. they have given dedicated service to our party over a long time, and i thank them for it. some former colleagues say the trio should face by—elections. let's have a peoples vote, let's have a peoples vote in those constituencies and see what people there think about this. here, at the foot of the screen, the moment the three now former tories took their new places. comradeship from new friends, a hostile act to the big parties, and to a prime minister still refusing to rule out a no—deal brexit. we can take no deal off the table by agreeing a deal. the three tories have alreadyjoined the independent group and began their long, hard climb to political influence. when we look back on these scenes, quitting their parties may look like the easy bit. john pienaar, bbc news, westminster. as we've heard, one of those who resigned from the conservative party today
is anna soubry. she has been one of the highest—profile campaigners against the brexit process, and she's attracted considerable personal abuse in recent months. 0ur political correspondent alex forsyth has been assessing reaction to ms soubry‘s announcement, in her constituency of broxtowe in the east midlands. it seems serene at beeston conservative club today, but the vacancy left by anna soubry‘s decision to quit the party has caused waves. despite the welcome sign, people in here weren't keen to talk, still considering the impact. most people inside say they only heard the news via the media this morning, and they're keen to digested before they make any comment. the local chairman did give a short statement about anna soubry‘s departure. she's been a hard—working and dedicated mp, and we wish her all the very best. we'll be selecting our new conservative candidate
as soon as possible. brexit wasn't mentioned, although, here, that's been contentious. this area voted to leave the eu, but their mp has been a vocal critic of how brexit‘s playing out. you know, like, the brexit thing, i think shejust gets peoples‘ backs up. i don't think she'll stand a chance as an independent, i'm not even sure she'd stand a chance as a conservative, to be honest. i think she's done the right thing. why? well, because we voted for something without knowing the full facts. now we know the full facts, then we should do it again. here in broxtowe, there has been tension between anna soubry and some members of her local party. last summer, she said there was an attempt to oust her and more recently she's claimed, across the country, conservative mps who don't back brexit are at risk of being pushed out. ukip supporters have been accused of trying to infiltrate some local tory groups. here, they say that's nonsense. the real issue is that when you're in a leave constituency, surely you should have an mp that actually supports leaving. so, is anna soubry out of step
with her constituents? michael and pamela voted for her and brexit. she wanted to stay, but the borough voted to go out. and i thought she was supposed to be representing us, but she isn't. derek voted to leave the eu too, but thinks mps should have more freedom to take a stand when they feel strongly. party politics are killing the country. what makes you say that? i think because they don't vote with their conscience, they vote with the party line. so, little harmony over their mp‘s decision, but the sense that, here at least, the political landscape has shifted. alex forsyth, bbc news, beeston. allegations of anti—semitism within labour have been a prime factor for some of the mps who left the party earlier this week. today, a senior labour frontbencher, barry gardiner, apologised to alljewish people, on behalf of the party.
the shadow international trade secretary told mps that labour had let thejewish community down, and had to do better. let's get more from our deputy political editorjohn pienaar. after today's events, where are we heading here? you asked the question, could this lead to the formation of a new party? what is your assessment? it's been a dramatic moment we won't quickly forget. you can't ask for a clearer demonstration of how brexit has torn at the fabric of the bigger parties, as it has between the public and politicians. we can't at this moment
call this an historic turning point. we had seen splits in the past, not just the big labour split of the early 1980s but other example since then. the dominance of the two big parties has continued however shakily. in context, this is a gripping subplot in the bigger story of brexit. the prime minister in brussels tonight looking for a deal she can sell in parliament. we can see the commons in coming days move to ta ke see the commons in coming days move to take control of brexit if you can't. ministers are numbers voting against their own government for the sake of ruling out a no—deal brexit. what we are seeing now are the big parties splitting and fraying at the edges. we can expect more mps to walk away from their parties, more on the labour side than the tory side. we can expect more of the kind of tensions we had seen in the coming days and weeks and months. john, many thanks. john pienaar at westminster. the prime minister has been back in brussels this evening, where she's held further brexit talks with the president of the european commission, jean claude juncker. she has been seeking legally—binding changes to the northern ireland backstop, the guarantee of no hard border between northern ireland and the republic, after brexit. mrs may said the talks had been constructive,
but emphasised that time was of the essence. 0ur europe editor katya adler is in brussels. what do you reckon is going on behind—the—scenes? what do you reckon is going on behind-the-scenes? even behind closed doors, their meetings between jean—claude juncker and theresa may, and we had they will meet again next week, are cordial. the attorney general is also expected back here in brussels tomorrow. in private, eu officials are tearing their hair out. with only 37 days to go until brexit day, there is a big political impasse between the two sides over the backstop, the guarantee to avoid a hard border between northern ireland and ireland after brexit. the eu points to what it sees as mistaken complacency among many mps. this assumption that it will be all right on the night. and as time runs
down, the eu will blink over the backstop rather than face a no—deal brexit. it is important to remember, the eu only blinks when it is in its own interest. in its backstop, eu leaders say notjust a protection for the northern ireland peace process better protection of their lucrative single market. don't forget, after brexit, the land border between eu and uk will run those 300 miles between northern ireland and ireland and eu leaders wa nt to ireland and ireland and eu leaders want to avoid goods being smuggled into the single market through the back door. legally binding changes the prime minister has said she wa nts to the prime minister has said she wants to ask for that would fundamentally weaken the backstop, thatis fundamentally weaken the backstop, that is a blink eu leaders say they won't make. in fact, they want theresa may to blink and be more realistic in her demands. the bottom line is the two sides are still as farapart as line is the two sides are still as far apart as ever over the backstop, so far apart as ever over the backstop, so those still hoping for a negotiated brexit deal a right to be concerned. many thanks. katya adler there in brussels. shamima begum, the 19—year—old who left the uk to join the islamic state group four years ago, has told the bbc she expected more sympathy from britain. the uk has stripped her of her british citizenship and the authorities in bangladesh said today that, contrary to what british officials believe,
she was not a bangladeshi citizen, and there was "no question" of her being allowed into the country, our home affairs corrspondent daniel sandford reports. in this refugee camp in syria, a clearly deflated shamima begum, the 19—year—old who left school tojoin is and hasjust given birth, had appealed for help to return to the uk, but learned today that the government was instead taking away her british nationality, though her baby, who she was carrying under her clothes, will still be british. i thought they would be a bit more sympathetic, because of my situation. i did explain that i didn't know fully what i was getting into and i made a mistake and i was hoping that they would have some sympathy and understanding, but clearly not. secretary sajid javid. in parliament, the home secretary explained why the government has deprived so many people who went to join is of their nationality.
where they pose any threat to this country, i will do everything in my power to prevent their return. this includes stripping dangerous individuals of their british citizenship. this power is only used in extreme circumstances, where it is conducive to the public good. it has been suggested that sajid javid made this decision partly for political reasons, which he denies, but look at this counter—terrorism strategy, which he published just last year. it discusses what might happen to a woman who went to join is in 2013 and then turned up, some years later, with a newborn baby. it says that the government would manage her return to the uk and the police would then launch an investigation into the woman's activities in syria. it says nothing about depriving her of her citizenship. shamima begum left britain as a 15—year—old schoolgirl. at the time, police said she had been groomed. now, four years later,
she is losing her british citizenship and being told to rely on her possible bangladeshi nationality through her mother. it kind of feels unjust and i don't think they can do that, because like i said, i don't have that citizenship, i only have one citizenship and if they take that one thing away from me, i don't have anything. i don't think they're allowed to do that. some immigration lawyers question the fairness of the decision, which would not even have been legal if she had been of completely british heritage. if there is evidence of wrongdoing, she should be prosecuted in a court of law in this country. and if there is insufficient evidence to prosecute her, then how on earth could you inflict the severest penalty upon her, without any recourse through a court of law? shamima begum's appeal is likely to take months to go through the courts and tonight the bangladeshi foreign minister said she was not a dual citizen, she had never been to the country and there was no question of her now being allowed to enter bangladesh. daniel sandford, bbc news.
that interview with shamima begum was conducted by our middle east correspondent quentin sommerville. the questions raised about what to do with those who have travelled abroad to fight for the islamic state group becomes more urgent, as the final piece of the group's territory in syria, the stronghold of baghuz, is said to be about to fall. quentin is in north—east syria tonight with the latest. shamima begum, just one of many people trying to get out of syria, what do you think of the kind of problem it presents two different western governments? it is an enormous problem, huw. there was a noticeable shift in shamima begum's demeanour today, it seemed as if the penny had dropped, notjust that she had been stripped of her british citizenship but she finally seems to understand the level of hostility towards the islamic state group and also towards her personally returning to the united kingdom. but
she might be the tip of the iceberg because today, south of here, the noseis because today, south of here, the nose is tightening around the last of the islamic state and more than 1000 people came out from that last little bit of land and among them, many foreigners, and some countries, russia, kazakhstan, america, have taken their people back, but many countries haven't and they still don't know what to do with the re m na nts of don't know what to do with the remnants of the islamic state group. quentin sommerville, thank you very much. eight years after the syrian civil war began, as us—backed forces try to secure the last village in syria still held by the islamic state group, focus is turning to the crimes against humanity allegedly committed by the syrian government under president bashar al—assad. syrian refugees and lawyers based in germany say the regime systematically locked up and tortured civilians and they are leading efforts to bring the perpetrators to trial in european courts, as our berlin correspondentjenny hill reports.
they dared to oppose the assad regime. the response? brutal force. they punished us with special tools. sometimes with electricity tools. they do it for fun. there were five persons torturing me, for eight hours. they were hanging me from the ceiling, with my hands back, backward. one can hear the screams of people being tortured 24/7. those who survived speak of incarceration without trial and systematic torture at the hands of their own countrymen. they are not humans — they are animals. and when he put the gun in my mouth... translation: 0ne couldn't
identify the colour of the skin because it was red and blue and black. it was horrifying... their words — valuable evidence. corroborated, lawyers here say, by a gruesome catalogue of photographs, too graphic to broadcast. bodies emaciated, mutilated, some missing eyes. most of them are between 14-15 to 40, 45. mainly young men? mainly, yeah. taken by a regime whistle—blower, we're told the so—called caesar files document the deaths of thousands of people in syrian prisons. you have the number, the names, who gave the order, who made the signature on the report, everything. from their refuge in europe, syrians are building their case. under german law, international suspects can be tried in german courts. it's taking time, but there have been arrests. look, what we all want is a nuremberg, but, still, it's more than nothing,
and that is also an important message. even if political conditions don't allow a nuremberg—like trial, you can do something. traumatised, fearful, but fighting to bring a regime to justice on european soil. jenny hill, bbc news, berlin. new legislation to extend the no—fly zone for drones around airports will come into force next month. the exclusion zone will increase from about half a mile to three miles. in december, gatwick was closed for more than a day following a series of drone sightings close to the runway. shares in sainsbury‘s fell sharply today after the uk's competition watchdog cast doubt on its plan to buy asda. the competition and markets authority said that customers could see higher prices and less choice, if the two firms combined. and it warned it could block the deal or force the sale of a large number of stores.
the head of sainsbury‘s said the findings were "outrageous", as our business correspondent emma simpson reports. they're already two giants of the grocery world, and they want to get even bigger to fend off the likes of aldi and lidl. but the regulator doesn't like this merger one bit. we think it's likely that prices will rise, service levels will deteriorate, or both. and the reason we believe that is because of the reduced competition in grocery shopping in supermarkets, grocery shopping online and purchases of fuel at the companies' petrol filling stations. popping to the shops here in watford — sainsbury‘s, asda and tesco, they're all here competing for customers. this merger would mean the big three becoming the big two, controlling nearly 60% of the uk grocery market. i don't think it will be an advantage to the shopper, i think it's more for them than for us. as long as their standards don't drop, i don't mind. yeah. on this main road, asda and sainsbury‘s
are literally side by side. but their plan to merge now looks in serious doubt. the regulator has raised concerns in just about every possible way, from reduced competition in hundreds of local areas to online shopping and higher petrol prices. but sainsbury‘s claims this deal would mean lower prices and that the regulator's approach is flawed. with brexit looming and a completely unpredictable set of competition rules, who would invest in this country? this isjust outrageous. today's findings are provisional, but the concerns raised may prove too big and complex for both companies to overcome. this controversial megamerger now seems destined to never make it to the checkout. emma simpson, bbc news. research by the bbc shows that 40% of companies in britain have a higher gender pay gap than last year. those where the earnings difference between male and female employees has widened include one of britain's
big energy companies — npower. there is also a continuing large pay disparity in britain's banks, but heathrow airport has reduced its gender pay gap. the food ordering app just eat says it will remove all restaurants with a hygiene rating of zero from its platform. any outlet given a zero rating by the food standards agency will be removed by may. the move is in response to a bbc investigation which found zero—rated takeaways being promoted by the app. the scandal of sexual abuse of children and vulnerable adults has overwhelmed the roman catholic church in recent years. tomorrow, the first—ever global summit on the matter will be taking place at the vatican, attended by senior bishops from around the world. there will be four days of what's been described as reflection and discussion with victims. 0ur
religion editor martin bashir is at the vatican. (05) yes, good evening. the world's media has gathered in rome, much as we do when there is an election of a new pope. but there isn't any papal succession being celebrated. instead, this is the roman catholic church publicly repenting for the sins of its clergy. i was then about seven or eight years old. i became the little friend of the chaplain... on every continent, priests have been betraying trust and abusing children. every time that he commit abuse to me, he sent me to another priest to confess myself. chrissie foster's family was torn apart when both her daughters were sexually assaulted by the same priest. it's very debilitating, the impact on the victim.
but on the families, yeah, it's such a betrayal. and they had the knowledge of these crimes, they hid it, they moved perpetrators on, they kept it a secret. a royal commission accused 7% of australia's priests of abusing children. in germany, a study found 3600 children had been abused by nearly 1700 clergy. and in the state of pennsylvania alone, 300 priests abused more than 1000 children. the leader of roman catholics in england and wales acknowledges the breadth of the challenge now facing the church. obviously, it's not confined to the catholic church, it's in every culture, it's in every part of society, but it's found a home in the church, and that's terrible.
the vatican says the summit will help develop policies and practices to address the crisis. but is that possible in a global church? in some cultures, if a priest is accused rightly or wrongly of having sex with another man or with a boy, he could be taken out and killed. in other cultures, if he's accused of having sex with somebody, he could be vindicated. there have been priests and bishops in asia, for example, who've been accused of having sex with a nun, and they've been cheered when they come back to their parish. chrissie foster welcomes the summit, but says any changes to church practice are too late. i have absolutely no faith in them, i don't even know that they believe in god, how can they, when this awful, hideous crime means nothing to them? the burden now rests
with pope francis. the outcome could be the defining moment of his papacy. martin bashir, bbc news, at the vatican. from the skies over afghanistan, kosovo and most recently iraq, the tornado has been the raf's frontline warplane. now after a0 years, the iconic aircraft is being retired. to mark the end of an aviation era, three tornados have been making a series of farewell fly—pasts, and our defence correspondent jonathan beale was given exclusive access to one of the flights. once more to the skies. but not for much longer. there we go — and we are off. the bbc, on board one of the last flights of the raf's tornado. it's been in service for a0 years and is now being replaced by more modernjets.
there we go, this is cottesmore airfield coming up... the tornado was originally designed to fight the cold war and to carry nuclear weapons. but it first went into combat over the desert in 1991. what is our mission? to attack an iraqi airfield... several were lost in the hail of iraqi anti—aircraft fire. john nichol, among those who lived to tell the tale. the tornado's a5 years of flying, its near 30 years of operation, i think you can absolutely put it up with the spitfire in an iconic status on that level. just a few weeks ago, pilot wing commanderjames heeps was conducting air strikes on is. now, it's a chance to enjoy the tornado's final goodbye back home. it's been an utter privilege, bestjob anyone could have. but for his passenger it's been more of a challenge.
i think i'm a landlover! soon, there will be no more rides in one of the raf's most iconicjets. this is the end of an era. jonathan beale, bbc news. football, and manchester city made a late comeback in the first leg of their champions league game with schalke to win 3—2 in germany. but the use of the video assistant referee system again proved controversial, as our sports correspondent david 0rnstein reports. the latest stage in manchester city's pursuit of the one trophy they've yet to win. and against schalke, they quickly signalled their intent, punishing some ponderous play through sergio aguero. after a check, the goal stood, but if you thought the video assistant referee was meant to remove controversy, well, think again. at the other end, schalke wanted a penalty for handball. another attempt to check... and four minutes
later, it was given. the home side were level. soon, city's night would go from bad to worst. a second penalty, nabil bentaleb on target again. schalke into a shock lead. another brilliant penalty kick. indeed, it shocked the visitors into life and although they were reduced to ten men, leroy sane returned to haunt his former club. what a story! before raheem sterling provided the final flourish. a timely boost for city, and their european dream, ahead of the second leg. david 0rnstein, bbc news. newsnight is coming up on bbc two. here's kirsty. after three senior tory backbenchers jumped ship to join eight former labour mps in the independent group, are we witnessing a seismic shift in british politics or simply an outburst of remainer frustration, which will lead to nothing? we are discussing that right now on bbc two. that's all from us. here on bbc one, it's time for the news where you are.