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tv   BBC News  BBC News  April 6, 2019 7:00pm-7:30pm BST

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this is bbc news, i'm chris rodgers. the headlines at 7pm. the defence secretary expresses horror at an alleged sexual assault of a 17—year—old female recruit by six male soldiers and orders an investigation. the chancellor insists the government has no red lines in talks over brexit. but labour waiting to see some movement from the prime minister. the key priority is to avoid crashing out with the eu with no deal, because of the disruption that would mean to industry and to supply chains, and we are determined to make sure there's no crashing out without a deal. building developer persimmon has announced an independent review into its housing quality, after increasing concerns about the standard of its new builds. >> what we want? human rights! >> when we want them? >> when we want them? >> now! human rights protests
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at london's dorchester hotel owned by brunei, where a new law makes gay sex punishable by stoning to death. tiger roll seals back to back rent nationals, the first horse to do so for nearly half a... half a century. manchester city's dream of the quadruple lives on. they are on the brink of beating brighton to reach the fa cup final. hello, good evening. the defence secretary has ordered an investigation in the military, after it emerged that 6 soldiers were arrested following an allegation of sexual assault. it's claimed a teenage female recruit was assaulted by male colleagues. the head of the army, general sir mark carleton—smith, said the allegations
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were being taken very seriously. simonjones reports. a damaging week for the army. in the words of its leader, general sir mark carleton—smith. responding to allegations of a sexual assault by troops. the sun newspaper says a female soldier woke to find a group of men standing over her. they had reportedly been drinking. she screamed. six men from an army sports club have been arrested. the chair of the general staff in a message to his troops said, where serious allegations are proven against members of the army, the defence secretary gavan williamson wrote on twitter, horrified to hear of these allegations. that review will also
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look at this footage. in an unrelated incident, soldiers in afghanistan filmed apparently using an image of the labour leaderjeremy corbyn for target practice. condemned by the mod as totally u na cce pta ble. the head of the army says each and every soldier needs to do better to take pride in what the military represents. simon jones, bbc news. let's get some insight, and more on this now from emma. she is a solicitor and head of legal casework at the human rights charity, she joins me from southeast to london via webcam. thank you for taking the time to speak to us. to the best of your knowledge, our allegations and sexual assault like this a big problem for the british army? yes, they are a big problem. a wider problem is that of sexual harassment in the armed forces. there was a survey last year, actually, that laid the problem very bare. 12% of
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women who responded to the sexual—harassment survey said that they had suffered sexual harassment. 7% said they had suffered attempted sexual assault, and 3% said that they've been raped. these are women who are serving in the armed forces. so it is a very wide problem coming and it's a shame there was not the similarly robust response from the secretary of state come in the chain of command last year. and so do we, i'm going to say we, the public and press, do we always find out when allegations are made like this one, within the army? i'm not sure that we do. i mean one of the main problems is, what appears to happen on this occasion, is that the military police have been called in again. what we are calling for, and have been calling forfor a long, long time, and a lot of women who have suffered sexual violence in the armed forces have been calling for, it must be the civilian police that investigate this offence, not the military police, they don't have enough experience, not enough expertise, and they are not sufficiently
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independent. so if the chain of command, in the secretary of state states are serious about tackling this, they don't need to conduct another review, they have all the information that they need, what they need to do is get the expert, independent civilian police to investigate these offences. when it comes to a female officer like this one making these allegations, are you aware of what kind of procedure is in place, to offer them supports, asa is in place, to offer them supports, as a victim of sexual harassment and sexual assault? well, it won't be as good as if it would be if they went to the outside civilian police. what often happens, i think from the allegations that the term of the information today, that she's a trainee, she's only 17 years old, they are always directed to the military police. they ought to be directed to the civilian police. and when they access the civilian police, they have access to a whole lot more independent outside expert support and advice. and the problem is with the military police investigating these offences, we can't trust that they will be
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investigated thoroughly or adequately, or independently. emma, thank you for talking to us. well there will be much more on that story as you can imagine in the papers tomorrow. many other stories too, including the latest under brexit. so we will be looking at what the papers have got to say at 10:30pm and 11:30pm this evening. our guests joining me tonight are the broadcaster, lynn faulds wood, and ruth lea, economic adviser at arbuthnot banking group. dojoin us. do join us. rights, dojoin us. rights, unto brexit then. the labour leader, jeremy corbyn, says he's waiting to see the governement‘s brexit red lines move, after talks this week with the conservatives, aimed at trying to end the political brexit deadlock. it comes as the eu considers a request from the uk to delay brexit until the end ofjune. our political correspondent jonathan blakejoins us our political correspondent jonathan blake joins us now with the latest. jonathan, is there anything to report, because there seems to be some confusion from both parties, whether talks are continuing between the government and labour this weekend. i'll make it is a confused
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picture, and in terms of the last one he for hours, doesn't seem that there's been any progress at all. those talks broke up on friday evening with a different point of view put forward by each side. labour saying they were disappointed that the government hadn't made any real compromise, all suggested that the political declaration, the part of theresa may's brexit deal which sets out our future relationship of the eu could be changed. at all. but downing street said they had made serious proposals, and that they we re serious proposals, and that they were willing to make changes to the political declaration, so where are we? well this mining the chancellor philip hammond struck an upbeat tone, and said in contrast to what labour had accused the government of, they didn't have any red and they were up for talking, and they we re they were up for talking, and they were listening to ideas. here's what he had to say in bucharest. the conversations with the labour party are continuing. they were continuing last night. we are expecting to exchange more text with the labour party today, so this is an ongoing process and i'm optimistic that we will reach some form of agreement with labour. so philip hammond they're signing
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pretty positive about the prospect with an agreement with labour, by is, it seems how the other side sees it, we heard from jeremy corbyn, the labour leader later on, suggesting he was out and about campaigning for local elections in plymouth, that they were yet to see the movement that they wanted from the government side. waiting to see the redlines move, and we have had two meetings this week, one with the prime minister, and a further meeting with rebecca held with david linden and the team, and that was more of a technical discussion about the nature of the future relations agreements, as well as with the withdrawal agreement, which has many problems, and many flaws in it, as we've pointed out in parliament. the key priority is to avoid crashing out of the eu with no deal, because of disruption that would mean to industry, and to supply chains, and we're determined to make sure that there is no crashing out without a deal. so next week to week, something will have to happen in parliment. and obviously labour
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will be playing our part. so in summary, labour‘s position is your move prime minister. the government saying tonight, that this process is not broken down, downing street still suggesting that talks are still ongoing. whether we will see any meetings in the next day or so, or any exchange of letters or text between the two sides, seems unclear. the government and the labour say they are serious about these talks, and finding a way to break the brexit deadlock, but at the moment, i have to say a deal looks doubtful. the clock is ticking, they haven't got long have they? they might have ages. in the immediate term, theresa may doesn't have very long. she's going to brussels on wednesday for that summit of the other eu 27 l, where she is formally asking for an extension to the process, because otherwise we will leave without a deal on the troth of april, and it's up deal on the troth of april, and it's up to the remaining eu countries to grant that extension. how long, and on what grounds, we don't knowjust yet. she will need progress of some sort, whether these talks come to
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anything, or whether parliament votes, and holds that series of votes, and holds that series of votes that the government has promised on various different alternatives to the prime minister's deal before then, one of the other i think. something has to give. another week of drama to look forward to. for nowjonathan, many thanks. unto others —— onto news now. the developer, persimmon has announced an independent review into the quality of its housing, after increasing concerns about the standard of its new builds. but the property advice group, the homeowners alliance, has told the bbc, that issues with new homes aren't limited to just one developer. here's our consumer affairs correspondent, colletta smith. this was supposed to be justin's dream home. door bell rings. he'd saved up for a new build... good morning. we've got zero insulation. ..thinking he wouldn't need to do any work to it. we've moved out twice. every ceiling in the entire property has been removed. taylor wimpey, under the help to buy scheme.
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it's well below standard, and trying to negotiate insulation issues, damp issues, cold—bridging issues. a couple of doors up, lynn lives in an identical home with her partner and three daughters. this is not isolated to this particular property or this estate. it's got to be national. the developer taylor wimpey say they sincerely apologise to justin and lynn and have taken action to put things right. more generally, they say... at this solicitors‘, timothy takes new calls nearly every day from people battling against a host of different developers right across the country. he thinks the problems with new builds are down to lack of skills in the workforce. people are making mistakes, potentially because they don't realise the significance of what they're doing due
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to a lack of training, a lack of experience and a lack of supervision overall. developers are under pressure to build lots of homes, and quickly. on top of that, every building company i've spoken to in recent years have told me that it's a nightmare trying to get hold of enough staff with the right level of skill. what new—build homeowners are now living with is the consequences of that. taylor wimpey say, last year, they increased the number of workers they hire directly by nearly 30%. the government say they're trying to tackle the issue by creating a new homes ombudsman and spending more on new construction training hubs. but there are now calls for a new law to let owners hang onto some of their final payment for a couple of years. coletta smith, bbc news, in norwich. what a reaction to this story, let's speak to paula higgins now, she is
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the chief executive and founder of the chief executive and founder of the homeowners alliance. thank for joining us. thank you for bringing this to our attention. as we heard there, it's not just this to our attention. as we heard there, it's notjust down to one developer, are you hoping that other developers are going to follow persimmon and start to look into how to make better homes more solid homes? yes, it's a problem across the industry, and for very much the reasons that were mentioned earlier. we think there is a real lack of consumer protection when you are buying a new home, you can't return it, there is very little time you can keep your money back. so we would like to see old developers thinking about putting in place this retention. i've never bought a new home, so i don't know this, there must be some kind of warranty, isn't there? when you buy a new home? there is a warranty, but for the first two years commits the developer that's got to put it right. but to be honest, the reality can be that as soon as you hand over all your money, and the keys, it's very ha rd to all your money, and the keys, it's very hard to get them back on site. there is a warranty that's for between 2—10 years, but that's for major structural issues, and
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sometimes it's very hard to engage with them. so you know, people are not being protected enough. in defence of the developers, could it not be a case that we're seeing an increase in complaints, because we're seeing an increase in development, there is a government drive to get more new homes built across the country. so there's likely to be an increase in complaints. but the industries own data is showing that actually in the last year, double the amount of people were not recommending their own builder, that's their own data. so we see that nine out of ten people really support new home retention, and that's not the case, i think the difficulty is becoming worse and worse. is at the people they are employed to build these homes, or is of the designs and?” think it's the system. i think there isn't enough, not enough consumer protection in place. so you get, you see the lovely show home, what you get, what you think you're going to get, what you think you're going to get is not what the reality is. there isn't anything in place to get people to come back to get, to fix
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the snags or major defects, so people feel they get... so they go to the press and go public. why are we seeing these defects though, sorry you didn't quite answer my question there, is it onto the workmen and women that they are employing to build these houses? is a down to the design, the materials they are using, the cutting corners, what is it? it's all of the above. we know that they are cutting corners with things like brick—and—mortar, which has been discussed previously, there's also that we don't think there's much control over. so you can return the car, you've got manuals when you get a car, and you don't get that when you're buying a new home. so there's a real lack of consumer protection, but it's all of the above. they are building fast, but they are not building to the right quality. so we think that there needs to be a whole overhaul of the buying new build homes, whether it comes to better complaints, handling with the new homes ombudsman, allowing people to keep a percentage of the purchase price, so the whole area needs to be looked at. paula, just briefly, i need to ask you
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about snagging retention, something you're asking for, can you expand what that is? yeah, so what it is, it happens very much in the commercial sector, or if you are for instance, getting an extension on your home. so you keep that percentage of the purchase price, we suggest to an half percent for perhaps six months or longer, so it means it gives the developers incentives to come back and fix things, and if they don't, at least you got pocket money set aside that you got pocket money set aside that you can do it yourself. paula if you are as worried about the state of your new home, where you go, who do your new home, where you go, who do you call? we have lots of advice on our website. some really practical advice, like for instance, make sure you... keep records of all your needs, all your calls, make sure you get things done. we have lots of advice on our website. go to your website, paula, thank you so much, have a great evening. thank you. lets room ido i do have the latest headlines from bbc news now. the defence secretary expresses horror at an alleged sexual assault of a 17—year—old female recruit by six male soldiers, and orders an investigation.
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the chancellor insists the government has no red lines in talks over brexit. but labour says it's disappointed that no compromise had been offered. the developer persimmon has announced an independent review into its housing quality, after increasing concerns about the standard of its new builds. hundreds of people have been protesting in central london against brunei's strict new laws on homosexuality. protestors gathered outside the dorchester hotel, which is owned by the brunei investment agency. brunei has increased the punishment for sex between gay men to stoning to death, while lesbian sex will be punished by a0 lashes or ten years in jail. jon ironmonger reports. many protester at the dorchester, but this time it's the target. this time, there's a barrier. around 200
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demonstrators surrounded the 5—star hotel this afternoon, calling for a global boycott of the business. one ofa number of global boycott of the business. one of a number of uk interests owned by the sultan of brunei. the laws that he's introduced are comparable to the extreme shira laws that were imposed by isis, when it ruled in its so—called colour phase in the syria and iran. we are hoping to hit the sultan financially in the pockets. he has not listen to reason oi’ pockets. he has not listen to reason or compassion, pockets. he has not listen to reason oi’ compassion, so pockets. he has not listen to reason or compassion, so therefore when money talks, we want to make sure that money talks to him. earlier this week, the sultan of brunei introduced to further ultra conservative islamic laws that will make gay sex and adultery punishable death. it. to a by stoning to death. it led to a public withoutjohn by stoning to death. it led to a public - withoutjohn tweeting
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