tv BBC News at Ten BBC News November 19, 2020 10:00pm-10:31pm GMT
tonight at ten — a draft report into claims that the home secretary priti patel bullied staff concluded in the summer that she had broken rules on ministerial behaviour. an inquiry was launched in march after the most senior official at the home office resigned, alleging that staff felt ms patel "created fear" in the department. she always denied doing anything wrong, but after months of investigation into one of the most senior members of the government, tomorrow the prime minister boris johnson is poised to give his verdict. also tonight — more positive news for the covid vaccine britain is pinning its hopes on. researchers in oxford working with astrazeneca say the latest data suggests theirjab works well on older people — but more results are needed. our results are really, really encouraging because this means that we might be able to offer protection to the vulnerable age
groups, the elderly, who are particularly susceptible to severe disease. as a month of tight covid restrictions comes to an end, people in northern ireland now face a fortnight of even tighter measures from next friday. modernising britain's defence — the armed forces are given billions of pounds to fund space and cyber projects. shuggie bain, by douglas stuart. what a debut for scottish writer douglas stuart — his novel based on his life growing up in glasgow wins the booker prize. and coming up from the bbc sport centre on bbc news — a winter rescue package for sport, but will it be enough, as some miss out on the government hand—out. good evening. a draft report into claims that the home secretary priti patel had bullied staff concluded this summer that she had broken
rules on ministerial behaviour. the cabinet office began an inquiry into her conduct after the most senior official at the home office, sir philip rutnam, resigned in february. he alleged that staff felt she "created fear" in the department, and is suing the home office for unfair dismissal. tonight labour is demanding that the report be made public. a decision on priti patel‘s future will be made public tomorrow. our political editor laura kuenssberg reports. she's the most powerful woman in the cabinet, long—standing brexiteer backer of borisjohnson, in charge of the police, immigration, one of the most importantjobs in the government, but since february there's been a shadow hanging over priti patel because of this. dramatic claims made by the man who was her most senior official. i have received allegations that her conduct has included shouting and swearing, belittling people, making unreasonable and repeated demands, behaviour that created fear and needed some bravery to call out.
he quit, but she wanted to stay, so the government launched an investigation into what really happened. and now, months on, perhaps it's starting to become clear. one source told me the draft report, concluded way back in the summer, says priti patel had not met the requirements of the ministerial code to treat civil servants with consideration and respect, and they said the investigation had found some evidence of bullying even if it was not intentional. another source said the report was unambiguous that priti patel had broken the code, the rules that are meant to govern how ministers behave. yet, for her part here at the home office, priti patel has always firmly denied doing anything wrong. are you a workplace bully, home secretary? the reports looked at her behaviour in three different departments and one government source told me it doesn't always give a flattering picture of what priti patel encountered.
the man who until recently was by the prime minister's side confirmed the findings have been in borisjohnson‘s intray for a while, but implied that if priti patel was found to have broken the rules she might not have to quit. the prime minister wanted his advice and the prime minister needed to reflect and make a decision, that as i understand it is still in train. the expectation here tonight is that there might be some kind of reprimand for ms patel, but it's certainly not likely that she will be sacked and tory mps are already rallying before the prime minister's decision is even public. i worked with priti patel for a number of years and i've always found her strong, robust, but never in any way anywhere near bullying or even threatening any of her staff and most of the staff got on with her incredibly well. yet convention matters. there isn't a single example of a minister who has broken the rules who has stayed on. what message does it send if the master says actually, although i said there will be no
bullying, what i actually meant was a little bit of bullying is ok and it's not a breach of the ministerial code that requires a resignation. that's not the sort of message i think the prime minister, who is also the minister for the civil service, wants to send to those thousands of civil servants. priti patel had to leave government in dramatic circumstances before, almost exactly three years ago departing as soon as she arrived home from a foreign trip after it emerged she had held unauthorised meetings with israeli politicians. there may well not be an exit for her this time, but there's still a political drama. let's be really clear about two things tonight. number one, priti patel has always repeatedly denied she did anything wrong. number two, there is no precedent for a minister who has been found to have broken the code, the ministerial charter, if you like, that's meant to govern how ministers behave, staying on
theirjob if they have actually been found to have transgressed in any way stop but after many, many months of all of this it's clear that this is reaching a crescendo, but it also seems tonight that the prime minister is very determined to try to stand by her. there's been a not very su btle to stand by her. there's been a not very subtle attempt by tory mps all over social media tonight, posting so over social media tonight, posting so much about how they think she's the right person for the job, praising her to the skies. but we will know more tomorrow when we actually see the statements that emerge, after many months of being a problem for the government he will try to draw a line under it but i expect the prime minister still to try to hang on to her, there may be questions how he can do so. laura, thank you. researchers in oxford who are working with the pharmaceutical company astrazeneca say trials have so far shown a promising immune response for people in their 60s and 70s. final data on how well it works should be ready by christmas. britain has ordered 100 million doses of this vaccine.
here's our medical editor, fergus walsh. it is volunteers like ian, from southampton, who are crucial to vaccine trials. how are you feeling today? we were there injuly when he received the first of two doses as part of the oxford astrazeneca trial, but we're only finding out today how the over—70s are responding to the jab. why did you sign up for the trial? i've become aware that the side effects of this disease are so much more than just a respiratory illness. you know, if i can help, here i am. the phase two study involved 560 volunteers. 240 were aged 70 or over. they were given two injections a month apart. the results showed the covid vaccine produced a robust immune response across all ages, including the over—70s. older adults reported fewer side effects, which were, in any case, generally mild,
and included sore arms, fatigue and headaches. as you get older, your immune system becomes less effective and that leaves you more vulnerable to infections, and it usually means that you're also less able to respond to vaccines. so our results are really, really encouraging, because this means that we might be able to offer protection to the vulnerable age groups, the elderly, who are particularly susceptible to severe disease. vaccines work by training the immune system to recognise and remember the enemy — in this case, coronavirus. the oxford vaccine stimulates the creation of specialist y—shaped proteins known as neutralising antibodies. in the event of future exposure, these should latch on to the coronavirus and prevent infection. it also stimulates the creation of t cells, another key part of the immune system.
these should sweep up after the antibodies and destroy any cells that have become infected. but we don't know yet whether the oxford astrazeneca vaccine actually protects against disease. those vital results from bigger trials are due soon. if it works, there could be three effective covid vaccines coming on stream before christmas. we need about 60—70% of the population to take up the vaccine. so once the vaccines get approval, it's really important to get the message out that these vaccines are safe and we do need people to have the vaccine in order that we can start to relax all these social distancing measures in the new year. astrazeneca said tonight it has delivered 4 million vials of its vaccine for the uk. the government's ordered 100 million doses, which cost around £3 each. it's cheaper, easier to produce
and store than the pfizer and moderna vaccines, but they're both more than 90% effective. the hope is the oxford astrazeneca jab will workjust as well. fergus walsh, bbc news. the latest government figures show there were 22,915 new coronavirus infections recorded in the latest 24—hour period — that's more than 10,000 fewer cases than this time last week. that means that the average number of new cases reported per day in the last week is now 23,294. 1,744 people have been admitted to hospital on average each day over the week to last saturday. and 501 deaths were reported — that's people who died within 28 days of a positive covid—19 test. it means on average in the past week, 407 deaths were announced every day. it takes the total number of deaths so far across the uk to 53,775. after four weeks of tight
coronavirus restrictions, businesses were preparing to reopen again — many of them from tomorrow. in northern ireland. but tonight they've been told that even tighter restrictions are being imposed from next friday — to stop hospitals becoming overwhelmed. our ireland correspondent emma vardy is in belfast. it's going to come as quite a shock to many and very tough for businesses? well, look, just last week the stormont executive was agreeing how businesses were going to open back up. tonight, things have swung back the other way. so in a weak‘s time, northern ireland will go back into the kind of lockdown that we saw back in march, except this time schools will be able to remain open. there already been quite an angry reaction from various business representatives here and it's led to a kind of stop start situation for hairdressers and beauty salons because they will be able to reopen their doors tomorrow, but then they'll have to close again ina
but then they'll have to close again in a weak‘s time. but it seems what clinched this decision was the fact that hospital inpatient numbers are still higher than they were in the first wave of coronavirus and the decision was taken to go back into stricter measures now to avoid them just before christmas. emma vardy with the latest there, thank you. the impact that coronavirus is having across europe in this second wave was made clear today. the world health organization said someone is dying from covid every 17 seconds. america is also seeing soaring numbers, and has now passed the grim milestone of a quarter of a million covid—related deaths. david shukman reports. intensive care in italy is under pressure yet again, as the second wave of coronavirus breaks across europe. medical staff have learned new ways of caring for covid patients, but they can't save them all. last week, europe registered over 29,000 new covid—19 deaths. that is one person dying every 17
seconds in the european region from covid—19. un, deux et trois... as in many countries, doctors and nurses in switzerland are exhausted from the first wave, and they‘ re now stretched again. the numbers being admitted to hospital with covid—19 give a good sense of how serious things are. these lines show how in france, spain and belgium, there was the peak earlier this year, then a drop in the summer, next, the second wave, and more recently, signs of numbers starting to fall again. for comparison, this is what has been happening in the uk. hospital admissions are still rising, and let's take a look at the united states — numbers there, still climbing very fast. in maryland, huge lines for coronavirus testing, and the grim certainty that among the people infected, some won't make it. the people infected, some won't make in el paso in texas,
mobile morgues have been brought in. the covid death toll across the nation is set to rise. unless there is a concerted effort by all the governors in all the states to get on top of this virus quickly, within the next 60 days, we're going to see widespread death, suffering, sadness. there are countries getting things right. in taiwan, the new normal means masks everywhere, and rapid tracing of new infections. the total today, just eight, the result of responding quickly. by moving very early on in the pandemic, it did help them probably continue to have a hold on the virus, within their country. but i think what this virus is showing us is that you just can't become relaxed, you cannot become complacent. in south australia, the whole city of adelaide is in a six—day lockdown
after a new cluster of cases. it's one of many different approaches while we wait for the vaccines. david shukman, bbc news. the prime minister says the days of cutting the uk's defence budget are over. he has announced £16 billion of new money, over four years, to "modernise" defence, money that will be used for space and cyber projects. but as our defence correspondent jonathan beale reports, there are questions over how it will be funded. britain's armed forces say they are about to undergo their biggest transformation since the end of the cold war. it'll inevitably mean less of the old, like tanks and heavy armour, and more of the new to defend in the domains of cyber and space. british troops are already countering threats such as disinformation, they will also now be part of a new national cyber force, ready to carry out offensive cyber operations.
and there will be a new space command with plans to fire the first british rocket — like this us one — to launch their own military satellites. separation confirmed. announcing the biggest increase in defense spending in decades, the prime minister said it would help his vision of a global britain and end an era of retreat. i've done this in the teeth of the pandemic, amid every other demand on our resources because that defense of the realm and the safety of the british people must come first. the mod‘s annual budget is currently £41 billion a year, the government's now promising that will rise by 4% annually above inflation. so that would see an overall increase in the mod‘s budget to nearly £52 billion by 2025.
the government says it will also help revive the economy with up to 40,000 newjobs with a boost to shipbuilding and the aerospace industry. at ba systems in lancashire, they are already working out they are already working at what they call the factory of the future on the next generation of fighter jet. tempest will be designed to fly with or without a pilot in the cockpit, but defense's gain might mean pain for other government departments. at the moment, it rather looks as if aid will be cut to help pay for this, which would be a foolish thing to do because this is part of a grand review of all of our external relationships, including foreign aid and diplomacy, lots of other things too, so to actually reduce foreign aid while increasing defense is the wrong message to send. borisjohnson wants to restore britain's position as the foremost naval power in europe. but labour says the conservatives have already slashed the size of the armed forces, and the mod still has a black hole in its budget. and even with this extra cash,
it will still have to cut more of the old to fund the new. jonathan beale, bbc news. the fashion chains peacocks and jaeger have gone into administration. 4,700 jobs and 500 shops are at risk. it comes after the owner, edinburgh woollen mill group, failed to find a buyer for both businesses. donald trump's legal team have been explaining why they think this month's presidential election was a fraud, setting out a range of theories, some of them far—fetched, without producing any hard evidence. our north america editor jon sopel reports. this news conference was billed as the moment the trump legal team would present its evidence of electoral fraud, fraud so great that the result of the 2020 election should be overturned. instead, it was a repetition of some outlandish allegations from a number of court cases that have already been dropped. i know crimes, i can smell them. you don't have to smell this one,
i can prove it to 18 different ways. i can prove to you that he won pennsylvania by 300,000 votes. michigan by probably 50,000 votes. part of the focus was on a vote counting machine used in some states that it was alleged had been fixed to damage the president. the web of the conspiracy stretched wide. what we are really dealing with here and uncovering more by the day is the massive influence of communist money through venezuela, cuba and likely china in the interference with our elections here in the united states. as questions became heated, rudy giuliani was clearly having a bad hair dye. a reporter demanded to know what evidence there was. "you don't understand the legal process if you are "asking for evidence," one lawyer fired back. but even some fierce republican combatants
are saying enough is enough. these accusations have been made and mr giuliani and miss powell on behalf of themselves or on behalf of the president's campaign have an obligation to the american people not to either to the american people now to either prove these allegations or withdraw them. you cannot leave this kind of stuff out there at the aftermath of an election. the president elect is not very impressed either. he will go down in history as being one of the most irresponsible presidents in american history. it's... it's just not even within the norm at all. at the white house, they are getting ready for the inauguration injanuary and donald trump is fighting by any means possible to ensure it's his. he's invited michigan republican legislators here tomorrow to try to persuade them not to certify that state's results. american democracy is being tested. it would be easy to play there is news c0 nfe re nce it would be easy to play there is news conference for laughs, certainly at times, it was bizarre. but this is a serious ongoing attempt to overcome overturn the
result of the election. and the man who was responsible for keeping that election safe, who has now left his job, has said it was the most dangerous one hour, 45 minutes of television in american history. it may not change the result but it is sowing doubt in terms of how worthwhile going to vote actually was. a long—awaited report says there is "credible evidence" that australian elite soldiers unlawfully killed 39 people during the afghan war. it has uncovered what the head of australia's armed forces says is a shameful record of a "warrior culture" among some soldiers. he's apologised to the afghan people. from sydney, shaimaa khalil reports. these are australia's elite troops, risking their lives in afghanistan. their mission was to help the people against the taliban insurgency. it's may, 2012, and the soldiers of three squadrons are heading of 3 squadrons sas are heading
north from their base. but this australian documentary claimed unarmed civilians were unlawfully killed by some of those special forces. the target is an insurgent bomb maker... now, after a four—year internal inquiry, the australian defense force has revealed that what some of these soldiers did on the battleground could potentially be a war crime. he shouts. these findings allege the most serious breaches of military conduct and professional values. the killing — the unlawful killing — of civilians and prisoners is never acceptable. the inquiry found credible evidence that 39 afghan men and teenagers had been unlawfully killed. allegations include junior soldiers being coerced into executing prisoners to get their "first kill" in a practice known as "blooding". and that weapons were planted on victims to make it look like the killings were legitimate.
the defense chief apologised to the afghan people and said the alleged violations would have devastated the lives of families and communities, causing immeasurable pain and suffering. and many know that suffering all too well. this man told us about the day his brother was allegedly killed by australian troops. translation: we were fishing and having a picnic. around noon, the foreigners carried out their raid, they arrested my brother and took him to a corner. a few minutes later they shot him in the head three times and once in his stomach. once they'd left, we went over and saw my brother's dead body lying on the ground. a special investigator will now be appointed to look at the findings, gather evidence and then present it to the public prosecutor. it's a process that could take years. it may well take just as long for the culture inside the defense force to change, but the leaders know there is no other choice if they are to restore the military‘s tarnished image.
shaimaa khalil, bbc news, sydney. campaigners say they're extremely disappointed after a meeting with the housing secretary robertjenrick about how to pay for flammable cladding to be removed from tower blocks in the wake of the grenfell tower fire. the government set up a £1.6 billion fund to help remove dangerous cladding. but critics say it's woefully inadequate, as sarah corker reports. the government has been delaying. we are hoping that another disastrous fire does not break out in one of these blocks. three years ago, ritu found out her tower block in south—east london had the same flammable cladding as grenfell tower. the government fund for cladding repairs has been slow to get going. work on ritu's block is likely to cost more than £2 million. so far, they have received just £50,000. and other dangerous buildings may get nothing. it is basically a lottery of, for me, life and death, because we are told that our
buildings are as combustible as petrol, and to think that for something that is as important as keeping human beings safe, that the fund would work on a first—come, first—served basis, it's horrendous. while most of the repairs on social housing have been completed, it's a different picture for private buildings. there are more than 200 private tower blocks over 18 metres in height with grenfell—style acm cladding. repairs have not started on 75 of those buildings. of the 83 towers where work has begun, only four have had cladding removed. i live on the eighth floor in an unsafe apartment. here in manchester, this development not only has acm cladding but other, serious fire safety faults that won't be covered by the government scheme. flat owners like alexis face life—changing bills. we're left in a place of confusion. we don't know how much
funding we're getting, we don't know when the work is going to start, if it's going to start. a lot of us have been furloughed, have lost ourjobs, have lost our businesses, we have no funds. today, ministers said they met with campaigners for productive talks, but leaseholders were left disappointed. the minister doesn't seem to yet grasp the scale of this crisis. we're talking about a problem that is going to cost £10 billion plus to fix, and the money that the government has allocated won't even touch the sides. we asked the government for an interview. they declined but said they are providing more than £1 billion to remove unsafe cladding and that building owners should also address safety issues and meet costs without passing them onto leaseholders, wherever possible. but for thousands of flat owners, lockdown has only heightened the feeling of being trapped, living in unsafe homes. sarah corker, bbc news.
scotland's first minster, nicola sturgeon, says she hopes there will be a uk—wide agreement on easing covid restrictions at christmas. it comes as a survey for the bbc suggests scots have considerably more confidence in the scottish government's handling of the pandemic than they have in the uk government's response, even though scotland has suffered only a slightly lower death rate than england. coronavirus also appears to be having an impact on voters' views on whether scotland should be an independent country. as our scotland editor, sarah smith, reports. practising during a pandemic means finding new, outdoor locations. john is a freelance musician who's had a passionate interest in politics ever since, aged 17, he cast his first vote in the scottish independence referendum. he voted then to stay in the uk. he would make a different choice today. so, you voted no six years ago, why have you changed your mind since then? well, for many reasons,
like, brexit, like taking away my european union citizenship, the handling of the coronavirus pandemic from both governments. nicola is a really empathetic, compassionate leader, and speaks with a real sincerity to everybody. i don't feel that same compassion from boris at all. the ancient mugdock castle was here when scotland was an independent country, and waits now to see its future. looking at opinion polls conducted this year, you can see they do suggest an increase in support for scottish independence, with more than a dozen recent polls finding more people saying they wanted to leave the united kingdom than to stay. initially, it was brexit that reignited the independence debate, but covid is having an effect, too, as voters have seen the scottish government making many of the decisions about how to handle the pandemic. a bbc poll asked people who they thought had handled the pandemic well. 74% approved of nicola stu rgeon's performance, only 19% think borisjohnson has done well.
yes, it is november, in scotland. these friends swim wild all year round, demonstrating a single—minded determination. oh, ho—ho! but intriguingly, both of them have changed their minds on the question of scottish independence. so, six years ago i voted tuesday in the uk. erm, what would i vote now? i would struggle if there was a referendum any time soon, of how i would vote. i could be persuaded either way, i think. but right now, brexit is just... i'm not a fan of brexit. brexit matters, a lot, in this debate. but you can't avoid coronavirus. that's what's switched sheila from a yes to a no voter. she's worried about the cost of covid, even though she thinks the scottish government has done a good job. they have impressed me, that they can manage these sort of disasters, or major incidents, so... that would draw you
towards thinking we would be better off if we were independent? not necessarily. i think it's something, covid is so large that we all need to get together. you're worried that scotland couldn't afford to be independent, then? i think we need to reassess it, yes. it is only six years since sheila, vivienne and the rest of scotland last voted on the independence question, yet so much has changed, voters' views are more fluid, and the political tide may be on the turn. sarah smith, bbc news, stirlingshire. and full details of that poll for the bbc can be found on our website. buckingham palace has released a photograph of the queen and duke of edinburgh to mark their 73rd wedding anniversary tomorrow. the queen, who is 94, and the duke, who is 99, were photographed at windsor castle this week looking at a homemade card from their great grandchildren. it's the story of a young boy growing up in glasgow in the 1980s