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tv   BBC News  BBC News  September 4, 2019 11:00pm-11:31pm BST

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you're watching a bbc news special. i'm christian fraser, live at westminster, where the prime minister's call for a general election is rejected as mps support a bill to block a no—deal brexit. the ayes to the right, 329. the noes to the left, 300. the bill would force borisjohnson to ask the eu for another brexit delay. he says the only answer is to hold an early general election. mr speaker, it is completely impossible for government to function if the house of commons refuses to pass anything that the government proposes. and, in my view and the view of this government, there must how be an election. the offer of the election today
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is a bit like the offer of an apple to snow white and the wicked queen, because what he's offering is not an apple, or even an election, but the poison of a no—deal. the bill will now be debated in the house of lords, where the final decision will be made also: more than £13 billion of investment announced in areas including health, education and the police in england. the chancellor says he has turned the page on austerity. and at 11:30pm, we will be taking a look at how the papers will be covering this story with our reviewers, katy balls and lance price. stay with us for that. good evening from westminster,
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where borisjohnson has suffered another two major setbacks today for his brexit strategy. earlier this evening, a cross—party group of mps was successful in getting a bill passed to prevent a no—deal brexit. the bill which is now going to the house of lords would force the prime minister to do something that he has repeatedly ruled out — asking the eu for yet another brexit delay unless a deal is secured. the prime minister's response was to call for a general election on 15 october, but he failed to get sufficient support from mps. our political editor laura kuenssberg reports on the day's events. are we through the looking glass now? the prime minister is demanding a new parliament over there, an election, yet he says he doesn't want one. the other parties say they do, but may yet stand in his way. it won't be set until the commons closes the door on the possibility
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that borisjohnson could take us out of the eu next month without a deal. reporter: have you lost control, prime minister? his brexit, at any cost. order. questions to the prime minister. prime minister. can he confirm now that he will allow the people of this country to decide on what he's giving up in their name with the general election on october the 15th? there's only one chlorinated chicken i can see in this house, and he's on that bench. he's desperate, absolutely desperate, to avoid scrutiny. the riposte — read his lips. "you're a great big girl's blouse." and, in his third day in office,
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after five questions from me, we haven't had an answer to any of them. that might entertain some, but borisjohnson is a leader that repels as well as attracts. a labour mp demanding an apology that never came for a controversial column he wrote a year ago. those of us who from a young age have had to endure and face up to being called names such as towelhead, or taliban, or coming from bongo—bongo land, can appreciate the hurt and pain from vulnerable muslim women when they are described as looking like bank robbers or letterboxes. the tory bench was mute while the applause went on, and then they were shocked by the fate of some of their colleagues, kicked out of the party last night after voting against the prime minister. i had lots of phone calls from people saying you're doing the same thing. with 20 others, anne milton was thrown out of the tory party
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last night for voting against the prime minister. i vote against the party whip for the first time. did you receive a call last night to tell you they were doing what they had threatened to do — they were throwing you out? yes, i had a conversation with the chief whip, who made it clear that was what was going to happen. i feel quite sad this has come to this, but i woke up this morning and knew i had done the right thing. she, like a slim majority of mps, believe leaving the eu without a deal could be a disaster, and are intent on changing the law to remove even the chance. they crowded into the voting lobbies tonight, disbelieving, as the idea of bringing theresa may's plan back appeared to pass by mistake. the ayes to the right — 397. the noes to the left — 299. but they were successful at this stage, voting not to be taken out of the eu in october
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if no deal in place. now it is up to the house of lords, though, preparing to bed down to talk and talk until it is done, racing against the deadline, before parliament shuts next week. a group of anti—no—deal mps, led by the man who was chancellor a few weeks ago, even marched themselves to the lords tonight, as if to make sure to do their business. the chances now of this bloc failing, tonight peeping in at the edge of the lords, seems slim. so the main battle inside might soon be outside, if, or more likely when, a general election is finally called — whatever you want. i don't know. there's so much voter apathy, and it feels like the country's split down the middle, almost. it is really interesting. i thought it couldn't get any more peculiar and strange. this the first official request.
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there must now be an election on tuesday 15 october, and i invite right honourable gentleman to respond to decide which of us goes as prime minister to that crucial council. labour says not yet, not until the anti—no—deal plan becomes law, but that could be in days. i look forward to the day his government and his party, and all the austerity and misery they've heaped on this country, are turfed out of office. it's a cynical movement from a cynical prime minister. so, if he wants an election, extend article 50 for the purposes of having a general election, and bring it on. once a no—deal has been blocked, mps across this house on the opposition benches should come together to bring down this government. this parliament is crumbling in front of us, but not ready to choose to end itself yet. i do think the prime minister,
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with the greatest respect, has a tremendous skill in keeping a straight face whilst he's being so disingenuous. if the right honourable gentleman who leads the labour party right now genuinely believes in democracy, put up or shut up. when it came, the decision was against number ten. labour abstained. the ayes to the right — 298. the noes to the left — 56. confident in the bunker, it is not "no" for good. it is no, not yet. let's get the thoughts now of our political correspondent jonathan blake, whojoins me now. in the space of two days boris johnson has been defeated three
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times and has lost his working majority. yes, the prime minister isn't something of a bind this evening. depending on how you look at it, he has lost the vote allowing opposition parties are now former members of his own party to take control of the house of commons. he has lost a vote on the legislation they want to push through to force him to ask for an extension to the brexit process, and he has lost the vote which was his potential get out clause in calling an early general election. but that was as expected tonight, because at this point, as you saw in laura's reportjust there, labour, the scottish national party, the lib dems, are not ready to back in early general election until, broadly speaking, they can be certain that no deal brexit has been ruled out. and that's really key at this point, because labour's position is a little bit uncertain. officially they have said that they will back a general election as soon as the bill aimed at avoiding a no deal brexit becomes law. that's what jeremy corbyn has said. but sir keir
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starmer, the shadow brexit secretary, said it would need to go further and it would need to be cemented, the suggestion there that the extension the bill requires the prime minister to ask the eu for would have to be achieved. and tonight we can report that a senior labour backbencher has been given a guarantee byjeremy labour backbencher has been given a guarantee by jeremy corbyn labour backbencher has been given a guarantee byjeremy corbyn that he won't allow boris johnson to guarantee byjeremy corbyn that he won't allow borisjohnson to call a general election before the current brexit deadline of 31 october, the idea being that i know deal brexit would be either ruled out or would have happened by then, potentially, and that would be something that borisjohnson would have delivered as prime minister. so tonight the prime minister, i think, will not give up in his attempts to get, somehow, a general election in october, before the eu summit, when if there is to be a breakthrough in brexit negotiations expects potentially it to happen. but also you can expect the opposition
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parties to hold out as well, to do as much as they can to rule out the possibility of a no deal brexit. i would expect tomorrow to be a little quieter than today, but with the potential — well, with the suspension of parliament scheduled and due to happen next week, it does feel like we've got to have a few more steps along the way and some things have got to happen, at least, before then. i supposed the key to this, jonathan, for the government is the position of the snp. because we had a tweet today from nicola sturgeon saying that labour appeared to be running away from a general election. and she seems to be, the impression that i got, she seems to be agitating for the election. once this bill is out of the way, could the government bring some legislation forward that would only need a simple majority, that might get them that election? yes, the scottish national party's position isa scottish national party's position is a little bit looser than labour's, and they seem to be ready to back a general election much sooner, even if it is held before 31
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october. so an option open to the prime minister, although downing street hasn't talked about this explicitly and the prime minister hasn't said he will do it, but it does feel like the logical next step for him, is to introduce a bit of legislation, a very simple bill, which allows him if past to get around the fixed term parliaments act, avoid having to get a two—thirds majority in the house of commons, and call an election with just a straight majority. so therefore, if all the conservative and du p conservative vote for it, and du p conservative vote for it, and the scottish nationalists vote for it, it would pass, even if labour, the lib dems and others abstained or objected. so that is one way through for the prime minister, and we could see that potentially in the coming days. thank you very much for that. earlier i spoke to our europe editor katya adler. she that a no—deal brexit is still the most likely outcome. remember with theresa may, boris johnson's predecessor, who was made
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to wait outside the room where the. —— while the eu 27 discussed whatever was discussed, a new brexit extension or whatever, well, this will be the same with borisjohnson. now that the uk is asked to leave the eu, eu leaders have declared that he cannot negotiate individually with them. he has to negotiate through the european commission, and they are sticking to that, which means that whatever borisjohnson says, he cannot come to the summit in october and thrashed things out with eu leaders, because they won't do any thrashing. if he does have some new ideas, he can present them to eu leaders at the summit, but they will say thank you very much. we will now go away and think about it. and the reason eu leaders are sticking to this rule of not negotiating at the summit with uk or with the uk prime minister comes down to eu unity. and just to remind you the referendum would be on 15 october ——
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election would be on 15 october. you are watching bbc news special. a judge at the highest court in scotland has thrown out an attempt to have borisjohnson‘s decision to suspend parliament for five weeks declared unlawful. a group of mps and peers had brought the case to the court of session in edinburgh, arguing that the prime minister had exceeded his powers, but the judge said it was not a matter for the courts. the group's appeal will be heard tomorrow. so, as we've heard, a cross—party alliance of mps has voted for legislation to try to block a no—deal brexit and to force the prime minister to ask for another brexit delay unless a deal is agreed. so how might things develop from here? our deputy political editor john pienaar has more. wherever you stand, all you can do is watch. see how british politics has changed almost beyond recognition, traditions of consensus and compromise discarded. stop the coup!
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brexit now! in there, the argument has become as angry and bitter as it is out here. yesterday, borisjohnson lost the first round. even some tory critics say he overplayed his hand, treated the rebels too harshly. he's on the losing side again today, but now borisjohnson has set his sights on an early election, and this deadly serious game is on. point of order... mps are ploughing in a single day through the bill to block no deal and delay brexit, more than enough of them to beat the government. labour, snp and plaid, lib dems and the tory outcasts. many different aims, but a single plan — stop a no—deal brexit. so what does the rebel alliance want? well, to outlaw no deal, obviously. and opposition leaders want an election after that mission‘s accomplished. meanwhile, in meetings, on social media, in the tea rooms
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and among the statues, some outcast tories and labour mps want a brexit deal. others want a referendum. labour's promising one after the election. maybe on a new deal, if there is one. otherwise, a choice, between no deal and remain. that's what the lib dems want, they want to stop brexit. so does the snp, who believe this crisis could be taking us closer to an independent scotland, the end of the union. now, down there, perhaps the most genteel debating chamber in the democratic world, well, things are about to turn ugly. this country has high standards... the lords must pass the rebel bill too. in debates, in debates about debates, opposing sides doing all they can to support or resist the attempt to rule out a no—deal brexit and bind the prime minister's hands by law. the signs are that it will be as passionate, maybe as bad—tempered, as the upper house ever gets. what then? what's the prime minister's plan?
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well, an election on october 15th if only the commons would let him, but it takes two thirds of mps to agree to an early election. that's 434 of them. and we saw that yesterday, the numbers weren't there. what about labour? they look split. some close tojeremy corbyn say they would like to move within days to back an early election. others want to wait until they can force borisjohnson to break his defining promise and seek a brexit extension in brussels though he has promised we'll leave, deal or no deal, by october 3ist — humiliation. the outcome? anybody‘s guess. if this was a game, it would be gripping, but this is no game. staying with the story, this latest stage in the brexit battle has exposed the divisions within the conservative party more vividly than ever before. the 2! conservative mps who voted against the government last night were immediately suspended and have
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been told they can't stand for the party at the next election. among them were former cabinet ministers, including phillip hammond and rory stewart, and party grandees such as sir nicholas soames, the grandson of winston churchill, and the longest—serving mp, former chancellor kenneth clarke. alex forsyth has been to mr clarke's constituency of rushcliffe to talk to people there. her report contains some flashing images. at rushcliffe conservative association, there's been one key face for nearly 50 years. ken clarke is the longest—serving tory mp and has held some of the biggestjobs in government, but last night he was effectively kicked out of the party. the chairman of the local branch thinks it was the right move because, like 20 other tory mps, he voted to stop a no—deal brexit. at the end of the day, the fact is, he voted against the government and the consequences are you have the whip withdrawn from you.
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i think boris has shown that he is a strong prime minister and i do support him and i think he had to show that he continues to be a strong prime minister. even though most people here in rushcliffe voted to remain in the eu, some local tories have been angry at the mp‘s pro—european stance — a symbol of the fractures in the party. divisions over europe have plagued the tories for decades and put an end to the careers of several prime ministers. but this long—running row has never seen so many tory mps effectively thrown out of their party all at once. among them, the grandson of winston churchill, nicholas soames, seen here as a boy, is furious at what's happened. such a stupid and unfortunate message to our supporters and would—be voters in the country, that what was a wonderfully broad, tolerant, humane church has now become a narrow sect. with westminster poised
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for an election, some of the expelled mps were already standing down, but there could be a fight from others who still want to represent the tories. rory stewart found out he wasn't welcome in the party, just as he was accepting an award for being politician of the year. i'm not going to be able to stand as a member of parliament because boris has decided he doesn't want me in the party... the former leadership candidate says he's not giving up on the conservatives. i really hope the party comes to its senses because this is not the way that mrs thatcher would have behaved, this is not the way any previous prime minister would behave. this is trying to deselect very loyal conservative ministers and cabinet ministers who have barely rebelled in their lives. philip hammond, the former chancellor, arrived at parliament today no longer a conservative mp. his association in runnymede says therefore he can't stand for them, but he suggested he might fight back, even explore legal options. the conservative party says the rules are clear,
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if someone wants to stand for the tories in an election, they have to be on an approved list or a member of the party in parliament. but if there is a battle over this, it will only deepen the existing rift. back in ken clarke's constituency, there's little harmony among voters either. he should support his party. we voted him into do that and he hasn't done it, so that's it. people should be able to express themselves politically, sometimes outside what the party thinks. there is no conservative party any more is there? there's two completely split rival camps now that can't really be under the same umbrella. so the division in the tory party is, it seems, playing out across the country. alex forsyth, bbc news, rushcliffe. and in the last few minutes we have heard tweets from the former justice secretary, who said that he just received a text to say that his
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association chairman has told he is no longer a member of the conservative party. first i have heard of that. ifinally conservative party. first i have heard of that. i finally have something in common with dominic cummings. you may recall there has been a lot of talk this week about how he is not a member of the conservative party. and then an urgent clarification, i am told i am still a member but barred from preselection. that the prime minister fulfilling preselection. that the prime ministerfulfilling his pledge that they would be kicked out of the party and those warnings going out to association chairman around the country. that's it from westminster, from what has been an eventful day. there will be another eventful day tomorrow. but for now, let's head back to the studio. the chancellor, sajid javid, has promised to turn the page on austerity as he set out plans to raise spending across all government
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departments next year. mrjavid outlined billions of pounds of investment for 2020 to 2021, including for schools, local councils and the police, but labour accused him of electioneering. our economics editor faisal islam reports. no more cuts — a slogan for protestors against the government's decade—long public sector squeeze, now the proud claim of a new conservative chancellor, at least for a year. that's the central message of today's spending round — spending up across the board. every single government department has had its budget for day—to—day spending increased at least in line with inflation. that's what i mean by the end of austerity, mr speaker. britain's hard work paying off, our country living within its means, able to spend more on the things that matter. we haven't seen this
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for a long time. if you go back over the last few spending plans, the last time everyday spending in departments rose this fast by more than 4% — all the way back here in 200a. the red bars show the reviews since the financial crisis, when the government debt ballooned, public spending slashed year—on—year — what was known as austerity. but that's over for now. the rise in this one year round, over £13 billion. that was almost all the extra borrowing available under the government's current self—imposed limits and the big new items for spending in england were education, £3 billion, councils, nearly £2.5 billion, police, three quarters of a billion. but this is borrowed money, currently affordable, but more borrowing is set to fund possible tax cuts and be required should there be a no—deal brexit. the opposition — unimpressed.
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instead, we get this sham of a spending review. they are claiming to be against austerity after years of voting for it. they are claiming to be using headroom which he knows has largely disappeared. and yet they are still failing to deliver a real end to austerity. these extra funds are laser—focused on key voter concerns, for example, subsidised bus services, and are clearly designed to help the government's chances in any election. but opposition parties said it was a small reversal of the impact of cuts over the past decade that ignored a hit from brexit plans. while the chancellor has announced increased spending today, this will not help end austerity. it will only pause some of the hardship in the short term. meanwhile, brexit will bring lasting and long—term damage to our economy and to our livelihoods. head teachers, chief constables and nhs managers simply can't rely on the chancellor's fancy figures
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if britain crashes out of the eu. but the government is loosening the purse strings. it will also take some time for the effect of this cash to be seen in our schools, courts, prisons and care homes. rescuers have begun to reach areas of the northern bahamas devastated by the hurricane. the prime minister said that some areas had been destroyed and they expect the current death toll of seven will rise. our correspondent reports to us how rise. our correspondent reports to us now from one of the worst hit regions. with the hurricane finally moving off the bahamas after many terrifying days, we have been able to survey the devastation for the first time. parts of the low—lying abaco islands have been obliterated. massive storm surges would have overwhelmed this entire area. the airport won't be accessible for days.
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we have heard about the record breaking strength of hurricane dorian as it came through the bahamas for days now, but to see the impact on the ground is staggering. roofs just lifted up and slammed to the ground, buildings all but destroyed and having flown over the abaco islands of the bahamas, i can tell you that there is mile upon mile that looks just like this scene. we could only come here. although it is windy, it is now at least safe to take to the air, but there are parts of this island chain where the hurricane has just moved off, where it is still not safe to do that. over there, there are real concerns about loss of life, because the hurricane lingered there so long. with it finally being safe to take to the skies over some parts of the bahamas, many are trying to get away, clearly still shocked. when all the windows and everything just, the wind just bust through, you know, we just screamed and tried to run into the next room, and the same thing happened.
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so we went in the bathroom and we put a mattress over us and just started praying. the international space station captured dramatic images of hurricane dorian, now swelling in the ocean close to florida. but it is the northern bahamas that have borne the brunt of the storm's ire and where in the coming days, the humanitarian needs will be acute. aleem maqbool, bbc news, on the abaco islands of the bahamas. the hong kong leader, carrie lam, has announced the withdrawal of a controversial extradition bill that has plunged the city into its worst political crisis in decades. protests against the bill have been going on for months and have widened to include calls for an independent inquiry into police brutality and demands for greater democracy. our china correspondent john sudworth says today's announcement is hugely significant.
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for three months through the mass protests a nd for three months through the mass protests and the escalating violence, carrie lam has been insisting that she cannot withdraw the bill, largely thought to be because beijing will not let her. and yet here we are. she has blinked and yet it is being met with howls of derision. too little too late appears to be the gist of the reaction. to understand why, you must understand how far we have come to what began as a protest over the single bill has now morphed into a genuine mass pro—democracy movement fuelled by fears of what chinese rule will mean for hong kong. many may see in this latest move signs, rightly perhaps, that beijing is now deeply rattled. that was always the risk, that something like this would embolden rather than pacify the movement. so i don't think tonight we are any closer to knowing how this crisis will be resolved and
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don't forget, as well as the gesture, the chinese communist party is continuing to warn that it reserves the right if necessary to sendin reserves the right if necessary to send in the troops. scientists researching the huge greenland ice sheet say this summer's melting has been one of the most severe on record and it's raising the level of oceans around the globe. they say climate change is accelerating the rate of melting and that will increasingly threaten millions of people living in coastal cities and low—lying areas. our science editor david shukman has this special report from greenland. the sea around us is choked with icebergs. there are so many, our boat struggles to get any further. more and more chunks like this are breaking off the greenland ice sheet, and each one adds more water to sea. eventually, all of this ice will melt and raise the level


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