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A major U-turn as the government scraps its plans to raise
National Insurance payments for millions of
The Chancellor announced the tax rise in last week's Budget
but he now accepts it breached a Conservative election
We will consider the government's overall approach to employment
status and rights to tax and entitlements.
We will bring forward further proposals but we will not bring
forward increases to NICs later in this parliament.
We have a government U-turn, we have no apology and we have a Budget that
falls most heavily on those with the least broad shoulders.
We'll be asking how embarrassing this is for the government and how
much of a hole it will leave in their finances.
A Royal Marine jailed for killing an injured Taliban fighter
in Afghanistan has his murder conviction reduced to manslaughter -
We are delighted at the judge's decision to substitute manslaughter
This is a crucial decision and one that much better reflects
the circumstances that my husband found himself in during that
Three animal charities win an appeal against the estranged daughter
of a woman who left them half a million pounds in her will.
Identity theft reaches record levels and it's young people
And coming up in the sport on BBC News, can Manchester City join
Leicester in the last eight of the Champions League?
City travel to Monaco tonight, while the Foxes
Good afternoon and welcome to the BBC News at One.
The Chancellor has scrapped his plans,
announced in last week's Budget, to raise National Insurance
payments for millions of self-employed workers.
The tax rise was due to come into effect next year.
But, in a major U-turn this morning, Phillip Hammond admitted
that the move would have broken an election manifesto pledge.
Our Political Correspondent, Ben Wright, reports.
Less than a week after Philip Hammond paraded his first Budget, he
has scrapped one of its central planks, Insurance rise for 1.6
million self-employed workers. The measure broke a 2015 Conservative
Party manifesto promise but the Chancellor insisted the measure was
there but the backlash from some Tory MPs, Labour and swathes of the
press was fierce. And this morning the Treasury made a dramatic
retreat, revealing in a letter to Tory MPs the tax rise would be
ditched. In the Commons this lunchtime, Tory MPs showed that
support for the government U-turn. I welcome the announcement from this
government that we will abide by the letter of our manifesto and also be
spirit. Would the Prime Minister agree with me that, as we move
towards balancing the books, we must ensure we have a fair and
sustainable tax system in place? We made a commitment not to raise taxes
and we put our commitment into the tax lock. The measures we put
forward in the budget last week were consistent with those locks. But
Labour MPs shouted down the Prime Minister as she confirmed the
National Insurance rise would not go ahead but a consultation would. On
the future of employment we will consider the government's overall
approach to employment status and rights to tax and entitlements, we
will bring forward further proposals but we will not bring forward
increases to NICs later in this Parliament. The Labour leader said
the government was in chaos. A budget that unravelled in seven
days, a Conservative manifesto with a very pensive Prime Minister on the
front page saying there would be no increase. A week ago and increase
was announced. And the SNP's Angus Robertson did not pull his punches.
We once had a Prime Minister who said the lady was not for turning.
My goodness, isn't it welcome that the Prime Minister today had
admitted she is for turning with her screeching, embarrassing U-turn on
national insurance? This national Insurance rise was due to raise ?1
billion by the next election and some believe the U-turn is a
mistake. I think it is at its abutment that the Chancellor has
rowed back on that policy because it is about fairness, about closing
some of the tax discrepancies between employees and the
self-employed and it was about the public finances. The fact is this
tax rise proved unpopular, angered many Tory MPs and broke a manifesto
promise. The government has a very small majority and does not have the
political capital for a fight, despite the damage this will do to
be Chancellor's credibility. Ben Wright, BBC News, Westminster.
Our Assistant Political Editor, Norman Smith, is in Westminster.
It is quite some U-turn and difficult could this be for the
government? Let's get this in perspective a grand government
U-turn is, it is a full-blown howling, screeching the Italian
Riviera hairpin bend slope bleeding from the tyres U-turn. In terms of
the speed, just seven days ago Philip Hammond announced this tax
rise and the scale of it, it is the complete abandonment of the tax
rise, not a nudge or a rebuke is out of the window. Why? Mr Hammond says
because it was not compliant with the party manifesto and more
accurately, the reality cloud broke over him. This is blindingly
obviously a breach of their manifesto, never mind the
technicalities of the legal opt outs, reality cloud number two was
that he was facing an almighty Tory backbench revolt which could have
made it extremely difficult to get this through Parliament anyway. And
perhaps most damaging of all with the impact it was having on brand
may also Theresa May has made much of being different to David Cameron
can not going for spin politics but straightforward and honest talking
politics. This tax rise, preaching a manifesto, risked profoundly
damaging her own pitch as Prime Minister but it also leads two key
questions. Who is to blame? Many fingers will be pointed at Phillip
Hammond but is it really credible that Theresa May, who has an iron
grip on the government, was unaware? Secondly, where is the money going
to come from? Philip Hammond said that the up to ?2 billion raised
would largely go towards social care so where is the money for social
care going to come from? Thank you. With me is our Economics
Editor, Kamal Ahmed. It does leave quite a hole. It does,
and at the budget, the government announced to make a big spending
commitments one on social care that Norman has spoken about and also on
business rate relief is. They are expensive. To pay for it they
announced two big tax increases. One was on dividend tax, the taxes
people pay on their shares, and the other was the rise in taxes on the
self-employed, is NICs issue. That was going to raise over ?2 billion
by 2022. The fact is it has been scrubbed out and the government has
made a pledge they will not return to it at all so by the time of the
autumn budget in November, the government will have to say, how it
will raise that money. The problem they have is the manifesto
commitment which says no increases in income tax, no increases in VAT,
no increases in national insurance contributions. Those three taxes
raised over 60% of all government income. They are in a position where
they don't have much room to manoeuvre. I would suggest all
rolled viewers, when it comes to the autumn budget, look at the small
print because they were to nickel and dime in small areas of tax pot
like the dividend tax, maybe on probate or other areas, to raise
money otherwise there is this black hole in the budget which is U-turn
has only exacerbated. Thank you. And the statement from
the Chancellor will be live on the BBC News Channel along
with continued coverage A Royal Marine who shot dead
an injured Taliban fighter in Afghanistan six years ago has
had his murder conviction quashed. Judges at the Court Martial
Appeal Court ruled that Sergeant Alexander Blackman
was instead guilty of manslaughter on the grounds
of diminished responsibility. The 42-year-old was originally
sentenced to life in 2013. He'll now face another hearing
to determine his sentence. Our Defence Correspondent, Jonathan
Beale, is outside the court. At his original conviction,
Alexander Buttner's defence was that he thought the insurgent was already
dead when he shot him -- Blackman. For manslaughter to be considered he
has had to change the story and except he was alive and that an
important new medical evidence about Alexander Blackman's mental health
at the time have paved the way for this conviction to be overturned.
This morning, Claire Blackman, who's led the fight for her husband's
murder conviction to be quashed, arrived at court
It's a campaign that's had the backing of former Marines.
In 2013, a military court found Alexander Blackman,
better known as Marine A, guilty of murdering a wounded
But today, the Appeal Court concluded it wasn't murder.
In court, Claire Blackman greeted the news with a tear in her eye.
Outside, clearly relieved, this was a moment to savour.
We are delighted at the judge's decision to substitute manslaughter
This is a crucial decision and one that much better reflects
the circumstances that my husband found himself in during that
We must now wait for the sentencing hearing and hope to secure
a significant reduction in Al's sentence.
The incident in Helmand in 2011 was all filmed on a helmet camera.
This, the moment the Royal Marine patrol called in a helicopter
to target two Taliban insurgents, one of whom was wounded.
We are not allowed to show the moment Blackman shoots
the injured insurgent, the court has only
released this audio as Blackman fires the fatal shot.
But three leading psychiatrists told the court that tough tour in Helmand
had taken its toll on Alexander Blackman.
They agreed he'd been suffering a severe form of combat stress.
Sergeant Blackman was suffering from a mental disorder at
the time, which impaired his ability to make rational judgments.
And in my view, the court have taken the
right view in accepting that he had the disorder and that disorder
affected the way he thought and affected his actions.
While his murder conviction has been quashed,
his wife will still have to wait for his release and to be reunited.
And Alexander Blackman, in the eyes of
Alexander Blackman has served more than three years of an eight year
minimum sentence for murder and the expectation is the sentence will be
reduced for manslaughter but we will have to wait for a few more weeks to
find out when he will be freed. You can see more on that story
tonight on BBC One in a special Panorama in which some of the men
who served with Alexander Blackman It's called Marine A:
The Inside Story, and it's on at When Melita Jackson died, she left
most of her half-a-million-pound fortune to three animal charities,
and not to her estranged daughter. Her daughter contested
the will and eventually was awarded more than ?150,000 of it,
despite her mother's wishes. Today that was reduced to ?50,000
when the three animal charities, who rely on wills for around 50%
of their income, took the case to the country's
highest court and won. Here's our Legal Correspondent,
Clive Coleman. For generations, families have been
falling out over wills. When Heather Ilott's mother died in 2004, she
made it crystal clear that she did not want her daughter to get a
penny. The pair had become estranged when, aged 17, Heather ran off with
a man her mother disapproved of. But nearly 30 years later she remained
married to him and the couple have five children. Animals cannot sell
anyone about the cruelty they suffer... Melita Jackson left her
entire half million pound fortune to three animal charities which she had
no direction to also Heather Ilott challenged the will and was
initially awarded ?50,000, but that was raised by the Court of Appeal to
?160,000 on the basis that her mother had not made reasonable
provision for her daughter. For the charities involved, that represented
a potential serious loss of income. They appealed to the Supreme Court.
In a really powerful judgment, seven justices here at the highest court
in the land have reaffirmed a fundamental principle of English
law, that anyone, you or I, can leave our money to whoever we want
them even if that means our children getting little or nothing at all.
The Supreme Court acknowledged that charities do an enormous amount of
good work and a lot of that is funded by the generosity of people
like Melita Jackson choosing to leave them money in her will. That
key point, the right to choose, I want to leave my money to that
charity and I don't have to explain why that was, my decision will be
respected. The ruling was welcomed by Don Day, his wife suffered from
dementia before her death and he has decided to leave estate to the
Alzheimer's Society and not his daughter. We haven't been very well
treated by my children. In my wife and I's hours of need, I'm afraid.
And we both felt that this was what we wanted to do. In this battle of
wills, daughter has lost out to an estranged mother. Charity may have
been the winner but it certainly begin at home. Other parents at odds
with their children will take note. Clive Coleman, BBC News.
The UK's unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level
with a record number of people in work.
But official figures for the three months to the end of January show
the number of people on zero-hours contracts increased
Our Economics Correspondent, Andy Verity, reports.
Few industries reveal the tightness of the labour market better
At this site near King's Cross in north London, about two thirds
of the skilled workers come from the new EU states such
as Romania and there is growing anxiety about what might happen
There is still uncertainty whether they will be
We need these people to be in our jobs, they make up labourers,
they make up trades, they make up engineers,
They are a very key part of the process.
We don't have any UK nationals to fill these roles.
Ahead of the Brexit negotiations, the stakes are particularly high
for the construction industry with up to 176,000 jobs that
could be in jeopardy if we don't have access to the EU labour supply
and half a trillion pounds of construction
Recruitment agents say that while unemployment is dropping,
in areas which voted to stay in the EU such as Scotland
and London, companies are getting less and less confident about taking
Small businesses are concerned around Brexit but it isn't only
It is the rise in the National Living Wage, the rise in rates,
And this uncertainty is actually stopping them from hiring.
They are at their lowest level since 2014 in their confidence to hire.
If employers are struggling to find the staff, it's fair to expect
But, on average, pay rises have slowed down,
up just 2.3% in the three months to January.
That's faster than price rises but only just.
The Chancellor has scrapped plans announced in last week's budget to
raise National Insurance payments for millions of self-employed
workers. The lorry drivers sleeping
in their cabs for months on end because they can't afford to live
in the countries could the two top ranked rugby union
nations in the world England are understood to be
interested in playing A major fund-raising campaign has
been launched to help 16 million people facing starvation in East
Africa. 13 UK aid agencies who make up
the Disasters Emergency Committee say they urgently need money
to provide food, water The Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson
is in Somalia where a national Viewers may spined some of the
images in this report disturbing. Northern Somalia and
the riverbeds here, bone dry. And with their crops failing
and cattle dying in the drought, people, however frail,
are now on the move This makeshift camp in the capital
Mogadishu is growing at the rate They are desperate for food,
particularly for their children. This lady, dressed in brown walked
for six days with the children to reach this camp, but not
all of them made it. TRANSLATION: I had four children,
two died on the journey I'm eight months pregnant,
I don't have shoes, water or food. The red marker on the band put
around this child's arm indicates It is estimated around
360,000 children under the age of five in Somalia
are now acutely malnourished. And beyond Somalia, the fear
of famine hangs over Ethiopian, And beyond Somalia, the fear
of famine hangs over Ethiopia, Millions of people in this region,
now at risk of starvation. This situation that these countries
now face is unprecedented. These are four countries the size
and the scale and the need has There are people obviously
in desperate situations. We have famine, we have drought,
we also have a man-made conflict. So British aid agencies,
already helping on the ground, are now appealing for a lot more
money, which they need quickly. But the impact of drought
and conflict it is affecting people But the impact of drought
and conflict is affecting people This is Yemen, also engulfed
in a profound humanitarian crisis The people of the Netherlands are
voting in their General Election, which has been dominated
by the issue of immigration. Early indications are that there is
a higher turnout than the last election in 2012.
From the Hague, Damian Grammaticas, reports.
The magnet for the TV cameras today is the man hoping
the mantle of Donald Trump and Brexit II.
Geert Wilders, Holland's far right leader aiming
He wants to ban the Koran, ban mosques, close borders,
And uncompromising again today, saying Muslims who don't
I say, if you don't like the idea, don't come to Holland.
You are free people, you can decide where to go
I hope we have less Islam in Holland.
I think Islam and freedom are not compatible.
He is the man hoping to stop Geert Wilders in his tracks.
He warned today as he cast his vote, that this ballot in the Netherlands
will set the tone for big elections to come in Europe this year.
In France and Germany, party lists are also challenging
The Dutch Prime Minister has framed this election between a choice
between him and Geert Wilders, his Liberal party and the rising tide of
populism. There is much at stake in this poll, he says. So he has told
Dutch voters that the world is watching.
One of the things I have asked voters to take into consideration.
What would it mean? The rest of the world will see after Brexit, after
the American elections again, populism has won the day. But there
are a total of 28 parties contesting this election, a huge list to pick
from for voters at this polling station at The Hague's modern art
museum. Some are worried about Geert Wilders winning. People across
Europe, people shouting a lot without having solutions to what
they say are big problems. If we get together, problems are not that big.
Even if Geert Wilders does well, you won't win a majority. He is likely
to be left out of power, as no other party wants to work with him.
Identity fraud has reached a record high in the UK.
There were almost 173,000 last year, 3,000 more than in 2015.
The data, from more than 270 banks and businesses,
also shows that the number of victims under the age of 21
Here's our home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw.
Stolen identity, civil servant Luke Croydon was the victim of one
His name, address, date of birth and banking details were obtained
by a thief who pinched post from his letterbox.
Armed with the information, the fraudster applied for a bank
card and then used it to go on a spending spree.
When you first find out that it has happened,
And then you get very worried because you wonder what else
they might have done with that personal details If it is only
opening bank accounts that is one thing, but you worry what else
Have they signed up to websites, have they got passport applications?
So it is a very troubling experience.
According to the fraud prevention service Cifas there were almost
173,000 cases of identity fraud last year, the highest total ever.
The number of victims under the age of 21 increased
by more than a third, with the Midlands and the north-east
of England registering the highest identity fraud increases
There has been a spike in the number of young people who have become
We've put that down to the fact that they spend so much
But not just that, they are putting so much of their personal
information online and our appeal would be to only put out
there what you really want people to know.
Cifas has produced a film warning people to be careful about how much
We know everything about you, Martin.
Fraudsters are adept at exploiting information on social media sites.
It advises people to use passwords, privacy settings and antivirus
Lorry drivers moving goods for Ikea and other retailers
in Western Europe are camping out in their cabs for months at a time
because they can't afford to live in the countries they're working in.
The East European drivers are being paid at the levels they would
A judge has described as "inhumane" the practice
where companies are able to exploit loopholes in European law.
In a trailer on the edge of Copenhagen, these two men have
created their own pop-up fiction. Cooking from scratch saves them
money. Is this how you want to have your breakfast? No, I don't want to
live like this, but these are the conditions. He is moving goods for
Ikea, but they don't employ him. His employer is a Slovakian firm. He is
paid Slovak wages. European union employment rules state, a driver
temporarily posted away from home should be guaranteed the host
nation's minimum rates of pay and conditions. But companies are
exploiting loopholes in the law. A Danish driver can expect to take
home 2200 euros, or 109 -- ?1900 a month in salary. But this man has
been taken home 477 euros of ?418 a month. This is my farm, this is how
I live. This is my bed. Danish drivers go home every couple of
weeks, but this man spends up to four months on the road. The company
says he can go home whenever he likes. He has just driven some Ikea
stock from Denmark into Sweden. He only ever works in western Europe,
sometimes it might be Germany or Norway. But he is being paid as if
he is driving in Slovakia, yet he never works there. This is the
biggest Ikea distribution centre in the world. It is in Germany. In
front is a truck parked, turned campsite. Trade unions accused Ikea
of turning a blind eye to how haulage companies treat their
drivers. Ikea would say, this is in many different layers of companies
operating these contracts, they can't be expected to know. But the
Moldovan, the Polish guys, remove the furniture from IKEA. They touch
the furniture. How can you deny this. They don't know what they are
being paid. In a statement, Ikea said...
It's not just Ikea and the big retailers that are in the firing
line. Europe's politicians are under pressure to act, to stop any further
deterioration in the working conditions of Europe's drivers.
It was supposed to be a quick interview on BBC World News
about South Korean politics, but Professor Kelly's two young
children managed to turn it into a global event,
at least one that's been viewed more than 100 million times
What appeared to be a cute accident on live television.
I think one of your children has just walked in.
I mean, shifting sands in the region, do you think
But Professor Robert Kelly, who is now being dubbed #bbcdad,
received so much attention, he felt compelled to
So here we are, finally meeting him in person in South Korea.
It's fairly amazing, it's basically just a family blooper.
It sort of went wild, there were more journalists
there than have ever asked me questions before about my expertise.
It then generated a second wave of Internet discussion.
There was a lot of social analysis of it, sort of racism
Regardless of some negative reaction, his students
TRANSLATION: When he was giving a serious interview about a very
sensitive subject, I was surprised to see the interruption.
And when I found out he is a professor here,
TRANSLATION: It was a very serious interview, but when I saw
I felt they were the hope to what is a gloomy story.
Professor Kelly describes the episode as a family blooper,
but it certainly touched many hearts, especially
Today could be the warmest day of the year so far. Lovely blue skies.
Temperatures have been rising rapidly. Hardly a breath of wind.
Not as windy across northern part of Scotland. Not as sunny either. In
general, where we had a sunnier skies yesterday, we are seeing more
cloud today. There are some stubborn areas of low cloud that are pegging
back the temperatures, but in general, sunshine underneath the
high pressure and around the high pressure we have a moist air flow,
hence the cloud affecting the Northern Isles also affecting
Scotland where we will see some patchy, light rain or drizzle coming
in across northern part of the country. Probably drive to the
south. Cloud from the north of England may wandering into the far
south-west of Wales, the West Country. But for most of England and
Wales it will be lovely and sunny. Temperatures of 80 degrees and
possibly higher. A beautiful day at Cheltenham. -- 18 degrees. Tomorrow
will be cloudy and cooler. Temperatures dipping away and
turning misty across parts of England and Wales during the course
of the night before low cloud arrives. Further north for Scotland
and Northern Ireland, stronger wind. Another weather from bringing
outbreaks of rain overnight. It shouldn't be to cold overnight. We
will find this band of rain, heavy at times over the hills, coming down
across Scotland, Northern Ireland into northern parts of England and
Wales. Maybe brightening up but not as sunny and warm as today. We have
some colder air coming into Scotland and Northern Ireland with showers.
Those could be wintry in Scotland and continue that way overnight on
Thursday night. It is going to be quite chilly on Thursday night.
Colder than it has been for a while. Maybe a touch of frost. Coming into
the cold air, we will replace the showers with longer spells of rain
coming in from the Atlantic. Snow possible over some of the Scottish
hills. The wet weather arrives in the South East. The wet weather
originating from storm Stella. The weekend is unsettled and will feel
colder with the wind is picking up and there will be rain at times.
Goodbye from me, on BBC one we now join the BBC's news