15/03/2017 BBC News at Ten

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The Chancellor does a U-turn on plans to raise national


insurance contributions for some self-employed.


All smiles, just a week ago, as he announced


Now, the Prime Minister changes the tune.


We will bring forward further proposals, but we will not bring


forward increases to Nics later in this parliament.


The climbdown follows a backlash from Tory and opposition MPs alike.


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.


My goodness, isn't it welcome that the Prime Minister today has


admitted she is for turning with her screeching, embarrassing


We'll be looking at what caused the Government to change its mind.


A Royal Marine, who shot dead a Taliban soldier,


has his conviction reduced from murder to manslaughter.


The election in the Netherlands, an exit poll suggests


the Prime Minister has seen off a challenge from Geert


Millions in Somalia and across the region


are threatened with famine, British charities launch


There's the goal that Manchester City


And it's provided by Leroy Sane to throw them


And, will this goal be enough to keep Manchester City


A tough night for Manchester City in the Champions League.


Is this the Monaco goal that knocks them out in the last 16?


The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, has been forced into a U-turn over


last week's Budget plan to increase National Insurance contributions


He told the Commons today that the plan will not now go ahead.


The Government had faced a backlash by Conservative backbenchers,


business groups and usually supportive newspapers accused


of breaking a general election manifesto commitment not


Labour has called it a "humiliating climbdown" and warned that


Mr Hammond now has a ?2 billion black hole in his budget.


Here's our political editor, Laura Kuenssberg.


If Number Eleven is your front door, changing your mind about what's


Shifting only a week after your Kodak moment,


Your Treasury colleagues, seven days later, keeping shtoom.


REPORTER: Mr Clarke, does this represent


Worst still, when it's your boss who makes the announcement


at the biggest political event of the week.


THE SPEAKER: Questions to the Prime Minister.


The trend towards greater self-employed does create


We will bring forward further proposals, but we will not bring


forward increases to Nics later in this Parliament.


Tax hikes for two million self-employed people,


We've just heard the Prime Minister is about to drop the national


insurance hike announced only a week ago.


It seems to me like a Government in a bit of chaos here.


The PM and her next door neighbour hardly looked too concerned.


A Budget that unravels in seven days.


But the idea would have broken a Tory manifesto promise


and they were then lambasted for a total change of heart.


We once had a Prime Minister who said that the lady's


My goodness, isn't it welcomed that the Prime Minister today has


admitted she is for turning with her screeching, embarrassing


Is that why they want to abolish Spring Budgets because they just


Number Eleven and Number Ten only made the decision


at 8.00am this morning, choosing humiliation today...


REPORTER: How humiliating is this tax U-turn for the Chancellor?


..over a row that could have run for months.


REPORTER: Can the Chancellor stay in post?


The man himself, charged with managing the nation's accounts,


had to explain how his careful spreadsheet calculations


This Government sets great store in the faith and trust


of the British people, especially as we embark


on the process of negotiating our exit from the European Union.


By making this change today, we are listening to our colleagues


and demonstrating our determination to fulfil both the letter


and the spirit of our manifesto tax commitments.


Number Eleven had defended the idea, Number Ten had done too,


but the atmosphere soured over the weekend.


Sources suggest, on Monday, a group of senior MPs told


So today, in a move one former minister branded as "extraordinary",


We made it very clear that it was not something


We would campaign against it, we'd vote against it


So I think it's shown, in some ways, he's a strong Chancellor


in the sense that he's admitted he's made a mistake and he's done


The ground hadn't been that well-prepared.


The mathematics didn't add up, in terms of getting the votes


for the legislation that would have been needed.


So what we've got is a delay and, I suspect, some hard thinking


about what the best way forward is, but we will have to


He doesn't look that bothered, strolling in the sun on his way back


REPORTER: Humiliated today, Chancellor?


Reputations round here are hard won and easy to lose.


Laura Kuenssberg, BBC News, Westminster.


Well, the scrapping of the rise in national insurance


contributions leaves a big hole in the Chancellor's budget plans


Mr Hammond has already pledged to increase spending on social care,


so where does today's U-turn leave the public finances?


Here's our economics editor, Kamal Ahmed.


It was a tax rise, and a gift - to the headline writers.


The Chancellor knew he had a problem when he sat down to breakfast


the day after the Budget faced with an avalanche of


He was trying to tackle this issue, the new world of work and the growth


in the number of self-employed, who are taxed less than employees.


Many supported the increase in national insurance contributions,


and expressed their disappointment that today, politics seems


This is a disappointing move, that the increase in Class 4


national insurance won't be going ahead, because that


increase closed some of the discrepancies


between employees and the self-employed in our tax system,


and it largely hit the better-off self-employed with the lowest


earning self-employed not losing at all.


This was Philip Hammond's rather neat budget plan a week ago.


He made three big spending commitments.


More money on social care - ?2.4 billion.


And more money for business rate relief and education -


It was claimed that those costs would be balanced


by two big tax rises - a ?2.6 billion tax rise


on dividends from shares people own as an investment,


and the controversial one, a ?2 billion increase in national


insurance contributions from the self-employed.


That has now been scrapped, leaving Mr Hammond with


The big promise at the last election - this government


would not raise direct taxes, so limiting its room for manoeuvre.


A problem summed up in a tweet this afternoon by the Government's


own employment adviser, Matthew Taylor.


It was never sensible to put in a manifesto a pledge that


you wouldn't increase rates of national insurance


Those are the three biggest taxes that we have by far.


To tie your hands for five years for those three big taxes never


He's not the first and he won't be the fast last Chancellor to see


a budget unravel over failures to see political


Mr Hammond has said he WILL fill the ?2 billion black hole caused


by today's U-turn at the next budget in the autumn.


It is for the moment completely unclear how.


Our political editor, Laura Kuenssberg, is at Westminster.


A bad day for the Government, but will they be able


to shrug it off or will this cause lasting damage?


I don't think that something as big as significant as this just comes


out in the wash. I think there is a stain that will hang around. Two


many main reasons for that. One, having budged on this, there is a


sense in Westminster - what next? They were scared off by a group of


backbenchers and by the prospect by defeat in the House of Lords. A


question for Theresa May and Philip Hammond, they folded within a week


on this one policy. With such a difficult agenda of things they have


to get Donetsk in the next few years, how much will they be


prepared to stick to things when the going gets rough in times to come?


The second question is, again, for both Number Eleven and Number Ten,


in terms of their political antennae. When this became so


quickly and obviously a big problem, in terms of a broken manifesto


commitment, how on earth, in the preparation for the Budget, had they


failed to see it coming? In politics, as everywhere else in


life, there are practical calculations. There is a sense that,


in the end, the Government thought it just wouldn't be worth carrying


on here. I'm told, in the last couple of days, both Theresa May and


Philip Hammond went backwards and forwards whether to justify the


policy with some kind of fudge or whether to act decriesively as, as


they have done, and put it out of its misery. In the en, they did go


for the short, sharp shock, but I think there is long-term damage


particularly for Philip Hammond, the Chancellor. The now, above all else,


the resident of Number Eleven is meant to be a safe pair of hands.


That indeed, until tonight, was Philip Hammond's reputation.


Reputations are hard to come by and they can disappear very quickly.


Here is the safe pair of hands having carried out and taken a


politically dangerous action. Laura, at Westminster, thank you.


A Royal Marine, who shot dead an injured Taliban


fighter in Afghanistan, has won his appeal against his


Sergeant Alexander Blackman had his conviction reduced


to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility.


The judges concluded that he had been suffering from a mental illness


Here's our defence correspondent, Jonathan Beale.


Claire Blackman's led this long, but never lonely, fight to have her


Today, she arrived at court hoping for good news.


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.


There was a tear in her eye when she heard that news.


Outside court, she and her supporters savoured the moment.


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


The incident, in 2011, was all filmed on a helmet camera.


This the moment when a helicopter opens fire on two Taliban


We're not allowed to show what happens next when the patrol


reach him, we can only play the audio as Blackman


Obviously, this doesn't go anywhere, fellas.


I've just broken the Geneva Convention.


But three leading psychiatrists told the court that tough


tour had taken its toll on Blackman's mental health.


Clearly, what had happened to him, during the time


that he was in Afghanistan, on that particular tour,


is his ability to think rationally and to exercise rational judgment


had been slowly deteriorated and degraded.


The Appeal Court concluded that Alexander Blackman was suffering


from an adjustment disorder when he killed that insurgent.


But speaking for the first time, those who served alongside him


in Afghanistan say there were other pressures, too.


It wasn't evidence heard in court, but among those Marines


with Blackman on that patrol, there's plenty of sympathy


I think it's just another day in Afghanistan and that's the way it


goes out there and none of us got hurt, so it was a successful day,


Claire Blackman will still have to wait to be reunited


with her husband, he's no longer a murderer, but he's


The court has to decide on that sentence, but the man known


as Marine A could soon be freed from prison.


You can see more on that tonight in a special Panorama,


in which some of the men who served with Sergeant Blackman speak


It's called Marine A: The Inside Story.


Polls have closed in the Netherlands, where voters have been


Exit polls suggest Prime Minister Mark Rutte's centre-right


Liberal Party has won the most seats, seeing off Geert Wilders'


Turnout in the Netherlands topped 80%, with extra ballot papers having


The election had been seen as a litmus test for populism


in Europe, ahead of the French and German elections


Our Europe editor, Katya Adler, reports from the Hague.


It's not often that Dutch politics are the focus of so much attention.


..wanted to stifle immigration, close mosques and leave the EU.


He WAS riding high in pre-election polls.


Would the protectionism and nostalgic nationalism of Brexit


and Donald Trump win the day in mainland Europe?


Geert Wilders's party is now the Netherlands' second-largest,


So, is the populist trend dead in the water?


It's tempting to make sweeping statements,


but Wilders doesn't need to be in government to influence politics.


This is his main political rival coming to cast his ballot this


Mark Rutte is the Netherlands' current Prime Minister from,


according to exit polls, the country's largest party.


He's described as a liberal, but he adopted some of Mr Wilders'


immigrant-sceptic language in a bid to attract votes.


Expect to see more mainstream parties borrowing populist


rhetoric in elections across Europe this year.


This is a small country, there's only about 13 million


But the resonance of this election is huge.


Europe is transfixed, and the result will be pored over


for any possible political clues as to what might come next


in elections in big hitters France, Germany, and possibly even Italy


But aside from right-wing populism that has certainly


played its part in this election, there is another trend evident.


The Green Party, left-leaning and pro-EU, soared in popularity here.


In Germany and in France tonight, similar-minded


Katya - although we won't get full results for a few hours yet,


it looks like the outcome that many politicians in the Netherlands


and across Europe had dreaded will not come to pass?


Well, Geert Wilders himself tonight tweeted that the Dutch Prime


Minister had not got rid of him yet. And as I pointed out in my report,


he has already had considerable influence on political discourse in


this country, even from the opposition. But for most people


here, yes, as soon as those exit polls had been confirmed, Mainz will


turn to the painful process of coalition building to form the next


Dutch government, with the main parties shunning Geert Wilders as a


partner. The fact that he will not be the Netherlands' next Prime


Minister, the reaction to that is likely to be short lived because


minds will be turning out to France, and the president election, just


five weeks away. The shadow, or the light, depending on your politics,


of Marine Le Pen, looms very large there indeed.


Some of the country's major charities have launched an emergency


appeal to help an estimated 16 million people facing


Four countries - South Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia -


are acutely short of food, water and medicine.


The Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, has visited


the Somalian capital, Mogadishu, where a national


Our Africa correspondent Andrew Harding reports.


The vast, bone-dry plains of Somalia.


It has hardly rained here for three years.


Many are already dying before they can reach help.


With 3 million people on the verge of starvation here, the sense


But this is a hard place to help, a famously dangerous country.


The capital Mogadishu remains volatile, with several attacks


here this week blamed on Islamist militants.


Today, the Foreign Secretary flew in- in part to


The safer Somalia becomes, after all, the easier


British support here takes many forms, but in truth,


the immediate threat of famine now overshadows everything.


Talking hard cash at the command centre for


The British government has already given ?110 million.


One of the things we're trying to do is, because we put 110 in,


and I think we're trying to get other countries to come in with us.


To those thinking about digging into their pockets


for the appeal back in Britain, would their money be well spent?


It would be very well spent in my view.


You have probably 6.2 million people who are at risk of famine.


These guys are trying to reach out to about 3 million people


of the most urgent cases, and you've got cholera now


on the rise, kids dying of cholera in this country,


There are very simple ways of addressing these problems,


and the cash that we're giving as the UK is, I believe,


It's six years since Somalia's last famine.


In those days, the country was even more dangerous, and aid agencies


As alarming as things are right now in Somalia,


it's clear that lessons have been learned from the last famine,


when so much aid was either stolen or blocked from reaching


Plenty can, and no doubt will, go wrong here, but right now,


for those in charge, there's more confidence than panic.


This morning, Somalia's new president insisted that aid


Of course we will run this operation in a more transparent


And so, millions here in Somalia and across the wider


A brief look at some of the day's other other news stories.


12 police forces have sent files to the Crown Prosecution Service


in relation to Conservative candidates' expenses incurred


On Saturday, police questioned for six hours the Conservative


MP for South Thanet, Craig MacKinlay, over allegations


that local campaign spending limits were breached.


Two Russian spies have been charged by the US Department of Justice


with the theft of Yahoo user accounts.


in 2014 and affected 500 million accounts.


The stolen data included names, email addresses, telephone numbers,


dates of birth and encrypted passwords, but not credit card data.


Southern Rail and the union Aslef have reached a new agreement aimed


at resolving a long-running dispute over who opens and closes


A previous deal between the two sides was rejected by union members.


Police in India have begun a murder investigation after an Irish woman


Danielle McLaughlin, who was 28, was from Buncrana in County Donegal.


She had been a student in Liverpool and had a British passport.


Three animal charities have won a legal battle at the UK's highest


court against a woman who was left out of her mother's will.


Heather Ilott's mother left most of her ?500,000 estate to charities,


but not a penny to her daughter, when she died in 2004.


Mrs Ilott successfully appealed her mother's


But now the Supreme Court has overturned the appeal.


Our legal correspondent Clive Coleman has the story.


For generations, families have been falling out over wills.


When Heather Ilott's mother died in 2004,


she made it crystal clear that she didn't want her


She disapproved of her choice of husband, and even insisted any


claim Heather might make after her death be


Animals can't tell anyone about the cruelty they suffer.


Melita Jackson left almost all of her half ?1 million fortune


to three animal charities which she had no connection to.


In 2007, Heather Ilott challenged the will and was awarded ?50,000


on the basis that her mother hadn't made reasonable provision


But in 2015, the Court of Appeal raised that to ?160,000.


This court unanimously allows the appeal...


Today, the Supreme Court restored the original ?50,000 sum.


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, even if that means our children getting


Money from wills makes up around 50% of the animal charities' income.


The Supreme Court acknowledged, 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 the money in her will.


So, that key point, her 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.


Today's ruling is welcomed by Don Day.


His wife Pat suffered from dementia before her death.


Following a family rift, he's decided to leave his estate


to the Alzheimer's Society and not his daughter.


We've had experience of Alzheimer's, and its dreadful


effect on two people - my wife's mother and my wife.


And we decided that we thought that what little we had would make


a little bit of difference to the research that


In this battle of wills, a daughter has lost out


Charity may have been the winner, but it certainly


Other parents at odds with their children will take note.


There were more goals in Monaco this evening, as Manchester City tried to


reach the quarterfinals of the Champions League. Despite being a


head near the end, it ended in despair for them, as Joe Wilson


reports. The M4 doesn't normally


runs through Monaco. But that Cardiff final


suddenly seems tangible. After the manic Manchester first


leg, City started here 5-3 up. That meant Monaco already


had three away goals. And after just seven


minutes, a home one. Now, City's manager knew


what he wanted his players to do, If Monaco scored another,


they'd be ahead overall, Second half, they played


like time was slipping away. 6-6 overall, and all over,


because their away goals scored So, of all England in


Champions League Europe, He was one of the greatest figures


of the Renaissance - sculptor, painter,


architect and poet. Amongst other masterpieces,


Michelangelo is renowned for painting the ceiling


of the Sistine Chapel. An exhibition which opened today


at London's National Gallery sheds new light on his creative


partnership with the less Our arts editor, Will Gompertz,


tells their intriguing story. As sculptors go,


Michelangelo was pretty good. Michelangelo is the peak


of skill and virtuosity. As you can see from


this marble carving. It shows the virgin


and child with St John And if you look at the foot


of Christ down here, that's about to emerge


from the stone. And Michelangelo wrote so poetically


about the figure having to be The only snag was,


while Michelangelo was busy decorating the Sistine Chapel


ceiling, an ambitious young artist called Raphael had arrived in Rome,


and started to compete with him for commissions from


the powerful Pope Julius II. Raphael prospered,


while Michelangelo toiled. Until he met an artist ten


years his junior, called Sebastiano. He comes to Rome at that


moment when Michelangelo Sebastiano becomes friends


with Michelangelo, and they begin this very fruitful collaboration,


of which this is the first example. Michelangelo would make


preparatory drawings, such as this male torso,


which Sebastiano then rendered in paint, without, it would appear,


doing much to turn man into Madonna. The colour, the interest


in the landscape, which Michelangelo was never interested in,


landscape, whereas of course, Sebastiano has a real poetic feeling


for this nocturnal landscape, with some ruins on the left


and the waterfall there. The stakes are raised


by Cardinal Giulio de' Medici, He commissioned two enormous


biblical altar pieces, a Transfiguration from Raphael,


and from Sebastiano, This picture was at the centre


of the extraordinary rivalry between Raphael and Michelangelo,


with Sebastiano actually painting on behalf, one


could say, of Michelangelo. So, in a way, it's a sort


of proxy battle between Could Sebastiano have done this


without Michelangelo? Michelangelo is fundamental


for Sebastiano's development. This sort of heroic, Titanic


character of the representations, these over-life-sized figures


who are full of dynamic energy, these come absolutely out


of the mind of Michelangelo. Their remarkable creative


collaboration continued even after Raphael's death in 1520,


but eventually ended in acrimony, with Michelangelo accusing the now


well-to-do Sebastiano of laziness. Newsnight's about to begin over


on BBC Two in a few moments. For the last year now, the story has


been populism on the march. Have the Dutch just decided to stand in the


way? Will have the latest from me. And we will ask why so many more


people over the age of 65 are getting married these days.