In-depth investigation and analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines. With Kirsty Wark.
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To be deemed safe, cladding systems are meant to survive
Today, we learned Grenfell's lasted just nine.
82 other buildings use a design that's similar
Also tonight, we're used to being on the wing
to Europe in our millions, but when we leave the EU, will we be
forced to go into reverse, or even be grounded?
If we do not have a transitional arrangement and if we are not a
member of the EU as part of that transitional arrangement, then we
have chaos. And ahead of tomorrow's first-ever
Relaxed Prom for people with learning difficulties
and sensory impairments, MUSIC: Flight of the Bumblebee
by Rimsky-Korsakov In the six weeks since
the fire that turned Grenfell Tower into a tinderbox
and killed at least 80 people and injured almost as many again,
there have been a variety of tests on the insulation and cladding
of other buildings. There have been evacuations
from high-rises, and remedial work carried out in buildings
all over the country. But today the government revealed
that the fire test on exactly the combination used
in Grenfell Tower Cladding meant to resist
fire for 40 minutes, in the test, burned
in just nine minutes. There are also 82
buildings with cladding Here's our policy
editor Chris Cook. Over the past weeks what the
government has been doing is not testing cladding, but auditing
cladding and when we hear about hundreds of buildings failing tests
it means the government has ascertained they are buildings where
they need to work out whether they are dangerous because the thing to
know, you might have non-combustible material on the side of the building
that it can be safely used in combination with the right materials
and so the government is running six huge tests where it will mock-up
designs with different combinations of cladding and it works out which
are safe and we started today with a combination used at Grenfell.
We thought we knew what happened at Grenfell. The importance of doing
the test on Grenfell, which was not safe, we ascertained in laboratory
conditions it did not work. It tells us 82 other buildings with similar
designs are flawed. 37 of them privately owned. It tells us it is
implausible that a developer could, following the letter of the law,
could have got the stuff through under the building regulations. We
made a film to help you understand more about the test.
Tbe only way to test the fire safety of a cladding design properly
is to rig up your design and then try to set fire to it.
Last week, Newsnight was permitted to film preparations for such a test
on cladding like that used at Grenfell Tower.
So plastic foam insulation on the inside, aluminium panels
We visited before the aluminium panels had been put up.
So what's underneath those aluminium panels?
Well, first of all, the stuff under the foil here,
In this case, so-called PIR insulation.
It's a plastic foam, it's the kind of stuff
Now, importantly, this stuff here, this yellow stuff, that's
It's supposed to stop the fire from going horizontally
These black strips here, those are intumescent
What happens with these is that if there is a fire
in this bit of insulation, they will heat up, expand
and they will stop the fire from going up the building.
But the thing is, both the horizontal firebreak
and the vertical firebreak rely on the aluminium cladding
on the outside, because otherwise the fire can just go around them.
This really is a system that's being tested, not just a group
Well, we weren't allowed anywhere near and the government hasn't
So here's a graph showing the temperature measured by one
instrument in the cladding as the test wore on.
At three minutes, the scientists noted...
The colour of the panels has changed from white to dark grey.
Sporadic flaming from the top of the rig.
Flaming several metres beyond the top of the rig.
To pass this test, the rig is supposed to last
This result implies the design, not poor insulation or bad luck,
This result implies the design, not poor installation or bad luck,
These materials didn't meet the required standards
How this design got signed off is a critical question
and not just at Grenfell - also in the 82 buildings that have
been told that this test means their cladding
Within the past few minutes, President Trump has announced
on Twitter that he has appointed a new White House chief of staff.
He's the former secretary of homeland security, John F Kelly.
It's not clear whether Mr Kelly's predecessor, Reince Preibus,
It's not clear whether Mr Kelly's predecessor, Reince Priebus,
This follows the apparent failure last night of Republican attempts
Joining me to unpack all this is Politico's Daniel Lippman.
Good evening, within the last few minutes, CNN reports that Reince
Priebus resigned privately yesterday. What do you know about
what has been happening? There are conflicting reports on that. Sources
close to Reince Priebus said he resigned in the White House sources
said he was fired today. He was seen on Air Force One travelling with the
president today and we do not know what happened. The broader issue is
that this underscores that the White House chaos in the west wing has
continued. Reince Priebus, his leaving the White House is not going
to stop that. He was not the biggest problem in the White House. Let's
talk about Priebus. He was the Republicans' point man. An insider,
Republican insider in this slightly strange west wing we have now and
Donald Trump has edged him out. Was there any question it was to do with
the failure to get the affordable care vote repeals last night, which
Priebus was tasked with doing? Even before the health care failure last
night, Reince Priebus was on thin ice, because the President's
advisers, in his family, they were not happy with his performance.
Reince Priebus has promised to be an establishment figure who could get
Capitol Hill to follow what Trump wanted and even if the health care
bill had passed, Reince Priebus would still probably be out of his
job. I think Reince Priebus did not perform to heroin's expectations
because it is hard to manage a White House like the one President Trump
has. We have a situation where it might look like Steve Bannon has won
but Anthony Scaramucci is coruscating about Steve Bannon, who
according to the New Yorker had an extraordinary conversation with
expletives and denigrating things to say about Priebus. Reince Priebus
never fully meshed with Trump and Scaramucci is kind of a mini Trump.
And is... He has been told by people close to him to quiet down his
media, because generally as communications director for the
White House, you are not supposed to publicly trash fellow advisers and
colleagues at work. Scaramucci was the whole story this week and Trump
does not like being supplanted as the number one media celebrity in
politics in DC. I think Steve Bannon is safer the White House, he will
not get fired or resign because he has a closer relationship with the
president the Reince Priebus ever had. Thanks.
Since we joined the EU, we have enjoyed pretty much unfettered air
travel to European Union destinations - give or take
In fact, the Office of National Statistics reported that,
last year, there was a record total of 14.7 million visits to Spain
alone by UK residents - the vast majority of
But when we exit the EU, if we leave the European
industry and safety bodies - as seems to be the plan -
Here's our business editor Helen Thomas.
For decades, we've been taking flight to an ever-increasing
But as we migrate towards Brexit, there are warnings
If we're not careful, could we find ourselves, well, flightless?
Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon, it's a great
The boss of Ryanair has been vocal about the risks to our getaways.
There is a real prospect and we need to deal with this,
that there is going to be no flights between the UK and Europe
for a period of weeks, months, beyond March 2019.
He wants the UK to stay in Europe's existing open skies agreement that
He says we're running out of time to negotiate an alternative.
The industry that makes the planes has its worries, too.
Aeromet manufactures 45,000 fuel connectors for Airbus each year.
From here in Rochester they go to Wales to become part of wings,
then on to Toulouse, where the planes are assembled.
The aerospace industry has some familiar concerns.
It wants hassle-free trade with no tariffs or delays for complex
But, there is a more fundamental problem.
The safety regime that underpins everything
from parts to planes, to pilots to maintenance,
And that has the potential to ground the industry.
That safety regime is the work of the European Aviation Safety Agency.
The boss of the UK's aerospace industry body says it's
We are very clear that we wish to remain a member of
the European Aviation Safety Agency and we don't believe
that there is a viable alternative that can be up and running
ADS reckons it could take five to ten years and 300 extra
staff to equip the UK's Civil Aviation Authority
And we may still need a transition period where we stay very
When we cease to be an EU member, we need to have in place a whole
So, for us, the transition period is important and it's important that
during that period we remain an EU member.
Really, it's about providing our international colleagues,
particularly the US, with confidence that
the new regulatory regime that we are going to operate
is capable of meeting the high safety and security
The challenge is we don't know what that is going to look like.
So how complicated is it to secure our freedom to fly?
Countries like Norway or Switzerland are part
of the European safety agency, but outside the EU.
But they also have bilateral agreements with places like the US.
Without a safety regime that is recognised by the rest
of the world, the UK could find itself left on the ground.
This isn't just general griping about the cost
and disruption of Brexit, it's a very specific problem.
And it's not one that can be sold just by the UK and Europe.
It requires input from regulators around the world.
By some estimates, that work could take 18 months to make sure
that we can keep flying after departure from the EU.
And that's even if we stay part of the European safety body.
The clock is most definitely ticking.
The head of America's Federal aviation administration said in June
that discussions with the UK Government had started,
but he added they were complicated and time-consuming
It is important to keep these time constraints in mind and to not get
sidetracked into an uncomfortable situation in which a missed
deadline results in an interruption of service.
Sticking with the European regulator should make these
but staying a member of the European safety agency
The main issue is the financial contribution that would
still need to be made within and into a European establishment.
It is also the issue of oversight of the outer
framework and the rules, which currently sits with other
European institutions and predominantly the ECJ.
This is where aerospace's problems start to sound familiar again.
with European Court of Justice oversight,
a respected European rule book that actually UK
expertise has played a substantial part in devising,
and a deadline to figure out what might or could take its place.
If we don't have a transitional arrangement, and if we aren't
a member of the EU as part of that transitional arrangement,
then we have chaos, because we don't have a system to ensure
that our products are safe and secure to fly and a regime
that is acknowledged around the world.
I'm joined now by MEP Jacqueline Foster and by
Good evening to the both of you. Jacqueline, how can we be part of
the open skies regime after we exit the EU, when it is overseen by the
European Court of Justice and Theresa May has made it clear she
did not want to be incumbent by any ruling from the ECJ. Two separate
issues here, open skies are service agreements, what the piece was about
was twofold, it was about the role of the European aviation safety
agency, and how we comply with the rules that are laid down there, and
when we certify the goods from the aerospace manufacturers. And open
skies, where we look at the airlines, is about the arrangements
we will have with countries, dearly for traffic flight, to fly from the
UK, both into Europe and obviously to other countries around the world.
Yes, two separate things, but open skies, open skies are governed by
the European Court of Justice, and so therefore, we are in a situation
where Theresa May says we will not be involved in it, you have two of
I'd buy that to be part of the open skies policy. No, I think you are
wrong here, we are talking about service agreements, and the European
Court of Justice, the reference to the European Court of Justice, is
when we are talking about compliance to the European aviation safety
agency, which does not deal with air service agreements and open skies.
These are two different things. They are separate bodies. The European
aviation safety agency is one thing, but the open skies policy, your
understanding is that it comes under the ECJ. I take everything back to
the customer, the customer need safe aviation and the customer needs
competitive aviation, and dynamic growth of networks in Europe, which
is what 40 years of being involved in Europe has done, brought together
those two elements so that they are not separate. Will be part of open
skies, when we exit the EU? If there was a plan, I would be delighted to
be involved in it, post-election it seems the Department for Transport
has largely closed down communication with organisations
like ERAA in order to have discussions about where you are
going, the only doors for discussion open appear to be doors in Brussels.
We will not automatically be a member of the safety agency, after
EU exit, is that correct? That is my understanding and that is the
understanding of the airlines as well. But it is inevitably's
interests. I have got to challenge him on the is making. It is in
everybody's interests to carry on as tariff free as possible, lots of
other European countries want it to happen, it is not a case of what
them wanting to lock us out. We have had 260 million journeys last year,
which depend upon this freedom and liberalisation. At the same time,
you have got to recognise that the number of seats that the UK has in
Europe are around 12% of the total. There is an 88% that can get on with
its business. Can I put it to you, Jacqueline Foster, we are not
automatically going to be part of the European safety agency. I
disagree, we will remain part of it, because we are not looking to form
some other agency, there are other countries who are part of that
agency, compliant with it, not members of the European Union...
Norway... The fact that we manufactured goods here, the wings
for a bus, Rolls-Royce engines, there will not be a tariff issue
either, and those goods will continue to be certified in the
European aviation safety agency. When we come to the open skies, I am
afraid your other guest is extremely negative, what we need to do, what
we clearly need to do, because we will not be part of the EU in terms
of open skies, we need to have an arrangement, UK EU, then we will
revert back to bilaterals when we are looking at the United States, or
being part of an open skies agreement. We have had bilateral and
multilateral agreements since 1944, under the Chicago Convention, and
therefore, with political will, and there is a lot of discussion, I have
to take on board and challenge the comments your guest has made,
discussions have been taking place, with people like me, I am a
transport spokesman, I specialise in this area, the commission want a
transition, the ministers want a smooth transition, politicians want
a smooth transition. My guest in the studio here in London... Speed is of
the essence. The airline vote with their feet, last week, easyJet has
registered, taken of the UK AOC 100 plus aeroplanes, and put them in and
AOC in Austria, they are not waiting for government decisions, they are
deciding to move business to Europe. -- an AOC.
All week there have been celebrations and commemorations
of the moment 50 years ago when the Sexual Offences Act
decriminalised homosexual acts in private between consenting
What it wasn't was full emancipation, or a magic bullet
that changed attitudes, prejudices and created
That has been a slower and, for many, a painful journey.
Now, LGBT people are more comfortable in their skin.
But to say that homophobia doesn't exist, or that there is
discrimination below the surface would be wrong.
Matthew Todd, the former editor of Attitude magazine, brought
out his book Straight Jacket: How to be Gay and Happy
This is his film for Newsnight about the mental health issues
he says are still crippling too many LGBT people.
VOICEOVER: Decriminalisation, adoption rights, equal marriage,
Britain's LGBT community has come a long way over the past 50 years.
But, despite this, LGBT people still suffer with higher levels of
depression, anxiety, addictions and suicide, I know, because I am one of
them. Soho used to be a place I would come to to get out of my head.
Today, in recovery, I am more likely to be here, sipping a cup of herbal
tea. Why is it that so many LGBT people suffer with mental health
problems? In my experience, these problems are never far away. Rob God
was a man I worked with briefly at Attitude magazine, in 2013, aged 34,
he took his own life. -- Rob Goddard. He was massively
gregarious, he was a central part of every social situation. He had
thousands of friends. With those real highs, came the very big lows,
as well. He partied quite heavily, he did recreational drugs, he found
a cert in utopia within that environment, he could just be
himself and nobody would care. -- certain utopia. You said he was not
happy being gay. He was fiercely proud of being gay, he never hid it,
at all. Not from anyone, did he. But I think that had a negative effect
on him. I remember a time when he was sat at the back of a bus, early
hours of the morning, with his boyfriend at the time, his head on
his shoulder, back from a club, something like that, on the bus, on
the way home, laid his head against his shoulder, and he was beaten up
for it. He asked the driver of the bus to step in, the driver of the
bus was very negative towards him. And kind of... Essentially said, if
you put yourself into this position, by being outwardly gay, then you
deserve what you get. Just months before he died, Rob had a psychotic
episode after ingesting window cleaner and other substances, he
ended up breaking his own leg. He was smashing his leg against the
wall, there was blood everywhere, he was in hospital for a while, I did
go to see him. And he was so sorry at what had happened. He said it was
the drugs, he said that it was like fighting an army. In the bedroom.
Powerful drugs like crystal meth and JBL are increasingly popular in the
gay male community. The only LGBT specific drugs and alcohol service,
capital at antidote, has seen a big rise in people seeking help. -- GBL.
Some people would say, they are using drugs, no big deal, not the
end of the world, but it can destroy lives. Lost relationships, lost
homes, lost jobs, not those people, it has a devastating effect on
people's mental health, I think it is important we start looking at
some of those underlying issues that, you know, that people are
using drugs. Low self-esteem, the feeling of not being good enough.
The loneliness and isolation, as well, that some people can feel.
Young people still struggle, staggeringly, Stonewall recently
found that nearly half of young trans people have attempted suicide.
Amy, a 19-year-old from Coventry, was bullied to the point where she
considered taking her own life. Started off with low-level verbal
comments, and then the physical bullying. I was being pushed around,
I was having things thrown at me, because of my gender identity.
Things thrown at me, books, pens, rulers... This behaviour and
bullying was affecting me, and it was not being tackled by the
teacher, and that legitimised it, it gave them the power to do the
actions, we will not get in trouble for it. Legitimised it in my head.
If this is happening and it is not being tackled, then maybe I am not
worth this, maybe I am a lover person. If I could just end it, I
thought, then I would not be able -- would not have to put up with the
abuse and the bullying, it would stop full and if that was the only
thing that I could do to get it to stop, that was the only thing left,
I felt like I could control it. Good evening, and welcome. Talking is
something we have not done enough of, a change of scene is a monthly
discussion group for gay and bisexual men to share life
experiences, often for the first time. You need to be out and proud
and happy, look how fabulous we are, we go out and we have fun. -- A
Change of Scene. There is an image, a general image, within the gay
community, that we feel we have two project. You may ridicule gay men,
but you cannot would it kill my lifestyle... I feel I need to show
something that I am OK to be me, but of course, for me to actually make
so much effort to do that, deep down, of course, there is
insecurity. I don't feel like we have moved beyond the position of
defending our right to exist yet, my experience as a gay man is very much
about proving my right to be who I am, now, still, before having the
luxury to reflect on how I can be a healthy, joyous version of that.
APPLAUSE This is not just a gay issue, when
society fails to support LGBT children, whole families are
devastated, it is time that we all woke up to this mental health
crisis. We're in the midst of Prom season
and tomorrow there's a new treat, It's a concert created for children
and adults with autism and learning disabilities,
and others with sensory impairments. Eva Stewart, piccolo player
for the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, is here to perform
the Flight of the Bumblebee. But she's saving her costume
for tomorrow(!) MUSIC: Flight of the Bumblebee
by Rimsky-Korsakov Hello, again, really is going to be
a mixed bag this weekend, overnight rain in England and Wales moving
through the English Channel by the morning, starting to push north
again, into southern parts of England and Wales, especially
through the afternoon, sleight of dry weather with sunshine and one or