20/12/2012 BBC News at One

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The latest national and international news stories from the BBC News team, followed by weather.

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MPs have criticised the payout to the former Director-General of the


BBC. They say it is a cavalier use of public money. Large parts of


England and Wales have been told to prepare for more floods and damage


to property. A second man has been arrested in connection with the an


Drew Mitchell Plebgate investigation. And the prospect of


more cancer treatment for this seven-year-old is back in the High


Court after a successful operation Good afternoon. The pay-off to


George Entwistle, who resigned as Director-General of the BBC in the


wake of the Jimmy Savile sex-abuse scandal, has been strongly


criticised by MPs as a cavalier use of public money. George Entwistle


was given �450,000 after just 54 days in the job. The BBC is taking


legal advice about whether there are grounds to get some of it back.


Our correspondent David Sillito reports. Chaos, confusion, melt


down - the verdict on how the BBC handled the dropped investigation


into Jimmy Savile in the press this morning. Former Director-General


George Entwistle was given a pay- off of �450,000. He resigned


following Lord McAlpine getting wrongly accused of sexual abuse.


All of it has not gone down well with the public about committee.


think the BBC displayed a rather cavalier attitude to the way that


it uses taxpayers money through the licence fee. This is all of how


many, and this man has been in the job for 54 days, walking away with


�450,000. In its defence, the BBC chairman, speaking on radio this


morning, said that legally, they had little choice, and that they


had looked to see if they could claw some of that money back.


sent them a detailed account of why we had taken the decision on George


Entwistle. The legal advice, which pointed out that if we had not done


the settlement there and then, we would have had to do well more


costly settlement, with a more constructive and probably an unfair


dismissal, that it would have taken too and, that we needed to act


quickly, rather than hang about... Meanwhile, the BBC's Head of News,


Helen Boaden, returned to work today. Do you think it is right


that you kept your job at the BBC? That is for others to decide. BBC


News is trusted, that has never really diminished, it is the most


trusted news organisation in this country. Kennet still be trusted


with you at the helm? The Pollard report said she should have done


more when her department was in virtual meltdown. Allies say her


hands were tied after she was sidelines during the Savile crisis.


The Acting Director-General made his feelings clear last night.


Success is not about how many people I dismiss, it is about


making a fair and proper judgment, based on the facts in front of me,


and making saw that the BBC is in a position to rebuild trust. So, how


do they do that? The head of the Commons select committee which


monitors the BBC feels it has to really change. At think


fundamentally, there needs to be an overhaul of the entire management


structure at the BBC, which does not mean shifting a few people


around. We need to have a very hard look at the way that organisation


is run, which should be the priority for the incoming Director-


General. And of course, the BBC will have to brace itself in the


coming months for more revelations about Jimmy Savile. A second


inquiry, looking back over 40 years of the BBC and Savile has only just


begun. David Sillito joins me now from outside new Broadcasting House.


It has been another did a good day for the BBC? Very much so. 185


pages of criticism about a lack of leadership and about it in the


organisation incapable of dealing with this crisis. In addition to


that, we have had the committee excoriating the BBC about the pay-


off. So, it is another day of bad headlines. There has been a


statement and e-mail by the director of news, Helen Boaden,


which has just been issued, and she described the experiences of


reading the report over the last few weeks as bruising.


24 of heavy rain brings flooding and travel disruption - and there's


worse to come. Large parts of England and Wales are being told to


prepare for more floods and damage to property, as bands of heavy rain


continue MPs criticise the �450,000 payout to the BBC's former


director-general George Entwistle. This morning, people have had to be


rescued from their vehicles in Hampshire. The Environment Agency


has issued 214 flood alerts and 40 flood warnings about the UK. We can


join Jon Kay, in North Somerset. It is looking pretty bad there? Yes,


yet again, it is looking bad. We have had yet more rain throughout


the night. It is raining again at the moment. I can show you a stark


example of how much rain we have had. You can see this farm's gate.


The water is coming two thirds up it. These are normally fields on


the Somerset Levels, but they have been filled with floodwater, not


just overnight, but this is the accumulation of weeks and weeks of


heavy rain. The ground is completely saturated. And here you


can see the result of that, because it is still spilling onto the roads.


This lane has actually been blocked off for weeks, there has been so


much water. And there is a warning this lunchtime from the police


across the country, not just here, that if you see this kind of thing,


do not even think about driving into it. You do not know how deep


it is or what the risks might be. It is not just here in the south-


west of England that we have had heavy rain. It is right Ghana.


There are more than 200 flood alerts across the country at the


moment. -- it is right across the country. Imagine what people are


feeling, as they look ahead to Christmas, and they seem more water


coming of the Somerset Levels. They are worried about their homes, not


just here but in many other places. It is a serious situation. The


Environment Agency is watching closely, and forecasters are


watching the radar. Let's goma long to our correspondent in


Brockenhurst, in the New Forest, Chrissy Stuart. Similar scenes


there? Yes, it has been very wet here. We are in an absolutely


saturated Brockenhurst village. That is a river which has burst its


banks overnight, the waters surging over what is meant to be a car park.


You can see a car just going past. That road is completely blocked.


This scene has been repeated right across the New Forest. Lots of


people getting stuck in their cars. We ourselves this morning came


across a couple who had just scrambled out of the windows of


their Portia, which had got stuck in a Ford. They had a very narrow


escape. -- Porsche. The local control room has been dealing with


people stranded in cars, as well as people who have had their


properties flooded, particularly in a town just along the coast from


here, on the border with West Sussex. Several bungalows there are


having water pumped out as we speak. Also, a lot of disruption to South


West Trains. They have had flooding in several parts which have closed


the line. So, it is very difficult to move around in Hampshire. Police


are saying not to travel unless it is absolutely necessary. Thank you


both. Just some information coming in from the Environment Agency,


which is saying that they have decided to issue a severe flood


warning for the village of Wallington, next to the river


Wallington, which is going to be evacuated immediately, because the


river levels are just too high, and are reaching the top of the defence


systems around the village. That's the latest from the Environment


Agency. Detectives investigating whether a police officer lied about


witnessing an incident in Downing Street involving the former chief


whip and Drew Mitchell have made another a rest. The suspect has


been questioned and released on police bail. Let's speak to our


correspondent Home Affairs Correspondent - what can you tell


us? This is another twist in the tortuous tale which began when


Andrew Mitchell, it is claimed, called police plebs in Downing


Street back in September. All the Metropolitan Police will say at the


moment about this the best is that the man is 23, and that he was


questioned overnight about will allegation that he encouraged or


assisted somebody to commit an offence last Friday. The timing may


be crucial. Last Friday is the day before police made their first


arrest in this investigation, the arrest of a police officer, we are


told, who it is alleged lied about witnessing that incident in Downing


Street on 19th September. It gets quite complicated, but effectively,


this officer, it is claimed, sent an e-mail to Mr Mitchell's deputy,


saying he had seen this incident, and of course, any account of that


incident will be important in deciding whether an Drew Mitchell


is telling the truth about what happened that evening. There is


also CCTV which has come to light, which suggests that there were no


eye witnesses to what happened. All of this is still being investigated


by the police, 30 officers working on an investigation which Scotland


Yard says they are regarding with the utmost seriousness. It is


claimed that thousands of lives could be saved every year in the UK


if elderly cancer patients were not denied treatment because of their


rage. Macmillan Cancer Support says decisions about care should be


based on health assessments. Health charities and the Government have


been looking at how to make sure cancer patients who benefit from


treatment can receive it whatever their age. For the past two years


they have been testing new approaches at five trial sites in


England, working with hundreds of patience over 70. They say they


have learnt vital lessons which could save lives and money. First,


they say a proper patient assessment is vital, covering


physical and mental health. Then, physical and mental health. Then,


there is the need to make sure more staff are trained in elderly care,


to reduce age discrimination. Also, practical support at home is needed


to help people cope with the demands of cancer treatment. There


is no doubt that some older is no doubt that some older


patients are being denied cancer treatment unfairly. That is my


dad... This man's father died of prostate cancer. This year,


Geoffrey Brunt himself discovered he had the disease. The surgeon


told him he would operate to remove the tumour, but said it would have


been different if he was over 70. Geoffrey Brunt, 67, says any age


barrier is totally wrong. I have got five g grandchildren. -- five


grandchildren. Why should I be denied the chance to live another


15-20 years? To me, people do not have the right to do that.


Macmillan say extra planning before treatment can make a huge


difference. Critics might say, this is costly, Candy NHS afford it? I


would argue, we cannot afford not to. We need to do this assessment,


to pick up on things, like sending out a falls provincial programme,


which is much more cost-effective than treating a hip fracture.


Geoffrey Brunt is doing well, and can look forward to Christmas. The


challenge now is to make sure that lessons regarding overcoming age


discrimination are put into practice across the Health Service.


The Government's plans to simplify energy tariffs has come under fire.


A committee of MPs says the new system will not allow people to


compare prices easily, and the consumer organisation Which? says


it is doomed to fail unless more radical change is implemented. Our


energy correspondent John Morgan is with me. One of the big problems is


that not enough of us switch between suppliers, meaning we stay


on more expensive tourists for longer. So, the big idea that the


regulator has come up with is that they should be fewer tariffs, and


it should be simpler to switch to another supplier. Now, the problem


is that each of these tariffs, and there will only be eight per


supplier, for gas and electricity, each of them are going to be


expressed as a single standard charge, but also with a per unit


price. The problem is, if you have got eight tariff spurs player, each


of them expressed with two different numbers, that's 16


numbers, across a lot of suppliers, it is very difficult for people to


compare. The MPs have said today that they think it is good to be


hard to make comparisons. And Which? Have gone much further,


saying that the whole project is doomed to failure. They say you


have got to drop the standing charge altogether, so that people


are simply dealing with a single unit price. What does Ofgem have to


say? They have been working on these proposals for some time. They


say the reason why they have put in a standing charge is that if you


drop it, the price would have to be that much more expensive, which


would make vulnerable customers more vulnerable to paying higher


charges. They say that overall, these reforms they are putting in


to make the Tariffs easier to understand are the most far-


reaching reforms since competition began. The battle over the


treatment for a seven-year-old cancer patient is back in the High


Court today. Neon Roberts underwent more surgery on a brain tumour


yesterday, against his mother's wishes. His mother is now arguing


her son should not have radiotherapy treatment because it


could cause long-term home. The boy's father agrees with doctors


that he should have the treatment. Our correspondent is outside the


High Court. Tell us what happened Well, we have been hearing more


about seven-year-old Neon Roberts's condition on the brain tumour, the


mother said she was relieved that the operation had gone well. It was


revealed to the court she had tried to stop that operation from taking


place, but was refused permission, that is why it went ahead. We heard


from the doctors who said that the operation had gone well, that the


surgeon had removed as much tumour that they could see, but now it was


essential he underwent radio they werey. Sally Roberts opposes that.


Shoo is concerned about radio they werey, her lawyers then asked the


court for more time. An adjournment until January, in order to find


alternative treatment for her son. But from what the judge has been


saying it looks like this will be decided one way or the other today?


Well, the judge rejected that adjournment until January. He said


that was not possible. He said that every increasing delay is that much


more detrimental to Neon Roberts's health. The Trust that represents


the took tors treating Neon Roberts are looking for a judgment by the


end of the day. Thank you very much.


The top story: MPs criticise the �450,000 pay out to the BBC's form


are Director-General, George Entwistle. Coming up: Why a stumble


in the Olympic Torch Relay changed Kieron Maxwell's life.


On BBC London: The great escape. We have all of the travel details for


those getting out of town for Christmas. Looking back on 2012,


find out how this Olympian could have had a better day than this...


Fishing fleets around the UK have welcomed new targets controlling


how much they can catch in our waters. The European Union set its


latest fishing quotas after a marathon series of talks that ended


in Brussels this morning. Greenpeace welcomed the news, but


said some species are still overfished off the Scottish and the


Irish coasts. We have this report. A fresh catch, and some good news


now for Scotland's fishermen. The amount they are allowed to bring in


is controlled by rules, set by the European Union fishing ministers.


This year the massive cuts to quotas that some feared have been


avoided. I'm relieved. Some of our boats are


down to 100 a day it is not enough. They could not take the cuts.


British waters were once full of fish, but years of overfishing have


caused serious declines. Limiting fishing has helped to save


some species. Environmentalists feared that the latest deal does


not protect others. It is not good news for all fish.


Some stocks are so depleted that scientists recommend no fishing at


all. For example in Irish and Scottish waters. We are concerned.


We think that the ministers have to pick up the pace to ensure


sustainability of fish in the future.


The system is designed to ensure that no species of fish is driven


to extinction. That the fish stocks survive. Remarkably, however, one


thing threatening the goal, many agree is the EU's own fishing


policy. The thousands of rules governing


that policy are now being re- written N a year it is hoped that


there will be a ban on the controversial aspect, discards. The


throwing away of perfectly good, edible fish.


That ban is not certain yet, but if it does happen it would be good


news for fish and for those who like to eat them.


People in England who were left disabled by thalidomide are to


receive support worth �80 million over ten years. Thalidomide was


given to pregnant women with morning sickness until it was


withdrawn in 1961. It was linked to birth defegts. The move is welcomed


by the campaigners. The retailers are hoping for a


bumper few days this weekend with last-minute Christmas shopping.


They may need it, according to the figures that showed that sales


remained flat as consumers rained in their spending. Emma Simpson is


in Central London, difficult times at the moment? Yes, these figures


out today, Sophie, they were pretty uninspiring and not what the


retailers need in the run-up to Christmas. Back in October, we saw


retail volumes take quite a big drop. Last month the sales just did


not bounce back. The sales were pretty much flat. On top of that,


we had evidence from a survey showing that trading in the first


two weeks of December were weaker than predicted. So the picture is


that Christmas has gotten off to a very slow start indeed. As ever,


with the festive period and the retailers, it is not over until it


is over. Retailers are hoping that customers will be out buying


bargains at the last minute. What is unusual this year, Christmas is


on a Tuesday, there are two very big trading days this weekend. They


could prove to be crucial. I suspect that they will be cheered


by the huge number of people behind you now, what about the internet


sales? There has been talk about more and more people doing the


shopping online over the years, is that improving? Yes, that is one


very bright spot. Today we had figures show that online sales now


make up just under 11% of all retail sales that is the highest


ever. So we are spending more online at the expense of


traditional bricks and mortar. You can expect to see a bumper


Christmas online, I think. Then we will have to wait until January


when we get the full story of what really will happen this Christmas.


Nearly half of marriages in England and Wales still end in a divorce,


according to the latest figures, but there has been a slight fall in


numbers. The figures show there were more than 1 7,000 divorces in


2011, a drop of 1.7%. We have this report.


According to the cliches, love and marriage go hand in hand, but


relationships don't always work out. All of the people I know are


divorced. It is about independence now. They want their independence.


That is what it is about, I think, for men and for women.


According to the latest Census, Blackpool is the town with the


highest percentage of divorces in the country, but the numbers of


people choosing to end their marriages seem to be falling.


Figures show that there were just over 1, 1700 divorces in 2011. A


substantial number, but a fall of 1.7% compared to the year before.


Divorce has fall no-one Northern Ireland and Scotland, but some say


that the statistics don't reflect the state of modern relationships.


A polling of Relate of councillors, tells 47% of people are having to


stay together as they cannot afford to separate.


But Lacey, divorced and remarried, says that the legal fees are worth


paying. I could not afford to do anything.


I could not work. I just got in the car and left. I did not know what I


would do, but it was the best thing for me.


All relationships have ups and downs, and certainly financial


strains are putting pressure on a number of families, but in


analysing the figures, the Office for National Statistics says that


it believes that some couples are staying together until the economy


and the house prices improve. Someone came in this week to


indicate that they were intending to separate and saying that they


did not feel that they could afford to dwors at the present time.


But it is worth noting that the fall in the divorces is consistent


with the decline in marriage. In 21st century relationships, many


are choosing to live together. When Kieron Maxwell lost his leg to


cancer, he vowed it would not change his life. He continued to


play football and was chosen to carry the Olympic torch in the


summer, but a stumble in the relay has given Kieron Maxwell the chance


to fulfil his dreams. 14-year-old, Kieron Maxwell, he has


had an extraordinary year. Playing football with his friends at school


is a tribute to the good things that have happened to this teenager


over the last 12 months. The awards are stacking up for a


young man who was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 12 and who had


to have his leg amputated. His personal battle saw him carry the


Olympic torch, but it did not quite go to plan.


I left a nasty dent in the torch! I fell, I thought, what would they


think of me? But they were all cheering. Telling me I could do it.


I thought, yeah, I can do it. Then the encouragement from the


torch relay team in the grey shirts. They told me to get up and do it.


They were really supportive. It was really good.


But carrying the torch was the beginning of his Olympic dreams.


This year his gymnastic potential has been recognised too.


This is what they use in the Paralympics. This is what they run


with and they get in there and just do it.


Do you see yourself being a Paralympian one day? I do. I want


to use this and go for it. In what category? In what sport?


With this, probably gymnastics. Kear acre's Olympic Torch Relay,


high lighted an appeal to buy him a more everyday leg, but the family


were blown away when this couple came up with the mon. Colin and


Christine Weir within more than �116 million on the EuroMillions


draw and offered to him -- help him. You don't think your child will be


helped. That people will think that your child is more deserving than


another person, but it is lovely when, yes, it is! It has a


different foot. A blade in the shoe... Even Kieron Maxwell cannot


believe his luck this year. R way that they suddenly stepped in


and said that this were doing this for me it was amazing.


It transformed your life? changed everything.


But above all, the generosity of a couple that his family have never


meant has meant that Kieron Maxwell can blend in with his friends again.


In remission from his cancer, this is his next Olympic ambition, all


steming from this moment in the Olympic spotlight.


Football now and Manchester United have been drawn against Spanish


champions, Real Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League. The


match is to see Cristiano Ronaldo returning to Old Trafford for the


first time since his �80 million move from United to Real in June,


2009. Celtic are to play Juventus. Arsenal take on last year's


Champions League runners up, Bayern Munich.


Now the all-important weather. Now the all-important weather.


It is looking terrible out there? It is. More rain to come. This


picture some it is up, a flooded Christmas tree taken in Essex. A


loft rain here. The wettest weather has been a I cross the South Wales


and south England. Heavy rain in Cornwall, heavy rain


in Bournemouth. Heavy rain in Nottingham as well. It really is


miserable. Amber warnings from the Met Office, the focus is to shift


into the east of Scotland. Warnings for the south of England and South


Wales. It will dry off here in the evening, but a miserable end to the


day. Lots of rain to come and snow in the mountains of Scotland.


Blizzards in the bitter, raw winds. There is the amber warning for the


rain over Angus, Perth and Kinross. For Northern Ireland it is becoming


drier. The winds are lighter. Cold on the eastern side of England.


More rain to come into the early part of the evening, but beginning


to dry off at 6.00pm over the south-west of England that drying


up process will continue into the night. The drier weather chases to


the north, following this belt of rain that grinds to a halt over


Scotland and the north-east of England. Away from here and the


winds there are lighter winds, mist and fog. It will be chilly, colder


than it has been recently, close to freezing in rural parts of Northern


Ireland, England and Wales. Tomorrow the wet and windy weather


for a while over the east of Scotland and the north-east of


England, but then it will brighten up with sunshine coming through and


temperatures getting up into the double figures over the south. A


chance to dry off for many areas on Friday, but it is a brief respite.


This is what we have on Saturday. A long spell of heavy rain sweeping


up quickly from the south-west. Heading up to the north-east


allowing Northern Ireland, England and Wales to dry for a while in the


afternoon. With the rain there are strong winds. The weather front is


taking the rain across the country on Saturday. Another area of low


pressure coming from the south-west and overnight, keeping it wet and


windy in many areas. So with more rain to come there is more flooding


and more travel disruption. Keep up to date with the local


radio. There is the floodline number there.


It is a wet run-up to Christmas, It is a wet run-up to Christmas,


rather than a white one. The top story: MPs criticise the


�450,000 pay out to the BBC's former Director-General, George


Entwistle. As torrential rain brings floods to parts of the UK,


the Environment Agency says that the village of Wallington in