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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