15/03/2017 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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A major U-turn as the government scraps its plans to raise


National Insurance payments for millions of


The Chancellor announced the tax rise in last week's Budget


but he now accepts it breached a Conservative election


We will consider the government's overall approach to employment


status and rights to tax and entitlements.


We will bring forward further proposals but we will not bring


forward increases to NICs later in this parliament.


We have a government U-turn, we have no apology and we have a Budget that


falls most heavily on those with the least broad shoulders.


We'll be asking how embarrassing this is for the government and how


much of a hole it will leave in their finances.


A Royal Marine jailed for killing an injured Taliban fighter


in Afghanistan has his murder conviction reduced to manslaughter -


We are delighted at the judge's decision to substitute manslaughter


This is a crucial decision and one that much better reflects


the circumstances that my husband found himself in during that


Three animal charities win an appeal against the estranged daughter


of a woman who left them half a million pounds in her will.


Identity theft reaches record levels and it's young people


And coming up in the sport on BBC News, can Manchester City join


Leicester in the last eight of the Champions League?


City travel to Monaco tonight, while the Foxes


Good afternoon and welcome to the BBC News at One.


The Chancellor has scrapped his plans,


announced in last week's Budget, to raise National Insurance


payments for millions of self-employed workers.


The tax rise was due to come into effect next year.


But, in a major U-turn this morning, Phillip Hammond admitted


that the move would have broken an election manifesto pledge.


Our Political Correspondent, Ben Wright, reports.


Less than a week after Philip Hammond paraded his first Budget, he


has scrapped one of its central planks, Insurance rise for 1.6


million self-employed workers. The measure broke a 2015 Conservative


Party manifesto promise but the Chancellor insisted the measure was


there but the backlash from some Tory MPs, Labour and swathes of the


press was fierce. And this morning the Treasury made a dramatic


retreat, revealing in a letter to Tory MPs the tax rise would be


ditched. In the Commons this lunchtime, Tory MPs showed that


support for the government U-turn. I welcome the announcement from this


government that we will abide by the letter of our manifesto and also be


spirit. Would the Prime Minister agree with me that, as we move


towards balancing the books, we must ensure we have a fair and


sustainable tax system in place? We made a commitment not to raise taxes


and we put our commitment into the tax lock. The measures we put


forward in the budget last week were consistent with those locks. But


Labour MPs shouted down the Prime Minister as she confirmed the


National Insurance rise would not go ahead but a consultation would. On


the future of employment we will consider the government's overall


approach to employment status and rights to tax and entitlements, we


will bring forward further proposals but we will not bring forward


increases to NICs later in this Parliament. The Labour leader said


the government was in chaos. A budget that unravelled in seven


days, a Conservative manifesto with a very pensive Prime Minister on the


front page saying there would be no increase. A week ago and increase


was announced. And the SNP's Angus Robertson did not pull his punches.


We once had a Prime Minister who said the lady was not for turning.


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


admitted she is for turning with her screeching, embarrassing U-turn on


national insurance? This national Insurance rise was due to raise ?1


billion by the next election and some believe the U-turn is a


mistake. I think it is at its abutment that the Chancellor has


rowed back on that policy because it is about fairness, about closing


some of the tax discrepancies between employees and the


self-employed and it was about the public finances. The fact is this


tax rise proved unpopular, angered many Tory MPs and broke a manifesto


promise. The government has a very small majority and does not have the


political capital for a fight, despite the damage this will do to


be Chancellor's credibility. Ben Wright, BBC News, Westminster.


Our Assistant Political Editor, Norman Smith, is in Westminster.


It is quite some U-turn and difficult could this be for the


government? Let's get this in perspective a grand government


U-turn is, it is a full-blown howling, screeching the Italian


Riviera hairpin bend slope bleeding from the tyres U-turn. In terms of


the speed, just seven days ago Philip Hammond announced this tax


rise and the scale of it, it is the complete abandonment of the tax


rise, not a nudge or a rebuke is out of the window. Why? Mr Hammond says


because it was not compliant with the party manifesto and more


accurately, the reality cloud broke over him. This is blindingly


obviously a breach of their manifesto, never mind the


technicalities of the legal opt outs, reality cloud number two was


that he was facing an almighty Tory backbench revolt which could have


made it extremely difficult to get this through Parliament anyway. And


perhaps most damaging of all with the impact it was having on brand


may also Theresa May has made much of being different to David Cameron


can not going for spin politics but straightforward and honest talking


politics. This tax rise, preaching a manifesto, risked profoundly


damaging her own pitch as Prime Minister but it also leads two key


questions. Who is to blame? Many fingers will be pointed at Phillip


Hammond but is it really credible that Theresa May, who has an iron


grip on the government, was unaware? Secondly, where is the money going


to come from? Philip Hammond said that the up to ?2 billion raised


would largely go towards social care so where is the money for social


care going to come from? Thank you. With me is our Economics


Editor, Kamal Ahmed. It does leave quite a hole. It does,


and at the budget, the government announced to make a big spending


commitments one on social care that Norman has spoken about and also on


business rate relief is. They are expensive. To pay for it they


announced two big tax increases. One was on dividend tax, the taxes


people pay on their shares, and the other was the rise in taxes on the


self-employed, is NICs issue. That was going to raise over ?2 billion


by 2022. The fact is it has been scrubbed out and the government has


made a pledge they will not return to it at all so by the time of the


autumn budget in November, the government will have to say, how it


will raise that money. The problem they have is the manifesto


commitment which says no increases in income tax, no increases in VAT,


no increases in national insurance contributions. Those three taxes


raised over 60% of all government income. They are in a position where


they don't have much room to manoeuvre. I would suggest all


rolled viewers, when it comes to the autumn budget, look at the small


print because they were to nickel and dime in small areas of tax pot


like the dividend tax, maybe on probate or other areas, to raise


money otherwise there is this black hole in the budget which is U-turn


has only exacerbated. Thank you. And the statement from


the Chancellor will be live on the BBC News Channel along


with continued coverage A Royal Marine who shot dead


an injured Taliban fighter in Afghanistan six years ago has


had his murder conviction quashed. Judges at the Court Martial


Appeal Court ruled that Sergeant Alexander Blackman


was instead guilty of manslaughter on the grounds


of diminished responsibility. The 42-year-old was originally


sentenced to life in 2013. He'll now face another hearing


to determine his sentence. Our Defence Correspondent, Jonathan


Beale, is outside the court. At his original conviction,


Alexander Buttner's defence was that he thought the insurgent was already


dead when he shot him -- Blackman. For manslaughter to be considered he


has had to change the story and except he was alive and that an


important new medical evidence about Alexander Blackman's mental health


at the time have paved the way for this conviction to be overturned.


This morning, Claire Blackman, who's led the fight for her husband's


murder conviction to be quashed, arrived at court


It's a campaign that's had the backing of former Marines.


In 2013, a military court found Alexander Blackman,


better known as Marine A, guilty of murdering a wounded


But today, the Appeal Court concluded it wasn't murder.


In court, Claire Blackman greeted the news with a tear in her eye.


Outside, clearly relieved, this was a moment to savour.


We are delighted at the judge's decision to substitute manslaughter


This is a crucial decision and one that much better reflects


the circumstances that my husband found himself in during that


We must now wait for the sentencing hearing and hope to secure


a significant reduction in Al's sentence.


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


This, the moment the Royal Marine patrol called in a helicopter


to target two Taliban insurgents, one of whom was wounded.


We are not allowed to show the moment Blackman shoots


the injured insurgent, the court has only


released this audio as Blackman fires the fatal shot.


But three leading psychiatrists told the court that tough tour in Helmand


had taken its toll on Alexander Blackman.


They agreed he'd been suffering a severe form of combat stress.


Sergeant Blackman was suffering from a mental disorder at


the time, which impaired his ability to make rational judgments.


And in my view, the court have taken the


right view in accepting that he had the disorder and that disorder


affected the way he thought and affected his actions.


While his murder conviction has been quashed,


his wife will still have to wait for his release and to be reunited.


And Alexander Blackman, in the eyes of


Alexander Blackman has served more than three years of an eight year


minimum sentence for murder and the expectation is the sentence will be


reduced for manslaughter but we will have to wait for a few more weeks to


find out when he will be freed. You can see more on that story


tonight on BBC One in a special Panorama in which some of the men


who served with Alexander Blackman It's called Marine A:


The Inside Story, and it's on at When Melita Jackson died, she left


most of her half-a-million-pound fortune to three animal charities,


and not to her estranged daughter. Her daughter contested


the will and eventually was awarded more than ?150,000 of it,


despite her mother's wishes. Today that was reduced to ?50,000


when the three animal charities, who rely on wills for around 50%


of their income, took the case to the country's


highest court and won. Here's our Legal Correspondent,


Clive Coleman. For generations, families have been


falling out over wills. When Heather Ilott's mother died in 2004, she


made it crystal clear that she did not want her daughter to get a


penny. The pair had become estranged when, aged 17, Heather ran off with


a man her mother disapproved of. But nearly 30 years later she remained


married to him and the couple have five children. Animals cannot sell


anyone about the cruelty they suffer... Melita Jackson left her


entire half million pound fortune to three animal charities which she had


no direction to also Heather Ilott challenged the will and was


initially awarded ?50,000, but that was raised by the Court of Appeal to


?160,000 on the basis that her mother had not made reasonable


provision for her daughter. For the charities involved, that represented


a potential serious loss of income. They appealed to the Supreme Court.


In a really powerful judgment, seven justices here at the highest court


in the land have reaffirmed a fundamental principle of English


law, that anyone, you or I, can leave our money to whoever we want


them even if that means our children getting little or nothing at all.


The Supreme Court acknowledged that charities do an enormous amount of


good work and a lot of that is funded by the generosity of people


like Melita Jackson choosing to leave them money in her will. That


key point, the right to choose, I want to leave my money to that


charity and I don't have to explain why that was, my decision will be


respected. The ruling was welcomed by Don Day, his wife suffered from


dementia before her death and he has decided to leave estate to the


Alzheimer's Society and not his daughter. We haven't been very well


treated by my children. In my wife and I's hours of need, I'm afraid.


And we both felt that this was what we wanted to do. In this battle of


wills, daughter has lost out to an estranged mother. Charity may have


been the winner but it certainly begin at home. Other parents at odds


with their children will take note. Clive Coleman, BBC News.


The UK's unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level


with a record number of people in work.


But official figures for the three months to the end of January show


the number of people on zero-hours contracts increased


Our Economics Correspondent, Andy Verity, reports.


Few industries reveal the tightness of the labour market better


At this site near King's Cross in north London, about two thirds


of the skilled workers come from the new EU states such


as Romania and there is growing anxiety about what might happen


There is still uncertainty whether they will be


We need these people to be in our jobs, they make up labourers,


they make up trades, they make up engineers,


They are a very key part of the process.


We don't have any UK nationals to fill these roles.


Ahead of the Brexit negotiations, the stakes are particularly high


for the construction industry with up to 176,000 jobs that


could be in jeopardy if we don't have access to the EU labour supply


and half a trillion pounds of construction


Recruitment agents say that while unemployment is dropping,


in areas which voted to stay in the EU such as Scotland


and London, companies are getting less and less confident about taking


Small businesses are concerned around Brexit but it isn't only


It is the rise in the National Living Wage, the rise in rates,


And this uncertainty is actually stopping them from hiring.


They are at their lowest level since 2014 in their confidence to hire.


If employers are struggling to find the staff, it's fair to expect


But, on average, pay rises have slowed down,


up just 2.3% in the three months to January.


That's faster than price rises but only just.


The Chancellor has scrapped plans announced in last week's budget to


raise National Insurance payments for millions of self-employed


workers. The lorry drivers sleeping


in their cabs for months on end because they can't afford to live


in the countries could the two top ranked rugby union


nations in the world England are understood to be


interested in playing A major fund-raising campaign has


been launched to help 16 million people facing starvation in East


Africa. 13 UK aid agencies who make up


the Disasters Emergency Committee say they urgently need money


to provide food, water The Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson


is in Somalia where a national Viewers may spined some of the


images in this report disturbing. Northern Somalia and


the riverbeds here, bone dry. And with their crops failing


and cattle dying in the drought, people, however frail,


are now on the move This makeshift camp in the capital


Mogadishu is growing at the rate They are desperate for food,


particularly for their children. This lady, dressed in brown walked


for six days with the children to reach this camp, but not


all of them made it. TRANSLATION: I had four children,


two died on the journey I'm eight months pregnant,


I don't have shoes, water or food. The red marker on the band put


around this child's arm indicates It is estimated around


360,000 children under the age of five in Somalia


are now acutely malnourished. And beyond Somalia, the fear


of famine hangs over Ethiopian, And beyond Somalia, the fear


of famine hangs over Ethiopia, Millions of people in this region,


now at risk of starvation. This situation that these countries


now face is unprecedented. These are four countries the size


and the scale and the need has There are people obviously


in desperate situations. We have famine, we have drought,


we also have a man-made conflict. So British aid agencies,


already helping on the ground, are now appealing for a lot more


money, which they need quickly. But the impact of drought


and conflict it is affecting people But the impact of drought


and conflict is affecting people This is Yemen, also engulfed


in a profound humanitarian crisis The people of the Netherlands are


voting in their General Election, which has been dominated


by the issue of immigration. Early indications are that there is


a higher turnout than the last election in 2012.


From the Hague, Damian Grammaticas, reports.


The magnet for the TV cameras today is the man hoping


the mantle of Donald Trump and Brexit II.


Geert Wilders, Holland's far right leader aiming


He wants to ban the Koran, ban mosques, close borders,


And uncompromising again today, saying Muslims who don't


I say, if you don't like the idea, don't come to Holland.


You are free people, you can decide where to go


I hope we have less Islam in Holland.


I think Islam and freedom are not compatible.


He is the man hoping to stop Geert Wilders in his tracks.


He warned today as he cast his vote, that this ballot in the Netherlands


will set the tone for big elections to come in Europe this year.


In France and Germany, party lists are also challenging


The Dutch Prime Minister has framed this election between a choice


between him and Geert Wilders, his Liberal party and the rising tide of


populism. There is much at stake in this poll, he says. So he has told


Dutch voters that the world is watching.


One of the things I have asked voters to take into consideration.


What would it mean? The rest of the world will see after Brexit, after


the American elections again, populism has won the day. But there


are a total of 28 parties contesting this election, a huge list to pick


from for voters at this polling station at The Hague's modern art


museum. Some are worried about Geert Wilders winning. People across


Europe, people shouting a lot without having solutions to what


they say are big problems. If we get together, problems are not that big.


Even if Geert Wilders does well, you won't win a majority. He is likely


to be left out of power, as no other party wants to work with him.


Identity fraud has reached a record high in the UK.


There were almost 173,000 last year, 3,000 more than in 2015.


The data, from more than 270 banks and businesses,


also shows that the number of victims under the age of 21


Here's our home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw.


Stolen identity, civil servant Luke Croydon was the victim of one


His name, address, date of birth and banking details were obtained


by a thief who pinched post from his letterbox.


Armed with the information, the fraudster applied for a bank


card and then used it to go on a spending spree.


When you first find out that it has happened,


And then you get very worried because you wonder what else


they might have done with that personal details If it is only


opening bank accounts that is one thing, but you worry what else


Have they signed up to websites, have they got passport applications?


So it is a very troubling experience.


According to the fraud prevention service Cifas there were almost


173,000 cases of identity fraud last year, the highest total ever.


The number of victims under the age of 21 increased


by more than a third, with the Midlands and the north-east


of England registering the highest identity fraud increases


There has been a spike in the number of young people who have become


We've put that down to the fact that they spend so much


But not just that, they are putting so much of their personal


information online and our appeal would be to only put out


there what you really want people to know.


Cifas has produced a film warning people to be careful about how much


We know everything about you, Martin.


Fraudsters are adept at exploiting information on social media sites.


It advises people to use passwords, privacy settings and antivirus


Lorry drivers moving goods for Ikea and other retailers


in Western Europe are camping out in their cabs for months at a time


because they can't afford to live in the countries they're working in.


The East European drivers are being paid at the levels they would


A judge has described as "inhumane" the practice


where companies are able to exploit loopholes in European law.


In a trailer on the edge of Copenhagen, these two men have


created their own pop-up fiction. Cooking from scratch saves them


money. Is this how you want to have your breakfast? No, I don't want to


live like this, but these are the conditions. He is moving goods for


Ikea, but they don't employ him. His employer is a Slovakian firm. He is


paid Slovak wages. European union employment rules state, a driver


temporarily posted away from home should be guaranteed the host


nation's minimum rates of pay and conditions. But companies are


exploiting loopholes in the law. A Danish driver can expect to take


home 2200 euros, or 109 -- ?1900 a month in salary. But this man has


been taken home 477 euros of ?418 a month. This is my farm, this is how


I live. This is my bed. Danish drivers go home every couple of


weeks, but this man spends up to four months on the road. The company


says he can go home whenever he likes. He has just driven some Ikea


stock from Denmark into Sweden. He only ever works in western Europe,


sometimes it might be Germany or Norway. But he is being paid as if


he is driving in Slovakia, yet he never works there. This is the


biggest Ikea distribution centre in the world. It is in Germany. In


front is a truck parked, turned campsite. Trade unions accused Ikea


of turning a blind eye to how haulage companies treat their


drivers. Ikea would say, this is in many different layers of companies


operating these contracts, they can't be expected to know. But the


Moldovan, the Polish guys, remove the furniture from IKEA. They touch


the furniture. How can you deny this. They don't know what they are


being paid. In a statement, Ikea said...


It's not just Ikea and the big retailers that are in the firing


line. Europe's politicians are under pressure to act, to stop any further


deterioration in the working conditions of Europe's drivers.


It was supposed to be a quick interview on BBC World News


about South Korean politics, but Professor Kelly's two young


children managed to turn it into a global event,


at least one that's been viewed more than 100 million times


What appeared to be a cute accident on live television.


I think one of your children has just walked in.


I mean, shifting sands in the region, do you think


But Professor Robert Kelly, who is now being dubbed #bbcdad,


received so much attention, he felt compelled to


So here we are, finally meeting him in person in South Korea.


It's fairly amazing, it's basically just a family blooper.


It sort of went wild, there were more journalists


there than have ever asked me questions before about my expertise.


It then generated a second wave of Internet discussion.


There was a lot of social analysis of it, sort of racism


Regardless of some negative reaction, his students


TRANSLATION: When he was giving a serious interview about a very


sensitive subject, I was surprised to see the interruption.


And when I found out he is a professor here,


TRANSLATION: It was a very serious interview, but when I saw


I felt they were the hope to what is a gloomy story.


Professor Kelly describes the episode as a family blooper,


but it certainly touched many hearts, especially


Today could be the warmest day of the year so far. Lovely blue skies.


Temperatures have been rising rapidly. Hardly a breath of wind.


Not as windy across northern part of Scotland. Not as sunny either. In


general, where we had a sunnier skies yesterday, we are seeing more


cloud today. There are some stubborn areas of low cloud that are pegging


back the temperatures, but in general, sunshine underneath the


high pressure and around the high pressure we have a moist air flow,


hence the cloud affecting the Northern Isles also affecting


Scotland where we will see some patchy, light rain or drizzle coming


in across northern part of the country. Probably drive to the


south. Cloud from the north of England may wandering into the far


south-west of Wales, the West Country. But for most of England and


Wales it will be lovely and sunny. Temperatures of 80 degrees and


possibly higher. A beautiful day at Cheltenham. -- 18 degrees. Tomorrow


will be cloudy and cooler. Temperatures dipping away and


turning misty across parts of England and Wales during the course


of the night before low cloud arrives. Further north for Scotland


and Northern Ireland, stronger wind. Another weather from bringing


outbreaks of rain overnight. It shouldn't be to cold overnight. We


will find this band of rain, heavy at times over the hills, coming down


across Scotland, Northern Ireland into northern parts of England and


Wales. Maybe brightening up but not as sunny and warm as today. We have


some colder air coming into Scotland and Northern Ireland with showers.


Those could be wintry in Scotland and continue that way overnight on


Thursday night. It is going to be quite chilly on Thursday night.


Colder than it has been for a while. Maybe a touch of frost. Coming into


the cold air, we will replace the showers with longer spells of rain


coming in from the Atlantic. Snow possible over some of the Scottish


hills. The wet weather arrives in the South East. The wet weather


originating from storm Stella. The weekend is unsettled and will feel


colder with the wind is picking up and there will be rain at times.


Goodbye from me, on BBC one we now join the BBC's news