17/05/2017 BBC News at One

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More pressure on Donald Trump - as he's accused of asking the head


of the FBI to drop an inquiry into his former security


James Comey - who he fired last week - is reported to have been asked:


In a week full of revelation after revelation, on a day when we thought


things couldn't get any worse - they have.


I think it is reaching the point where it is of Watergate size


We'll be live in Washington - and asking if this time


President Trump could be in real trouble.


A referendum on any Brexit deal - the Liberal Democrats put Europe


And to woo younger voters - help onto the housing the ladder,


At the heart of our manifesto is an offer to all of the people in our


country, that no other party is making. That we do not just have to


accept what ever do we get back from Brexit negotiations but the British


people, you, should have the final say.


Unemployment falls again - it's now at its lowest level since 1975.


But for the first time in three years - pay


The sexist world of horse-racing - why women looking for a career


After Maria Sharapova is denied wild card entry


to the French Open, the head of the Women's Tennis


Association says they had "no grounds to penalise" her.


Good afternoon, and welcome to the BBC News at One.


Donald Trump facing questions about his Presidency is nothing new -


but the latest allegations to emerge look different - they look


It's reported that Trump asked FBI chief James Comey to drop an inquiry


into links between his ex-national security adviser and Russia.


"I hope you can let this go," he reportedly told Mr Comey


after a White House meeting in February - and that's


according to a memo written by the ex-FBI director


The White House has denied the allegation in a statement.


The President sacked Mr Comey last week -


but now the FBI has been urged by a senior Republican to hand


Donald J Trump, the 45th President of the United States,


is barely four months into office - yet he is dealing with an almost


The latest - that he tried to influence an FBI enquiry.


In February, one of the President's closest allies was forced to resign,


when it emerged that Mike Flynn, then the National Security Advisor,


misled the administration over his contact with Russian


officials before Mr Trump took office.


Now an explosive accusation from the New York Times -


that the day after Mr Flynn's dismissal, Donald Trump


asked the FBI director, James Comey, to drop


Those were the President's words, according to a note,


which the paper says Mr Comey wrote directly after the meeting.


Despite public shows of support, relations between Donald Trump


and Mr Comey were strained over the FBI investigations


and alleged Russian interference in the US election.


Investigations Mr Comey insisted would continue.


The FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission,


is investigating the Russian government's efforts to interfere


Mr Comey was fired by the President last week, but Washington has been


astounded by the existence of the note he apparently made


A meeting which Vice President Mike Pence was reportedly asked to leave.


In a week full of revelation after revelation, on a day


when we thought things couldn't get any worse - they have.


Only 24 hours ago, President Trump justified sharing sensitive


intelligence information with Russia's Foreign Minister,


a decision which observers say could have compromised American


For some senior lawmakers, Republicans included,


this is all too reminiscent of an earlier and dark era.


I think it is reaching a point where it is of Watergate size and scale,


and a couple of other scandals that you and I have seen.


Days after sacking the FBI directir, Donald Trump


issued his own warning to Mr Comey over social media, appearing


to suggest he may have recorded their meetings.


The White House has emphatically denied that Mr Trump asked the FBI


The president still has plenty of support in Congress,


and especially outside of Washington.


But any suggestion he may have obstructed justice could prove


Backing today from the most unlikely source, from Vladimir Putin, saying


that Donald Trump was not being allowed to govern.


Let's go live now to Washington and our correspondent Jane O'Brien.


Those comparisons with Watergate, are they over the top? We have a


long way to go, there has to be an investigation and at the moment what


we have is a memo that has not been made public. Snippets were read by


an unnamed associate of Mr Comey to reporters. Firstly, we need to see


this memory and that is why you have Jason Ched Evans, the chairman of


the very powerful committee of oversight. -- Jason. Saying that


Congress needs to get every single memory and document that could


catalogue what was said between Mr Comey and Donald Trump, into


potential collision with Russia. That needs to happen first. Then you


have a president who is typically immune from prosecution. And, a


Congress that has a Senate and a house that is run by Republicans. So


the notion that you are going to get any imminent impeachment moves in


that situation is a stretch. The bar is extremely high. So yes, it all


looks awful, especially when you put it all together. Senior Republicans


are saying that they too need to know what the president said, but


their main concern at the moment is that this turmoil engulfing the


White House is threatening their political agenda. So most people I


think at this point want to get to the bottom of it, but impeachment?


Obstruction of justice crit at a long way to go before that happens.


Vladimir Putin's involvement, does that help Donald Trump? There is an


element of well, he would say that. Does America really care what


Vladimir Putin says? This is more about Donald Trump and how the


Republicans are going to do with a president who they feel is out of


control. Jane O'Brien, thank you. The Liberal Democrats are putting


another EU referendum at the heart of their general election manifesto


- which has just been launched. The party said it would


"let the people decide" whether Brexit happens,


once negotiations have finished. The party's leader Tim Farron says


the decision to leave the EU could "wreck" the lives


of future generations. Here's our political


correspondent Chris Mason. Tim Farron went back to school this


morning. The lesson? How the Liberal Democrats think the country should


be run. Front and centre was Brexit, and how it should be handled. At the


heart of our manifesto is an offer to all of the people in our country


that no other party is making, which is that we do not have to accept


whatever deal we get back from the Brexit negotiations, but the British


people, you, should have the final say. If you do not like what Theresa


May comes back with, you should have the


right to vote to remain. The Lib Democrats say they would spend more


money on health and education paid for by higher corporation tax and a


penny on income tax. On housing, they want to introduce a range to


own scheme for tenants, and promised to legalise and regulate cannabis.


They claim this could generate ?1 billion per year in tax. It's about


keeping the availability of hard drugs away from cannabis, and


regulating cannabis so the most dangerous strands like skunk are


outside of the regulated system. It is about helping those people who


are of honourable and hitting those people the criminals take advantage


of. -- from rubble. The manifesto launch event is not until this


evening. But the document itself is online. Tim Farron says it is not a


programme for governments, he expects the Conservatives to win the


election and thinks it could be a landslide. He wants to be a strong


voice in opposition. It is telling what is not in the manifesto. The


Lib Dems are not promising to scrap university tuition fees in England.


The very promised that they broke in government. What you need to do is


make promises you can keep. What we've laid out in the manifesto is


fully costed on the base of the government's current figures, even


with us heading out of the EU, is a plan that will boost education and


further education, and schools, by ?7 billion. At the last election,


the Lib Dems face to the ghoulish nightmare of near oblivion. They are


all smiles now but have a huge amount of ground to make up to get


even close to where they used to be. Chris Maize and, BBC News. -- Chris


Mason. Our Assistant Political Editor


Norman Smith is in Westminster. Does putting Brexit at the heart of


the manifesto put it in the centre in a positive way? This could prove


something of a sideshow. Despite the fact it is ram packed with policies.


Many of them very expensive policies, like ending the benefits


freeze, something Jeremy Corbyn shied away from at his manifesto


launch yesterday. They are suggesting ending the public sector


pay cap and the triple guarantee on pensions, ?7 billion for schools and


?7 billion for the NHS. And making TV leader election debates


mandatory, and Southern Rail into temporary public ownership, and


legalising cannabis and taxing it. But the Brexit manifesto issue has


dominated everything else. It made their campaign almost a one issue


campaign. The demand for a referendum on the deal is done by


Theresa May. The trouble is, selling the message has proved a lot harder


than they thought. Down in the heartlands, the south-west, they


voted for Brexit. So they are not very receptive to that message.


In the urban metropolitan Labour seats, they prove more resistant to


switching to the Liberal Democrats, in part one suspects, because Tim


Farron himself hasn't managed to cut through with those kinds of voters.


This might be a manifesto packed full of ideas and promises,


pledges... But the Lib Dems have a long way to go if they are to turn


around their prospects in the election campaign. Norman, thank


you. The head of one of Labour's biggest


union backers has said the party is on course to lose


the general election. Len McCluskey of Unite claimed it


would be a successful campaign He was quoted in an interview


for Politico - but this morning The interview I did with Politico


was a conversational piece, against the backdrop


of if the opinion polls are to be believed, that


I made those comments. Since then, Labour launched


their manifesto and it is fantastic. A manifesto for workers


and ordinary working people. A manifesto that will change


Britain for the good. And the response that we have


had from Unite members That's why I was checking our polls


that we do, constant rolling polls, and the response has been


like something we've So I am now full of optimism -


if I was having that interview today, I would not be


making those comments. Our political correspondent


Alex Forsyth is with the Labour This is important, because Len


McCluskey and Jeremy Corbyn are very close and he is a huge financial


backer through Unite? Yes, and he seems to have had a significant


change of heart in a short space of time. The BBC understands only


yesterday Len McCluskey made those original comments when he


effectively said he did not think Labour could win this election and


we understand he made them after he had seen the party's manifesto. This


morning, he seems to suggest that is not the case, and as you heard


there, he is more optimistic about Labour's prospects. Shadow


Chancellor John McDonnell was here not long ago, giving a speech to


crowds of activists and members of the public in Lincoln. He was asked


on those comments from Len McCluskey and seemed to play them down


somewhat, seizing on then McCluskey's remarks today that he


was more optimistic and while it is difficult for Labour's party, they


are confident they can turn things around. John McDonnell was


referencing policies unveiled in the manifesto yesterday, that they are


convinced they will prove popular with the public. Those policies have


come under attack this morning from the Conservatives who say they are


and costed and will leave a multi-billion pound hole in the


budget. Again, John McDonnell was asked on that point and said it was


nonsense. He went on to challenge Philip Hammond to a television


debate, saying he was happy to pick over those figures any time. Alex,


thank you. More pressure on Donald Trump -


as he's accused of asking the head of the FBI to drop an inquiry


into his former security Oh, look, I don't care


if it only cost 2p! Those curlers could


fetch more than that - as Hilda Ogden's personal effects


head from Coronation Street Andy Murray says he can still do


well at the French Open later this month, despite his poor form


since returning from UK unemployment is down again -


falling to its lowest Latest figures from the Office


for National Statistics show the number of people unemployed fell


by 53,000 to 1.54 million in the three months


to March - a rate of 4.6%. But are the figures


as good as they seem? Our Economics correspondent


Andrew Verity reports. You would need to be well into your


40s to remember a time when the unemployment rate was this low. 1.54


million, the number of unemployed people is just 4.6% of working


population that keeps swelling to record numbers. Economists have been


convinced for years that if unemployment got low enough then pay


rises would start to take off. Especially if prices were rising


more quickly. But we keep on getting fresh lows in the unemployment rates


and that keeps on not happening. Donna Speiser lives in Charlton in


south-east London. She earns just enough as a teaching assistant not


to receive benefits. Her pay was frozen for four years and in the


last two years it has gone up by just 1% per year. Half offer wage


goes on rent. I struggle to eat sometimes, we have no social life.


Because no money to go out. And it is a choice of heating and eating.


So one winter it was sitting there with blankets and hot water bottles,


jackets, jumpers and a very Bluenose. And a choice of food. The


economy has exceeded almost all forecasts in generating jobs.


Unemployment dropped by 53,000 over the past three months to the ad of


March, the of -- the average pay rise was 2.1%. And the average


amount that we produced per hour, productivity, has fallen by 1.5%.


Before the financial crisis it was taken for granted that most


employers could afford inflation beating pay rises. As each worker


would produce a bit more each year as companies invested in new


technology and training. But since the crisis those improvements in


productivity have been much lower. It is a bit of a puzzle the fact


that unemployment is not driving wages to the extent we might expect.


But there are a couple of headwinds on the wages that might be driving


some of that. One is fast rising inflation which is eating into pay


packet in the second is productivity, output, that is the


long-term driver of play and that has been stagnant for almost nine


years. The economy has beaten expectations for generating jobs but


it has fallen short of expectations for generating rail pay rises.


Whatever government is in power they will be hard-pressed to change that.


Andy Verity, BBC News. The former American soldier


Chelsea Manning, who passed hundreds of thousands of confidential


diplomatic documents to Wikileaks, has been released


from a military prison in Kansas. The 29 year old was


expected to remain in jail until 2045 -


but President Obama commuted her sentence just before leaving


the White House in January. Rajini Vaidyanathan is outside


the prison in Kansas. Was there much fanfare as she left


this morning? Chelsea Manning left this prison in the early hours of


the morning to very little fanfare. After her release she issued a


statement simply thanking her supporters around the world and


saying that she appreciated their support. Just as a reminder it was


while Chelsea Manning was still living as a man Bradley Manning


Thatcher was convicted of one of the largest leaks in US history. While


she was a low ranking US Army Private she shared some 750,000


classified documents including State Department diplomatic cables which


revealed the private thoughts of US officials and caused huge


embarrassment to the US Government at the time. It was after she was


sentenced that she announced that she wanted


to live life as a woman, Chelsea Manning. While she was in prison she


fought for gender reassignment surgery. Although she was given a


dishonourable discharge from the US Army at the time of her sentencing,


she will actually remain on active duty without pay. That is because


her lawyers have told us she will be appealing her conviction and until


the outcome is now she will remain on the US army books. As for what


she will those close to her said she will not be planning to live life in


the private she plans in fact to make herself a trans


It's a sport worth more than three billion pounds


to the British economy and watched live by six million


But if women choose horse racing as a career,


The first ever survey into gender in racing suggests that they are.


Despite more than ever coming into racing -


it found women are under-represented in the most prominent areas


of the sport, with some examples of 'entrenched


Our Sports correspondent Joe Wilson has this report.


And in this yard in Newmarket, Amy Murphy is the boss.


Paid by owners to train their horses to be winners, she's just 24.


The fact that she's a woman, well, that's rare too.


You have to get the support and sometimes I think probably


as a woman you're having to prove yourself before people


Whereas if you're a man, they might support you from day one.


But, you know, we've had great support and great loyalty


But whether I would have had that from day one had we not had


the results we've had already, I'm not sure.


Based on hundreds of anonymous responses, a new survey found that


women from across the industry report being patronised,


not being taken seriously, or being denied opportunities


Women in senior positions still stand out.


There are some 75 trainers here in Newmarket are known, yet


How else could you make a high-profile name


Well, inevitably, so much of the attention will


Overall just 6% of horses in races are ridden by women.


A new competition shown here just for women jockeys began last week.


But fundamentally, are women trusted to do the job


Well, John Berry is a Newmarket trainer who says he ignores gender.


He knows not everyone feels that way.


The athlete is the horse and all the jobs around,


no one gender is better than doing it than the other.


And I mean that including jockey as well.


When it comes to the daily care of horses, more women


than men are joining racing, working in the stable yards.


Taking it through the career, if you look at who's


on the senior boards, of organisations in racing,


the average 16% and we have several boards in the sport that do not have


So we're seeing a stagnation of career progression.


British racing's governing body, the BHA, recently restructured


its Board of Directors to include more women.


Chief executive Nick Russ said the gender survey is a stark


reminder that horse racing needs to do more.


Meanwhile Amy Murphy does believe that racing's culture is changing.


And if she is leading, there is someone to follow.


Lloyds Bank, which was bailed out by the taxpayer at the height


of the financial crisis, has returned to full


It was confirmed to the Stock Exchange this morning


that the government has sold its last remaining


And, what's more, the bank says taxpayers made


Our personal finance correspondent Simon Gompertz has the details.


The end of an era for British banking.


Some of the biggest names go cap in hand to the government...


A spectacular casualty of the financial crisis in 2008.


We must in an uncertain and unstable world be the rock of stability...


It had its own bad loans, then it took


over Halifax Bank of Scotland or HBOS, which was much worse affected.


Banks were bailed out by the taxpayer.


Now Lloyds is back in the black and out on its own.


The government sold the last shares in


Lloyds Banking Group and it is a moment


of huge pride for all the


colleagues at Lloyds Bank, for customers.


The government pumped in more than ?20 billion, taking a 43%


The proceeds of selling Lloyds shares, plus other pay-outs,


have raised more than that, leaving a return of nearly 900 million.


Complaints stacking up about PPI mis-selling


resulted in billions in


And the original shareholders in Lloyds


From a share price of over ?3, to around 70p today,


And probably looking at a pretty permanent loss of


Lloyds has been pared down, losing hundreds of branches rebranded


Today has turned into something of a Lloyds


But that ignores what has been a long drawn-out disaster.


That a bank that should have been part of the


crisis turned into part of the problem, for nine years.


# We've come a long, long way together...


Lloyds' message is that it's reliable again.


But it will be forever marked by its fall, and the difficult ride


and advocate for trans gender to pay compensation to a former employee


sexually abused by Sheffield City Council has had to pay compensation


to a former employee sexually abused being assaulted by Roger Dodds in


the early 1980s. He was sentenced to 16 years in prison in February.


The Home Secretary has been criticised for policing cuts


Speaking to the Police Federation, Amber Rudd said that crime has


fallen and said the deficit needs to be reduced.


She attacked senior Labour figures - accusing them


Well the number of candidates standing for UKIP in this


In 2015 the party fielded a candidate in just about every seat -


but this year it's appealing to its supporters in areas


where there's no UKIP candidate to instead vote for the most


In some parts of the country the consequences could be significant -


the BBC's political correspondent in the East, Andrew


North Norfolk is famous for its stunning coastline,


It's not used to being in the front line of an election campaign.


But this year the race could be very close.


At the last election, the Liberal Democrats' Norman Lamb


But this year its local candidate has decided not to stand.


Instead, he is actively campaigning for the Conservatives.


As Norman Lamb is very much a pro-European,


we felt the only way to pursue the aims of Ukip was to pull out


The people that voted Ukip in 2015, I don't think they will


all naturally gravitate to the Conservatives.


I think many of them who have supported Norman


and the Liberal Democrats in the past, we'll be working


The seat of Peterborough is another place where Ukip


With a majority of less than 2000, the Conservatives' Stuart Jackson


But Ukip polled 7500 votes last time.


And now they're standing aside to try to get the pro-Brexit


I guess it will be helpful, because, you know, a lot of those Ukip voters


And I think now people realise there's not much


Ukip used to do well in elections in the east of England.


But in this month's local elections, it lost all its seats.


If they believe in something they should stand.


I think it is a bit cynical, to be honest.


Why would you tell someone to vote for a different team?


Let's say you are part of football, you're Arsenal, you're going to tell


all your Arsenal supporters to now support Manchester.


Labour's candidate in Peterborough, Fiona Onasanya, launched her


The party is hoping Ukip voters will go back to them.


People who voted Ukip to leave the European Union,


which has happened, but they also voted Ukip because they were


concerned about housing, affordable housing, public


And those are the things that Labour are now promising to deliver on.


Ukip knows it will struggle to get its own MPs elected this year.


But in deliberately deciding where not to stand, it


could still have a big impact on this election.


And you can see a full list of candidates in


And a full list of candidates in Peterborough here.


She was one of television's best loved characters - Hilda Ogden -


famous for her sharp tongue, her trademark headscarf,


Now some of those iconic items are going under the hammer.


They're being sold at auction by the family of Jean Alexander,


the actress who played her for more than two decades.


The auction is taking place in her hometown of Southport.


Our Entertainment Correspondent Colin Paterson is there.


Oh, look, I don't care if it only cost 2p!


It is one of the most famous outfits in TV history.


The curlers, the hairnet, and the pinny of Hilda Ogden.


And it's going under the hammer this afternoon.


You can get rid of it, and yourself and all!


Jean Alexander played Coronation Street's much loved


She died last October at the age of 90 and today her nieces


When we came to tidy up her things, sadly after she died,


I came across a parcel in a wardrobe with her handwriting


And when we looked into it further it turned out that this


was the first pinny and headscarf and curlers she had used


in the show that she had taken with her when she started


There has already been online interest from Italy and the US,


but many have turned up to bid in person.


Everybody loved Hilda Ogden, didn't they?


You know, everyone had an aunty or a nan or somebody like that.


And she just reminded you of a typical Northern lady.


I always put my own curlers in myself, so that to me just


But anything, anything that she has touched, that was hers.


We had an estimate on it of 1000 to 2000 to begin with and then


somebody walked in about ten minutes ago and said they thought


One item not for sale today, her famous flying ducks.


They were owned by Coronation Street, but this is an auction


absolutely packed with Hilda history.


Yesterday was interesting as it was the warmest day of the year so far,


with the top temperature of 26 degrees. Also the warmest day in


Scotland at 22 degrees. This morning we had muddy conditions in the


south-east. And we have all this cloud, a dividing line between the


warm and muggy air and something good deal of pressure towards South


and mass -- and West. That fresh air is going to win out over the next


few days, moving that rain out of the way. The rain has been across


much of England and Wales this morning, making it pretty


unpleasant. Much brighter further north. Some lovely sunshine. And 15


or 16 degrees. The far north of England doing quite well and


Cornwall should be drying up but all this rain is really quite heavy


underneath that central sway. And quite chilly underneath that. But


still quite warm and muggy in the south-east. As the rain moves


through this evening it could turn quite heavy with some thunder. But


it is on the way out. And that process continues into the small


hours of the morning. It leaves behind a fair amount of cloud in the


south-east. And else where some places into single figures. So quite


a fresh start first thing and then a lot of sunshine out there. But cloud


amount increasing and some showers developing, some of those could be


heavy. But also some good spells of sunshine. Temperature is coming down


a little bit but still pleasant enough. On Friday we have low


pressure to the north-west and the south-east. Any rain should not last


for too long. Some rain in the far north and west but in between


perhaps the odd shower but a lot of bright weather. Then heading into


the weekend, some spells in sunshine and also some showers which could


again be heavy. And the coming few nights could be a bit chilly.


A reminder of our main story this lunchtime.


More pressure on Donald Trump - as he's accused of asking the head


of the FBI to drop an inquiry into his security chief's


That's all from the BBC News at One - so it's goodbye from me -