The latest news, sport, weather and features from the West of England.
Browse content similar to 18/04/2017. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Welcome to BBC Points West with David Garmston and Alex Lovell.
Our main story tonight: It's off the ballot box
we go as May says June - we assess the state
Will Labour put their differences aside and can the Lib Dems
regain their traditional west country heartland?
All of our parties are scrambling to prepare for the June the 8th but,
which could change the look of politics across the West.
We'll hear from candidates fighting for their seats and those hoping
In our other headlines tonight: Relations between the black
community and the police are at their worst for 20 years.
The technicality that could save Bristol Rugby from the drop.
MPs across the west have been stunned today
by the Prime Minister's surprise call for a snap general
Few of our politicians are prepared - many candidates have not
even been selected - and yet in seven weeks' time
the Queen will summon a party leader to form a new government.
Mrs May will look fondly on the west - the Conservatives control as far
as the eye can see - that's a lot of blue.
Mr Miliband lost seats in 2015 - with the exception of Bristol -
the question now is can Mr Corbyn do better.
Well, they lost the lot in the west country in 2015 -
they will be hoping for a big comeback.
The news of a General Election came as millions of us went back to work
Teresa May addressed the nation from Downing Street, London.
I have just chaired a meeting of the Cabinet where we agreed that the
Government should call a general election.
And Brenda from Redland, Bristol answered right back.
You're joking. Not another one! All, for god sake. I can't stand this.
Today's surprise announcement caught everyone on the hop -
Not another one. I am not sure I can take it. I am relieved because I am
exhausted by what is happening politically at the moment, so for me
that is a good thing. The Labour Mayor of Bristol
watched on the telly with the rest of us -
the city has three Labour MPs, at the moment but the polls
aren't encouraging. It is a Westminster composition and
agenda taking part without any regard for the very real-life impact
we have it in local level. I find it irritating, to put it mildly.
It seems like only yesterday - in fact it was 2015 -
We have one big argument about the economy and leadership...
He said he was all pumped up and held rallies including
He scored a solid victory across the west -
at the expense of his coalition partners.
He wiped them out - every one of them here.
Ben Howlett took Bath from the Lib Dems.
What I do not want to see is people thinking this is a way to overturn
Brexit. It should not happen. People should not be under any
misinterpretation that that could be the case and unfortunately I think
the Liberal Democrats have been spreading one or two myths to many.
Labour had a new woman on the block -
Thangham Debonnaire - she won Bristol West,
once more at the expense of a Liberal Democrat.
And we are going to be in every part of Britain over the next weeks.
Soon, she fell out with Jeremy Corbyn,
clashing with his Momentum followers who backed him to the hilt.
All three of the city's Labour Mps refused to serve with him,
Now they'll have to campaign for him to enter the door of Number 10.
That is if they are chosen by the party to be candidates again. I
don't know which bits of the rule book it is, and I gather they are
meeting tomorrow, sitting MPs should be reselected. I do hope that is
what happens because certainly my constituents have been telling me
they feel they have been getting a good service from me as an MP and
the like seeing me in parliament standing up for what they believe.
The Lib Dems see this is as a huge opportunity
to make a come-back, based on their opposition to Brexit.
It will be a chance to undo some of the damage done at the last general
election, which left people feeling that there was not that liberal,
open, tolerant voice in Parliament that we need in this country is all
it is an opportunity to undo the damage.
After the bruises of Brexit - the toil of the local
and Mayoral elections - the politicians will soon be
knocking on your door again, some of them will be as weary
I can't stand this. Can stand Brenda. She has been quite a start
today. Waiting to help us make some sense
of this is our political editor Paul Barltrop,
who is in Bristol, Clinton Rogers in Wells
and Will Glennon in Swindon. Let's begin with you, Paul -
what can we expect Of course, the Conservatives success
in the West Country helped deliver them an overall majority at the last
general election, so they will be looking to continue that domination.
In Bristol, they did not make a clean sweep. They came second in
Bristol South and in the east of the city they would not mind having a go
at pinching those seats flavour, but overall they have to be defending
not just from liver but also from the Liberal Democrats who are
resurgent, especially in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum,
which has been a shot in the arm for the party, particularly in places
such as Bristol, Bath, Cheltenham, where there was a strong vote for
Remain. As for Labour, is at something of a low ebb in the West
Country. The only consolation they had back in 2015 was picking one
seat in Bristol back-up of the Lib Dems. Since then, they have won the
Mayor of Bristol. They have had big divisions in the party. Also going
through some pretty tough times in the recent past have been the UK
Independence party. They have struggled to get candidates to take
part in the local elections in two weeks' time and putting on a general
election at a time when they have few members unless in the way of
money will be quite often the fact that their German in Gloucestershire
today said to me that he got putting an election out was a cynical --
chairman -- a cynical miniver. It should just be a two horse race
between the Conservatives and Labour, but the contest we will be
looking out for is that race between the Conservatives and the Lib Dems
and especially in places like Wells and Somerset. We can join Clinton
Rogers. Thank you very much indeed. Somerset was a county were the
Liberal Democrats were pretty much erased from the political landscape
at the last general election. Tessa Mont joins me now, one of those who
lost their seats. I know the party sees this as an opportunity, but can
I asked you, an electorate that fell out of love with you last time, will
they be back in love with you? Well, general elections are not about who
lost through. It is about having a good local MP who will represent
their views to Government and you have to say it is not a good thing
for the country apart democracy to have a 1-party Government. You need
an opposition as well and that is the part that we can play in making
sure that we can hold people to account when they are in Government
making decisions for our future. It is fairly obvious that you will play
the pro-Europe -- European card, but surely any candidate or to buy a
reasonable majority to come out, that is a dangerous card to play?
Government and general elections are not about just Europe. There is a
whole plethora of things that go into a manifesto, lots of decisions
that we were going to make. Not just about Brexit but there is absolutely
no question we don't the Government to account to make sure we have not
as brittle Brexit will stop there are lots of people who feel that
actually this is not entirely what they voted for and they want to make
sure they have got MPs who do not just roll over when the Government
says this is the way we will go. There should be questions asked. We
are good for food and farming, there is very little manufacturing and we
need to make sure the balance is right. Thank you very much indeed.
Well, the Liberal Democrats other party or pretty well organised and
set up by this general election. They have selected all other
candidates. Can the same be said for the Labour Party? Let's go to
Swindon now and join Will Glennon. Thank you, Clinton. From high up on
all down you can see Swindon stretch off into the distance there. There
are two parliamentary seats here and they are normally fought over by
Labour and the Conservatives. The other parties have not traditionally
made significant inroads here. We're watching Swindon North and Swindon
South because they are known as bellwether constituencies. That is
to say whoever wins here normally goes on to take Downing Street. In
the Tony Blair years, Labour won both here. For the last two
elections, it has been the Conservatives. Labour have been a
little bit surprised by this announcement. I have spoken to them
today and they have told me they haven't even selected their
candidates, but they say they will swing into action. They are very
well organised. They say there are lots of local issues to fight on,
the state of the town's schools, the library closures that been proposed
and will be enacted, and the rise in council tax. They say there are a
lot of issues to fight on, but they will have to fight. The
Conservatives are very strong in Swindon. They have the town's MPs
and run the local council and they are ahead in the opinion polls.
Thank you, Will. That was Will Glennon for us.
Well, joining us from Westminster is the Wells MP, James Heappey.
He is a conservative. Are you in shock? I was surprised, certainly.
But I think the prime Minster has made absolutely the right decision.
This country has an important tries to make. To be back by minister
Theresa May, who will be a strong leader for our country, doing the
right thing to get the best possible from the EU as we go to Brexit, or
do be brisk voting for Labour or the Lib Dems or anyone else who will
just give the keys to Downing Street to Jeremy Corbyn and I think we can
all agree that that would be a disaster. Can we have some advice
from you, please. The people who do not want a heart Brexit, you should
they vote for? I think it is clear that whatever people's view on
whether we should be in or out of the EU, last year the nation made a
decision. We voted to leave. The only person who can get a good deal
for the United Kingdom that is nearly there are hard or soft but
does the right deal for us right now is Theresa May and that is the
decision people have to make. That is not necessarily the case because
both the Prime Minister, if she is re-elected, say you have backed me
and the right of my party wants a hard Brexit, we want out of the
single market and all the rest of it, this is my mandate. I think that
returning Theresa May as our Prime Minister with a clear mandate in
Parliament will not just give her a limited to meet you at home but will
give her a in Brussels -- give a legitimacy in Brussels. That will
mean sticking to the position that they have started out from. They
will need to compromise. They will realise that the UK is behind our
Prime Minister and they will need to come to terms that are beneficial
both to the UK and the EU. But this election is not just about Europe.
It is about who is running the country here in Westminster and to
the party MPs and constituencies are across the country. I am clear that
we are better connected and have a better deal for our public services
and have a great plan for our local area and I'm ready to stand on the
record and offer more for the five years that come in future. OK. We
have a long six or seven weeks ahead of us. Thank you for joining us this
evening. Well, we can all agree that the
Liberal Democrats had a disaster in the last election. It is appropriate
that the leader of the Lib Dems has joined us tonight. It is not often
that the launch of a regional Metro mayoral candidate of the Liberal
Democrat attracts the attention of the national media, but tonight
everyone is here in force. They all want to speak to Tim Farren, who has
come down and been ambushed today by the rather bigger news in town of
the general election. Did you see this coming when he woke up this
morning? No. We have prepared for the election. We had candidates
selected. You have candidates elected in target seats. The talk
was who would run in the non-target seats. I think we have candidates
chosen pretty much everywhere and at the moment we are in a situation
where the people have a great chance to change the direction of the
country. The Labour Party have put themselves in a position with Jeremy
Corbyn as their leader, they are split undivided and are not an
effective opposition. I suspect that is why Theresa May called the
election today and not for any other reason, but the election for the
Liberal Democrats to be that strong and credible opposition that Britain
desperately need, giving you the chance to vote against a hard Brexit
is a really clear choice for as here. We are up the election. We may
not have predicted it but we are up for it and ready for it. The West
Country voted for Brexit. The majority of constituencies back to
Brexit. What makes you think you have a times in the next general
election? Element do not forget that the Liberal Democrats have had 44
against a by-election since the summer, many of them in the West
Country. This is about a party that is clear what it is standing for on
the biggest issue of the day. Many voted for Brexit but wanted to be in
the single market. But above all else, people want there to be a
strong and decent opposition. As things stand, Jeremy Corbyn as the
leader of the Labour Party, a situation where the Tories are going
to be a 1-party state unless we step into that breach and we are prepared
to do so. I remember talking to you two years ago when you were wiped
out in the West Country and lost all your receipts. What on earth makes
you think you can come back from that catastrophic law? One of my
catchphrases as I can do nothing about the last election but I can do
something about the next one. Remember that the party has doubled
in size since the general election. It has added another 5000 since
Theresa May called the election earlier this morning. During the
last quarter, the Liberal Democrats had more donations than the Labour
Party. We are the only credible and decent alternative to the Tories not
just in the West Country but around the country and we are not buy this
election. Britain needs to do well. Otherwise, if you are a Tory, surely
it is awful for us to have a 1-party state with a kind of coronation.
Lastly, briefly, how important is this part of the world to your party
and this election? Massively important. Let's not forget that
there is no bad weighted is a this election except through the Liberal
Democrats in the West Country. That is the only way it can happen. The
Liberal party are clearly going to go down. So Theresa May is he will
go to a car in May -- Coronation now unless we brought in. You are
repeating yourself now. That is my job. Thank you very much. I am sure
this is not the last time he will be here between now and the general
election. He took that well. Good humour. Brace yourselves, I think is
the message from tonight, as we have seven weeks to go. What a day it has
been. Quite a lively one after a long unpleasant bank holiday. We
need another one now. Do stay with us we've got
plenty more to come, including a possible life
line for Bristol Rugby. But before that, our other main news
this evening is that Avon and Somerset police has been
warned its relationship with Bristol's black community
is the worst it's been for 20 years. It follows the high profile
tasering of a race relations The Chief Constable
admits more must be done. Here's our Home Affairs
Correspondent Charlotte Callen. He just grabbed him. Kayser, taster,
Glazer! Filmed on a phone by a neighbour. This video made headlines
around the world. The man is 63 and a grandfather, he's uttered by an
officer on his own back doorstep. -- tasered by an officer. He was a race
relations adviser to the police. I think what happened as taking any
sort of relationship with the police and the community and has taken it
back 20 years. Michael Jacksons worked with the police three years
ago to make this video about stopping -- stopped and searched to
help train new officers. The idea was to break down the fear and
reduce the number of stop and searches with a racial bias. In
2013, black people were nearly four times more likely to be stopped and
searched. Now in 2016, they are over six times more likely to be stopped.
And this has also caused anger. Desmond Brown runs a community
project in Bristol. He also runs a campaign group fighting for justice
for the tasered man. I call it racism. I think we have hired
institutional racism as a hook to hang or problems on and we have done
nothing about it. It is racism, whether it is an institution or not.
The police say they are listening. Their Chief Constable is unable to
comment on the incident of the man being tasered. It is being formally
investigated by the IPC seat, but he says he is pleased with the
performance of his force. There are too many black men being stopped and
searched but it is something we are taken great steps to ensure fairness
and transparency on. Her Majesty's Constabulary has reviewed stop and
searches across the whole country and found that 96% had reasonable
grounds to conduct the search. That was what was regarded. Social media
makes this kind of incident very public and very high profile and
shines a new light on how officers police communities on our streets. I
am very sorry to have to tell you there's that the Bristol paramedic
whose colleagues took part in a running man danced to raise money
for pioneering new cancer treatment has died on her 41st birthday. She
was diagnosed with a malignant melanoma five years ago. She briefly
shared her experiences of the disease in an online blog to raise
awareness and to help others. Bristol City scored one of the most
impressive and patient goals They completed 31 consecutive
passes in the build-up to Tammy Abraham's goal,
with nine members Elsewhere, Ellis Harrison
kept Bristol Rovers slim playoff hopes alive,
scoring against Oldham. Swindon are still in trouble after
losing to a late goal at Walsall. In League Two, Yeovil moved seven
points clear of relegation Cheltenham have a five-point cushion
after defeating Grimsby 2-1. Bristol Rugby club are waiting
to find out if they'll be handed Defeat to Wasps on Sunday
confirmed that they'll finish Their fate now depends on who wins
the Championship playoffs. One of the clubs involved, Ealing,
doesn't meet the criteria So if they win the playoffs,
Bristol could yet be saved. A proposed takeover of
Gloucester Rugby Club has collapsed. The France-based businessman
Mohed Altrad was aiming to buy a 45 But Premiership Rugby members have
voted that he can only As a result, the Syrian-born
billionaire has decided Time for us to walk upstairs to Ian,
who has the weather on this lovely day. I thought it was going to be
quiet. Yes, indeed. Hello, everybody. Well, at least it has
been a quiet day weather-wise. The story this week will be an
overwhelmingly dry one once again. Indeed, this part of the month there
have been a number of net offers regarding scissors -- Met Office
recording stations recording hardly any rain. We have a fair amount of
sunshine around. High-pressure establishing itself across as under
the course of tonight it will be a cold night with the risk of frost
across many parts of southern England, particularly central
southern England. Tomorrow, a good deal of sunshine with more cloud
around for the afternoon. Fast forward through a fine evening into
tonight. A lot of clear sky around. The odd patch of mist or fog around,
particularly through parts of Somerset and into Devon.
Temperatures there too 2-4 C, but we could get lower than that. Not
surprised to get down to freezing or below, so gardeners be aware of that
risk of frost. Tomorrow, after the risk of frost, the file will be out
of the way. Sunshine through the morning. Variable amounts of cloud.
Buying conditions with light winds and no rain insight. 13-14 C
tomorrow. Over the next few days, do not take the cloud amounts to
literally but the balance towards dry weather with maybe some spots of
rain on Thursday morning but not much of it. Ian, thank you so much.
Do not forget, there will be more analysis on our late bulletin as
well, although not from Brenda from Bristol. I think she has spoken for