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Summary

  1. Our live coverage has ended for the day
  2. Updates on Thursday 2 March 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

That's it for tonight

Yasmine Djadoudi

BBC Live reporter

Thanks for joining us, we'll be back tomorrow with all the latest news, sport, travel and weather. 

In the meantime you can get in touch on  Twitter , on  Facebook , or by sending us an  email .   

Key facts: Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance

Plans for a new "garden village" in Surrey could force an air ambulance service to relocate, it is feared.  

Redhill Aerodrome is one of five sites shortlisted for the 4,000-home development.

Bosses at the Kent, Surrey & Sussex Air Ambulance Trust (KSSAAT), which is funded by donations, fear it could cost up to £10million to find a new base.

The proposals are part of Tandridge District Council's  plan  to meet government housing targets.

Here are some key facts about the service:

Severe accident: A21 Kent northbound

BBC News Travel

A21 Kent northbound severe accident, between A25 Westerham Road Westerham and M25 J5.

A21 Kent - One lane closed on A21 northbound between Westerham and the M25 J5 junction, because of an accident. Traffic is coping well.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

No sign of today's sunshine this weekend

Sarah Keith-Lucas

Broadcast Meteorologist, BBC Weather

Looks like we had the best weather of the week today - the weekend is looking unsettled with scattered showers. Here's my forecast. 

Dash cam footage of BMW crashing on M2

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

This is the shocking moment a speeding driver lost control of their car on the M2 in Kent, crashing over a roundabout near Bluewater Shopping Centre.

Kent Police are investigating the circumstances around the crash, which was captured by a dashboard camera in another vehicle.

Severe accident: A2 Kent westbound

BBC News Travel

A2 Kent westbound severe accident, between B255 and M25 J2.

A2 Kent - One lane closed and very slow traffic on A2 westbound in Bean between the B255 (Bean Interchange For Bluewater) junction and Darenth Interchange, because of an accident.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Jason Gillespie

Former Yorkshire coach Jason Gillespie is in talks over becoming interim assistant coach of Division Two side Kent.

Read more

Severe disruption: M25 Kent anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Kent anti-clockwise severe disruption, between J1A for A206 and J31 for A1306 affecting J2 for A2.

M25 Kent - Very slow traffic on M25 Dartford Tunnel anticlockwise between J1a, A206 (Erith) and J31, A1306 (West Thurrock), because of an earlier broken down vehicle. All lanes have been re-opened. Congestion to J2, A2 (Darenth Interchange).

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

RSPCA warns of equine crisis in Kent

The RSPCA says Kent is suffering an equine crisis with neglected horses being dumped and left to die. 

The charity says it's been called to almost 40 incidents this winter, where animals have been found in terrible condition by the roadside and sometimes even buried under rubbish. 

It claims some owners are deciding not to treat their ill horses and are abandoning them instead.

WARNING: Graphic image below

Dead horse
RSPCA

World Book Day: Your photos

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

We'd love to see your photos or videos of this year's World Book Day. Send them to us on  TwitterFacebook , or by sending us an  email .    

View more on twitter

World Book Day: Your photos

Kathryn Langley

BBC Live reporter

Thanks for sending us your brilliant World Book Day photos. 

Can you can spot your little Harry Potter, BFG or Cat in the Hat in this montage?

Teachers are getting in on the #WorldBookDay act

Kathryn Langley

BBC Live reporter

Did you see this? We've been sent this video by Miss Wood from Towers School in Ashford. 

We'd love to see your photos or videos of this year's World Book Day. Send them to us on  Twitter ,   Facebook , or by sending us an  email .  

Her favourite book is Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton... can you tell?

View more on twitter
Joe Denly in batting action for Kent v Essex

Kent chairman George Kennedy, who clashed with the ECB over Championship promotion, is to stand down on 28 March.

Read more

It's our #onegooddeed month

What will your #onegooddeed be in March?

Join us as we try to make Kent a better place.

Don't forget your brolly tomorrow

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC weather

It looks like today was the best day of the week - and watch out for tomorrow morning's commute.

Here's my forecast.

Man faces extradition to Kent

A man is due to appear in court in Italy, in connection with an alleged rape in Ramsgate.

Rafiullah Hamidy, who's 24, was arrested in Taranto in Southern Italy, on 27 February, after Kent Police secured a European Arrest Warrant.

It is in connection with an assault in the Northwood area on 18 September.

Mr Hamidy now faces an extradition hearing.

Severe disruption: M25 Kent clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Kent clockwise severe disruption, at J3 for M20.

M25 Kent - M25 lane blocked on exit slip road clockwise at J3, M20 (Swanley Interchange), because of a broken down van.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

BreakingMan charged over Houses of Parliament rape allegation

Houses of Parliament
BBC

A Conservative MP's chief of staff has been charged with two counts of rape following an alleged attack at the Houses of Parliament.

Samuel Armstrong, 23, of Copt Hill, Danbury, Essex, who works for South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay, was charged today with two counts of rape and one count of serious sexual assault. 

The charge follows an alleged attack at the Houses of Parliament in October. 

He has been bailed to appear at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court on Friday 31 March.

'In 10 years this was the worst month I've ever known'

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

Commended by the ambulance service for trying to save seven men who drowned at Camber last summer, this volunteer says the tragedies left him needing counselling.

This morning's newspaper headlines

Newspapers
Getty Images

Kent Online : Tributes to Laura Woods-Thomas who died of cancer

Kent News:  ‘National crisis’ looms over policing - but how did Kent Police get on at its latest inspection?

Kent and Sussex Courier:  First glimpse of new £12 million arts centre for Tunbridge Wells

Cricket: Kent chairman to step down

Ben Watts

Sports reporter, BBC Radio Kent

George Kennedy CBE will step down as chairman of Kent Cricket at the annual AGM later this month.

The news comes after Kennedy told BBC Radio Kent last year that he could walk away if Kent failed to be handed County Championship promotion at the expense of relegated Durham.

Since his appointment in 2007, the businessman has overseen an eventful nine-year spell at the helm, with his appointment of Jamie Clifford as CEO in 2010 helping to put the club back on an even financial footing.

Despite that, the club will announce today a loss for the 2015-16 financial year.

St Lawrence Ground, Canterbury
Getty Images

Gills and Konchesky to part company?

Ben Watts

Sports reporter, BBC Radio Kent

Gillingham defender Paul Konchesky looks set to leave the club today to sign for seventh-tier side Billericay Town.

The 35-year old left back, who has two England caps to his name, has featured just twice since Ady Pennock became Gills head coach in January.

The Ryman Premier club have recently been taken over by multi-millionaire Glenn Tamplin.

Neither club has yet made a formal announcement regarding the transfer.

Read the full story here .

Paul Konchesky
Rex Features

Severe accident: M25 Kent clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Kent clockwise severe accident, between J2 for A2 and J3 for M20.

M25 Kent - One lane closed and queuing traffic on M25 clockwise between J2, A2 (Darenth Interchange) and J3, M20 (Swanley Interchange), because of an accident involving a car and a lorry.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

It's our #onegooddeed month

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

What will your  #onegooddeed  be in March?

Join us as we try to make Kent a better place.  

#ICYMI: Penalties for drivers using phones 'not enough'

Yasmine Djadoudi

BBC Live reporter

Daniel Squire was just 18 when he was killed near Deal, by a driver who admitted he'd been sending text messages before the collision. 

His mother says tough new penalties introduced for motorists who use their mobile phone at the wheel do not go far enough.

Teachers are getting in on the #WorldBookDay act

Kathryn Langley

BBC Live reporter

We've been sent this video by Miss Wood from Towers School in Ashford.

We'd love to see your photos or videos of this year's World Book Day. Send them to us on  Twitter ,   Facebook , or by sending us an  email .  

View more on twitter

Police given boost by report

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

Kent Police has been rated "good" by government inspectors.

Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary has published its annual report into forces across the country, rating how effective they are in four areas - preventing and investigating crime, protecting and supporting vulnerable people and tackling serious and organised crime.

The Inspectorate warns of the effects of cutbacks and says there's a "national crisis" of a shortage of detectives, leading to "an unconscious form of rationing".

Thirteen forces were told they need to improve, 28 were rated as good, with only Durham achieving the status of "outstanding", and Bedfordshire, "inadequate".

Read the full story  here .

Police officer
iStock

Humble brag...

BBC South East Today won best Nation and Regions news programme at the RTS Television Journalism Awards 2017 last night.

Here are our presenters Polly Evans and Rob Smith, with the Editor Quentin Smith and Special Correspondent Colin Campbell.

View more on twitter
RTS graphic showing BBC South East won award
RTS

Make the most of today's weather...

Rachel Mackley

Weather Presenter

Because Friday's looking like a washout.

Watch my forecast here.

Dartford Crossing 'creaking under pressure of 50m vehicles'

Hamish Mureddu-Reid

BBC News Online, South East

Dartford Crossing
BBC

Delays in government backing for a new Thames crossing are damaging the UK economy, business leaders say.

In a letter to the chancellor they said delays threaten to "bring the South East to a standstill".

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said the Dartford Crossing was "creaking under the pressure" of 50 million vehicles crossing each year.

The Department of Transport (DoT) said a decision on the Lower Thames Crossing would be made "in due course".

Crossing plans
Highways England

Highways England has already announced its  preferred route of the Lower Thames Crossing  connecting Gravesend in Kent to Tilbury in Essex.

The FSB, together with the Kent and Medway Federation of Small Businesses, the Freight Transport Association, the Port of Dover and the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry are calling on the chancellor, ahead of the budget, to guarantee the "earliest delivery" of the new crossing.

A DoT spokesman said the government recognised a new crossing would reduce congestion and help economic growth in the South East and the UK as a whole.

He said more than 47,000 had taken part in a public consultation on the crossing.

Read our full story here .

What are your kids dressing up as for #WorldBookDay?

Kathryn Langley

BBC Live reporter

If you're a parent we're sure you won't have forgotten it's  #WorldBookDay  today...

So which literary character is your child dressing up as this year?

If you're struggling for an idea here are a few snaps from last year that might give you some last minute inspiration...

We'd love to see your photos or videos of this year's World Book Day. Send them to us on  TwitterFacebook , or by sending us an  email  .

Ava, 3, as the witch from Room on the Broom
Marc Dumbleton
Ava, 3, as the witch from Room on the Broom
Oliver, 7, as Where's Wally
Wendy Davis
Oliver, 7, as Where's Wally
Mya, 7, as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz
Anushka Rampling
Mya, 7, as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz
Flynn, 10, as Mrs Twit
Darren Edwards
Flynn, 10, as Mrs Twit

Is your child seat fitted properly?

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

Road safety experts believe around two-thirds of children aren't being strapped in properly, and this week the law is getting tougher.

Our reporter Matt Davison tried fitting one of the latest models - see how he got on below (it's fair to say he struggled a bit...)

And you can hear more on the BBC Radio Kent Breakfast Show with John and Maggie by listening here .

A great picture to start the day...

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

It's a bit chilly outside, but this atmospheric shot of New Romney taken by Matt Hayward will help your mood - it's our Kent  #photooftheday

We'll be here until 22:00 GMT with your latest news, sport, travel and weather for the county.

New Romney
Matt Hayward

Is there something you'd like to tell us about? We'd love to hear from you.

You can get in touch on  Twitter , on  Facebook , or by sending us an  email .