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  1. Our live coverage has ended for the day
  2. Updates on Monday 8 May 2017

Live Reporting

By Claire Cottingham, Kathryn Langley and Bob Dale

All times stated are UK

Get involved

That's it from us

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

It's the end of our live coverage for today - we'll be back at 06:00 BST tomorrow with all the latest news, sport, travel and weather.

Is there anything you'd like to tell us about? You can get in touch on Twitter, on Facebook or by sending us an email.   

Have you got a question about the general election?

Throughout the election campaign, our News Correspondents will be taking your questions about the big issues and talking points.

If you've got something you'd like to ask, then let us know.

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

New boss for British Airways i360

Lizzie Massey

BBC Live reporter

British Airways i360 has a new boss, Steve Bax.

The world’s tallest moving observation tower opened on Brighton beach in August 2016, but has suffered a number of breakdowns and technical hitches.

Steve, 46, who was born and raised in Margate, Kent, said the seaside holds “a special place in his heart”. 

130 tower

I am thrilled to be joining this innovative and record-holding attraction [and] excited about becoming part of the city’s business community and working with other attractions and businesses to promote Brighton and all it has to offer.”

Steve Bax

Steve has worked in the visitor attraction sector for more than 10 years and is currently a historic properties director for English Heritage.

He will start his new role on 3 July taking over from former chief executive Eleanor Harris.

Breaking the law of graffiti

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

A £1m piece of street art appears in your town overnight.

Do people in Dover like their Brexit-themed Banksy?

Will the weather get better this week?

Rachel Mackley

Weather Presenter

After a cool, cloudy day, things are brightening up tomorrow.

Here's my forecast.

UKIP chair in Kent may have "unresigned"

It's now uncertain whether the chairman of UKIP Kent has resigned. Earlier Richard Palmer told the BBC he had stepped down.

However, it's understood following a phone call to the leader Paul Nuttall, he may have changed his mind.

A year of #Southernstrikes

Can you believe that we've had more than a year of Southern rail strikes? 

Here we take a look at the strike in numbers… 

Royal Navy shadows Russian submarine

A Royal Navy warship has shadowed a Russian submarine through the English Channel.

HMS Somerset located the submarine Krasnodar off the east coast on Friday.

The Plymouth-based frigate followed it through the Dover Strait and the English Channel during the weekend. 

Commanding officer Tim Berry of HMS Somerset said escorting the submarine was part of the "ongoing effort to protect our island nation".

Last month, Somerset's sister ship HMS Sutherland escorted two Russian warships as they sailed close to the UK.

#ThisIsMe: 'I love theatre'

This 26-year-old theatre technician says he's "living his dream". 


Police warning over squirrel scam

Kathryn Langley

BBC Live reporter

Rogue traders have been targeting people in Tunbridge Wells with a scam involving a dead squirrel. 

A grey squirrel

Police say a man's been knocking on doors offering roof repairs. 

After inspecting the roof he claims the property has an infestation of squirrels. 

On one occasion the man's said to have produced a dead animal and demanded £300 from the owner. 

This man targets people by cold calling and demanding cash up front. Work then carried out is either minimal, or nothing has been done at all.

Our advice remains the same for anyone dealing with cold callers. Do not deal with people who knock on your door offering work on your home or garden and if you have any concerns about their behaviour call the police."

Sergeant Andy MillerKent Police
Rikki Clarke has rejoined his first county Surrey, from Warwickshire

With the 2017 county season in full swing, keep up to date with the latest signings, departures and rumours ahead of next season.

Read more

ME sufferer Jessica Taylor determined to walk for wedding

A woman managed to walk down the aisle on her wedding day despite being bed-ridden for almost half her life.

Jessica Taylor suffers debilitating fatigue and painful muscles caused by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME).

The 25-year-old, of Cliffe Woods, met Samuel Bearman, 24, through friends and married last weekend.

She worked with a physiotherapist to walk down the aisle. Here's her story.   

View more on twitter

Are you sure it's still spring?

Kate Kinsella

BBC Weather

Cool and cloudy today, but the middle of the week looks better.

Here's my forecast.

UKIP: 'We should have a different leadership team at the top'

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

Speaking to Julia George on this weekend's BBC Sunday Politics South East show, Richard Palmer laid the blame for UKIP's performance in the local elections squarely at the door of its national leadership.

Banksy: Council pleased at publicity

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

Dover District Council says it welcomes the interest generated by the Banksy which has appeared on the side of a building in the centre of the town.

It depicts a star being chipped out of the European flag, and is sited next to the A20 leading to and from the Eastern Docks.

The area's also the site of a major regeneration project.

Banksy mural in Dover

The building is not owned by Dover District Council but is within the Dover Waterfront area that is currently the subject of a master planning process, looking at a planning and regeneration framework for the future of the area. We welcome the interest that the artwork is generating for the town in the short term and are monitoring the situation."

Dover District Council spokesman

BreakingEXCLUSIVE: Chairman of UKIP Kent resigns

Helen Catt

Political editor, BBC South East

Richard Palmer

We understand the chairman of UKIP Kent, Richard Palmer, has resigned from his position.

It's understood this is due to comments he made on BBC Sunday Politics South East about the party's leader, Paul Nuttall.

Asked if the new UKIP leader ruined the election for "hardworking UKIP councillors", he said: "Yes in one single word.

"I think he should, I think we should have a different leadership team at the top."

We understand Mr Palmer felt he couldn't continue in the job after saying this.

Southern dispute: Talks to resume next week

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

Southern has confirmed there'll be further talks with the RMT Union next week.

The two sides have been in dispute for over a year over the Driver Only Operated trains, and the future role of conductors.

The actual date for the talks hasn't been confirmed.

Southern Trains

Have you got a story that needs to be investigated?

If so, get in touch with the award-winning BBC South East Today investigations team.  

Six month wait for mental health treatment 'sets you up for failure'

Tom Darby

BBC Live reporter

Sophie tried to kill herself three times in the space of a week, months later she's still waiting for specialist treatment.

She told us her experiences of the mental health system in our special feature to mark the beginning of Mental Health Awareness Week. #sophiesstory

Details of organisations offering information and support with mental health are available at, or you can call for free, at any time to hear recorded information on 08000 564 756.

Body found in Maidstone

Investigations are continuing today into an unexplained death near Maidstone.

The body of a man in his 20's was found in Crisbrook Meadow on Sunday morning just after 07:00 BST. 

Officers say they're still trying to work out what happened and they want to hear from anyone who may have been in the area at the time.    

Which South East constituencies are most vulnerable to change?

The electoral map of the South East is almost exclusively blue at the moment, but whilst there are several very safe seats, there are also plenty of constituencies that could see a change in the upcoming election.

We've compiled this list of the most vulnerable seats in Kent and Sussex.


Could there be a summer drought?

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

With winter rainfall in the South East at its lowest for two decades, one water company has already had to top up a major reservoir.  

Banksy found in Dover

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

A spokesperson for the artist Banksy has confirmed that a large mural which appeared in Dover is by him. 

It depicts the European flag being chiselled by a workman to remove one of its 12 stars.

The work appeared near Dover's ferry terminal overnight.

#ICYMI: 'It's going to be an amazing, amazing experience'

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

After bursting onto the world athletics scene as a surprise call up to Team GB at the 2012 London games at just 18, Dartford Sprinter Adam Gemili says he's now aiming to compete at the world championships in London.     

#ICYMI: Your guide to election results in the South East

Take a look at this graphic which outlines who won what in the local elections.


Llamas 'not trying to catch train' Southeastern confirms

Lizzie Massey

BBC Live reporter

Trains have been delayed after around seven llamas were spotted on the track near Hildenborough.

The last sighting was at 8.36am and the trains were slowed as a precaution, but are now running as normal.

Network Rail warned us this morning that 6-8 llamas were seen near the line around Hildenborough – we’re not sure how they got there or where they were going, but we can assume they weren’t trying to catch the train."


Trains being slowed because of... llamas

Lizzie Massey

BBC Live reporter

Trains are being slowed down because llamas have been spotted on the tracks between Hildenborough and Sevenoaks.

Trains through Hildenborough were already being delayed by 15 minutes because of a faulty train earlier at the station.  

Trains being cautioned between Hildenborough & Sevenoaks due to sightings of llamas on the line.

Llamas on the line


The mural, which appeared near Dover, is the subject of debate as its "innovativeness" is questioned.

Read more

Denly surprises with the ball

Matt Cole

Sports Editor, BBC Radio Kent

Joe Denly was Kent's unlikely bowling hero as they beat Middlesex by 46 runs in the One Day Cup at Canterbury. 

Joe Denly
Getty Images

After the Spitfires posted a modest 200, part-time spinner Denly took three wickets to help bowl the visitors out for 154.

The Kent opener admitted they hadn't expected such a comprehensive victory after their batting performance.     

What do we know about Canterbury's first Poet Laureate?

Poet, writer and broadcaster Lemn Sissay is Canterbury’s first ever Poet Laureate.

So what do we know about him? 

The fleet through to play-off final

Matt Cole

Sports Editor, BBC Radio Kent

Ebbsfleet United are through to their third play-off final in four seasons after a 2-1 home win against Hampton and Richmond.

It gave them a 4-2 aggregate victory in the National League South semi-finals. 

Defender Kenny Clark got the first Fleet goal on 36 minutes, Hampton equalised on the hour to make it a nervy second half until sub Darren McQueen scored a minute from time.

Darren McQueen
Dave Plumb

But it won't be an all-Kent final - Dartford were beaten 2-1 at home by Chelmsford City after a goalless first leg. Duane Ofori-Acheampong got the Darts goal in injury time. 

Ebbsfleet host Chelmsford on Saturday for a place in the National League.

#ICYMI: Meet Charlie, the seven-year-old cancer survivor

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

When Charlie Hewson from Lindfield, near Haywards Heath, was just a baby his parents noticed a swelling on his left leg. 

It turned out to be a rare form of cancer - and ultimately he had to have it amputated.

But that hasn't stopped him from doing anything - especially playing football. 

Billings features as the hosts seal series at Lord's

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

Kent's Sam Billings stepped up as wicketkeeper as England sealed a series whitewash over Ireland in their two-match one-day international contest, courtesy of an 85-run win at Lord's.  


Though he struggled with the bat, making just seven, the keeper made some important catches behind the stumps.

Joe Root was the star of the show, scoring 73 in a partnership of 140 with skipper Eoin Morgan (76). 

#ICYMI: ‘Wheelchair rugby changed my life’

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

Ben, who has cerebral palsy, says wheelchair rugby league has changed his life.

We interviewed Ben as part of our #thisisme series.

'It's really daunting not knowing who to vote for'

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

We've been speaking to first-time voters across the South East to find out what the key issues are for them in the forthcoming general election.


Is it really May?

Kate Kinsella

BBC Weather

The weather still hasn't improved, and it looks like we've got more of the same to come.

Here's my morning forecast.

Six month wait for mental health treatment 'sets you up for failure'

Tom Darby

BBC Live reporter

Sophie tried to kill herself three times in the space of a week, months later she's still waiting for specialist treatment.

She told us her experiences of the mental health system in our special feature to mark the beginning of Mental Health Awareness Week. #sophiesstory

Details of organisations offering information and support with mental health are available at, or you can call for free, at any time to hear recorded information on 08000 564 756.

Villages could 'lose out' in rail shake-up

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

More than 10,000 people have signed a petition against plans to speed up train services in Kent by reducing stops at village stations.

The Government - which is now consulting on a new South East franchise from December 2018 - says the approach could be adopted between Tonbridge and Ashford.

See details from the Government consultation below.

What do you think? Should we speed up train services if it means fewer stops at village stations? 

You can call the BBC Radio Kent Breakfast Show with John and Kate on 03459 811111 - or text 81333 and start your message with the word KENT. You can listen to the show here.

You can have your say on Kent's new rail franchise until Tuesday 23 May by going to the Department for Transport website.     

A Southeastern train

We are also exploring various options for reducing the journey time on the existing Mainline route between Hastings and Charing Cross via Tonbridge. For instance, reducing calls at less well-used stations could deliver an hourly fast service. Other services would still stop at these stations.

This approach could also be adopted on other routes, such as Tonbridge to Ashford. Although we would be delivering faster journeys, we recognise that this has the potential to inconvenience passengers that currently use those intermediate stations.

Government consultation document

It's the start of a new week...

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

So here's a picture which should brighten up your day a little bit.

It's a stunning shot taken in Ramsgate by John Smith and it's our Kent #photooftheday

John Smith

Is there anything you'd like to tell us about? Or have you got any lovely pictures of Kent taken over the weekend to send us?

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