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  1. Our live coverage has ended for the day
  2. Updates on Thursday 25 May 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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That's it from us

Thanks for joining us today - we'll be back from 06:00 BST with all your 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.

Do you want to get involved in our general election debate?

Ahead of next month's general election, we're hosting a special Question Time-style debate in St Leonards on Bank Holiday Monday -- 29 May.

If you live or work in the South East and you'd like to be in the audience, send an email to with your name, address and daytime phone number -- and you could be part of our election debate.

'They were crying and upset'

Charlie Rose

Reporter, BBC South East Today

Newington Church of England primary school in Sittingbourne has apologised after pupils were upset by a lesson as part of Christian Aid week.

They were told the building would be evacuated and they wouldn't be able to see their parents, to raise awareness of the plight of refugees.

The children were told it wasn't real afterwards, but parents I spoke to were still angry.

Facebook Live: On Air

Facebook Live: General election - environment and education

Click on to our Facebook page to see and hear our correspondents discuss environment and education. Coming up after 19:00 BST.

Sunshine or umbrellas?

Rachel Mackley

Weather Presenter

There's a bank holiday weekend on the horizon, so will the sunny weather hold?

Here's my forecast.

'My vote counts and it's important'

Undecided first-time voter Callie from Rochester says tuition fees will be the big issue that sways her vote on 8 June.

Get involved and see our other films by searching for #MyFirstVote

'They're creepy and they're kooky...'

The Addams Family musical has just started a run at the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury - we've caught up with some of the stars of the show.

Stones to bid farewell to Flish

After eight years with Maidstone United, Alex Flisher will be leaving the club this summer. Flisher has turned down a deal due to work and personal commitments with the players training three mornings a week rather than two evenings.

Stones to bid farewell to Flish
Maidstone United

It’s been a pleasure to have him here at the club and I can only wish him well in his future career. Like everyone connected with the club, I’d have loved to have seen him in a Stones shirt next season but I respect his decision to put his family first – that’s the way it should be.”

Jay SaundersMaidstone United boss

BreakingTeen jailed after 15 hurt in crash

Lizzie Massey

BBC Live reporter

A crashed car on Medway City Estate
Toby Diamond

A teenager has been jailed for dangerous driving after crashing his car into pedestrians.

Harlee Pendergast, 18, of Green Lane, Eltham, in south-east London, faced four counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

The crash happened on Sir Thomas Longley Road, on the Medway City Estate in Strood, Kent, at about 22:15 BST on 30 September 2016.

Four men were seriously injured and a further five also required hospital treatment.

He must now serve 18 months in a youth offenders institute and has been disqualified from driving for four years.

General election: How will fishing and farming be affected?

Yvette Austin

BBC Environment Correspondent

I've been investigating the main issues facing the South East's food producers, as we approach the general election and Brexit.

We'll be live from Hastings in the latest of our election specials from 18:30 BST, and you can send me your questions about the environment in a Facebook Live from 19:00 BST.

Not sure the old glass and paper manoeuvre will work here...

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

A Sevenoaks man got quite a fright when he spotted a huntsman spider clinging to the brick wall of his home.

Huntsman found in Sevenoaks

The man, who opted against running away and screaming, instead called the RSPCA to the large, exotic arachnid.

RSPCA animal collection officer Louis Horton went to the house in The Meadway on 15 May, and was just as surprised.

I honestly expected to get there and find a big house spider or a toy spider or something silly but it was a huntsman.

It was clinging to the outside wall of the man’s house and he said it had barely moved since he first spotted it. I removed it, confined it in a box and took it to experts at Heathrow’s Animal Reception Centre to be quarantined."

Louis HortonRSPCA animal collection officer

Summer is here (for now at least...)

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC weather

It's going to stay dry and warm day with copious amounts of sunshine today. Here's my lunchtime forecast.

Three men charged over Edenbridge cannabis factory

Three men have been charged with producing cannabis in Edenbridge.

Michael Anderson, 36, of Hadley Road, Belvedere, was charged with two counts of producing cannabis, along with William Saunders, 29, of McKillop Way, Sidcup, who was charged with one count of producing cannabis.

Police found around 400 cannabis plants at various stages of growth during a search at a property in Station Road in January. The house had been fitted out with lighting and watering systems to aid the cultivation.

Michael Anderson was also charged with a second count of producing cannabis which was unconnected to the property in Station Road.

All three men have been released on bail following their charges and are due to appear before West Kent Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 27 June.

Two Shetland ponies stolen in Tunbridge Wells

Kent Police is appealing for witnesses after two Shetland ponies were reportedly stolen from a field in Tunbridge Wells.

The ponies were alleged to have been stolen at around 09.30 GMT on Tuesday from a field on Brewer Street.

One pony is described as white and the other phone is tan in colour.

New Zealand fast bowler to join Kent after Champions Trophy

Josh Hunt

BBC Sport

New Zealand fast bowler Adam Milne will join Kent after the Champions Trophy finishes next month.

The 25-year-old is available to play in both the County Championship and T20 Blast, which starts in July.

New Zealand fast bowler to join Kent after Champions Trophy
Getty Images

Milne has played 34 one-day internationals and 18 Twenty20 games for the Black Caps and is a handy lower-order batsman.

I'm delighted to be joining Kent and working with such a talented squad pushing for promotion"

Adam Milne

Severe accident: M2 Kent eastbound

BBC News Travel

M2 Kent eastbound severe accident, at J7 for A2 Canterbury Road.

M2 Kent - One lane closed and queuing traffic on M2 coastbound at J7, A2 (Brenley Corner), because of an accident.

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

#MyFirstVote: 'It'll be a birthday to remember'

Sixth-former Eoin Simpkins will be casting his first ever vote on 8 June.

He’s been speaking to BBC South East as part of our #MyFirstVote series.

#PMfortheday: Teens on education, wages and the homeless

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

We asked teenagers from across the South East what they would do if they were in charge of the country.


Manchester Arena tweets ahead of minute's silence for attack victims

Police increase armed patrols

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

In the wake of the Manchester Arena bombing, be prepared to see more armed police on the streets of Kent and Sussex.

This morning's Kent newspaper headlines

Getty Images

Kent Online: Children in tears during 'mass evacuation'

Kent News: Paul Carter expected to be re-elected leader as Kent County Council meets for first time since May election

Kent and Sussex Courier: Travellers have set up camp at Mote Park in Maidstone

ICYMI: Mum starts charity after toddler's death

Camilla Gooden's son Rex died aged 22 months, after going for a nap from which he never awoke.

She decided to set up a charity to help other parents in the UK affected by sudden unexplained death in childhood.

'It's incredibly important to get to a hospital that's near you'

Getting help quickly is vital for stroke patients. So what impact could an urgent review of services in Kent have?

'My teacher said just look for the kind people'

Bryony MacKenzie

Education correspondent, BBC South East Today

How do you talk to children about the Manchester Arena bombing?

I've been to two of the South East's schools to find out how pupils are being helped to understand what happened.

Police search for men after court fire

Kathryn Langley

BBC Live reporter

This image of two men has been released by police investigating a fire at Maidstone magistrates' court.

CCTV image
Kent Police

A security guard inside the court on Palace Avenue smelt smoke before finding the two large front doors on fire.

It happened at about 23:00 BST on Saturday.

Kent Police are now looking for two men who were seen in the area at the time, and later seen walking towards Gabriel's Hill.

The mercury keeps rising

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Weather

We've got another warm day ahead, but it's getting more muggy.

Watch my forecast for more.

Theme park to reopen for summer

Dreamland in Margate is due to reopen on Friday for the summer season. Here’s a look at (nearly) 100 years of the famous attraction.

Gorgeous Gravesend

Kathryn Langley

BBC Live reporter

What about this for a shot of Gravesend? Thanks to Mark Dillen - it's our #PhotoOfTheDay.

Mark Dillen

We'll be here with all you latest news, travel, sport and weather until 22:00 BST.

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