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  1. Southend Pier remains closed due to cracks in the structure
  2. Politicians on the Remain and Leave sides visit Essex as the EU referendum approaches
  3. More than 100 EU citizens wrongly sent referendum polling cards in Essex, figures show
  4. Police still seeking Ali Qazimaj, from Tilbury, wanted in connection with the Weybread murder investigation
  5. Updates resume at 08:00 on Monday

Live Reporting

By Jack Warren

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

That's it from us at Essex Live - we're off to settle down to watch the start of Euro 2016. 

Whatever the outcome of these championships, it will be particularly memorable for 11-year-old Laura Fairey from Benfleet. 

She's been selected to be the official match ball carrier when England take on Slovakia.

Laura Fairey
Essex FA

We'll be back on Monday from 08:00 with the latest news for the county.

Good luck to your team, whoever you're supporting this weekend (unless it's Russia).

Weather: Mostly dry tonight... Bright spells on Saturday

Dan Holley

BBC Look East weather

A few isolated showers will be possible tonight, but most places will be dry with rather cloudy skies and just a few clear intervals. It will be mild and humid, with temperatures only dipping to 11C (52F).

Weather map of the East

Some bright or sunny spells on Saturday, but often cloudy with just the chance of a shower. However, some places will stay dry. In a light south-easterly breeze temperatures will reach highs of 21C (70F).  

You can get the latest weekend forecast for your area at BBC Weather.

Watch: Reporter looks back at 'gentlemanly' 1975 referendum

In 1975, Michael Cole was one of the BBC's referendum correspondents, and 41 years later he's gone back on the campaign trail to see how things have changed.

You can see more of his report in Sunday Politics at 11:00 on BBC One.

In the news: Southend Pier closed... More than 100 EU citizens wrongly receive polling cards

Here are the top stories we've covered on Essex Live today:

The pier/polling card/David Cameron
  • Southend Pier remains closed until at least tomorrow while emergency works to repair cracks in its structure take place
  • Polling cards were wrongly sent to 118 EU citizens living in Essex who are not allowed to vote in the EU referendum, the Electoral Commission has announced
  • Both David Cameron and Vote Leave campaigners have been in Essex today as rival sides in the EU referendum debate step up their campaigning 

Euro 2016: We've checked in with our Essex football fan in France

Meanwhile... our Essex football fan in France has been in touch today. He flew from Paris to Marseille this morning as England prepare to take on Russia there tomorrow. 

England fixtures

David Hancock from Southend said the level of security was "noticeably high" with lots of police and army at the airports. 

Like all Englishmen on holiday he had to mention the weather. He says it's "hot and humid" at the moment, but that's not going to stop him taking a sightseeing trip. 

David is "optimistic" about England's chances of success at the tournament. We'll see if he feels that way on Monday...

England supporters prepare for take-off at Stansted

These England supporters on their way to the Euros from Stansted seem to be behaving themselves... 

View more on twitter

Southend Pier remains closed after cracks appear in structure

Southend Pier remains closed today after cracks appeared in its structure yesterday.

Southend Pier

The famous landmark is currently undergoing emergency works. It's hoped the pier will be open to pedestrians tomorrow, but the train will be out of action "until further notice". 

Jazz on the Pier has been cancelled, but all other events are still scheduled.

Harlow death 'not suspicious'

Earlier we told you that the death of a man who was found seriously injured in Harlow on Thursday was being treated as "unexplained". 

Essex Police has now said it not treating the death as suspicious and will now prepare a file for the coroner. 


Essex host Middlesex in the T20 Blast tonight

BBC Sport

Ashar and fellow Essex cricketers are looking to improve their fortunes in the T20 Blast tonight. 

County Ground
Getty Images

The Eagles are hosting Middlesex at Chelmsford later. 

They welcome back all-rounder Graham Napier to their squad after he was out with a groin strain. You can follow live commentary here

How to do Ramadan and play professional cricket...

Ashar Zaidi
Getty Images

You can always make up for the lost fasting days you missed, but because we have been fasting since a very young age our bodies can easily get used to fasting without being massively affected, plus it's great for the body to rest once a year."

Ashar ZaidiEssex all-rounder

What's it like being a top-flight Muslim sportsman while fasting for Ramadan?

Like many Muslims across the UK, Essex cricketer Ashar Zaidi is currently observing the holy month of Ramadan.

Part of this means not eating or drinking during daylight hours, which is about 16 to 19 hours a day. 

As the Eagles prepare for their T20 Blast match against Middlesex tonight, we asked Ashar how difficult fasting while playing top flight sport was. 

Ashar Zaidi
Getty Images

I try and fast regularly during the month, but on match days when you are playing and it's long summer days it's very difficult to keep up with it. It's not just on the day, it's the after effects because your body is dehydrated and doesn't get long to recover."

Ashar ZaidiEssex all-rounder

Euro 2016: Flags flown for England at Heybridge Swifts

I wonder who the guys at local football side Heybridge Swifts are cheering on in Euro 2016? 

They sent us this photo from their ground. There's 70 England flags in total, to save you counting. 

Heybridge Swifts

Are you flying a flag for your country? Share your pictures with us using #EssexEuro2016.

More than 100 EU citizens wrongly sent referendum polling cards in Essex

Polling cards were wrongly sent to 118 EU citizens living in Essex who are not allowed to vote in the EU referendum, the Electoral Commission has announced.


A software "issue" meant 3,462 polling cards and some postal votes were sent out to "non-eligible" voters. 

The highest number of incorrect cards was sent in Harlow, Thurrock and Southend.

The Electoral Commission said the software provider had since "resolved the issue", saying any postal votes wrongly issued would be cancelled and none of those affected would appear as an eligible voter on the electoral registers at polling stations.  

David Cameron visits Harlow as part of EU referendum campaign

As the Vote Leave battle bus drives around the county, David Cameron has visited Harlow this lunchtime.

The prime minister, who believes Britain should remain part of the European Union, spent the afternoon at a high-tech manufacturing business on Edinburgh Way.

The Conservative MP for the town tweeted these photos. 

View more on twitter

Labour councillor 'gutted' not to win by-election

Labour's Gavin Callaghan has told his Twitter followers he is "gutted" not to win the Basildon by-election. 

View more on twitter

He also congratulated UKIP's Frank Ferguson who was elected.

UKIP defeats Labour in Basildon by-election

UKIP has defeated Labour to win a council seat in the Basildon by-election. 

The win came in the Laindon Park & Fryerns division of Essex County Council following the death of a Labour councillor. 

Polling station

Voting breakdown: 

  • UKIP: 2,034 votes
  • Labour: 1,600 votes
  • Conservative: 878 votes
  • Green: 264 votes

Weather: Staying mostly dry this afternoon

BBC Weather

There will be a good deal of dry weather this afternoon with some hazy spells of sunshine. However, the odd isolated shower could develop. 

Maximum temperature: 21C (70F).


Lots of you have been uploading pictures of this morning's beautiful sunrise, including this one from BBC Weather Watcher "Frinton Belle".

You can find the latest forecast for your area here.

In the news: Harlow death 'unexplained'... Essex beach hut prices 'on the rise'

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

To recap, some of the stories we've covered on Essex Live so far today: 

  • The death of a man who was found seriously injured in Harlow yesterday is being treated as "unexplained" 
  • An estate agent has said the price of beach huts in Essex are on the rise after one recently sold in Frinton for £32,000 
  • The official Vote Leave battle bus is doing the rounds in south Essex today

Braintree Town sign Welling United full-back

BBC Sport

National League side Braintree Town have signed Welling United full-back Barney Williams on a free transfer.

Joao Carlos of Grays Athletic and Barney Williams of Welling United
Getty Images

The 21-year-old has been the Wings' player of the season for the past two campaigns, playing 27 league games as they were relegated to the National League North last term.

Williams has departed with a year left on his contract at Park View Road.

John Whittingdale and Stephen Metcalfe are on the battle bus...

Ian Puckey

BBC Essex

On board the Vote Leave battle bus is government minister and MP for Maldon, John Whittingdale (left), and the Conservative MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, Stephen Metcalfe. 

Government minister and MP for Maldon John Whittingdale (left) and the Conservative MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock Stephen Metcalfe

Vote Leave battle bus arrives in Thurrock

Ian Puckey

BBC Essex

You've probably seen it on the TV. Well, the Vote Leave battle bus is in Essex today. It's currently parked at Grays Railway Station and will head to Basildon shortly. 

Battle bus
Battle bus

Former detective says Interpol will be involved in search for Ali Qazimaj

Steve Blower

BBC Radio Suffolk

A former detective says Suffolk Police will be getting assistance from both Europol and Interpol as the search for Ali Qazimaj continues.

Car used by Ali Qazimaj
Suffolk Police

Colin Sutton says: "You can't just go off searching the whole of Europe for somebody; you need to narrow the search down by looking at his background,looking at what intelligence there might be, looking where he might have links, friends, family.

"That's possibly more difficult because he came to this country as an asylum seeker and probably doesn't have much of a history that we know about."

Police piece together information of last known movements of Weybread suspect

Philippa Taylor

BBC Local Live

Police say they're continuing to piece together information regarding the last movements of Ali Qazimaj, between the last confirmed sighting of Peter and Sylvia Stuart at Pulham Market on 29 May, and his departure from the UK via Dover on 4 June.

Ali Qazimaj
Suffolk Police

Det Ch Supt Simon Parkes said: "We are continuing to work to locate Sylvia and to find Ali Qazimaj. We are grateful to everyone who has passed on information to date and would also like to thank those who have been assisting us with this investigation.

"Our international colleagues are carrying out work to help locate Ali Qazimaj while we continue to search for Sylvia in the UK. We would still like to hear from anyone with information that may help our inquiries.”

Searches continue near home of Peter and Sylvia Stuart

Philippa Taylor

BBC Local Live

A week on from the first reports that Peter and Sylvia Stuart were missing, police say they'll be carrying out more searches in the village, and combing fields around the couple's Mill Lane home, as part of an ongoing strategy to locate Sylvia Stuart and any further evidence.

Brick Kiln Cottage plaque

Detectives are continuing to liaise with international law enforcement agencies to trace suspect Ali Qazimaj, 42, who has also previously used the alias of Marco Costa, and who had been living in the Tilbury area of Essex.

Tracking movements of Weybread murder suspect 'virtually impossible', says former detective

Steve Blower

BBC Radio Suffolk

Police are going to face a difficult task tracking down a murder suspect after the killing of Peter Stuart a week ago in Weybread, near Harleston, according to a former senior Metropolitan Police detective who lives in Suffolk.

Colin Sutton
Colin Sutton

Ali Qazimaj, from Tilbury, who's being sought by detectives over the murder of Peter Stuart and the disappearance of his wife Sylvia, is believed to have crossed the Channel to France last Saturday night.

Former detective chief inspector Colin Sutton (pictured), who led the team that caught Milly Dowler's killer Levi Bellfield, said: "You just simply can't cover the entire continent with the resources that are available.

"Trying to track his movements after he was at the ferry terminal is something that's virtually impossible, really."

£32k for a beach hut? That's nothing compared to this lot

You might think £32,000 is a lot of money for a beach hut, but it's nothing compared to how much they've sold for elsewhere in the country. 

Beach huts
  • Last year one was on the market for £120,000 in Southwold, reports the Daily Mail
  • In November, the Bournemouth Echo said a beach hut was on sale for £250,000 in Mudeford Spit, Christchurch
  • And this "tiny" beach hut that was "smaller than a garden shed" fetched £100,000 when it went on sale in Wales, Wales Online claimed

Beach hut sales are big business in Essex at the moment

The average size may be just 8ft (2.4m) by 12ft (3.6m), but beach huts are big business along the Essex coast at the moment. 

Beach huts

One estate agent told BBC Essex that one hut in Frinton recently sold for £32,150 - despite the fact there's no running water or electricity. 

Agent Nicole Stopp said: "The prices don't seem to be falling, they only seem to be rising, so beach huts seem to be a good investment at the moment". 

Happy Euro 2016 - we want to see your patriotic pictures

The wait is finally over... Euro 2016 kicks off in Paris tonight, and in honour of the tournament we want to feature your patriotic pictures online and on BBC Look East

The Plough

Whether you run a pub or have decked your living room head to toe with the flag of St George, the Welsh dragon or are cheering on any other nationality, share your photos with us on Twitter using:






#SuffolkEuro2016 can also send them to us via email, by posting them on your local radio station's Facebook page, or post them here.

Remember to give us your name, where you live and tell us about anything you're getting up to to celebrate the tournament.

If you need your footballing fix in the meantime, you'll find everything you need to know on the BBC's Euro 2016 page

Incredible sunrise captured over Essex this morning

Check out this amazing sunrise captured in Hastingwood earlier this morning...


Weather: A warm day with some hazy sunshine

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

It looks like a dry and bright morning with some warm hazy sunshine. There's a chance the odd shower could develop this afternoon. 

Maximum temperature: 21C (70F).

You can stay up-to-date for the forecast in your area at BBC Weather.

Witnesses sought in Harlow 'unexplained' death

The force is now asking for anybody who saw anything suspicious in Netteswell Orchard on Wednesday night or Thursday morning to contact Harlow CID on 101.

Police tape

We'll bring you more on this story throughout the day as we get it. 

Harlow man's death 'unexplained'

Police were called at about 05:35 yesterday morning after reports of seriously injured man in Netteswell Orchard in Harlow.


Officers and paramedics attended but the man, whose age is not yet known, was pronounced dead at the scene. 

His death is currently being treated as "unexplained". 

Welcome to Essex Live

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

Good morning and welcome to Essex Live. 

We start this morning with some news from Essex police which says a man has died after he was found seriously injured on the street in Harlow.

More on that shortly.