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  1. UKIP MP Douglas Carswell tweets "cool smiley" after news of Nigel Farage's resignation
  2. Douglas Carswell rules himself out of running for UKIP leader
  3. Murder suspect's extradition will be upheld
  4. Updates on Monday, 4 July 2016
  5. News, sport, travel and weather updates resume on Tuesday at 08:00

Live Reporting

By Jack Warren

All times stated are UK

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Our live coverage across the day

It's been another busy day on Essex Live. Here are the top stories we've covered:

  • Clacton MP Douglas Carswell has ruled himself out of becoming the next leader of UKIP following the resignation of Nigel Farage
  • An Essex man arrested in connection with the murders of a Suffolk couple has been told by a court in Luxembourg that his extradition to the UK will be upheld
  • Six men have been jailed for a total of 94 years after smuggling drugs from Holland to the UK via the Port of Harwich in fake ambulances  

We'll be back tomorrow from 08:00 with the latest news, sport, travel and weather for the county. 

Have a great evening. 

Weather: Cloud continuing to thicken this evening

Julie Reinger

BBC Look East weather

This evening cloud will continue to thicken from the south-west and may produce an odd spot of rain. 

Tonight the risk of some light rain or drizzle continues and it’ll be warm with temperatures falling to about 14C (57F).  

East weather map

The last of any rain and drizzle should quickly clear Tuesday morning to leave a largely fine and dry day with some spells of sunshine. 

It won’t feel as muggy as today with the winds becoming moderate north-westerly and temperatures reaching about 21C (70F).

You'll find the latest detailed forecast where you live from BBC Weather

Old lawnmower mistaken for hand grenade

Bomb disposal experts were called to an Essex village this morning when part of an old lawnmower was mistaken for a hand grenade.

The army team was called to Whitehouse Road, Stebbing, just before 11:30 after the "suspected hand grenade" was found in a garden. 

However, on inspection the item was found to present "no risk". 

It was a rusty, cylindrical piece of metal which could easily be mistaken for a grenade."

Army spokesman

Woman pleads not guilty to Grays war memorial 'urination'

A woman has pleaded not guilty to outraging public decency after photos on social media appeared to show an individual urinating against a war memorial in Grays.


Pictures were shared of a partly-dressed woman squatting over the cenotaph in the High Street on Friday - the centenary of the Battle of the Somme.

Kelly Martin, 42, of no fixed address, was remanded in custody following a hearing at Basildon Magistrates' Court this afternoon. A provisional trial date has been set for 16 August.

Six jailed for £1.6bn drug smuggling operation

Six men have been jailed for a total of 94 years after smuggling drugs from Holland to the UK in fake ambulances.

Police believe at least 45 trips, involving drugs with an estimated street value of £1.6bn, took place.

Clockwise from top left James Gibson, Richard Clarke, Raymond DeSilva, Darren Owen, Petrit Kastrati and Jonathan Floyd
National Crime Agency

Clockwise from top left:

  • James Gibson, 56, from Cinder Lane, Ollerton, Nottinghamshire: 20 years for conspiracy to import and supply Class A drugs, and concealing criminal property
  • Richard Clarke, 36, from Tots Gardens, Acton, near Sudbury in Suffolk: 11 years for conspiracy supply Class A drugs
  • Raymond DeSilva, 60, from Cranbourne Road, Slough: 16 years for conspiracy to import Class A drugs
  • Darren Owen, 48, from Balham Close, Rushden, Northamptonshire: 15 years for conspiracy to import and supply Class A drugs
  • Petrit Kastrati, 42, from Oakwood Drive, Crystal Palace: 17 years and six months for conspiracy to import Class A drugs
  • Jonathan Floyd, 47, from Whitethorn Avenue, Burnage, Manchester: 15 years for conspiracy to import and supply Class A drugs and driving while disqualified

Colchester business park 'often used' to transfer the drugs from ambulances

CCTV showed that during some drug smuggling trips the men stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in Colchester.

National Crime Agency

An industrial unit in the Moorside Business Park, Colchester, was often used as a location to transfer the drugs from the ambulances.  

National Crime Agency

Brent Lyon, operations manager at the National Crime Agency, which led the operation to catch the smugglers, said their jailing has "disrupted" organised crime groups in the UK.

Six jailed for smuggling drugs in fake ambulances via the Port of Harwich

Six men have been jailed for a total of 94 years after smuggling drugs from Holland to the UK in fake ambulances via the Port of Harwich.

"Truly colossal" quantities of cocaine, heroin and ecstasy estimated to have a street value of £1.6bn were involved, Birmingham Crown Court heard.

Seized ambulance

The drugs were sealed behind riveted panels inside a fleet of Dutch ambulances entering the UK with bogus patients and paramedics on board.

National Crime Agency

James Cleverly MP to back Theresa May as next Conservative leader

We've heard a lot from the UKIP camp today, but in other political news the MP for Braintree has declared he'll be backing Theresa May as the next Conservative leader. 

James Cleverly

James Cleverly said: "Of the two candidates who have been in cabinet over the last six years, I ask myself who do I trust more?" Answer: May". 

Other Essex MPs also backing the home secretary for the job include Simon Burns (Chelmsford), Sir Eric Pickles (Brentwood & Ongar) and Will Quince (Colchester).

People in South Benfleet, Essex, gave their reaction to Nigel Farage's resignation
People in South Benfleet, Essex give their reaction to Nigel Farage's resignation.

The UKIP town of Clacton reacts to Nigel Farage's resignation

We've been to the seaside town of Clacton, home to UKIP's only MP, after Nigel Farage announced this morning he was stepping down as leader of the party.

Mary and Ron

Mary and Ron are residents in the seaside town. They said it was a "shame" Mr Farage was stepping down and think the referendum result was "down to him". 

Peter & Tracey

Peter and Tracey say they're "shocked" and "worry" Brexit will not happen now. 

If you'd like to share your views you can tweet us using #esxlive or drop us an email

Douglas Carswell MP on his UKIP future

The UKIP MP for Clacton, Douglas Carswell, has been explaining his future with the party after Nigel Farage announced his resignation as party leader earlier.

Mr Carswell, who defected from the Conservatives in 2014, said if the party retreats into "angry nativism" he would reconsider his position.  

Suspect has three days to appeal Luxembourg extradition

Ali Qazimaj, 42, has three days to appeal against his extradition to the UK.

That appeal would then be heard by the Court of Appeal, a spokesman for the Court of Justice in Luxembourg said.

The court would have to make a decision on this within 20 days, and if they uphold today's decision, Mr Qazimaj would be deported within 10 days.

Ali Qazimaj
Suffolk Police

Ali Qazimaj's extradition heard by Luxembourg court

Philippa Taylor

BBC Local Live

A man arrested as part of an investigation into the murder of a couple from Weybread has been told his extradition to the UK would be upheld.

Ali Qazimaj, from Tilbury, Essex, was arrested in Luxembourg over the deaths of Sylvia and Peter Stuart.

Mr Stuart, 75, was found dead near their home in Weybread, on 3 June. Mrs Stuart is yet to be found.

Mr Qazimaj's appered before a district court sitting in chambers in Luxembourg.

Sylvia and Peter Stuart
Suffolk Police

BreakingWeybread murder suspect's extradition appearance in Luxembourg

An Essex man arrested in connection with the murders of a Suffolk couple has been told by a court that his extradition to the UK will be upheld.

We'll bring you more details shortly.

CCTV released following Southend shotgun shooting

This CCTV picture of a potential witness following a shooting in Southend in April has been released by Essex Police.

Essex Police

A 23-year-old man from London was found with a shotgun wound to the stomach in Southchurch Road. He is believed to have been attacked near the Malvern Flats block and was taken to hospital for his injuries.

Two men, a 19-year-old from Southend and an 18-year-old from Leigh-on-Sea, have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and are currently on bail until 11 August pending further inquiries.

Weather: Cloud building this afternoon

BBC Weather

Cloud will increase this afternoon, but remaining dry until after dark. Feeling warm or muggy in the sunshine and light winds.  

Maximum temperature: 21C (70F).


You'll find the latest forecast where you live via BBC Weather

Thanks to BBC Weather Watcher Matty for this shot from Walton-on-the-Naze.

If you're just joining us...

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

There's never a quiet moment in the world of politics - here's what has happened so far today on Essex Live: 

  • Douglas Carswell has ruled himself out of becoming the next leader of UKIP following the resignation of Nigel Farage
  • Following the announcement earier this morning, Mr Carswell, who is the party's only MP, tweeted a smiley face adding fuel to the long-standing rift between the pair
  • Various UKIP politicians from around the county, including UKIP MEP Tim Aker, have thanked Nigel Farage for his work over the years

'Show some respect'... Twitter reacts angrily to Carswell's smiley face emoji

Some Twitter users aren't happy with Clacton MP Douglas Carswell after he tweeted a smiley face emoji when Nigel Farage announced his resignation.

emoji tweet

One user wrote: "Show some respect, he's done more than anyone to get the leave vote".

Another said: "For heavens sake, grow up. You're embarrassing."

One person replied: "He achieved more than you ever will and will be remembered long after you've been forgotten".

Although, one lady was quick to add: "Maybe @DouglasCarswell is just enjoying the sun ..."

Clacton... The home of UKIP's first MP

After Douglas Carswell defected from the Conservatives, UKIP gained its first elected MP following a by-election in October 2014. 

Fast forward to May 2015, Mr Carswell managed to hold on to his seat - despite every other constituency in the county voting for the Tories. 

General election result

Nigel Farage is also very popular in Clacton. He last visited two days before the EU Referendum where he was greeted with large crowds and shouts of "we love you Nigel".

Nigel Farage in Clacton
Crowds for Farage

Although it looks as if Douglas Carswell will remain as the party's MP following speculation he was to be expelled - it will be interesting to see if UKIP hold on to its level of support in the seaside town following Mr Farage's resignation

Douglas Carswell: 'I tweet smiley faces all the time'

Douglas Carswell has told the BBC why he tweeted a smiley face emoji when the news of Nigel Farage's resignation broke...

View more on twitter

I tweet smiley faces all the time. I'm very optimistic. I tweeted a smiley face when I first woke up this morning."

Douglas CarswellUKIP MP for Clacton-on-Sea

Douglas Carswell rules himself out of running for UKIP leader

If you've had a bet, you might want to get a refund as Douglas Carswell, UKIP MP for Clacton-on-Sea, has just told the BBC he does not want to become the party's next leader.

Speaking on Daily Politics, the Clacton MP said: "The chances of me standing for leader are somewhere between nil and zero".


'No motion to expel Douglas Carswell from UKIP'

BBC Essex political reporter Simon Dedman tweets:

View more on twitter

Essex UKIP MEP Tim Aker thanks Farage

View more on twitter

Mr Aker has also ruled himself out of running for UKIP leadership.

Nigel Farage and Douglas Carswell are 'at daggers-drawn'

After Douglas Carswell tweeted a smiley face emoji after Nigel Farage announced his resignation, the BBC's Norman Smith says there is a long-standing rift between UKIP's only MP and departing leader.

"The two men are frankly at daggers-drawn," Smith told Victoria Derbyshire.

Nigel and Douglas

He observed that Mr Farage probably thought he had done all he could with UKIP and asks: "Where do they go now?"

Smith added "in the wake of the EU Referendum, everything has changed" with major political leaders, "all the key fixtures of our political landscape", departing.

Could Douglas Carswell be the next UKIP leader?

The bookies put Douglas Carswell as second favourite to take the top job, but Nigel Farage says "I wouldn't bet too much".

betting odds

Nigel Farage resigns...

UKIP leader Nigel Farage says he will stand down as head of the party.  

Nigel Farage

As the news broke, the party's only MP, Clacton's Douglas Carswell, tweeted the "cool" emoji. 

View more on twitter

Meanwhile, Thurrock UKIP councillor, Jack Duffin, labelled Mr Farage as the "most influential political figure". 

View more on twitter

Southend business hikes prices because of Brexit

It's been more than a week since Britain voted to leave the European Union - and despite dire warnings about what leaving would do to the economy, the FTSE 100 recorded its biggest weekly rise in four-and-a-half years last week.

However, one Southend business claims Brexit has already had a negative impact - so much so they're putting up their prices. 


Woosh, which imports electric bikes from China, says the fall in the pound means they now have to pay 11% more for their product. 

Boss Hatti Lee said: "A bike which a customer bought for £669 on 22 June is now £699, and we will be putting our prices up again on 1 August".

Could Clacton UKIP MP Douglas Carswell be expelled from the party today?

Simon Dedman

BBC Essex political reporter

It's no secret that there has been a bit of tension between the UKIP leader Nigel Farage and the party's only MP, Clacton's Douglas Carswell, lately. 

Now, there's a suggestion that Mr Carswell could be expelled from the party later. 

Nigel Farage and Douglass Carswell

UKIP's national executive committee is meeting today, and despite being a member, the Clacton MP will not be attending. 

Mr Farage suggested on Friday the party could cut ties with Douglas Carswell, but the UKIP MP's message put simply is "you split if you want to, I will not quit UKIP". 

I'll be at the meeting to bring you more on this story throughout the day. 

Dartford Tunnel car fire was 'pandemonium'

Some quite dramatic pictures emerged over the weekend after drivers were forced to flee their cars when a vehicle burst into flames in the Dartford Tunnel. 

Motorists flee Dartford Tunnel
Luca Regan

There was panic. It was pandemonium."

Simon Bean

Both tunnels had to be closed while the fire on Saturday was extinguished. There are no reports of any injuries.

Highways England said it has tried and tested plans for things like this and safety systems worked well. But Steve Bean, who was there with his 11-year-old daughter, says it didn't feel like that for him:

"There was no alarm. People didn't really know what to do apart from following my shouting of 'get out of your car, get out there's a fire'," he told BBC Essex.

Weather: Sunny spells but cloud increasing later

Kate Kinsella

BBC Look East weather

Today will be bright or sunny with variable cloud amounts. It'll feel warm or muggy in the sunshine and light winds but the cloud will thicken later. 

Maximum temperature: 21C (70F).

Get the latest forecast where you live via BBC Weather

Woman due in court over Grays war memorial 'urination'

You may have seen pictures on social media over the weekend which appeared to show a partly-dressed woman urinating against a war memorial in Grays. 

Cenotaph in Grays High Street

Kelly Martin, 42, of Lucas Road in the town has been charged with outraging public decency and is due to appear at Basildon Magistrates' Court today. 

The offence is said to have happened at the cenotaph in Grays High Street.

Welcome to Essex Live

Jack Warren

BBC Local Live

Good morning - what a bright start to a new week, hope you've had a good weekend.


We've got our eyes on lots of news stories across the county today, so join us throughout the day. 

If you'd like to get in touch you can tweet us using #esxlive, drop a post on Facebook, or send me an email