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  1. Our live coverage has ended for the day
  2. Updates on Wednesday 10 May 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

That's it for the first half of the week

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

That's it for today, now it's downhill to the weekend from here.

Thanks for joining us today. We'll be back from 06:00 BST tomorrow, all the way through to 22:00 BST, with news, sport, travel and weather.

And if there;s anything you'd like to tell us about, you can get in touch on Twitter, on Facebook or by sending us an email.

Brother of F1 World Champ returns to racing

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

The brother of triple Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton has announced he will return to racing this season in the UK Clio Cup championship with the Ashford based team WDE Motorsport.   

Brother of F1 World Champ returns to racing
Nicolas Hamilton/Twitter

Nicolas Hamilton, who has cerebral palsy, has missed the first three meetings and will start the championship at Oulton Park.

The 25-year-old has previously raced in the British Touring Car Championship, becoming the first disabled BTCC driver, and raced in the Clio Cup in 2011 and 2012. 

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.


Mental health 'empty promises'

A young mental health patient has agreed to meet the chief executive of the mental health trust in Kent to try and help them improve services.

Earlier this week we turned Sophie Goldsmith's story into a special animation to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week. Sophie, who's 23 and from Whitstable, has been struggling to get the help she needs after several attempts to take her own life. 

It was seen by the head of the mental health trust who sent a letter to Sophie admitting she knows changes are needed.

Tovil murder: Appeal for witnesses

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

Detectives investigating the murder of Rasvan Sirbu, a 21-year-old homeless man whose body was found in the Loose Valley Conservation area at 07:15 BST on 7 May, have appealed for the public's help.

You'll be needing your brollies for the rest of the week

Rachel Mackley

Weather Presenter

Feeling muggy with thundery showers, and watch out for Friday morning.

Here's my forecast.

Michael Klinger

Michael Klinger's ton and Chris Liddle's 5-36 help Gloucestershire beat Kent to keep alive their One-Day Cup qualification hopes.

Read more

'I wanted to say sorry personally'

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

The head of Kent's mental health trust has apologised to a young patient, after BBC South East told her story.

Sophie, who's in her early twenties and from Whitstable, says she's struggled to get the help she needs. 

UKIP chairman now says he WILL resign

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

Richard Palmer, Kent UKIP chairman

Richard Palmer, chairman of the Kent branch of UKIP, has confirmed he will be standing down from the role, and as the party's candidate in Sittingbourne and Sheppey.

It was reported that Mr Palmer had resigned as chairman on Monday, following critical comments made on the BBC about party leader Paul Nuttall.

However, after speaking to the party leader directly, he told the BBC he was considering reversing his resignation.

Mr Palmer now says he is definitely standing down, but because he "needs a rest".

He also says the local branch has decided not to field a UKIP candidate in Sittingbourne and Sheppey, because both the Conservative and Labour candidates backed Brexit, although this decision could be overruled at a higher level.

Tractor stolen in West Kent

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

Pictures of a tractor, stolen in Hever, have been released.

The Case JX90 was taken from a barn off How Green Lane, between 5 and 6 May.

Stolen tractor
Kent Police

It's believed it was guided through a hole in a hedge on to Tinton Lane.

The tractor was fitted with an earth bucket and a loader.

Stolen tractor
Kent Police

The building near Dover's ferry terminal is due to be demolished as part of a regeneration project.

Read more

#ThisIsMe: 'I love theatre'

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


Severe disruption: M25 Essex clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Essex clockwise severe disruption, between J31 for A1306 Arterial Road West Thurrock and J1A for A282.

M25 Essex - One lane blocked and slow traffic on M25 QE2 Bridge clockwise between J31 A1306 Arterial Road West Thurrock and J1a, A282 (Swanscombe), because of a broken down lorry.

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

Sparkles of frost this morning, but short lived

Kate Kinsella

BBC Weather

It was a chilly start this morning, but that sunshine has warmed it up out there. Can we expect the same tomorrow?

Reunion for fox cubs

Fox cub siblings Erica, Leif and Buck were found injured and alone in Sussex.

But now they've been reunited with their lost brother after being taken to the Fox Project, a Tunbridge Wells-based charity. 

Orphaned Fox Cub’s Lucky Reunion
Orphaned Fox Cub’s Lucky Reunion

Erica and her brother Leif were picked up on Wednesday 3 May after they become trapped in an enclosed garden in Brighton.

Erica suffered a fractured back leg, so they were both taken to Arthur Lodge Vets in Horsham for treatment.

When they were discharged to the centre in Kent they were reunited with Buck, who had become separated from his siblings and brought in several days before.

Buck was found in the same area as Erica and Leif.

Police appeal to trace missing teenager

Scarlett King, 14, was reported missing from her home in Rochester at 07:32 BST on Wednesday 10 May.

Police think she might be in the North Cray area of London.

Anyone with information about Scarlett’s whereabouts should call Kent Police on 101 quoting 10-0172.

Scarlett King
Kent Police

Kent's cricketers in action

Ben Watts

Sports reporter, BBC Radio Kent

After getting their first One Day Cup win against Middlesex on Sunday, Kent's cricketers need to win at Gloucestershire today to keep their qualification aims on course.

With Wayne Parnell having returned to South Africa and Mitch Claydon absent, loanee James Harris returns and Charlie Hartley is selected.

Having won the toss and chosen to field first, they've reduced Gloucestershire to 45-1 after 12 overs.

LIVE commentary here.

Police launch murder inquiry after man's death

Razvan Sirbu
Kent Police

Officers investigating the death of a man in Tovil in Maidstone are treating the incident as murder following the results of a post mortem.

Razvan Sirbu, 21, of no fixed address, was found dead on Sunday 7 May in the Loose Valley Conservation area at 07:15 BST.

Results from a post mortem examination reveal that he died from 'blunt force trauma' to the head and body.

Police want to hear from anyone who saw Razvan in the area between 16:00 on Saturday and 07:00 BST on Sunday.

Officers are carrying out inquiries into the incident and no arrests have yet been made.

Anyone with information should call Kent Police on 01622 604100 quoting crime reference YY/011763/17.

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. 

Health boss apologises for mental health 'failings'

A young woman who spoke about her problems with mental health services as part of a specially-commissioned BBC South East animation has received an apology from the NHS trust.

Sophie, who is in her early twenties, said that despite a series of suicide attempts, she wasn't given the help she needed.

Months later she's still on a waiting list for specialist support. 

Today Helen Greatorex, the Chief Executive of Kent and Medway NHS Social Care Partnership Trust, said: "I saw the film about your experience of our services and felt so sorry about what happened to you Sophie that I had to write to you."

She added: "It is not right or fair that people in distress (as you were) feel unsupported by mental health services.

"My letter to you Sophie, therefore has two purposes. The first is to offer you my personal and unreserved apology that your experience of services was not what we would want for anyone.

"The second is to say that we completely agree that things need to change, and as you can see, we are working on those changes now."

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.

Conservative election expenses: South Thanet case still being investigated

Conservative bus

No Conservative politicians or officials will currently face charges for breaches of expenses rules during the 2015 general election.

The Crown Prosecution Service said it had examined evidence from 14 police forces in England but it did not "meet the test" for further action.

But it is still investigating the Conservative campaign in South Thanet.

The inquiry related to claims some "battle bus" campaigning costs in the 2015 election were wrongly recorded.

The Conservative said they were glad the issue had been "finally resolved".

In March the Tories were fined a record £70,000 by the Electoral Commission, which criticised the party for resisting its investigation although it was unable to prove any intention to make false declarations.

The Conservative Party has always insisted administrative errors were to blame rather than any intention to deceive.

Dover's Banksy is graffitied

The Banksy mural which appeared on the wall of a building in Dover at the weekend has been vandalised.

The picture shows a workman chipping a star from an EU flag, and the words "the Clash" have now been written between the rungs of the ladder on which he's standing.

Dover District Council says arrangements are in place to use CCTV to monitor the artwork, which is beside the A20 close to the the Eastern Docks. 

David Joseph Wright
Banksy mural

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.

'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. 


Man arrested after migrants found in refrigerated lorry

Lizzie Massey

BBC Live reporter

A man has been arrested on suspicion of assisting illegal entry to the UK after 11 migrants were found in a lorry. 

Kent Police was called at 11:32 BST on Tuesday to a report of a number of suspected migrants in a refrigerated lorry in a supermarket car park in London Road, Northfleet.

Officers and the South East Coast Ambulance Service attended and a seven-year-old boy was taken to hospital as a precaution.

He was later discharged and the group were taken to the Home Office immigration enforcement facility.

A 54-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of assisting illegal entry to the UK and currently remains in custody.

Lorry where migrants were found
Kent Police

'Somebody wake me from this nightmare'

The boyfriend of a pregnant woman who died in a scooter crash in Thailand has released an emotional video on his social media account just days after her death. 

Sophie Emma Rose, 41, originally from Blackpool, died in the accident when she was six months pregnant. 

Her boyfriend, Danny Glass, 29, from Margate, was also injured.

'It's a way to get things off my chest'

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

"I’ll go back to London and big up Canterbury", says podcast student Gillian. #thisisme  

Migrants with child rescued from lorry

Lizzie Massey

BBC Live reporter

Police in Gravesham freed 11 migrants, including a child, from the back of a lorry in the early hours of this morning.

The child, who is only seven, was in the back of a refrigerated lorry.

The force found them in Gravesend and tweeted a picture of the inside of the vehicle at around 04:00 BST. 

Lorry where migrants were found
Kent Police

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

#ICYMI: ‘Wheelchair rugby changed my life’

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

We interviewed Ben as part of our #thisisme series. 

Could the South East be hit by a drought?

There's concern the combination of a dry winter and spring could result in a drought.

Puppies stolen in burglary

Dog and puppies stolen in burglary

Kent Police is appealing for information after a dog and her litter of puppies were stolen during a burglary near Sittingbourne.  

At around 15:00 BST on Thursday 4 May a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and her four puppies were stolen from a house in Oak Road, Murston. 

The puppies are reported to be about two weeks old. Three are brown and one is black. 

What would you do if you were #PMfortheday?

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

We gave three teenagers 20 seconds to outline what they'd do if they were in charge of the country.


It's the middle of the week...

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

And here's a fantastic picture taken in Ashford by Matt Haward to keep us going. It's our #PhotoOfTheDay.

Boys Hall Manor, Ashford, Kent
Matt Hayward

We'll be here until 22:00 GMT 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