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  1. Our live coverage has now ended
  2. Live updates on Monday 15 May 2017

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good night from the BBC Live team

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

That's it from us for tonight, we'll be back tomorrow from 06:00 BST with more of the county's news, sport, travel and weather.

If you'd like to reach us in the meantime, you can get in touch on Twitter, on Facebook or by sending us an email.      

Thanks for joining us.

Southern Rail trains

The rail firm and the RMT union are to "consider their positions" in the latest bid to resolve their year-long dispute.

Read more
Ady Pennock

Gillingham confirm that Ady Pennock is to remain as head coach next season, while Peter Taylor returns as director of football.

Read more

The six-year-old boy who's one in a million

Kathryn Langley

BBC Live reporter

Eddison Miller has a rare condition that stops him going outside without a special mask.

He's been telling us how it makes him feel.

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

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

It's getting humid

Rachel Mackley

Weather Presenter

It's going to be close tonight, and warm tomorrow.

Here's my forecast.

Conspiracy to sell Slovakian women as 'citizenship brides'

Lizzie Massey

BBC Live reporter

A couple who trafficked two women into Gravesend and tried to force them into sham marriages or prostitution have been jailed for a total of twelve years. 

Jaroslav Slepcik and his wife Svetlana Plachetkova went to a Slovakian slum and recruited the women, aged 18 and 32.

They tried selling them to Asian men wanting EU citizenship, but when the women refused the couple's son, Simon Slepcik, tried to force them into prostitution.

Simon Slepcik and his mother Svetlana Plachetkova
Simon Slepcik and his mother Svetlana Plachetkova

The women were subjected to violence and threats, until the younger woman managed to escape.  

The couple face deportation when released from prison while Simon, 20, was given a community order for unpaid work.  

BreakingGillingham: Pennock stays, Taylor returns

Severe disruption: M20 Kent westbound

BBC News Travel

M20 Kent westbound severe disruption, before J7 for A249 Maidstone.

M20 Kent - Slow traffic and two lanes blocked on M20 London-bound before J7, A249 (Maidstone), because of a vehicle fire and some smoke blowing across the road. On the hard shoulder.

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

Severe disruption: M25 Kent clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Kent clockwise severe disruption, between J5 for M26 and J6 for A22.

M25 Kent - Stationary traffic on M25 clockwise between J5 M26 and J6, A22 (Godstone), because of a broken down car and a rolling road-block.

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

Dover Athletic FC

Dover Athletic sign striker Jamie Allen from Southport for an undisclosed fee, on a two-year deal.

Read more

A grey start to the week

Kate Kinsella

BBC Weather

It was a wet and cloudy start to the working week for most of us, but is it going to get better?

Here's my forecast.

BreakingTeenager cleared of stepfather's manslaughter

A Kent teenager who killed his stepfather with a single punch to the head has been cleared of his manslaughter, after he said he was acting in self-defence.

Douglas Herridge, who was 17 at the time, struck Colin Payne at the family home in Dartford last November.

Mr Payne, who was 54, was a former national squash champion.

Maidstone Crown Court heard he had intervened in a row between the teenager and his mother over money when the blow was struck.

Mr Herridge said Mr Payne had grabbed him around the neck and tried to throttle him.

A year of #SouthernStrikes

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

Talks between Southern and the RMT have resumed today. 

Here we take a look at the strike in numbers… 

'Miracle' boy cured of cancer

Kathryn Langley

BBC Live reporter

Blue Tobin from Dover was diagnosed with the disease at the age of two and given just a 10% chance of survival.

Motorcylist killed in crash

A motorcyclist died after he crashed at a roundabout in Chattenden.

Kent Police said the crash happened at 00:22 BST on Sunday on the A228 Peninsula Way.

The rider, a man in his 20s, died at the sene.

His pillion passenger, a woman, has been taken to hospital with serious injuries.

Refugee play opens in Brighton

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

A teenage Afghan refugee who now lives in Bognor is one of the stars of a play set in the Calais Jungle.

Borderline runs for three nights from tonight at the Warren, as part of the Brighton Fringe.

Satire based on Calais Jungle opens in Brighton

It features Naqeeb, who's studying at Brighton and Hove Sixth Form College after reaching the UK via the camp.

The production's described as a tragi-comic satire, and was put together by volunteers and refugees working together in Calais.

‘It’s our future, it’s up to us’

Student Dom will cast his first vote in June. 

He’s one of a number of first-time voters we’ve been speaking to ahead of the general election. 


Bikers killed in separate crashes

Two motorcyclists died in separate collisions on Sunday.

Emergency services were called to the first crash on the A26, south of Crowborough at around 15:00 BST.

A 24-year-old man from Tonbridge, who was with a group of other motorcyclists, collided with a Ford driven by a 70-year-old woman from Crowborough. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Two hours later, another crash claimed the life of a second motorcyclist on Beachy Head Road, near Eastbourne. 

His bike and a car collided near to the junction with Warren Hill.

The 26-year-old man from Newhaven died at the scene.

Severe disruption: M25 Kent anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Kent anti-clockwise severe disruption, before the Dartford Tunnel affecting J2 for A2.

M25 Kent - Stationary traffic on M25 anticlockwise before the Dartford Tunnel, because of a rolling road-block and pot hole repairs. Congestion to J2, A2 (Darenth Interchange).

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

'My vote counts and it's important'

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

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


Severe accident: A21 Kent both ways

BBC News Travel

A21 Kent both ways severe accident, between Bewlbridge Lane and Rosemary Lane.

A21 Kent - A21 in Lamberhurst blocked and slow traffic in both directions between the Bewlbridge Lane junction and the Rosemary Lane junction, because of a multi-vehicle accident.

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

#ThisIsMe: 'I love theatre'

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

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.


Obese patients force ambulance changes

Ambulance services across England have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds to ensure vehicles can cope with a growing number of obese patients, BBC South East has discovered.  

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

Kent's local newspaper headlines

Getty Images

KentOnline: Man, 24, from Tonbridge, dies in motorcycle crash in Crowborough

Kent News: Poetry workshop with author Neal Zetter for six north Kent schools

Kent Live: Friends pay tribute to 'legend' Ollie Jennings killed in Medway motorbike crash

What would you do if you were #PMfortheday?

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

Outbreaks of rain

Kate Kinsella

BBC Weather

For some it's a dry start, but it will be short lived. Here's my forecast.

Jobseeker gets shock in email

Jon Hunt

Reporter, BBC South East Today

"Oddball...tree hugger...worth interviewing for a laugh."

Not what a young woman from Horsmonden expected to read about herself in an email from a prospective employer.

BBC South East Today breakfast bulletin

BBC South East Today logo

Here are the headlines from BBC South East Today's breakfast bulletin:

  • Kent's biggest water company is to target homes with high meter-readings to encourage people to use supplies more efficiently
  • Fresh talks between the RMT Union and Southern get under way today, aimed at ending the bitter rail dispute over driver-only operated trains
  • Police are to continue questioning four teenagers in connection with the death of a homeless man at a beauty spot near Maidstone 

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. 

The sun has set on the weekend...

Claire Cottingham

BBC Live reporter

And a new week has dawned.

Thanks to Peter Johnson for the photograph of Reculver and helping to make that rather clumsy introduction work. This snap is our Kent #PhotoOfTheDay.

Peter Johson

We'll be here with you all the way up until 22:00 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.