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  1. Live updates have now ended
  2. Live updates on Friday 21 July

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

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That's all folks

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

That's all from the team for another busy week. Have a wonderful weekend.

We're back bright and early at 06:00 BST with all the news, sport, weather and travel for the county.

Remember you can get in touch on Twitter, on Facebook or by sending us an email.

Plant powers through to Open weekend

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

A golfer from Kent playing at The Open looks certain to become the top amateur in the tournament.

Alfie Plant, a former former postman from Dartford, has made it through to the final two rounds.

The 25-year-old, who won the European Amateur Championship to qualify, has made the cut on four over par after the first two rounds and is the only amateur to make it through to the weekend.

More than 150 members of his family and friends are at Royal Birkdale watching him.

Alfie Plant
Rex Features

People smuggling by air and water

Colin Campbell

Special Correspondent, BBC South East

Migrants trying to cross the Channel are using increasingly sophisticated and desperate methods, with attempts foiled in the air and on the water this week.

Teenager's hope for tumour treatment

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

The family and friends of a Kent teenager are trying to raise £120,000 so she can have experimental treatment for a rare brain tumour.

Celebrating the work of Michael Morpurgo

David Kifford

A new exhibition celebrating the work of children's author Michael Morpurgo is about to open in London.

Here are five facts you may not know about him.

School exclusions in Medway among highest in England

The number of school exclusions in England is at its highest level since 2009, with Medway making the top 10.

Man arrested on suspicion of murder at Herne Bay caravan park

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder following the death of a teenage woman at a seaside caravan park.

Police and paramedics were called to the site in Canterbury Road in Herne Bay. following a report of an attack at around 14:00 BST.

A woman in her late teens was declared dead at the scene.

A 63-year-old local man known to the victim was held on suspicion of murder.

The man was in police custody facing questioning as investigators carried out inquiries into the circumstances surrounding her death.

Priestfield Stadium

Gillingham sign 21-year-old striker Liam Nash from non-league club Maldon & Tiptree on a two-year contract.

Read more

Unsettled for the weekend

Rachel Mackley

Weather Presenter, BBC South East

There's showers around for the weekend, but also some sunshine.

A week of festivities in Ramsgate

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

The Ramsgate Festival has been launched - a week of music, art and cultural events in Thanet.

Southern talks: 'I hope today’s meeting paves the way for the reopening of negotiations'

I was happy to meet with the RMT and re-iterate the offer of long-term commitments to staff who work in the rail industry. We want more people helping passengers on our trains, not fewer. I want staff to receive the right training, but above all passengers must receive the high quality services they deserve. I hope today’s meeting paves the way for the reopening of negotiations between the union and Southern so we can sort out this situation and get services back to normal.

Chris Grayling MPTransport Secretary
Chris Grayling MP

Defection leaves UKIP without a majority... again

Rajdeep Sandhu

Political Reporter, BBC Radio Kent

It's another blow for UKIP.

First the local elections and the party loses every seat, then the General Election and it fails to win any seat. Now it's lost the only council it controls in the country. It's been a rough ride for the party's councillors and members. They still don't know who'll lead the party nationally.

Councillor Beverly Martin says she's always been a Conservative at heart and that joining the group felt like a "homecoming". But what of the voters? Did they know that underneath the purple rosette was a blue one?

Chris Wells
Council leader Chris Wells says he's not suprised by the news

UKIP group leader Chris Wells told me wasn't surprised by the news, which he heard first from press. He said they'd been there before and they'd get through it again. This isn't the first time he's lost his majority. Nor is it the first time she's left UKIP. Last time Councillor Martin joined an independent group.

There will undoubtedly, as there always is, when a politician changes sides be calls for a by-election. But it doesn't sound like Councillor Martin will step down before the election in two years time. She says she'll still be fighting for the things she stood for.

Severe accident: M20 Kent eastbound

BBC News Travel

M20 Kent eastbound severe accident, at J6 for A229 Maidstone.

M20 Kent - Queuing traffic on M20 coastbound at J6, A229 (Maidstone), because of an accident earlier on. All lanes have been re-opened.

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 - One lane closed on M25 clockwise between J5 M26 and J6, A22 (Godstone), because of a broken down 4x4. Traffic is coping well.

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

Southern meeting: 'Full and frank exchange'

The RMT union has met with the Transport Secretary this afternoon and we have had a full and frank exchange of views and the Secretary of State has now had an opportunity to get a clear understanding of RMT's position on Southern Rail and the broader issue of how the extension of DOO (Driver-Only Operated) impacts nationally on other rail franchises.

RMT will supply Mr Grayling with a cop‎y of the union's clear and viable proposals for resolving the Southern dispute and the Secretary of State has agreed to meet us again‎. We will also be seeking further meetings with Southern and the other train companies as we seek to move forwards in the interests of safe and accessible rail services for all. Finally the Secretary of state agreed that we would also have further discussions regarding our concerns in respect of of the loss of skilled rail jobs as a result of the scaling back of Network Rail's renewals programme.

Mick CashGeneral Secretary, RMT

BreakingUKIP loses control of Thanet District Council

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

UKIP has lost overall control of Thanet District Council after a defection to the Conservatives.

Cllr Beverly Martin confirmed the news to the BBC this afternoon.

The changes mean UKIP will now have 27 seats on Thanet District Council, the Conservatives 21, Labour 5 and there are 2 independents.

Today's Kent newspaper headlines

Stack of newspapers
Getty Images

Kent Online: Earthquake horror in Greece and Turkey leaves Canterbury couple shaken

Kent News: Labour councillors storm out of fiesty meeting on future of Medway children’s centres

Kent Live: People are angry at an 'expansion' of Folkestone Mosque but it's really not what it seems

The South East's inadequate CCGs: Analysis by our health correspondent

Mark Norman

Health Correspondent, BBC South East

Clinical Commissioning Groups are a bit like the engine room of the NHS

If we regularly criticise hospital A&E departments and ambulance service response times then we also need to look at the performance of commissioners.

Five out of the 14 CCG's in the South East are rated Inadequate and placed into special measures.

It means they will have to show improvement over a short period of time in at least one of the areas of leadership, financial management and quality. They will receive support from NHS England, however they are keen to point out that it does not mean there have been failings in quality and safety.

And is there hope for the future? There is. Medway and Brighton CCG's have gone the other way - previously rated inadequate both are now rated Good.

ICYMI: Stars on Dunkirk red carpet

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

Hollywood blockbuster Dunkirk hits the cinemas today.

We chatted to its stars on the red carpet during its premiere last week.

Lauren's feet kept growing, but nobody could explain why

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

A doctor diagnosed Lauren with a condition that only affects about 60 people out of every million, just by looking at Facebook.

'He'd been shot 7 times...4 pellets remain in his skull'

Alex Bish

Investigative journalist, BBC South East

The animals killed or maimed by the irresponsible use of airguns, with the South East one of the worst areas of the country for attacks.

What's the weekend weather looking like?

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

Sunny spells this afternoon, but watch out for overnight rain.

Here's my forecast.

Anger over Sure Start closure proposal

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

Medway Council's plan to replace its Sure Start children's centres with a handful of larger centres sparked protests from parents this week.

Jay Dasilva

Chelsea full-back Jay Dasilva signs a new four-year contract and rejoins Charlton Athletic on a season-long loan.

Read more

Missing: Have you seen Adam?

Bob Dale

BBC Live reporter

Police say they're concerned about a man who's gone missing in Rochester.

Adam Jarvis, who's 40-years-old, hasn't been seen since lunchtime yesterday.

He's 6'1" and was wearing cargo shorts and blue trainers.

Adam Jarvis
Kent Police

Great expectations for historic reopening in Rochester

Stuart Maisner

BBC Live reporter

An historic building, which inspired Dickens' writing, is reopening after a lengthy restoration project.

Severe accident: M25 Kent anti-clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Kent anti-clockwise severe accident, before J1A for A282.

M25 Kent - One lane closed on M25 anticlockwise before J1a, A282 (Swanscombe), because of an accident involving a lorry. Traffic is coping well.

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

Severe accident: M20 Kent westbound

BBC News Travel

M20 Kent westbound severe accident, between J5 for A20 and J4 for A228 Leybourne.

M20 Kent - Very slow traffic on M20 London-bound between J5, A20 (Aylesford) and J4, A228 (Leybourne), because of an accident, which is now on the hard shoulder. All lanes have been re-opened.

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

Alfie finds out what The Open's all about

Ged Scott

BBC Sport at Royal Birkdale

Along with two fellow Englishmen, an American, an Italian and a Scot, Kent's Alfie Plant is one of six players at the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale this week competing for the Silver Medal for finishing top amateur.

Two Englishmen finished as top amateur (Justin Rose, in 1998 and Chris Wood, in 2008) on both the Open's last two visits to Birkdale. And Plant was off to a great start on day one, shooting a one-over-par 71 that was two shots better than his nearest rival - six off the leads jointly held by Americans Jordan Spieth, Brooks Koepka and Matt Kuchar.

Alfie Plant

Going down 18 on his way to signing for a very encouraging first-round 71, Plant had cause to grin at a shout from a wag in the stand of 'What's it all about, Alfie?'

"I heard that shout on the last," Plant, 25, from Bexleyheath, told BBC Sport. "It did make me chuckle.

"I had a nice way to start my round birdieing the first. And my brother on my bag did a great job. He kept me laughing all the way round.

"But, that walk up 18, you'll never get a better feeling than that. I just wish I could have stayed out there a bit longer."

Plant tees off in the afternoon on day two at 15:15 BST.

River Rother rower's rather big challenge

A 95-year-old former World War Two pilot from Wittersham is about to set off on an epic rowing challenge.

It's feeling fresher for the weekend

Elizabeth Rizzini

BBC Look East weather

There'll be more sun today, but it's going to feel a little cooler.

Here's my forecast.

The weekend's almost here

Thanks to Dean Spinks for this lovely shot of Kingsgate Bay in Broadstairs, it's our #PhotoOfTheDay.

Kingsgate Bay, Broadstairs
Dean Spinks

We'll be here until 21:00 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.