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Rochester tweet leads to shadow cabinet resignation for Labour's MP, Emily Thornberry

As the poll's closed in Rochester & Strood, Labour MP and former University of Kent student, Emily Thornberry resigned from the Shadow Cabinet after being accused of snobbery following a tweet in the constituency.

Shadow Attorney General Emily Thornberry who has resigned from the Shadow Cabinet, the Labour Party has said. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

A senior Labour MP and former University of Kent student has resigned from Ed Miliband's shadow cabinet after her tweet of a house draped with England flags caused controversy on the day of the Rochester and Strood by-election.

Islington South and Finsbury MP Emily Thornberry was accused of snobbery after posting the picture of the modern terraced house with three red and white Cross of St George flags - one bearing a West Ham United badge - and a white van parked in the drive, along with the message "Image from Rochester".

She apologised after being given a dressing-down by Mr Miliband and Labour later announced that she had resigned as shadow attorney general.

In a statement released by the party, Ms Thornberry said: "Earlier today I sent a tweet which has caused offence to some people.

"That was never my intention and I have apologised.

"However I will not let anything distract from Labour's chance to win the coming general election.

"I have therefore tonight told Ed Miliband I will resign from the shadow cabinet."

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Sweet shop poll sugars the result at Rochester & Strood for UKIP

The bulls-eyes have it - does the sweet shop poll mean a sticky night for the Tories? Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

A customer poll of sweets purchased in favour of the political party's contesting the Rochester and Strood by-election on display in the Sweet Expectations Sweet Shop in Rochester, Kent.

UKIP Leader Nigel Farage meets party worker Lee Jarvis while he visits local polling stations in Rochester as voters cast their votes today in the Rochester and Strood by-election Credit: Gareth Fyller/PA Wire

Celebrations in Kent as Maidstone United win FA Cup tie

Maidstone United beat Stevenage in historic FA Cup tie

Lethal Collin scored at the beginning and end of the game to take his tally for the season to 16 to spark delirious scenes of celebration at the final whistle.

Stevenage recovered from conceding a goal after only 108 seconds to have the better of the second half and a goal from Darius Charles gave them hope of avoiding a giant-killing only for Collin to strike again three minutes from time.

Isthmian League Maidstone went ahead in the most basic of manners, a long clearance from goalkeeper Lee Worgan was headed on by Alex Flisher into the path of Jay May. Veteran Stevenage goalkeeper Chris Day could only parry May's soft shot but the rebound fell for Collin to lash home from 10 yards.

Worgan made excellent saves from Lee Barnard and Roarie Deacon in the first half as Stevenage fought desperately to get back into the match.

But they had to wait until the 47th minute before Charles volleyed in a centre from Charlie Lee and for long spells it looked as if Graham Westley's side, 60 places above seventh tier Maidstone in the league pyramid, would take control.

But with extra time looming, substitute Ben Greenhalgh got clear on the left and his perfect centre was headed in by Collin, with Stevenage appealing for offside.

Counting underway at Rochester & Strood by-election

The first ballot boxes have arrived at the Eochester & Strood by-election count Credit: Lydia Hamilton/ITV Meridian

Polls have closed in the Rochester and Strood by-election, with Ukip leader Nigel Farage confident of delivering a second bloody nose to David Cameron and the Conservatives.

Credit: Lydia Hamilton/ITV Meridian

As tellers in Kent began the long process of counting votes, Mark Reckless appeared poised to join fellow Tory defector Douglas Carswell in returning to the Commons under the Eurosceptic party's banner.

The first ballot boxes arrived just after 10.30pm Credit: Lydia Hamilton/ITV News

Defeat would be a particularly wounding blow for the Prime Minister, who has personally spearheaded a concerted fight for a seat his party had claimed just weeks ago it had a good chance of holding onto.

The fear among the Tory high command is that a second convincing by-election victory for Ukip could encourage other waverers in the ranks to jump ship and join them.

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Mother of woman missing for 20 years makes emotional appeal for information

The mother of a young woman missing for almost twenty years has made an emotional appeal for information to try and find out what happened to her.

Sallyann John was 23 when she disappeared from Swindon, where she was working as a prostitute. Despite a major police search at the time she was never found.

But now, following new leads, detectives have begun a murder inquiry. Robert Murphy's report contains flashing images:

End of an era for sea cadet training ship

Final voyage for TS Royalist Credit: ITV

After 43 years of service and more than 200 thousand nautical miles at sea - the cadet training ship - TS Royalist - has been decommissioned in a special service in Portsmouth.

More than 30 thousand cadets have sailed onboard the ship - but it has not been without tragedy. In 2010, 14-year-old Jonathan Martin died after falling from the ship's rigging.

Today, for those who came to say goodbye - it was an emotional end of an era. Sally Simmonds talks to sea cadets, Commanding Officer, Lt Angie Morris and Coxswain David Rogerson

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