Live updates

Sun shines on 'best in show'

It's shaping up as a challenging year for the region's farmers - a year that started with hundreds of acres of farmland swamped by floods.

But the sun shone today for the start of the South of England Show and the message to consumers from farmers was simple - buy local.

Andy Dickenson was there and spoke to Environment Secretary Owen Paterson MP, Minette Batters of the NFU, and Michael Lambert of the South of England Society.

Kent MP: "Britain is no longer Eldorado for migrants"

by Nashreen Issa @NashITV

Police in Calais moved in at first light to dismantle a makeshift camp where would-be immigrants to Britain have been gathering.

For months, it's been home to hundreds of men, women and children hoping to cross the Channel illegally. French authorities say police had to destroy the site and evict people because of diseases, such as the skin condition scabies, were spreading.

The Dover MP told us it's high time that people in the camp, and those intent on entering the country, realised that Britain was - in his words - "no longer Eldorado".

Our Reporter Nashreen Issa spoke to Charlie Elphicke and Fraser Paterson Samphire Migrant Support.


Manston Airport: why did Ann Gloag refuse to sell?

A Meridian investigation has discovered that after private meetings with senior officers from Thanet District Council, Manston Airport owner Ann Gloag believed there was the potential for large-scale house-building on the site.

Was that why she rejected a £7m buyout offer that would have kept the airport operational and saved 140 jobs? John Ryall has this exclusive report.

Manston campaigners march through Margate

Protesters marched through Margate this afternoon calling on Thanet Council to act over the closure of Manston Airport. 144 people lost their jobs when it closed last Thursday.

North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale has joined calls to force the owner, Anne Gloag, to sell to the council - in order to safeguard the areas aviation history.

Fred Dinenage spoke to Keith Churcher from the 'Save Manston Airport Group' and started by asking why they are continuing their campaign.

Calls for Manston Airport to be taken over by council

Campaigners are calling for the owners of Manston Airport to be forced to sell the site to the local council. They say it is the only way to safeguard its future as an airport.

A last ditch offer from an American company was turned down, and the airport closed on Thursday with the loss of 144 jobs. Now the local MP Sir Roger Gale believes Thanet District Council should buy the site, and then sell or lease it to an aviation company.

MP backs Compulsory Purchase of Manston Airport

Manston Airport
Manston Airport closed last week Thursday

Following last week's closure of Manston Airport in Kent, the North Thanet MP - Sir Roger Gale - is backing calls for Thanet District Council to make a compulsory purchase of the site.

The politician spoke after a weekend of discussions with local and national political leaders.

Sir Roger Gale said:

"Laura Sandys (The South Thanet MP), and I are of the view, which I have reason to understand is shared by the new Labour Leadership of Thanet District Council and by the Conservative Opposition, that...

"... with the closure of the airfield the best way to secure a new future for aviation at Manston will be for a Compulsory Purchase Order to be placed upon the site which has, at present, planning consent only as an airport.

"This is detailed in the very recent draft of the local plan so there should be little difficulty in establishing existing use and thus for the local authority to acquire and then perhaps lease out or sell on the site at a sensible price.

"Clearly the Council will wish to prepare its own study of options based upon legal advice but the opinion that we have been offered is that a bid to place a CPO on the airfield would succeed and that it could be readily funded.

"If that is so then it ought to be possible to remove the airport from the hands of those who clearly have other objectives and to restore Manston to its rightful place as part of our airport capacity in the South East.

"From the work that has already been done we have good reason to believe that those who wish to re-open the airport and have the capacity to do so have every chance of succeeding where others have seemingly chosen to fail...

"... and we hope and expect that TDC`s senior officers, acting on instructions from elected Members, will take a very robust line.

"We have to dispel the impression given, arising from discussions that apparently took place with TDC officers earlier in the year, that housing is a “done deal” and that anything other than airport use is on the agenda. As Iris Johnston has made publicly clear, it is not”.


Confidence is high, says Foreign Secretary on Sussex tour

by David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

It was a flying visit but a welcome boost for businesses in Sussex today as the Foreign Secretary, William Hague - dropped in. In advance of the European elections next week - he was keen to bang the drum for Tory policy both on jobs - prosperity and on Europe itself.

We sent David Johns to hear what he had to say; he spoke to William Hague MP, Managing Director David Shore, and local MP Nicholas Soames.

Petrol price wars: Rural drivers feel the pinch

petrol pumps
General view of petrol pumps Credit: PA Images

Rural motorists are beginning to feel petrol price pressure at the pumps again, according to the Hampshire-based AA.

Average UK petrol prices went back above 130p a litre at the end of April and continue to hover around that level.

But the AA, based in Basingstoke, said that a war in which supermarkets have pitted vouchers against rock-bottom pump prices means the cheapest petrol in many big towns and cities is at year-lows of just under 126p.

It added that in small rural towns, where major supermarket competition was less fierce, the price gap between them and cheaper major towns has started to grow again to 4p a litre.

Petrol pumps
General view of petrol pumps Credit: PA Images

AA president Edmund King said: "While supermarkets, faced recently with worse sales figures when fuel is factored in, have held their fire on pump price increases in cities and major towns, there are signs that some of them and other retailers are getting price-trigger-happy again in rural towns.

"A 2p increase in the wholesale price of petrol through March into April may justify that but, if pump prices stay higher while costs continue to fall back, rural drivers will be tempted to look elsewhere for cheaper fuel."

Load more updates