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Video: Nigel Farage gives his reaction to his Thanet South nomination by UKIP members in Kent

UKIP leader Nigel Farage has tonight won the vote to fight the Thanet South seat in next year's General Election. Mr Farage who is a South East MEP beat three other candidates to the nomination in a hustings event in Ramsgate tonight. The constituency is likely to become one of the election's highest profile battlegrounds - as he bids to become the party's first MP. Derek Johnson spoke to him after the count.

UKIP supporters in Thanet South choose Nigel Farage as their canidate for the next General Election

UKIP leader Nigel Farage was tonight selected by local party officials in Kent as their candidate to stand in the South Thanet seat in next year's general election.

Branch members formally chose Mr Farage ahead of three other shortlisted candidates as Ukip's prospective parliamentary candidate for the seat. Votes were cast after local officials questioned each of the four candidates in hustings at Odd Fellows Hall in Ramsgate.

Mr Farage will now seek to win the seat currently held by Conservative Laura Sandys, who won South Thanet with a majority of 7,617 in 2010. Ms Sandys announced she was standing down at the general election after one parliamentary term, citing "a wide range of family demands" as her reason.


UKIP candidates battle it out for South Thanet seat

A hustings is due to be held today to select the UKIP candidate to fight for the South Thanet seat in next year's General Election.

Party leader Nigel Farage is currently the frontrunner.

He was the party's candidate for the seat in 2005, when he came fourth behind the Lib Dems.

Other candidates include Peter Bucklitsch, Elizabeth Jones and Piers Wauchope.

Hustings to select the next UKIP South Thanet candidate due to be held Credit: ITV Meridian
  1. National

Farage 'no shoo-in' as he aims for South Thanet seat

Ukip leader Nigel Farage confirmed he has thrown his "hat in the ring" to stand for the South Thanet seat at next year's General Election, but insisted, "I'm no shoo-in".

Ukip leader Nigel Farage has confirmed he wants to stand for the South Thanet seat at next year's General Election. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Farage, who previously hinted he would stand for election "somewhere near the sea," wrote in The Independent, "There will be hustings in the constituency the week after next at which the branch will decide who they wish to represent them".

"It may seem silly to some that the leader of a party would have to go through the process of being approved and selected but, I assure you, rank means nothing in Ukip," he said, adding, "I think I stand a good chance of winning".

Fuel stolen underneath Nick Clegg's country home

Chevening House, the Deputy Prime Minister's official country residence Credit: Johnny Green/PA Wire

Kent Police has launched an investigation after thieves siphoned fuel from a pipeline running under Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg's official country residence.

Police said initial indications were that it had been "a well organised crime". A gang drilled their way into the pipeline, which passes through Chevening House estate, shared by the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary.

The fuel was funnelled along a 1,600 foot pipe to an area just outside the 3,500 acre estate near Sevenoaks, Kent, and pumped into huge plastic containers aboard lorries.

About 30,000 litres of fuel a day was stolen over seven months, with a value of £8.3 million at pumps.

The theft was discovered on Wednesday after new security measures were introduced on Esso's South East Pipeline. The line, 120 miles long, carries fuel from Fawley Refinery in Hampshire to Purfleet Fuel Terminal and Gatwick.

A Kent Police spokesman said: 'Kent Police was notified of some tampering to a fuel pipeline in the Sevenoaks area on August 6. Initial indications are that this was a well organised crime, employing highly specialist techniques to siphon fuel from pipelines which operate at very high pressure.'

An Esso spokesman said: 'We recently strengthened our pipeline security and monitoring procedures, and on Wednesday detected criminal damage at Chevening on the South East Pipeline, which transports fuel from the Fawley Refinery, Hampshire to Purfleet Fuel Terminal and Gatwick Airport.<

'The section of pipeline was temporarily shut down to make repairs, which have now been completed. There has been no impact on supplies to customers.

'We strongly condemn the highly dangerous criminal action by those involved and are working closely with the police in their criminal investigations.'


Councillor Lawless caught on beat the cheat hotline

Councillor caught cheating Credit: RBWM

Cheating Peter Lawless was caught receiving housing benefit while failing to declare his council earnings on a beat the cheat hotline.

The Royal borough of Windsor and Maidenhead councillor pleaded guilty and was given a conditional discharge.

Cllr Lawless, the ward representative for Eton Wick, was caught thanks to an anonymous referral from a member of the public on the council’s Beat the Cheat hotline.

At East Berkshire Magistrates’ Court , Cllr Lawless, 62, of Eton Wick Road, pleaded guilty to three charges of failing to notify a change in circumstances which he knew affected his entitlement to benefit

Magistrates heard that Cllr Lawless had received £4,839.11 in housing benefit overpayments. He had applied for housing benefit in 2009 on the basis that his Royal Mail wages could not cover rent.

But after becoming a councillor in 2011-2014, he earned member allowance of £19,590.48 which he did not declare to the council’s housing benefits team.

He also failed to notify the Royal Borough of monthly pension payments from the Royal Mail following a single lump sum payment of £13,998.88

Magistrates' gave Lawless a two-year conditional discharge, awarded the council £400 in costs and ordered him to pay a £15 victim surcharge.

As this case shows we will not hesitate to act when we uncover benefit fraud, no matter who is involved.

I would like to say a huge thank you to the resident who tipped us off. It really flags up how important it is for the council and residents to work together to overcome what is effectively theft from council tax payers.

– Cllr Simon Dudley

Fury over "favouritism" for Eastbourne

A Government minister came to the south coast today, after accusations that Eastbourne Pier was getting vital cash for a rebuild - at the expense of its neighbour, Hastings.

Both piers suffered devastating fires - Eastbourne last week, Hastings in 2010. But within days, the Prime Minister announced he was giving two million pounds for Eastbourne's rebuild.

Hastings had to go through the long process of a lottery application before public momey was forthcoming, leading to accusations from the Labour Party that the Tories were playing politics.

David Johns reports, speaking to Penny Mordaunt MP, and the Leader of Hastings Borough Council, Jeremy Birch.

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