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Kent councillors vote for 15% allowance increase

Councillors in Kent have voted themselves an allowance increase of 15%.

Their critics say this gives them the biggest allowances in the whole country, when their pay review body had recommended an increase of only 1.5%.

But the councillors themselves say the rise is wholly justified and the Leader of Kent County Council told our reporter Tony Green that they'd had no increase for many years, and the new figures represented good value for money.

Tony spoke to Cllr Paul Carter Leader, Kent County Council, Con & Cllr Rob Bird Kenty County Council, Lib Dem & Steve Wiggett Chairman, Independent Remuneration Panel & Ryan Slaughter UNISON organiser, Kent Local Government.

King and Queen of Spain delight school children during visit to Oxford

The King and Queen of Spain have been on a state visit to the UK for three days and spent their final day of their tour in Oxford.

King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia visited the new Weston Library in Broad Street to meet staff and students and gave a speech at the city's Divinity School before the couple were taken on a guided tour of Exeter College in Turl Street.

Our reporter Mary Stanley was there.

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What a difference a year makes for Theresa!

It's been a year since Maidenhead MP Theresa May became Prime Minister. And what a year it's been.

Tackling Brexit, leading a country through several terror attacks, calling a general election - and ending up with a smaller majority in the Commons than she started with.

According to the polls her popularity has plunged while her rival Jeremy Corbyn has seen his rise dramatically.

What a difference a year makes! our Political Correspondent Phil Hornby reports.

  1. Phil Hornby

The Last Word, July 2017

Her first twelve months. Anniversaries are supposed to be happy events. But Theresa May admitted today that as she neared the end of her first year as PM, she shed a tear or two. It wasn't the election result she expected - and to be fair to the Maidenhead MP - it wasn't the election result the pollsters, or anyone else, predicted either.

Theresa May Credit: ITV

So will there be another anniversary to celebrate ? Or, as we enter the dog days of high summer, will these next few weeks see the end of her premiership? To debate that, and the never-ending troubles on Southern Rail, three Sussex MPs :-

  • Lloyd Russell-Moyle, the new Labour MP for Brighton Kemptown
  • Gillian Keegan, the new Tory MP for Chichester, and
  • Stephen Lloyd, the new (and old) MP for Eastbourne

We ask voters in central Brighton to score her out of ten. And one MP who lost her seat tells us where the "nightmare" of last month's election began.

And would this cause Mrs May to shed a few more tears? We look at the increasingly vicious way cartoonists are depicting the latest inhabitant of No 10. One expert who has surveyed the satirists for the last fifty years and more, tells us why the Prime Minister is drawn the way she is.

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MP faces jury trial over false election expenses

Conservative MP Craig Mackinlay, with his wife Kati Mackinlay, leaving court this morning Credit: PA

A Conservative MP faces a jury trial on charges over his 2015 general election expenses.

Craig Mackinlay is accused of offences under the Representation of the People Act 1983 alongside campaign director Marion Little, 62, and election agent Nathan Gray, 28.

Mackinlay, from Ramsgate in Kent, arrived at Westminster Magistrates' Court on this morning with his wife Kati.

The 50-year-old is charged with two counts of knowingly making a false election expenses declaration, while his election agent Gray, of Red Oak, in Hawkhurst, Kent, faces one.

All three defendants indicated not guilty pleas when the charges were read to them and were released on unconditional bail ahead of their next appearance at Southwark Crown Court on 1st August.

Last month, Mackinlay held on to the Kent seat of South Thanet with an increased majority of 6,387, just one week after it was announced he would be prosecuted.

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