Our Political Correspondent Phil Hornby reports on why he thinks the South East MEP has decided not to run in the 2017 election.Read the full story ›
As surprises, go this was one of the best-kept. When Theresa May announced this week, there'd be a General Election in June, no-one was expecting it.
The Commons backed the decision to hold a snap election by 522 votes to 13, formally firing the starting pistol on the election campaign. The Prime Minister urged MPs to "put our fate in the hands of the people"
In the south and south east, what will the people decide? After your votes:-
- Kelly-Marie Blundell, the Lib Dem candidate in Lewes
- Henry Bolton, from UKIP in Kent
- Charlie Elphicke MP, the Conservative member in Dover, and
- Solomon Curtis, from Labour in Sussex
And we also hear from Caroline Lucas, Brighton Pavilion's MP and the co-leader of the Green Party.
It was Theresa May's big day at the Tory conference in Birmingham. Our political correspondent Phil Hornby has been talking to her. But first, his thoughts on Diane James' resignation as leader of Ukip...
Diane James, the Member of the European Parliament for the South East, today became the new leader of UKIP - taking over from Nigel Farage.
She won the party's leadership election easily - and says her first job will be to target Labour voters. Our Political Correspondent, Phil Hornby, spent the day at the UKIP conference in Bournemouth.
Councils too often have to take taxpayers to court, because they've not paid their council tax. But how often do they have to take the leader of the council to court for not paying?
That's what's happened in Thanet. Chris Wells is the red-faced council leader. He says it's an administrative oversight. Taxpayers in Thanet have been telling Sarah Saunders what they think.
The leader of UKIP, south east MEP Nigel Farage has been in Thanet this afternoon.
Mr Farage says he will make immigration the centrepiece of his campaign for the UK to quit the EU, and for the first time, an opinion poll puts the quitters ahead of the remainers.
David Johns went to see how Ramsgate responded to the UKIP leader.
UKIP's economics spokesman Patrick O'Flynn blew open simmering tensions within the party in an interview with The Times, saying Mr Farage was no longer the "cheerful, ebullient, cheeky, daring" politician of recent times.
Mr O'Flynn said the UKIP leader's behaviour risked the party being seen as an "absolute monarchy" and blamed Mr Farage's "aggressive" and "inexperienced" advisers.
He called for Mr Farage, who lives in Kent, to adopt a "much more consultative and consensual leadership style".
Mr O'Flynn's comments come after Mr Farage was widely mocked for resigning as leader after failing to win the South Thanet seat he stood for in the General Election, only to be reinstated three days later after the party's National Executive Committee rejected his resignation.
Nigel Farage's offer of resignation was rejected by UKIP members because of the success of his election campaign, according to a statement by the Chairman of UKIP has revealed.
As promised Nigel Farage tendered his official resignation as leader of UKIP to the NEC. This offer was unanimously rejected by the NEC members who produced overwhelmingly evidence that the UKIP membership did not want Nigel to go
The NEC also concluded that UKIP's general election campaign had been a great success. We have fought a positive campaign with a very good manifesto and despite relentless, negative attacks and an astonishing last minute swing to the Conservatives over fear of the SNP, that in these circumstances, 4 million votes was an extraordinary achievement. On that basis Mr Farage withdrew his resignation and will remain leader of UKIP. In addition the NEC recognised that the referendum campaign has already begun this week and we need our best team to fight that campaign led by Nigel. He has therefore been persuaded by the NEC to withdraw his resignation and remains leader of UKIP.
Nigel Farage has officially stood down as the leader of the UKIP party.
During his speech at the Botany Bay Hotel in Broadstairs he criticised the first past the post voting system saying it was unfair for smaller parties.
Mr Farage said although today is tinged with sadness he feels happier than he has for years.
Suzanne Evans will be the new leader.
Nigel Farage is likely to step down as leader of Ukip if he loses his seat in South Thanet, creating a "real blow for the party", political journalist Isabel Hardman has told ITV News.
The assistant editor of The Spectator has heard from "a very good source" that the party have not won the constituency in Kent.
Hardman said: "If he doesn't win that seat then he will have to step down as Ukip leader because he said he would. In that case Ukip would be pitched into a leadership battle which would be very difficult for the party because Farage is a magnetic figure who has held the party together.
"Even though he has some very impressive people behind him, they're not quite the same as Nigel Farage - so it would be a real blow for the party."
Earlier, Mr Farage gave aninterview to ITV News in which he attacked the press before walking off.