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50ft-deep hole closes 10-mile stretch of busy M2

A 10-mile section of a busy motorway has been closed in both directions after a huge, 50ft-deep hole appeared in the central reservation.

Long tailbacks built up after the M2 in north Kent was shut between junction 5 near Sittingbourne and junction 6 south of Faversham.

The Highways Agency said the hole measured 16ft (5m) by 6ft (2m) and was 50ft (15m) deep.

Farage hit: Another man claims to have been attacked

Police officers investigating the attack on Ukip leader Nigel Farage in Kent this afternoon have said another man has reported being alleged assaulted in the same location at around a similar time:

Kent Police is investigating after a 49-year-old man was reportedly assaulted as he entered the Walpole Bay Hotel, Cliftonville, at around 3pm today. The man is not reported to have suffered an injury.

Officers will be reviewing CCTV of the incident. No arrests have been made and inquiries are ongoing to locate the suspect.

At 3.30pm another man attended the local police station to report that he was also assaulted at the Walpole Bay Hotel at around the same time of the incident.

Officers are also investigating this assault and inquiries are ongoing.

– Kent Police

Watch Nigel Farage being hit on the head with a placard

Farage claims Kent protest 'worse than Edinburgh'

Ukip leader Nigel Farage has told ITV News today's protest in east Kent "was actually worse than Edinburgh".

Watch video of Nigel Farage being hit on the head with a placard

Speaking to ITV News Meridian's Phil Hornby, Mr Farage claimed that the group today came "with intent to physically hurt me".

He previously described the protesters who mobbed him at an Edinburgh pub in May last year as "fascist scum".

Staff were forced to clear the Canons' Gait pub on Edinburgh's Royal Mile after it was filled with chanting protesters as the Ukip leader was preparing to hold a press conference.

Watch video of the protest against the Ukip leader in Edinburgh

Watch the full interview with Nigel Farage on ITV News Meridian's website

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Car pile-up drivers offered training rather than court

Thirty-two motorists involved in a 150-car pile-up have been offered the chance to go on a driver alertness course rather than face prosecution.

The decision follows a four-month investigation by specialist collision investigators after the pile-up in thick fog on the Sheppey Crossing in Kent.

Eight people suffered serious injuries and 200 others were treated at the scene following the crash Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Inspector Martin Stevens, head of the serious collision investigation unit at Kent Police, said:

"Rather than go through the process of taking these people to court, it was felt that offering an educational outcome would prove far more beneficial for the drivers involved.

"Driving at speed without clear visibility is without doubt extremely dangerous and the fact there was not a single fatality on the day is quite simply a miracle."

Motorists who decline to take up the offer of attending the course will automatically be summoned to court.

Read: Kent pile-up crossing reopens

57-stone wrestler 'died after getting trapped in home'

A retired wrestler who weighed 57 stone has died after paramedics battled for hours to demolish a staircase so they could transport him to hospital, the Telegraph reports.

Clive Carpenter, 61, was known as 'Car-gantula' in the ring, but his health and fitness suffered after he gave up professional wrestling.

An ambulance was called on Christmas Eve after Carpenter had difficulties breathing, but his call coincided with a firefighters' strike.

His son and nine paramedics took five hours to remove part of the banister and several wall panels so they could carry Carpenter to a waiting ambulance. He died on Boxing Day last year.

Stewart Underdown, a childhood friend is cited saying that Carpenter was a "gentle giant" and that he once got more press coverage than the Queen during a wrestling tour of India.

South east of England braced for further deluges

There is further risk of flooding in Little Venice, Yalding, Kent, which previously suffered over Christmas, and some residents at a caravan park have been forced to leave their homes.

Residents Ian Peacock and Caroline Hine leave the Little Venice Caravan Park in Yalding, Kent. Credit: PA Wire
A resident walks through the Little Venice Caravan Park in Yalding, Kent. Credit: PA Wire
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