News & Politics Podcasts

The top stories from the KentOnline news team

The top stories from the KentOnline news team


United Kingdom


The top stories from the KentOnline news team








Podcast: 'Freedom day' set to be delayed following a surge in cases of the Delta variant of coronavirus

The lifting of all remaining coronavirus restrictions is expected to be delayed following a rise in cases of the Delta variant. At the time of recording today's podcast, the Prime Minister was preparing to address the nation a week ahead of so-called 'freedom day'. June 21 was set out in the roadmap as the date when all social distancing could be removed - but there was always a warning that dates could change depending on the data at the time. We hear from a bride-to-be who should have...


Podcast: Euro2020 kicks off a year late with England fans hoping football will be coming home

It may be a year later than planned, but Euro2020 finally kicks off tonight. The tournament has been delayed by 12 months because of the pandemic but fans will be hoping the good weather continues and they can watch on big screens across the county. Our sports editor Matthew Panting has the low down on England's group and who could be in the running to lift the trophy. We'll also hear from a pub boss who's looking forward to welcoming supporters over the next few weeks. Also in today's...


Podcast: Gillingham chairman says 'taking the knee' before football matches should end

There's a debate today as to whether footballers should still 'take the knee' before matches. Ahead of the Euros kicking off tomorrow the Gillingham chairman has called for the protest to end. It comes after some England fans booed the national team ahead of a friendly at the weekend. Hear what Gareth Southgate said at the time, from shoppers in Gillingham and what you've been saying on our socials. Also in today's podcast, a Kent MP has been quizzing the Health Secretary about the...


Podcast: 19-year-old George Knights from Rochester found guilty of murdering Stephen Chapman

Hear the moment a teenager who'd killed a man and dumped his body in a wheelie bin filled with acid told police he knew nothing about his disappearance. 19-year-old George Knights from Delce Road in Rochester has been convicted of murdering Stephen Chapman in October last year. Also in today's episode, as a report out today reveals we spend more time online in the UK than ever before, a woman has spoken out about how she used the internet to make money during lockdown. Kaitlin, not her...


Podcast: Met police officer from Kent admits kidnap and rape of Sarah Everard

A Met police officer from Kent has appeared in court and pleaded guilty to the kidnap and rape of Sarah Everard. Wayne Couzens was arrested after the 33-year-old disappeared while walking home in London in March - hear what happened today at the Old Bailey. Also in today's podcast we have an incredible story of recovery. A Canterbury student was given just a 2% chance of survival following a crash on the M2 - now her sister has spoken about her amazing fight for life as she prepares to...


Podcast: Canterbury's Marlowe Theatre prepares to reopen after being closed for more than 400 days due to Covid

On today's podcast we're joined by the chief executive of Kent's biggest theatre as it prepares to reopen for the first time in more than a year. The Marlowe in Canterbury closed at the start of the first lockdown and hasn't been able to welcome an audience for more than 400 days. Tomorrow the curtain will go up on musical Six in front of socially distanced theatre-goers. Chief executive Deborah Shaw tells us what it has been like getting ready for this moment. Also in the podcast, Kent...


Podcast: Criticism of decision to remove Portugal from UK travel green list

A Kent travel agent has said he's 'shocked' by the government's decision to take Portugal off the UK's travel green list. Hear from Chris Scoble from Go Scoble in Tunbridge Wells. It means anyone who can't get back from the country before next Tuesday, June 8, will have to isolate for 10 days. Those still travelling there after that date will also have to quarantine when they get home. Lauren Hampshire lives near Maidstone and has just returned from a week in Portugal, she tells the...


Podcast: Asylum seekers win High Court challenge over conditions at Folkestone's Napier Barracks

A group of asylum seekers have won a High Court challenge over conditions at Folkestone's Napier Barracks. They took legal action against the Government, with their lawyers calling the camp 'squalid'. Public Health England had previously warned about conditions there. We have reaction from Kent Refugee Action Network and a statement from the Home Office. Also in today's podcast, Covid testing is being carried out in part of Maidstone after cases of the Indian variant were identified. We...


Podcast: Leading headteacher slams government's £1.4bn of funding to help pupils catch-up

A leading headteacher has launched a scathing attack on the government's plans to help children catch-up after the pandemic. Education secretary Gavin Williamson has pledged £1.4 billion to fund 100 million hours of tutoring for disadvantaged youngsters. But Alan Brookes, who is chair of the Kent Association of Headteachers, says it doesn't go anywhere near far enough. Also in today's podcast, find out why paramedics in parts of Kent are going to start wearing body cameras. And we hear...


Podcast: Surge testing takes place in Canterbury as cases of Indian Covid variant rise

Surge testing is underway in Canterbury following a rise in the number of cases of the Indian variant of coronavirus. People living, studying and working in two postcode areas are being urged to get checked. Hear from Kent's acting public health boss. We also have the result of a poll asking if you think all Covid restrictions should still be lifted on June 21. Also in today's podcast - our court reporter Sean Axtell has been at a new Nightingale court set up in Kent to help deal with a...


Podcast: Increase in cases of Indian Covid variant in Kent leads to concerns restrictions ending on June 21 will be postponed

The government's being urged to say whether it still intends to go ahead with easing all coronavirus lockdown restrictions on June 21. It's as cases of the Indian variant continue to rise - including in Kent. We've been speaking to the acting public health boss in the county about where increased testing is being encouraged and also to Strood GP Dr Julian Spinks about the vaccine roll-out. Also in today's podcast, there's been a big increase in the number of children in Kent needing...


Podcast: Owners of Adventure Kidz soft play centre in Aylesford say staff are being verbally abused on a daily basis

The owners of a soft play centre that has only just been able to reopen say staff are being verbally abused on a daily basis. Adventure Kidz in Aylesford welcomed back customers last week after being closed for almost an entire year. Hear from Andrew Moody who says he's already fed up with how his workforce are being treated by parents. Also in today's podcast - there's more reaction to Dominic Cummings claims about the government's response to Covid. Hear from a former special advisor...


Podcast: Kent MP quizzes Dominic Cummings on government's response to Covid

The Tunbridge Wells MP has been questioning the Prime Minister's former chief adviser about the government's initial response to the coronavirus pandemic. Greg Clark chairs the science and technology which called Dominic Cummings to give evidence - hear what he had to say plus we have analysis from our political editor. Also in today's podcast, testing has been stepped up at the University of Kent following a rise in Covid cases, including of the Indian variant - hear from students who...


Podcast: Tony's Law could become reality as amendment to Policing Bill put forward by MP Tom Tugendhat

A law named after a little boy from Kent who needed both legs amputated after being abused by his birth parents is closer to becoming reality. Tony Hudgell's adopted mum Paula has been campaigning for the past three years and is being backed by Tonbridge and Malling MP Tom Tugendhat who's put forward an amendment to the Policing Bill. Also in today's podcast, it's a year since the murder of George Floyd in America - we find out if racial inequality is still a problem in Kent. A rare black...


Podcast: Landlady of The Pub Ramsgate micropub says she only wants to employ women

The landlady of a new micropub in Thanet has been hitting the headlines after saying she only wants to employ women. The Pub Ramsgate opened last week as part of the Bell & Beerling Pubs franchise - boss Max Bell has been chatting to the podcast. Also today, walks and silences have taken place in memory of Kent PCSO Julia James. We were at an event in Aylesham not far from where she lived and was killed while out walking her dog. Exhausted NHS staff at hospitals in parts of Kent are being...


Podcast: We visit Shepway in Maidstone as Golding Homes unveil plans for a multi-million pound revamp of the estate

People living on a notorious estate in Maidstone are being asked what they think about multi-million pound plans to transform it. Our reporter Liane Castle has been to Shepway to see for herself. Also in today's podcast, Kent's police and crime commissioner is calling on the government to stop trials of e scooters, find out why. Groups across the country are due to walk in memory of Kent PCSO Julia James this weekend. We've been speaking to the organiser of the event. A school in...


Podcast: Rail shake-up and what it could mean for passengers in Kent

The government has announced plans for a big shake-up of the rail industry. We find out what it could mean for you and speak to campaigners representing commuters. Also in the podcast, a teenager has gone on trial accused of murdering a man whose body was found in a wheelie bin in Rochester. Levels of child poverty in Kent have been revealed in a new report - hear from the End Child Poverty Coalition who researched the data. And in football, a player from Kent has signed for Chelsea -...


Podcast: Prime Minister attempts to clear-up confusion over foreign travel

The Prime Minister has attempted to clear-up any confusion over where we can travel abroad for a holiday following the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions. A traffic light system was introduced on Monday putting countries in categories of red, amber or green. Hear what Boris Johnson had to say at Prime Minister's Questions today after the government was accused of giving mixed messages. We've also been speaking to a Tunbridge Wells based travel agent and a mum and daughter from...


Podcast: Cases of the Indian variant of coronavirus detected in Kent

Around 20 cases of the Indian variant of coronavirus have been detected in Kent. Scientists testing Covid samples have found something known as the S gene. It's present in the Indian mutation of the virus but not the Kent variant which spread rapidly at Christmas time. Hear from Kent's acting director of public health on what's being done to deal with it. Also in today's podcast we hear from a leading lawyer and from Victim Support about the criminal justice system in Kent. Some court cases...


Podcast: Lockdown restrictions ease further across Kent

In today's podcast we take a whistle-stop tour around Kent to hear from companies that are able to re-open, some for the first time in many months. Hear from the boss of a soft-play centre, a restaurant manager and head chef, the chief exec of a leading brewery, a hotel boss and karting circuit co-owner. We've also been hearing from a wedding planner who says, despite the restrictions easing, it's going to take years for the industry to get back on track. Also in the podcast, our sports...