17/05/2017 South East Today

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Today's main headlines in the south-east...


Facing legal action - the landlord who's banned people


from India, single mums, benefit claimants and battered wives


We are live in Maidstone with the details.


Dismay from Southern rail as the drivers union


announces an overtime ban - meaning more disruption, delays


And it was a muggy day with heavy rain tonight, fresher for tomorrow.


A controversial Kent landlord who's banned what he calls "coloured


people" from renting his properties because he claims they leave a smell


of curry is now facing legal action from the Equality and Human Rights


They have applied for an injunction against Fergus Wilson


Mr Wilson owns hundreds of properties.


In a recent letter to his letting agents, he also told them


to block single mums, anyone on benefits and plumbers.


In this exclusive interview with our reporter, Charlie Rose,


he defends his right to choose his tenants.


He's the south-east buy-to-let tycoon who who courts controversy


Fergus Wilson banned Indian and Pakistani tenants


from renting his homes because he says they "leave


Now the Equality and Human Rights Commission has stepped in,


asking the court if it agrees that Mr Wilson's rules contain


Even Asian landlords have been saying to me, well,


actually, you're right, it leaves a terrible smell, that's


Mr Wilson has previously said he won't let out his properties


to single mums, benefit claimants and he has banned what he


But he says anyone who falls into these categories can be


You say you've received a lot of support about your policy.


Doesn't mean to say your policies are right, does it?


Well, you have to look at what the man in the street thinks.


The reasonable man who rode on the Clapham omnibus.


The reasonable man would say to me, this is not racist,


And I think, at the end of the day, the Equalities Commission has not


It is very surprising that someone has the sort of views these days.


1000 houses, why not give 10% to people desperately in need?


If you have a lot of money, you can pick and choose.


The Commission, now they have decided they do have a strong case


against him, they will seek a judgment whereby an injunction


will be put in place so that Mr Wilson will be unable


to advertise his properties or rent out his properties with such


Since the 1990s, Judith and Fergus Wilson have built


a property empire of more than 900 houses.


Tonight, he remains defiant, believing he has done nothing wrong.


And Charlie Rose is in Maidstone now, where Mr Wilson


Charlie, Fergus Wilson intends to fight any legal action?


Yes. He says if the court agrees with the equality and human rights


commission, he will fight it and challenge it and take it to the


Supreme Court if necessary. This afternoon, Fergus Wilson told me he


one is close to 1000 residential homes across Kent and including here


in Maidstone as well. He says that he is not racist and rents out his


homes to variety of people, including gurkhas. But tonight, an


advocacy group has said they hope this legal action will lead to


Fergus Wilson rethinking what they described as his "Outdated views".


Commuters using Southern Rail are facing more disruption


this summer after the train drivers union Aslef announced an overtime


It comes after talks aimed at ending the long-running dispute over


Southern say they are "dismayed" by the decision by Aslef members,


which experts have said will cause severe disruption.


It has been the worst industrial action on Britain's railways


in nearly a quarter of a century, but the brief recent respite


from disruption is about to come to an end as members of Aslef


are set to refuse any overtime from the end of this month.


People don't realise what a huge economic impact it can have,


if people are travelling down from London for a lovely


One time, they arrived and there was no train.


I think it is appalling, I think it is totally wrong,


Southern say they will try to run as full a timetable as possible,


but experts argue that the overtime ban will lead to many


Southern Rail is heavily dependent upon, as with other rail operators,


on overtime to provide the services, because it has a lack


Aslef said they've taken the decision reluctantly


after Southern refused to budge on talks in the long-running dispute


over the introduction of driver-only operated trains.


Yesterday, members of the conductors' union, the RMT,


announced they would be striking on May 30th, their 32nd day


of action since the start of the dispute last April.


The first Aslef walk-outs were in December, leading


to the cancellation of all Southern services on strike days.


But the strikes and a previous overtime ban were called off


at the end of January as new talks were agreed.


But by the end of April, members have rejected two deals


struck by its leaders with the rail company.


I think it is welcome from an RMT perspective.


We started the dispute with the train drivers.


I am glad that the Southern drivers have persuaded


So for Southern commuters, a second summer of disruption looms ahead.


A man from Margate has been charged with causing death


by reckless driving in Thailand following the death of his


Danny Glass was driving a moped with his partner Sophie Rose


She was killed instantly when she was run over by a lorry.


Both were video bloggers and Mr Glass posted an emotional


The driver of the lorry has also been charged.


It's the turn of the Liberal Democrats today to launch


The party leader, Tim Farron, has been talking about Brexit


and pledging to take tough action to sort out the issues over


Peter, what are the key issues that appeal to voters in the south-east?


The Lib Dems are fighting to gain control of two marginal seats -


Their headline pledge is to hold a second referendum over Brexit


They also say they would strip Southern Rail of the franchise


and put the railway in the hands of government-run companies.


And the party also confirms their commitment to oppose any


airport expansion at Gatwick, Heathrow or any new airport


Although there will be some people who will shrug and say,


we have to accept the bleak vision of Brexit, that extreme version


of Brexit that Theresa May has pushed through the Commons


with the help of Jeremy Corbyn and Ukip, we say a better,


And if you believe that there should be hope, this


But there's one problem with the Lib Dem strategy


in the south-east - their key target seat of Eastbourne


voted 57% in favour of Brexit, and despite the manifesto pledge,


their candidate, Stephen Lloyd, is opposed to any new


This is what people in Eastbourne had to say.


That was what we voted on. That was the decision that was made.


Most people that voted voted to leave.


I am from Brighton and I would like to stay in the EU, so, yeah,


I would like an opportunity to vote again.


Despite Stephen Lloyd being in direct opposition


to the manifesto pledge on Brexit, their leader has acknowledged


that the candidate is "independent minded".


Other items of interest for voters in the south-east are the party's


plans to "find more effective and sustainable ways


of managing rail franchises" - like Southern Rail and Govia


Thameslink - involving local government.


And the Lib Dems also believe any airport expansion should focus


on regional airports like Manchester and Birmingham.


And staying with the election, here's Natalie Graham with details


of our special general election TV debate.


It is a political battle over security, trade and immigration.


It is a battle over the future of the national Health Service.


And it is a battle over how to fund and run our schools.


Politicians from the main five parties will be fighting it out


here at the Kino in St Leonards on bank holiday


And we would like you to be part of the debate.


If you live or work in the south-east, and you'd


like to be in the audience, send us an e-mail with your name,


address and daytime phone number and you could be part


The national weather forecast in a moment, but first,


let's get the picture in the south-east


It has been muggy and warm. Highs of 25 Celsius. It has also been wet. He


lost the sunshine from yesterday and as we go through the first part of


the night, the rain intensifies. But that clears and behind it, it is a


bit fresher. Last May, temperatures dropped to 15-16. Kryptonite,


eventually, dropping 29 or ten. It is fresher to start on Thursday. The


wind is at an westerly direction. There is a good deal of brightness


around. There is the risk of a shower but for many of us it is a


dry day. Feeling a bit fresher but by the afternoon, temperatures


comfortably leeching highs of 15 or 17. Thursday into Friday, further


outbreaks of rain for a time. Potentially up to ten millimetres of


rainfall. It is heavy. Overnight into Friday, temperatures 1011


Celsius. It is a damp start to Friday but the rain clears and once


again, by the afternoon, a mix of sunshine and scattered showers with


temperatures once again in the top showers. But it will be a bit