{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"uk","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/lords-ready-to-fight-brexit-peter-mandelson-warns-1-4370951","id":"1.4370951","articleHeadline": "Lords ready to fight Brexit, Peter Mandelson warns","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487532973000 ,"articleLead": "

Peter Mandelson has warned the government to expect a fierce battle as the Lords begin considering legislation that will trigger Brexit.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4370950.1487532953!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Labour former cabinet minister Lord Mandelson appearing on the BBC One current affairs programme, The Andrew Marr Show. Picture: Jeff Overs/BBC/PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

Lord Mandelson said opposition peers were prepared to inflict defeat on the government over the final vote on the terms of Brexit, despite pressure to wave through legislation on Article 50.

The former EU commissioner and minister in Tony Blair’s government said peers should “not throw in the towel early”, telling colleagues to fight for guarantees on the future of EU nationals living in the UK, and to secure a “meaningful” vote on the final Brexit deal in which MPs could send the government back to negotiate a better arrangement.

His comments came as another Labour peer, Peter Hain, said he was ready to force amendments to the Article 50 bill to keep the UK in the single market and keep the open border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

Opposition peers were warned against snarling up the Brexit process by Justice Secretary Liz Truss, who told Lord Mandelson to “move on” and refused to rule out using the Parliament Act to override the Lords and force legislation through.

“I fully expect the House of Lords will recognise the will of the people and the will of the House of Commons, which was overwhelming, to pass that legislation,” Ms Truss told the Andrew Marr Show.

Two days of debate on the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill in the Lords begin today, with amendments considered next week. The Lords can send an amended bill back to the Commons and delay its passage, but cannot push through changes themselves.

There are just 252 Conservatives among the 805 peers in the Lords, giving the opposition and independent crossbenchers a chance to inflict defeats. Lord Mandelson told the Marr Show that there was a “strong body of opinion” on EU nationals and the status of the final Brexit vote.

“At the end of the day, the House of Commons must prevail because it is the elected chamber,” he said. “But I hope the House of Lords will not throw in the towel early.”

Polling by ICM for the campaign group Change Britain found that support for reform of the House of Lords would increase if peers obstruct or delay Brexit.

The survey found 43 per cent of respondents would be more likely to back abolition or reform of the second chamber compared to 12 per cent who are less likely in such circumstances.

“Peers would be wise to consider this clear democratic mandate, and their own futures, when debating the Article 50 Bill this week,” Tory MP Dominic Raab said.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4370950.1487532953!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4370950.1487532953!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Labour former cabinet minister Lord Mandelson appearing on the BBC One current affairs programme, The Andrew Marr Show. Picture: Jeff Overs/BBC/PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Labour former cabinet minister Lord Mandelson appearing on the BBC One current affairs programme, The Andrew Marr Show. Picture: Jeff Overs/BBC/PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4370950.1487532953!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/retail/supermarket-recalls-beef-product-over-listeria-fears-1-4370900","id":"1.4370900","articleHeadline": "Supermarket recalls beef product over listeria fears","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487527511000 ,"articleLead": "

Supermarket Morrisons has recalled one of its meat-based products over concerns it may cause flu-like symptoms among vulnerable people.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4370899.1487527490!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Morrisons store. Picture: Chris Radburn/PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

The retailer has asked customers who bought its 150g Ready to Eat Peppered Beef Slices to return them, after the Food Standards Agency (FSA) said they are contaminated with listeria monocytogenes.

The product has a use-by date of February 21 2017

Symptoms caused by the bug can be similar to flu and include a high temperature, muscle ache or pain, chills, feeling or being sick and diarrhoea.

In rare cases the infection can be more severe, causing serious complications such as meningitis.

Some people are more vulnerable to listeria infections, including those over 65 years old, pregnant women and their unborn babies, babies less than one month old and people with weakened immune systems.

The company has provided point-of-sale notices to all stores and market stalls that were supplied with the contaminated product.

The FSA said: “If you have bought the above product, do not eat it. Instead, return it to the store from where it was bought for a full refund.”

No other Morrisons products are involved.

A Morrisons spokesman said: “Our routine testing has identified the presence of low levels of Listeria in this product.

“We are asking all customers who have bought this use by date of this product not to consume it and to return it to their nearest Morrisons store where they will receive a full refund.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4370899.1487527490!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4370899.1487527490!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Morrisons store. Picture: Chris Radburn/PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Morrisons store. Picture: Chris Radburn/PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4370899.1487527490!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/business/martin-flanagan-rbs-remains-under-a-cloud-as-lloyds-eyes-sunlit-uplands-1-4370228","id":"1.4370228","articleHeadline": "Martin Flanagan: RBS remains under a cloud as Lloyds eyes sunlit uplands","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487460139000 ,"articleLead": "

More daylight will fall this week on the two UK taxpayer-owned banks operating in different recovery weather systems. Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group met their nemesis in the banking crisis, RBS from the acquisitive bridge too far of Dutch banking giant ABN Amro, and Lloyds through its UK government-steered purchase of the homegrown disaster that was HBOS.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4370227.1487424156!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "RBS chief Ross McEwan will be quizzed on reports that the bank is looking to axe thousands of jobs. Picture: Ian Rutherford"} ,"articleBody": "

The financial figures for 2016 and joint outlooks will be a further compare-and-contrast opportunity. RBS, now under the stewardship of Ross McEwan, is still mired in a British mid-winter of heavy losses via a vortex of legacy issues and fines. Lloyds, led by Antonio Horta-Osorio, is enjoying the continuing springtime of the lender’s return to investor respectability, with an eye-catching jump in profits. As the pop song doesn’t quite have it, wherever these two banks go, they always take the weather with them.

Lloyds started from a better place. The size of its state-constructed oxygen tent was £20 billion, less than half the £45bn thrown to RBS.

At the nadir, the Treasury held more than 80 per cent of RBS compared with just over 40 per cent of Lloyds, which also owns Scottish Widows and Bank of Scotland. As a result, it has been a more tortuous road back towards normality for RBS.

While not overlooking a deeply flawed, systems and controls-lite HBOS, there was also far less for new management at Lloyds to do overall than at its rival. RBS had a labyrinthine international and business-stream structure constructed by former boss Fred Goodwin, where flag-planting became a fetish. By contrast, Lloyds, under its American-born former chief executive Eric Daniels, had largely kept the bank on the UK-domestic straight and narrow.

In fact, it was to expand its hegemony on these shores that Lloyds was unfortunately tempted to acquire HBOS, giving it an even bigger market-leading stranglehold on UK current accounts and mortgages. In card-playing parlance, strategically the group decided to twist rather than stick, and came unstuck.

But as its earnings recovery has taken hold, Lloyds has steadily cut the taxpayer stake so that now it is pretty nominal at under 5 per cent. More than £18.5bn of the bailout has been returned to the Treasury’s coffers, a financial and public relations boon.

By contrast, RBS, even though selling some shares at a loss to the £5 taxpayer buy-in price, still has the government speaking for more than 70 per cent of its stock. The shares closed on Friday at 242p and it will likely be at least in the 2020s before the bank is totally independent of Whitehall again. This week’s red ink will underline that truth.

RBS, which reports on Friday, is expected to unveil its ninth successive year of losses. Perhaps the only good aspect is that the estimated loss of about £6bn for 2016 is dwarfed by the £24bn loss in 2008, the year of the financial crash. Once again, this is partly due to another of the many “bumps in the road” to recovery glumly foreshadowed by McEwan, arising from fines for legacy issues.

Overall, the group has notched up losses of more than £50bn since the crisis. The bank is taking another $3.8bn (£3.1bn) provision for Q4 of last year for mis-selling opaque and toxic mortgage-backed bonds in the lead-up to the crash. It takes the bank’s total provisions on the issue to $8.3bn, and it has served notice that “further substantial additional provisions and costs may be recognised”. Plus ça change...

However, losses at RBS are now seen as curiously complementary as bacon and eggs. The City spotlight will segue from the bald trading figures to other underlying issues before you can say “net interest margin” because factored-in mega-losses are unexciting. These other challenges include the bank’s failure to pass the most recent Bank of England financial stress tests – and the continuing management plans as a result to strengthen its balance sheet – and the interminable saga of the lender’s failure to sell or float off its Williams & Glyn branches, which it had been ordered to do by the European Union to address competition concerns. On Friday the government said RBS could abandon the sale entirely and instead provide £750 million of initiatives to boost competition in UK business banking. This, McEwan said, would deal with the EU obligations “more quickly and with more certainty than undertaking a difficult and complex sale”.

McEwan will also be quizzed on reports that the bank is looking to take another £1bn or so off its cost base, partly to address lower for longer interest rates, and that it could involve many thousands more job losses from a headcount that, as at Lloyds, has been decimated in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Hardly Cassandra-like, I admit, but I expect McEwan to confirm the cost-cutting direction of travel but with a coyness on actual figures. Unfortunate, really, but like the phalanx of big banks on rationalisation details, he is damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t.

Many think Horta-Osorio is edging towards the exit at Lloyds before this year is out after an eventful but ultimately fruit-bearing six years of turning around the Black Horse bank that bolted. He will have much justification for that greater spring in his step. The City consensus is for 2016 profits of £4.4bn – a sharp jump on the £1.64bn profit in the previous year, despite added provisions for payment protection insurance, it being the bank with the biggest ongoing exposure to the scandal. As with all the other banking majors, also expect Lloyds to talk more about the inevitability of branch closures in the face of digitalisation eating the industry.

Some investors harbour hopes for a special dividend as well as a final payout to reflect Lloyds’s operational rejuvenation and rehabilitation with shareholders. A special divi, either this week or at the next interim results this summer, would also have a valedictory panache if Horta-Osorio does decide to ride into a Portuguese sunset.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Martin Flanagan"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4370227.1487424156!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4370227.1487424156!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "RBS chief Ross McEwan will be quizzed on reports that the bank is looking to axe thousands of jobs. Picture: Ian Rutherford","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "RBS chief Ross McEwan will be quizzed on reports that the bank is looking to axe thousands of jobs. Picture: Ian Rutherford","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4370227.1487424156!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/business/standard-life-set-to-hike-dividend-on-back-of-rise-in-profits-1-4370224","id":"1.4370224","articleHeadline": "Standard Life set to hike dividend on back of rise in profits","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487459284000 ,"articleLead": "

Life and pensions giant Standard Life is expected to hoist the dividend more than 7 per cent on the back of increased profits when it unveils its 2016 results this week.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4370223.1487423325!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Standard Lifes head office in Edinburgh. The City consensus forecast is for the life and pensions giant to report an operating profit of �684m on Friday. Picture: Neil Hanna"} ,"articleBody": "

Chief executive Keith Skeoch is set to say the Edinburgh-based life assurer’s geographical diversification, from India to China, has helped it weather the volatility in “challenging” financial markets that have been shaken by the UK’s Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s election as US president.

The City consensus forecast is for Standard Life to report an operating profit of £684 million on Friday, up nearly 3 per cent on the £665m it made in 2015.

The group is expected to announce a full-year dividend of 19.74p, up from 18.36p in the previous 12 months. Standard Life Investments (SLI), the group’s fund management business, is expected to have boosted profits to £370m, up from £342m last time.

At the interim results last August, Skeoch revealed that assets under management rose 7 per cent to £328 billion, helped by net inflows of £4bn.

Standard Life’s UK pensions and savings arm is thought to have made a profit of £303m, up from £291m in 2015. Profits from the group’s burgeoning activities in India and China are set to have risen to £38m last year, up from £27m in the previous year.

One analyst said: “Standard’s performance will have been pretty decent despite the backdrop.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "y Martin flanagan"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4370223.1487423325!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4370223.1487423325!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Standard Lifes head office in Edinburgh. The City consensus forecast is for the life and pensions giant to report an operating profit of �684m on Friday. Picture: Neil Hanna","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Standard Lifes head office in Edinburgh. The City consensus forecast is for the life and pensions giant to report an operating profit of �684m on Friday. Picture: Neil Hanna","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4370223.1487423325!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/treasury-plan-to-spare-rbs-from-having-to-sell-300-branches-1-4370187","id":"1.4370187","articleHeadline": "Treasury plan to spare RBS from having to sell 300 branches","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487431014000 ,"articleLead": "

THE Treasury has put forward plans to the European Union which could spare Royal Bank of Scotland from being forced to sell off Williams & Glyn.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4370186.1487430995!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Chancellor Philip Hammond has already said the Government does not expect to offload its 72 per cent stake in RBS until after 2020. Picture: John Devlin"} ,"articleBody": "

The lender has struggled to offload the W&G branches, which it is required to do by the end of the year under the EU’s state aid rules.

Now the Treasury and RBS have proposed an alternative £750 million plan to boost competition in the banking market in an attempt to appease officials in Brussels.

RBS is required to sell W&G as one of the conditions for the multibillion-pound bailout by the UK Government following the banking crisis, but has struggled to strike a deal.

The Treasury has been in talks with the European Commission (EC) for months about the situation and will now seek formal changes to the state aid commitments.

Competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager will propose to the College of Commissioners that they open proceedings to gather evidence on the new plan, which contains a number of measures aimed at helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

RBS chief executive Ross McEwan said “Today’s proposal would provide a path to increased competition in the SME marketplace. If agreed it would deliver an outcome on our EC state aid divestment obligations more quickly and with more certainty than undertaking a difficult and complex sale and would provide much-needed certainty for customers and staff.”

The proposed package, which would cost RBS an estimated £750 million, involves:

• A fund, administered by an independent body, which challenger banks can access to increase their business banking capabilities

• Funding for eligible challenger banks to help them woo SMEs to switch their accounts from RBS

• RBS granting business customers of eligible challenger banks access to its branch network for cash and cheque handling

• An independent fund to invest in financial technology firms

A Treasury spokesman said: “RBS must deliver on its remaining state aid commitments and this new plan represents the most effective way of delivering the pro-competition objectives behind them.

“This new plan provides a clear blueprint to increase competition in the UK’s business banking market, and would help RBS resolve one of its most significant legacy issues which has held back the sale of the taxpayers’ stake.”

Chancellor Philip Hammond has already said the Government does not expect to offload its 72 per cent stake in RBS until after 2020.

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANGUS HOWARTH"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4370186.1487430995!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4370186.1487430995!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Chancellor Philip Hammond has already said the Government does not expect to offload its 72 per cent stake in RBS until after 2020. Picture: John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Chancellor Philip Hammond has already said the Government does not expect to offload its 72 per cent stake in RBS until after 2020. Picture: John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4370186.1487430995!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/tony-blair-scottish-independence-case-much-more-credible-1-4369155","id":"1.4369155","articleHeadline": "Tony Blair: Scottish independence case ‘much more credible’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487370753000 ,"articleLead": "

Tony Blair claimed the case for Scottish independence is “much more credible” after the Brexit vote and warned the break up of the UK was back on the agenda.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369154.1487328399!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Former Prime Minister Tony Blair will say today that the case for Scottish independence has been made "much more credible" following the Brexit vote. Picture: WPA Pool/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

The former prime minister made his remarks in a speech calling on pro-Europeans to “rise up” and persuade Leave voters to change their minds about quitting the EU.

Mr Blair rejected the idea that leaving the EU was “inevitable” despite the vote against EU membership recorded last year.

As he urged “progressives” to make it their “mission” to reverse the outcome of June’s referendum, Mr Blair gave his view on the Scottish implications of the Brexit vote.

“In addition to all this, there is the possibility of the break-up of the UK, narrowly avoided by the result of the Scottish referendum, but now back on the table, but this time with a ­context much more credible for the independence case,” Mr Blair said.

Questioned following the speech at the London headquarters of financial firm Bloomberg, Mr Blair added: “I want Scotland to remain in the UK. Even if Brexit goes ahead, I’m still in favour of Scotland remaining in the UK.

“Let’s be very clear, Scotland’s single market with England is of far greater importance to it economically than Scotland’s interaction with the rest of Europe.

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

“When myself and John Major warned this would be a threat to the UK we meant it, and it was true, and you can see that by the referendum coming back on the agenda.”

His remarks were pounced on by the SNP with Nicola Sturgeon telling BBC Scotland that Mr Blair was “stating the obvious”.

The First Minister, who has already said a second referendum is “highly likely”, added she believes the case for independence is “even more compelling” now than it was at the time of the 2014 referendum.

Mr Blair’s remarks will be seen as unhelpful for Scottish Labour, which has been attempting to promote the message that there should not be a second independence referendum.

Scottish Labour Westminster spokesman Ian Murray said: “The Tory Brexit chaos has certainly given the SNP the excuse it was looking for to stoke up more grievance.

“But the reality is that the economic case for separation is even worse now than when the people of Scotland rejected it in 2014.”

Scottish Conservative chief whip John Lamont said: “Tony Blair may not be aware of it but the fact is that only around a quarter of people in Scotland want another referendum on independence now.”

He added the SNP’s attempts to use Brexit to muster support for another Scottish independence referendum had “failed”.

Arguing for the Brexit decision to be looked at again, Mr Blair said: “I accept right now there is no widespread appetite to rethink. But the people voted without knowledge of the true terms of Brexit. As these terms become clear, it is their right to change their mind. Our mission is to persuade them to do so.

“I don’t know if we can ­succeed. But I do know we will suffer a rancorous verdict from future generations if we do not try.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "TOM PETERKIN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4369154.1487328399!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369154.1487328399!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Former Prime Minister Tony Blair will say today that the case for Scottish independence has been made "much more credible" following the Brexit vote. Picture: WPA Pool/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Former Prime Minister Tony Blair will say today that the case for Scottish independence has been made "much more credible" following the Brexit vote. Picture: WPA Pool/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4369154.1487328399!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"1487268344374"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/scotland-street-chronicles-set-for-return-to-bbc-radio-4-1-4369996","id":"1.4369996","articleHeadline": "Scotland Street chronicles set for return to BBC Radio 4","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487366974000 ,"articleLead": "

One of Scotland’s most popular books is to return to the airwaves next week thanks to a new BBC Radio 4 serialisation.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369995.1487366955!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Author Alexander McCall Smith said writing the Scotland Street series has been a "pleasure." Picture: Phil Wilkinson"} ,"articleBody": "

A series of short dramas based on Alexander McCall Smith’s bestselling 44 Scotland Street books will be broadcast every weekday on the station.

The broadcasts come as a new batch of stories in the series is to be published in The Scotsman, starting this Friday.

Already the longest running serial novel in the world, it will be the 12th year in a row that Mr McCall Smith’s chronicles of the residents in a fictitious Edinburgh tenement are serialised in the newspaper.

The new Radio 4 series marks the fourth time the characters and stories from the franchise have been adapted for the station’s 15 Minute Drama. Written and dramatised for radio by Mr McCall Smith, it has been produced and directed by David Ian Neville, and draws on stories from the various books in the series.

Inspired by US author Armistead Maupin’s Tales of The City, the 44 Scotland Street series has attracted a loyal fanbase since it was first serialised in The Scotsman in 2004.

The new chapters will be collected and published in book form – the 12th in the series to date – later this year, with the launch taking place at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

The first 44 Scotland Street novel was named one of the nation’s top 10 books of the last 50 years in 2013, alongside Alasdair Gray’s Lanark, Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh, William McIlvanney’s Docherty and Morvern Callar by Alan Warner. The serial was also turned into a Fringe show in 2011.

Mr McCall Smith described the Scotland Street stories as “one of my most enjoyable ventures,” though even he has been taken aback at its longevity.

He said: “When I started this with The Scotsman all those years ago I had no idea that it would become the world’s longest-running serial novel. Writing it has been a pleasure, but so too has watching its progress elsewhere in the world. It is now translated into many different languages and I get the greatest pleasure out of meeting readers of this series in unexpected places.”

Mr McCall Smith said the team behind the radio dramas have interpreted the books “very accurately” and “captured the feeling” of Scotland Street, adding: “Wherever I go in the world I meet people who have come to Edinburgh to see the places associated with the books.

“Many visit Scotland Street itself, but look in vain for number 44, which does not exist. They find many of the other settings, though – I think they enjoy doing that.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "MARTYN McLAUGHLIN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4369995.1487366955!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369995.1487366955!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Author Alexander McCall Smith said writing the Scotland Street series has been a "pleasure." Picture: Phil Wilkinson","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Author Alexander McCall Smith said writing the Scotland Street series has been a "pleasure." Picture: Phil Wilkinson","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4369995.1487366955!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/world/donald-trump-and-uk-politicians-what-they-said-then-v-now-1-4369935","id":"1.4369935","articleHeadline": "Donald Trump and UK politicians: What they said then v now","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487363975000 ,"articleLead": "

To say that Donald Trump is a controversial politician is perhaps to win the prize for understatement of the century.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369930.1487363953!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "President Donald Trump. Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

The brash billionaire who bullied a succession of infinitely more-qualified politicians to the Republican nomination for President, has never been shy to cause shock with his comments.

After seeing off “Crooked Hillary” Clinton, the New Yorker with a Scottish mother found himself where so few people predicted he would end up – the Oval Office.

That left politicians in America and closer to home having to re-evaluate the manifold ways in which they had cast aspersions on Trump’s suitability (or otherwise) for one of the most important and powerful jobs in the world.

Some politicians have remained admirably true to their words on Trump even as he starts enacting his more outlandish plans. Others have performed screeching u-turns. Here are just some examples of what they said then, and what they say.

Ruth Davidson

Perhaps the most linguistically impressive takedown of Trump back when he was just one of over a dozen candidates from the Scottish Conservative Leader.

Never knowingly undersold, in 2015 Davidson tweeted: “So, twitter, we’re all agreed? Trump’s a clay-brained guts, knotty-pated fool, whoreson obscene greasy tallow-catch, right?”

Poetic it may have seemed, and rightly so, because it’s a quote from Shakespear. Henry IV, Part 1, to be exact.

Cliff notes tell us that Hal, who hit his pal Falstaff with that volley of insults, planned to convey that he was simultaneously fat, stupid, a coward, and the son of a whore.

Davidson tempered her language once Trump pulled off the upset win, saying: ““Mr Trump tapped into the disaffection we are seeing across the world right now due to economic uncertainty. That’s not something we can ignore.”

Nicola Sturgeon

It might not be the most diplomatic choice of words to say that you are going to ‘dingy’ the leader of the free world, but that was how Nicola Sturgeon described Donald Trump less than a year ago.

The First Minister used the Scots phrase, to mean ignore, in an unconventional pre-election interview with comedy character Gary Tank Commander on the BBC.

Sturgeon also confidently predicted that the American people would ensure that Trump never reached the dizzy heights of the Presidency.

Even in the immediate aftermath of the election, Sturgeon stuck to her guns, telling Holyrood that she couldn’t maintain “diplomatic silence in the face of attitudes of racism, sexism, misogyny or intolerance.”

But mere days later she wrote to Trump congratulating him on his win and wishing him success in the role that she never thought he would have.

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

Theresa May

Perhaps the biggest volte-face came from Britain’s Prime Minister. When she was merely Home Secretary, May took issue with the way Trump characterised Britain.

As Trump parroted familiar lines from his favourite news outlets Fox News and Breitbart that parts of Britain were no-go areas for non Muslims, May went on the attack.

She told a select committee in late 2015 than Trump’s comments were ‘nonsense’ and that Britain would not acquiesce to his plans for a ‘Muslim ban’ as the then-candidate had mooted.

May also echoed her then boss David Cameron, who caused his own stir when he said that Trump’s comments were ‘stupid, divisive, and completely wrong’.

But now that Cameron has resigned and Trump is in power, May’s tune has decidedly changed and she is now working quite literally hand-in-hand with the President.

The Prime Minister is working overtime to ensure that post-Brexit, Britain can still rely on America as our greatest ally.

A cloyingly collegiate press conference should just how much May was more than willing to risk tricky domestic questions and take a ride on the ‘Trump Train’.

May has also failed to come to the defence of Commons Speaker John Bercow as Tories seek to oust him from his role over anti-Trump comments.

Nigel Farage

As consistent as he is opportunistic, the perennial UKIP leader jumped on the Trump Train early, recognising the potential links that could help his then nascent Brexit campaign.

Though he scoffed at some early comparisons between the two (he modestly told the Guardian in 2015 he preferred to be thought of as Henry VIII), Farage has been Trump’s most prominent British backer.

Farage and Trump were speaking the same (some argued abhorrent) language when it came to warning that the Syrian refugee crisis was an open door to inviting IS terrorists to the West.

Farage, who despised outgoing President Barack Obama for a host of largely imagined slights against Britain, said originally that you couldn’t pay him to back Hillary Clinton.

That tacit approval morphed into a full blown endorsement when Farage spoke in favour of Trump at a Republican rally.

The former banker who rails against financial elites has reaped the words of that endorsement, becoming the first UK politician to meet Trump after his win, and cashing in on a number of media appearances both at home and abroad.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Ross McCafferty"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4369930.1487363953!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369930.1487363953!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "President Donald Trump. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "President Donald Trump. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4369930.1487363953!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4369931.1487363956!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369931.1487363956!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ruth Davidson. Picture: SWNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ruth Davidson. Picture: SWNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4369931.1487363956!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4369932.1487362709!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369932.1487362709!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Nicola Sturgeon. Picture: John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Nicola Sturgeon. Picture: John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4369932.1487362709!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4369933.1487362712!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369933.1487362712!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Theresa May meeting Donald Trump in Washington. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Theresa May meeting Donald Trump in Washington. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4369933.1487362712!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} , {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4369934.1487362715!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369934.1487362715!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Nigel Farage. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Nigel Farage. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4369934.1487362715!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/tony-blair-s-reasons-why-brexit-will-mean-pain-for-britain-1-4369939","id":"1.4369939","articleHeadline": "Tony Blair’s reasons why Brexit will mean pain for Britain","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487362710000 ,"articleLead": "

Tony Blair has insisted that the Brexit result can be reversed once the public faces up to “all the pain” that the country will suffer as a result of leaving the European Union.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369938.1487362693!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Tony Blair during his speech on Brexit at an Open Britain event in central London. Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

Speaking in London, the former Prime Minister spelled out the reasons he fears that the voters will come to regret what he describes as “Brexit at any cost”.

IMMIGRATION WILL HARDLY BE CUT

He acknowledged that hostility to levels of immigration was a key factor in last year’s referendum result. Yet he argued that more than half of migrants come from outside the EU – and that leaving the bloc would make no difference to this flow of new arrivals. He claimed that once European Union students and people with firm job offers were taken out of the equation, that would mean a potential post-Brexit cut in immigration of no more than 12 per cent.

Is he right? It’s true that Brexit cannot achieve the huge falls in immigration promised by David Cameron and Theresa May. But it was not clear how he arrived at his 12 per cent figure.

PRICES ARE GOING UP

He said the pound had fallen against the euro by 12 per cent and against the dollar by 20 per cent, which Mr Blair said amounted to the financial markets’ assessment that the country would be poorer as a result of Brexit. “The price of imported goods in the supermarkets is up and thus the cost of living.”

Is he right? So far yes, but he ignores the other side of the argument – that the weaker pound makes exports more competitive.

LEAVING THE SINGLE MARKET

He said the market had “been of enormous benefit to the UK, bringing billions of pounds of wealth, hundreds of thousands of jobs and major investment opportunities”.

Is he right? This is certainly the view of the majority of business and political leaders, but Eurosceptics counter that it has strangled business in bureauracy and needless regulation.

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

LEAVING THE CUSTOMS UNION

EU-related trade – either via the single market or the customs union – amounts to two-thirds of Britain’s exports, he argued. “This impacts everything from airline travel to financial services to manufacturing, sector by sector.”

Is he right? Yes, but Brexit supporters insist that leaving it will put Britain on the path to becoming a leader of global free trade.

LOSING POLITICAL INFLUENCE

Mr Blair cited the example of the UK being left negotiating its own deals on issues like the environment “where we presently benefit from Europe’s collective strength”.

Is he right? Britain will lose the advantage of the collective strength of the EUafter Brexit.

MINISTERS WON’T BE ABLE TO TACKLE DOMESTIC PROBLEMS

Theresa May’s entire focus is on Brexit, he claimed. That meant the Government was not fully facing up to problems like the “severe crisis” in the NHS, improving the education system, helping deprived communities, combating serious crimeand responding to rapid technological change.

Is he right? It’s far too early to tell. It’s certainly true that Brexit is currently preoccupying much of Whitehall.

THE UK COULD BREAK UP

Mr Blair said Scottish independence – narrowly avoided in the 2014 referendum – was “back on the table but this time with a context much more credible for the independence case”.

Is he right? So far there is no sign of an upsurge in support for Scottish independence. That could change once the UK leaves the EU.

NORTHERN IRELAND PEACE UNDERMINED

The former Prime Minister, who negotiated the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, said: “We are already seeing the destabilising impact of negotiation over border arrangements on the Northern Ireland peace process”.

Is he right? The uncertainty over the border certainly can’t help – not least because the DUP and Sinn Fein were on opposite sides of the Brexit debate.

• This article first appeared in our sister title i

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "NIGEL MORRIS"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4369938.1487362693!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369938.1487362693!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Tony Blair during his speech on Brexit at an Open Britain event in central London. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Tony Blair during his speech on Brexit at an Open Britain event in central London. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4369938.1487362693!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/theresa-may-uk-will-not-cherry-pick-parts-of-eu-membership-1-4369760","id":"1.4369760","articleHeadline": "Theresa May: UK will not ‘cherry-pick’ parts of EU membership","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487348798000 ,"articleLead": "

Britain will not seek to “cherry-pick” which parts of European Union membership it wants to keep after Brexit, Theresa May has said.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369759.1487348780!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Theresa May greets French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve at Downing Street. Picture: AP"} ,"articleBody": "

The Prime Minister said her aim to leave the single market, but strike a free trade deal with the EU including the “greatest possible access” to the trade bloc, does not amount to selectively choosing the best aspects of membership.

Her comments come ahead of Downing Street talks on Friday with French prime minister Bernard Cazeneuve.

After Mrs May set out her Brexit strategy last month, several leading EU figures again warned the UK it will not be able to “cherry-pick” when it comes to negotiating a new relationship with Brussels.

But in an article for French newspaper Le Figaro, she said: “As we leave the EU, we will seek the greatest possible access to the European single market through a new, comprehensive, bold, ambitious free trade agreement.

“This cannot, however, mean retaining membership of the single market. (French) President (Francois) Hollande and other European leaders have been very clear that this would mean accepting the ‘four freedoms’ of goods, capital, services and people and I respect their position.

“Britain understands that EU leaders want to continue with the process of integration.

“We do not, to borrow the phrase, seek to cherry-pick which bits of membership we desire.”

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

Mrs May also highlighted French interest in a good Brexit deal, pointing out that the UK is France’s fifth-largest export market with bilateral trade worth more than 50 billion euros last year.

“UK companies are responsible for an estimated 230,000 jobs in France, and French companies for about 370,000 jobs in the UK,” she added.

Mrs May also stressed the UK will remain an “open and tolerant” country and that French people will “always be welcome in Britain”.

She reiterated her aim of guaranteeing the rights of EU nationals already in the UK, including more than 300,000 French people, and said she hopes France will do the same for Britons living there.

“I will make securing this reciprocal agreement a priority as soon as the negotiations begin, because this is in everyone’s interests,” she said.

Mrs May and Mr Cazeneuve are also set to agree to maintain pressure on Russia over its “aggressive and destabilising” actions in Ukraine.

The PM said she is “sure” they will agree on the importance of pushing Russia in response to the “drastic deterioration” in the humanitarian situation in eastern Ukraine.

Mrs May highlighted “vital” cooperation on security and defence and said in the wake of “horrific” terror attacks over the past two years, Britain will “continue to stand shoulder to shoulder” with France “as a staunch ally and a great friend”.

She added: “In this period of change for my nation, Britain may be leaving the European Union as an organisation, but we will be stronger than ever as a dependable partner for our friends in France and across Europe, working to enhance the security and prosperity of all our citizens.

“As I said in my first speech as Prime Minister in the British Parliament, we share a firm belief in the values of liberte, egalite and fraternite.

“And together with France, a global Britain will always defend them.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Angus Howarth"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4369759.1487348780!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369759.1487348780!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Theresa May greets French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve at Downing Street. Picture: AP","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Theresa May greets French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve at Downing Street. Picture: AP","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4369759.1487348780!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/new-12-sided-1-coin-set-to-come-into-circulation-1-4369731","id":"1.4369731","articleHeadline": "New 12-sided £1 coin set to come into circulation","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487347403000 ,"articleLead": "

Businesses are being urged to start readying their customers for the arrival of the new 12-sided £1 coin.

" ,"articleBody": "

The new currency replaces the old pound which has is being retired after 30 years in circulation due to chronic counterfeiting.

The new design and security features should make it harder for criminals to counterfeit the coins.

March 28 marks the start of a 6-month co-circulation period where customers can spend and accept both the old and the new coins.

This period ends on October 15, when the transition from old to new is expected to be nearing completion, although banks will still be obliged to change over old coins for customers and return the retired currency to the Royal Mint.

At RBS, Ian Mears oversees cash, coins and ATM operations and is looking forward to the long-term benefits.

“As we begin to process coins, we are legally obliged to remove counterfeit coins at a cost to ourselves,” he says.

“We’re working hard getting ready for this launch and redirecting customers and staff to the new £1 coin website where there’s a lot more additional information available.”

The most efficient resource available to a business to facilitate a smooth transition is its staff.

Treasury Department Manager for Translink John Keys says: “We’ve had to assess the impact to determine what changes we need to make.

“The introduction will impact customers, staff and cash-handling equipment,” he says.

“The main effect will be on our staff to make sure they’re all fully briefed on what needs to be changed.”

To find out more, visit royalmint.com/newonepoundcoin to find out more about how you and your business can prepare your staff and cash-handling equipment for the co-circulation period.

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ {"video": {"brightcoveId":"1487345777864"} } ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/ukip-leader-paul-nuttall-wants-end-to-vat-on-fish-and-chips-1-4369529","id":"1.4369529","articleHeadline": "Ukip leader Paul Nuttall ‘wants end to VAT on fish and chips’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487339030000 ,"articleLead": "

Paul Nuttall has pledged to scrap VAT on fish and chips as he laid out his vision to woo Labour voters in Brexit Britain in his first speech to the Ukip party conference as leader.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4367366.1487339011!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ukip leader Paul Nuttall has pledged to axe VAT on fish and chips. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

In his speech to the party faithful in Bolton, Mr Nuttall pledged to cut foreign aid, slash taxes and pump more money into health and housing.

And he promised to take domestic energy bills and hot food out of VAT - a move he said would make traditional British fish and chips “cheap as chips again”.

Mr Nuttall said the backlash he had encountered running in Stoke Central was a sign that Ukip had Labour “on the run”.

Labour under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership had “nothing in common with the working class communities they traditionally represent”, Mr Nuttall said.

He added: “I am more confident than ever that Ukip will eventually replace the Labour Party as the voice of the patriotic working class.”

Mr Nuttall told the conference that he accepted the blame for the false claim, made on his website, that he lost close friends in the Hillsborough footballing tragedy.

But he hit out at the “smear campaign” against him after doubts were cast over whether he was actually at the 1989 crush, in which 96 people lost their lives.

He said: “Many people will notice that I’ve had a bit of a difficult week.

“This is two-fold, actually. Firstly, I take the blame for the fact that I failed to check what was up on my website in my name, that was my fault and I apologise.

“But I will not apologise for what is a coordinated, cruel and almost evil smear campaign that has been directed at me.

“It is based on lies from sources who have not been named. It has been a tough week for me but I will not allow them to break me and I will not allow them to break Ukip.”

Looking up at the audience, he said: “I was also asked by two journalists yesterday if I still have the support of my party.”

His words were met with a standing ovation and large cheers for the party faithful as one man in the crowd shouted “take that”.

Taking his glasses off and wiping a tear from his eye, Mr Nuttall said: “Thank you, I’m a bit overwhelmed. Thank you.”

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "KATE FERGUSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4367366.1487339011!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4367366.1487339011!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ukip leader Paul Nuttall has pledged to axe VAT on fish and chips. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ukip leader Paul Nuttall has pledged to axe VAT on fish and chips. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4367366.1487339011!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/ruth-davidson-uk-reassessing-america-s-reliability-1-4369103","id":"1.4369103","articleHeadline": "Ruth Davidson: UK ‘reassessing’ America’s reliability","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487316489000 ,"articleLead": "

The UK Government is reassessing America’s reliability as an ally because of President Donald Trump, according to Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4342530.1487316472!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson has claimed that the British government is 'reassessing' America's reliability as an ally"} ,"articleBody": "

Speaking to an audience in Washington DC, Ms Davidson described the White House as “chaotic” because of a lack of a “lack of professionalism and moral seriousness”.

And she said staff at the Trump administration were one step away from “white supremacist bloggers”.

She named Steve Bannon, President Trump’s chief strategist and former chairman of the far-right Breitbart News.

Ms Davidson also told audience members at the Women in the World event on Wednesday that the British government’s re-evaluation was part of a “massive, massive shock” induced across Europe by President Trump.

Referring to the UK-US relationship, she said: “We are going to want to make sure that any deals that are done he is going to honour. We have to be sure of that.”

Ms Davidson does not attend cabinet meetings but has an invitation to attend Prime Minister Theresa May’s “political cabinets”, when political strategy rather than government business is discussed.

Her comments come after the Prime Minister attempted to strike a friendly tone when she visited Mr Trump last month.

The Prime Minister also spoke to Mr Trump by phone on Valentine’s Day, and has said she “looks forward” to his state visit this summer.

The Scottish Tory leader also said caution was required with a President whose early actions should “worry us all”.

She added: “At the moment, from the UK, we have always seen America as being a very strong, a reliable ally and now, even after only 26 days or however long the tenure has been so far in Pennsylvania Avenue, we are beginning to reassess how reliable an ally the United States is.”

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANGUS HOWARTH"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4342530.1487316472!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4342530.1487316472!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson has claimed that the British government is 'reassessing' America's reliability as an ally","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson has claimed that the British government is 'reassessing' America's reliability as an ally","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4342530.1487316472!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/retail/morrisons-aims-to-give-british-suppliers-a-boost-1-4369102","id":"1.4369102","articleHeadline": "Morrisons aims to give British suppliers a boost","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487316374000 ,"articleLead": "

Supermarket Morrisons said today that it is looking to take on more than 200 new suppliers within a year on the back of increasing consumer demand for locally sourced products.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369101.1487316491!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Morrisons is the biggest customer for the UK farming industry. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

Buyers from the retailer, which says it is British farming’s biggest single customer and the UK’s largest fresh food-maker, are to tour Britain in search of top producers as it aims to boost the local food it sells and cut food miles.

The target is “more customers being able to buy more food in a British supermarket that was grown, made, picked or packaged within 30 to 60 miles of their local store”, Morrisons said.

READ MORE: Sleeping supermarket giants begin to awaken

It comes as research, commissioned by the supermarket chain, found that 52 per cent of food eaten in the UK comes from our farmers, while we import more than twice as much food as we export, at £39 billion and £18bn respectively, plus the range of crops grown in the UK has fallen.

However, the study also found that about two-thirds of UK shoppers say they prefer to buy food produced domestically.

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

Andy Higginson, chairman of Morrisons, said: “Our customers tell us they want to see more food that is made just down the road from their own communities and that’s why we are looking for the next generation of British and local food-makers to serve our 12 million customers.

“We want small UK food suppliers to become bigger ones – the Innocent Smoothies of tomorrow – and we also want to give our customers the option of more food that meets their local food tastes.”

Morrisons was found in research published yesterday by Which? on supermarket customer satisfaction to have climbed from eighth place last year to number five.

Click here to ‘Like’ The Scotsman Business on Facebook

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "EMMA NEWLANDS"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4369101.1487316491!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369101.1487316491!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Morrisons is the biggest customer for the UK farming industry. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Morrisons is the biggest customer for the UK farming industry. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4369101.1487316491!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/brits-in-norway-boat-accident-that-leaves-22-in-hospital-1-4369012","id":"1.4369012","articleHeadline": "Brits in Norway boat accident that leaves 22 in hospital","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487282410000 ,"articleLead": "

Almost two dozen people, most thought be British tourists, were injured when a speedboat hit a water fountain near the town of Harstad, local media reported.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369011.1487282263!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The incident took place near the Norwegian town of Harstad. Picture: Creative Commons"} ,"articleBody": "

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

Police said 24 people, including three crew, were on board the two boats, 22 of whom have been taken to hospital.

The British group were on a tour with a local travel agent, a company co-owned by a member of the local police in Harstad and a former employee of the force, police said.

Neither was aboard the boat that hit the fountain but both witnessed the accident.

Norwegian Police said two are thought to have been seriously injured.

The incident is thought to have happened at around 3pm local time (2pm GMT) when a rigid-inflatable boat (Rib) collided with a fountain in the harbour.

None of the injuries are thought to be life-threatening.

Another boat following behind is understood to have been caught up in the accident, and a number of those aboard both boats were thrown into the sea.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "RUSSELL JACKSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4369011.1487282263!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4369011.1487282263!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The incident took place near the Norwegian town of Harstad. Picture: Creative Commons","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The incident took place near the Norwegian town of Harstad. Picture: Creative Commons","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4369011.1487282263!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/regions/glasgow-strathclyde/judy-murray-calls-for-separate-pe-classes-for-boys-and-girls-1-4368448","id":"1.4368448","articleHeadline": "Judy Murray calls for separate PE classes for boys and girls","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487252214000 ,"articleLead": "

Judy Murray wants girls and boys to have separate PE lessons.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4368447.1487252196!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Judy Murray has called for girls-only PE classes. Picture: Michael Dodge/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

The mother of tennis champion Andy Murray said the move would help more girls fulfil their sporting potential.

And she believes girls-only classes will boost the uptake of sport.

Ms Murray was speaking ahead of the Scottish launch of her female-focussed coaching scheme, She Rallies, in Renfrewshire.

She said: “We need to have more girls-only activity, because girls are often intimidated and put off by boys, especially as they get older.

“Boys can be a real barrier to the enjoyment of girls taking part in physical activity, because of the way girls feel in front of boys at certain times in their lives.

“Boys will want to kick the ball too hard, or be determined to beat them all the time, and that’s off-putting for girls.”

Ms Murray launched the She Rallies drive in conjunction with the Lawn Tennis Association in Birmingham last week.

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "RUSSELL JACKSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4368447.1487252196!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4368447.1487252196!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Judy Murray has called for girls-only PE classes. Picture: Michael Dodge/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Judy Murray has called for girls-only PE classes. Picture: Michael Dodge/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4368447.1487252196!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/jordan-rhodes-hand-written-letter-to-young-fan-goes-viral-1-4368403","id":"1.4368403","articleHeadline": "Jordan Rhodes’ hand-written letter to young fan goes viral","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487250292000 ,"articleLead": "

Sheffield Wednesday striker Jordan Rhodes has been praised on social media - after a letter he sent to a young Middlesbrough fan went viral.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4368402.1487250276!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jordan Rhodes in action for Sheffield Wednesday against former club Blackburn Rovers. Picture: Press Association"} ,"articleBody": "

Rhodes, who joined Wednesday from Boro on loan earlier this month with a view to the move being made permanent in the summer, sent Oliver Warren a handwritten note after the young Middlesbrough supporter had written to the Scotland international.

Enclosing a signed photo, Rhodes wrote: “Dear Oliver, Thank you for your letter and writing to me. It made me smile at a time when I was quite sad at Middlesbrough.

“I was quite frustrated at not being able to play or even being on the bench sometimes. So like you did, I have had to change teams sadly.

“I would love to hear how you are doing at Riverside Juniors and hope you have scored some goals. I really loved playing for Middlesbrough and living in the area too.

“I hope you continue to enjoy your football as well as working very hard at school and one day, I hope to see playing number 9 for Boro.

“Best wishes, Jordan Rhodes.”

Mother Sarah posted a photo of Oliver posing with the letter and signed photo, adding: “What a guy Jordan Rhodes is! Oliver wrote to him while he was at Boro and this arrived today. He’s over the moon!”

Born in Oldham, Rhodes qualifies for Scotland through school attendance thanks to father Andy’s time at Scottsh clubs Dunfermline and St Johnstone.

Now 27, Rhodes has also had spells at Ipswich Town, Oxford United, Rochdale, Brentford, Huddersfield Town and Blackburn Rovers.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4368402.1487250276!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4368402.1487250276!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Jordan Rhodes in action for Sheffield Wednesday against former club Blackburn Rovers. Picture: Press Association","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Jordan Rhodes in action for Sheffield Wednesday against former club Blackburn Rovers. Picture: Press Association","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4368402.1487250276!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/retail/microsoft-hikes-prices-by-up-to-15-after-brexit-vote-1-4368339","id":"1.4368339","articleHeadline": "Microsoft hikes prices by up to 15% after Brexit vote","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487247892000 ,"articleLead": "

Microsoft has raised prices on a raft of products including laptops and tablets by as much as 15 per cent in direct response to the collapse in the pound following the Brexit vote.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4368338.1487247937!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Microsoft's Surface products will be more expensive due to the weak pound. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

It is the latest price increase to hit headlines this week after audio firm Sonos revealed that it was raising prices in the UK by up to 25 per cent.

A Microsoft spokesperson said: “In response to a recent review we are adjusting the British pound prices of some of our hardware and consumer software in order to align to market dynamics.”

READ MORE: Inflation stalks the nation, but how high can it go?

The tech giant’s Surface Book will now cost consumers £1,449 – up £150 or 11.5 per cent. A top-of-the-range Surface Book will now cost £400 more.

It said the final prices of products sold through third parties would be determined by those outlets.

The price changes come just months after Microsoft announced it would raise the cost of software services in the UK by as much as 22 per cent as a result of currency fluctuations.

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

A number of companies have introduced price hikes in a bid to compensate for the drop in the pound, which is trading 16 per cent lower against the US dollar and down more than 10 per cent versus the euro since the Brexit vote. A weaker pound means import costs for many businesses have soared, which will be passed on to consumers.

Audio firm Sonos jacked up prices in the UK by up to 25 per cent, bumping the Sonos Play:1 speaker from £169 to £199, the Play:3 from £259 to £299 and the Play:5 from £429 to £499.

Meanwhile, Apple confirmed it earlier this year that it would be raising the download prices in its App Store in the UK by 25 per cent.

But it is not just tech consumers that are feeling the bite. Vauxhall owner General Motors said in October that it had to raise UK car prices by 2.5 per cent after the EU referendum result caused the industry to hit a “speed bump”.

Click here to ‘Like’ The Scotsman Business on Facebook

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "KALYEENA MAKORTOFF"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4368338.1487247937!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4368338.1487247937!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Microsoft's Surface products will be more expensive due to the weak pound. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Microsoft's Surface products will be more expensive due to the weak pound. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4368338.1487247937!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/retail/laura-ashley-out-of-fashion-with-slide-in-profits-1-4368311","id":"1.4368311","articleHeadline": "Laura Ashley out of fashion with slide in profits","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487245871000 ,"articleLead": "

Fashion and homewares retailer Laura Ashley has warned over full-year profits after being hit by falling sales and surging costs.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4368310.1487245935!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Laura Ashley revealed a 29% plunge in first-half profits. Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

The group revealed a 29 per cent plunge in pre-tax profits to £7.8 million for the six months to the end of December.

Retail sales over its first half, which include key Christmas trading, fell 3.5 per cent on a like-for-like basis.

READ MORE: Retailers suffer ‘terrible’ December as sales slump

Shares in the group tumbled 11 per cent as Laura Ashley alerted over profits amid tough trading, with like-for-like sales still in the red since the start of 2017 – down 0.6 per cent in the six weeks to 11 February.

Chairman Tan Sri Dr Khoo Kay Peng said: “Trading conditions have been demanding during the first six months of the year.

“The board have reviewed the first-half results and forecasts for the remainder of the year to 30 June 2017 and, given the continued market challenges, feels that net pre-tax profit for the year will fall below market expectations.”

The group said profits were also knocked by rising costs after the pound’s plunge in value since the EU referendum, as well as the new national living wage, which together cost it £52.3m.

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

Chief finance officer Sean Anglim said the group suffered in the wake of the Brexit vote, which impacted first-quarter sales.

And while it saw an improvement over the second quarter, he said the retailer’s festive performance was hit as it had one less week of clearance sales compared with a year earlier, which knocked trading for so-called big-ticket items, such as its furniture ranges.

Like-for-like furniture sales fell 8 per cent in its first half, while decorating sales dropped 6.4 per cent and fashion was 3.2 per cent lower. But online sales grew by 2.1 per cent on a like-for-like basis.

Anglim said the firm remains optimistic despite the profit warning for the full year, having recently advanced further into two major overseas markets by signing up a new franchise partner in India and launching online in China for the first time late last year.

Click here to ‘Like’ The Scotsman Business on Facebook

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "HOLLY WILLIAMS"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4368310.1487245935!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4368310.1487245935!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Laura Ashley revealed a 29% plunge in first-half profits. Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Laura Ashley revealed a 29% plunge in first-half profits. Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4368310.1487245935!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/brexit-uk-could-be-more-vulnerable-to-terrorist-attacks-1-4368244","id":"1.4368244","articleHeadline": "Brexit: UK could be ‘more vulnerable to terrorist attacks’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487243360000 ,"articleLead": "

Britain could be more vulnerable to terrorism and organised crime after Brexit if the Government fails to secure access to Europol’s databases, the agency’s director has warned.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4368236.1487243065!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A French soldier patrols outside the Louvre museum in Paris after a machete-wielding assailant shouting "Allahu Akbar" was shot earlier this month. Picture: AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu"} ,"articleBody": "

Rob Wainwright told Sky News that security threats in Europe had grown over the last year and said it was crucial that police in different nations work together to tackle terrorism and crime.

He said: “I have seen how threats of terrorism and organised crime have become more global and the need for greater international police cooperation is absolutely essential to keep us safe.

“Mechanisms such as Europol provide an important part of the way in which the law enforcement community in Britain and other countries around Europe can discharge those responsibilities.”

Mr Wainwright said the British Government needed to push hard with the EU during Brexit negotiations to maintain a strong relationship with Europol.

Brexit will automatically mean the UK stops being a full member of the agency. However, Mr Wainwright said cooperation could still be possible.

“It is important for Britain to get this right,” he said.

“It is about the security of the country. Not just the security of Britain, but of Europe.

“It is a big issue and we need to get the details right of what those arrangements could be.”

Mr Wainwright will not take part in the negotiations but is advising ministers and has stressed the importance of involvement in areas such as the European Arrest Warrant.

He also said the future of Ireland and its border would be “one of the most difficult issues to get right” during negotiations.

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANGUS HOWARTH"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4368236.1487243065!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4368236.1487243065!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A French soldier patrols outside the Louvre museum in Paris after a machete-wielding assailant shouting "Allahu Akbar" was shot earlier this month. Picture: AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A French soldier patrols outside the Louvre museum in Paris after a machete-wielding assailant shouting "Allahu Akbar" was shot earlier this month. Picture: AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4368236.1487243065!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4368240.1487243254!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4368240.1487243254!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Rob Wainwright, director of Europol. Picture: JERRY LAMPEN/AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Rob Wainwright, director of Europol. Picture: JERRY LAMPEN/AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4368240.1487243254!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/celebrity/tilda-swinton-named-favourite-to-become-the-new-doctor-who-1-4367991","id":"1.4367991","articleHeadline": "Tilda Swinton named favourite to become the new Doctor Who","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487233764000 ,"articleLead": "

Actress Tilda Swinton is the frontrunner to take the lead role in Doctor Who, according to the latest bookmakers’ odds.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4367990.1487233747!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Tilda Swinton is frontrunner to become Doctor Who's next Time Lord. Picture: Isabel Infantes/PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

The Oscar-winning star would take over the role from departing actor Peter Capaldi, who recently announced he is stepping down from the series this year after entering the Tardis in 2013.

Ladbrokes has said Swinton, 56, has been the focus of a “huge gamble” from punters, with her odds now at 7/2 after initially having entered the market at 10/1.

Other names in the running include Death In Paradise’s Kris Marshall at 4/1, Broadchurch’s Olivia Colman at 5/1 and Maxine Peake, best known for Dinnerladies and Shameless, at 8/1.

The number of bets being placed on female stars highlights the calling for the first female Doctor when the character regenerates once again.

Ladbrokes spokeswoman Jessica Bridge said: “Whovian punters are becoming increasingly convinced the next Doctor will be female, and fingers are currently pointing towards Swinton.”

Michelle Gomez, who plays Missy in the show, Captain America star Hayley Atwell and Sherlock actress Amanda Abbington are among those fans have said they would like to see in the role.

The BBC sci-fi series’s outgoing executive producer Steven Moffat previously suggested that the Doctor could, at some point, be a woman.

He said: “I think the next time might be a female Doctor. I don’t see why not.”

Capaldi’s final performance as the Doctor will be in the Christmas 2017 special episode.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "LUCY MAPSTONE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4367990.1487233747!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4367990.1487233747!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Tilda Swinton is frontrunner to become Doctor Who's next Time Lord. Picture: Isabel Infantes/PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Tilda Swinton is frontrunner to become Doctor Who's next Time Lord. Picture: Isabel Infantes/PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4367990.1487233747!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/retail/homebase-s-new-owner-reveals-28m-loss-for-uk-arm-1-4367998","id":"1.4367998","articleHeadline": "Homebase’s new owner reveals £28m loss for UK arm","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487233202000 ,"articleLead": "

The new Australian owner of DIY chain Homebase has revealed a £28 million loss in the UK amid a rebrand and moves to slash prices.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4367997.1487233250!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Wesfarmers snapped up the Homebase DIY chain last year. Picture: David Jones/PA"} ,"articleBody": "

Retail giant Wesfarmers, which snapped up Homebase in a £340 million deal last year, said the half-year pre-tax losses came as it counted the cost of a restructure and launched its Always Low Prices pledge.

READ MORE: Homebase owner agrees £340m sale of DIY chain

The group owns DIY chain Bunnings in Australia and is rolling out the brand in the UK, opening the first store in Hertfordshire earlier this month as it rebrands former Homebase sites.

Wesfarmers said it made £612m in UK revenues over the six months to the end of December, with like-for-like transactions up 9.1 per cent in “steady” trading despite disruption since the Homebase takeover.

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

But it recorded losses in the UK after taking £13m of restructuring costs and seeing “significant” price falls from its Always Low Prices launch and clearance sales for lines being axed.

The group said it has “moved at pace” with its UK plans, and has “made very good progress to separate Homebase from its former owner and begin repositioning the business”.

Its overhaul has also seen Bunnings UK launch new ranges in Homebase and secure fresh supplier agreements. New kitchen, bathroom and flooring ranges are being planned by the summer.

It cheered the early success of its Bunnings Warehouse store in St Albans, with plans for four more pilots over the financial year as part of a £500m investment. A total of ten stores could be open by the end of the year.

The group said it planned to have the UK business as “well-positioned as possible” for the key spring and summer DIY season.

The conglomerate kept 258 Homebase stores as part of the multi-million-pound deal struck with Argos owner Home Retail Group in February last year. Home Retail Group was bought by Sainsbury’s months later for £1.4 billion.

Wesfarmers has a market valuation of almost £27bn, and is the largest private sector employer in Australia with about 220,000 staff.

Click here to ‘Like’ The Scotsman Business on Facebook

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "HOLLY WILLIAMS"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4367997.1487233250!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4367997.1487233250!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Wesfarmers snapped up the Homebase DIY chain last year. Picture: David Jones/PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Wesfarmers snapped up the Homebase DIY chain last year. Picture: David Jones/PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4367997.1487233250!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/waitrose-rated-britain-s-top-supermarket-for-third-year-1-4367840","id":"1.4367840","articleHeadline": "Waitrose rated Britain’s top supermarket for third year","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487195419000 ,"articleLead": "

High-end retailer Waitrose has been rated Britain’s best supermarket for the third year in a row – however, budget brands Aldi and Lidl were close behind.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4367839.1487195404!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A Waitrose spokeswoman said it was pleased that the hard work done by store staff was recognised. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

A survey carried out by consumer group Which? found that while top-end retailers were given the best overall scores for customer satisfaction, the German discounters beat major supermarkets including Tesco and Sainsbury’s to take the third and fourth spots.

Marks & Spencer took second place, and also topped the watchdog’s first ever convenience store satisfaction survey with its Simply Food stores.

Meanwhile, Iceland was rated as the best supermarket for customer experience online for the second consecutive year, with customers said to be particularly happy with “convenient delivery slots and friendly drivers”.

Which? asked shoppers to rate stores based on factors including appearance, how easy it was to find products and the quality of fresh products. The overall score was also based on whether or not customers would recommend them to a friend.

Morrisons is the biggest climber from last year’s survey, moving up from eighth to fifth, while Asda – which was the cheapest supermarket for 11 months in 2016, according to regular Which? price checks – came last, below Tesco in eighth place and Sainsbury’s in seventh. The stores were ranked lower due to many of customers’ favourite products not being in stock, difficulty finding items and low scores on value for money.

Richard Headland, editor of Which? magazine, said: “With concerns over rising prices the competition among supermarkets is fiercer than ever. While value for money remains a top priority, in-store appearance and the availability of quality and fresh products can also go a long way to satisfying shoppers’ needs.”

The consumer group also said Waitrose’s helpful staff had won over shoppers, and customers said its spacious layouts made groceries easy to find, generating its 75 per cent satisfaction rating.

M&S was just two percentage points behind due to the quality of its fresh and own-label items. The store’s regular “dine in” offers which include a meal for two and a bottle of wine were also found to be a particular hit with shoppers.

A spokeswoman for Waitrose said: “We are really happy our partners’ hard work in our shops has been recognised.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Jane Bradley"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4367839.1487195404!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4367839.1487195404!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A Waitrose spokeswoman said it was pleased that the hard work done by store staff was recognised. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A Waitrose spokeswoman said it was pleased that the hard work done by store staff was recognised. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4367839.1487195404!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/ukip-press-officer-can-keep-job-despite-hillsborough-row-1-4367367","id":"1.4367367","articleHeadline": "Ukip press officer ‘can keep job’ despite Hillsborough row","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487165304000 ,"articleLead": "

Ukip leader Paul Nuttall has told a party press officer who took the blame for an inaccurate claim that he lost “close personal friends” in the Hillsborough disaster that she can keep her job.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4367366.1487339011!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ukip leader Paul Nuttall has pledged to axe VAT on fish and chips. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

Lynda Roughley offered to resign on Tuesday evening after her boss was forced to admit during a live radio interview that the claim - carried by his official website for six years - was wrong.

A party spokesman said Mr Nuttall had rejected the offer on the grounds that she should not lose her career for what appeared to be a “minor error” after years of loyal and effective service.

Ukip’s main financial backer, Arron Banks, hit back at opponents who have criticised Mr Nuttall over his comments about the 1989 football stadium disaster.

The millionaire donor used Twitter to accuse them of “milking a tragedy forever”, adding: “I’m sick to death of hearing about it. It was a disaster and that’s it, not some sort of cultural happening.”

Families of some of the 96 Liverpool fans who died at Hillsborough voiced their anger at the false claim.

Barry Devonside, whose son Christopher, 18, was among the victims, said the Ukip leader’s credibility had “gone out of the window”.

“It’s insensitive. We are still awaiting the decision of the Crown Prosecution Service as to whether charges will be brought and we don’t need this kind of thing from Paul Nuttall,” he said.

“He should know better as a politician and leader of Ukip.”

Hillsborough Family Support Group chairwoman Margaret Aspinall told LBC radio: “A lot of people who were there that day did lose close personal friends and I think it’s an insult to them as well as to all the families who did lose somebody on that day.”

Mr Nuttall apologised on Tuesday for the claim - contained in at least two press releases on his website - after being challenged during an interview with Radio City Talk in Liverpool.

He told presenter Dave Easton: “I haven’t lost a close personal friend, I’ve lost someone who I know. I haven’t put that out, that is wrong.”

In a statement later, Mr Nuttall, who is standing for Ukip in the Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election, said he was “appalled” when he found out what had happened.

“This was an article that I did not write and did not see prior to it being posted by a member of my staff.

“Of course I take responsibility for those things that are put out under my name, but I was genuinely taken aback when this claim was brought to my attention and am both appalled and very sorry that an impression was given that was not accurate.”

Ms Roughley said she was “entirely responsible” for the website post and had offered her resignation.

“I am frankly mortified at the distress this issue has caused Paul and may have caused to anyone involved with the Hillsborough tragedy. I could not be more sorry.”

A Ukip spokesman said on Wednesday that the resignation had been rejected: “She has worked very long and hard for many, many years of loyal and effective service. We all make mistakes.

“Obviously Paul is grateful for her offer, but what sort of chap would he be to say her career is dead for what seems to be a minor error six years ago?”

Mr Nuttall’s statement made clear he stands by his account of being present at the disaster as a 12-year-old fan, after doubts were raised by The Guardian.

“From the upper tier of the Leppings Lane end of the Hillsborough Stadium, I watched the events of that day unfold with horror,” he said.

200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANDREW WOODCOCK AND ELEANOR BARLOW"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4367366.1487339011!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4367366.1487339011!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Ukip leader Paul Nuttall has pledged to axe VAT on fish and chips. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Ukip leader Paul Nuttall has pledged to axe VAT on fish and chips. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4367366.1487339011!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} , {"article": {"url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/uk/topshop-recalls-display-units-after-boy-dies-in-accident-1-4367314","id":"1.4367314","articleHeadline": "Topshop ‘recalls display units’ after boy dies in accident","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1487163524000 ,"articleLead": "

Topshop has recalled display units after a “horrific accident” in one of its stores killed a ten-year-old boy, according to reports.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4367313.1487163508!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The scene outside Topshop in Reading, Berkshire, where a 10-year-old boy reportedly died from severe head injuries following an incident involving shop furniture."} ,"articleBody": "

Kaden Reddick, whose parents are from East Kilbride, suffered serious head injuries in an incident involving a store display barrier in Reading’s Oracle shopping centre, police said.

He was taken to the Royal Berkshire Hospital after the incident at 4.15pm on Monday but was pronounced dead.

The Sun reported that a worker for the high street chain said bosses had ordered the removal of till display units from stores.

A spokesman for Topshop said it was “not making any further comment” beyond a statement issued on Tuesday which said: “The Topshop board together with thousands of staff are deeply saddened by the horrific accident that occurred in our Reading store yesterday afternoon.

“All our thoughts are very much with the family at this difficult time.

“We are thoroughly investigating all the events surrounding this extremely sad situation.”

Kaden’s parents changed their Facebook profile pictures to feature their son. Father Ian Reddick posted: “Love you my little man, it’s hurting so much.” Mother Lisa Cooper Mallet replied: “I feel you.”

Friends, family and well-wishers have offered support.

Anthony Mallett posted: “It’s unbelievable to think how quickly life can change, how cruel life can be. Our love and thoughts are with Lisa Cooper Mallett. We love you and will always be here for you.”

Aly Mallett wrote: “I wish I could just be there now to give you the biggest cuddle ever, love you all lots and thinking of you all.”

Trish James said: “Love you guys, the worlds going to miss you wee man and the amazing things you would have achieved in it.”

Thames Valley Police said on Tuesday that Kaden “suffered serious head injuries after an incident involving a store display barrier”.

Detective Superintendent Paul Hayles said: “We are supporting the boy’s family to assist them at this very difficult time.

“We continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding this death.

“A scene watch is in place at the Topshop store and is likely to be in place for some time.

“Detectives are now working with the local authority and the store owners to gather all of the information on how this incident happened.”

The store was closed on Tuesday as investigations continued.

Police staff could be seen inside the shop, and bunches of flowers were left against the closed shutters.

One card, which was unsigned, read: “RIP little man.”

Reading Borough Council said: “As the enforcing authority for health and safety within retail premises, we will be working closely with the police, who are at present leading on the investigation.”

The tragedy comes after a four-year-old boy was killed when an 18st mirror crushed him in a shop changing room at Bicester Village in Oxfordshire in June 2013.

Austen Harrison died from severe head injuries when the 7ft mirror, which had been left standing free rather than being attached to a wall, toppled on to him at a Hugo Boss pop-up store.

An inquest concluded the mirror should have been fixed to a reinforced wall, and coroner Darren Salter called the incident “an accident waiting to happen”.

The designer brand was fined £1.2 million after admitting breaching health and safety regulations.

His parents, 200 Voices: find out more about the people who have shaped Scotland

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANGUS HOWARTH"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4367313.1487163508!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4367313.1487163508!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The scene outside Topshop in Reading, Berkshire, where a 10-year-old boy reportedly died from severe head injuries following an incident involving shop furniture.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The scene outside Topshop in Reading, Berkshire, where a 10-year-old boy reportedly died from severe head injuries following an incident involving shop furniture.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4367313.1487163508!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}