{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"uk","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/boris-johnson-slapped-down-by-downing-st-over-saudi-comments-1-4312808","id":"1.4312808","articleHeadline": "Boris Johnson slapped down by Downing St over Saudi comments","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481235118000 ,"articleLead": "

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has been slapped down by Downing Street over his claim that British ally Saudi Arabia has been “playing proxy wars” in the Middle East.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4312807.1481235040!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Boris Johnson meets Saudi Arabias foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir earlier in the year. Picture: AFP/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Theresa May’s official spokeswoman said the Prime Minister had “full confidence” in Mr Johnson, but that his comments at a conference in Italy were his own personal view and did not reflect government policy.

And she pointedly noted that Mr Johnson will have the opportunity to set out official policy – of Britain’s desire to strengthen its ties with Saudi Arabia and support for its military involvement in Yemen –when he travels to the desert kingdom for talks on Sunday.

Mrs May spoke with King Salman during her visit to the Persian Gulf this week, when he was able to hear the Prime Minister assure him of “her commitment and that of her government to enhancing and strengthening this relationship”, said the spokeswoman.

A national newspaper published footage of Mr Johnson’s comments to the Med2 conference in Rome last week, in which he lumped Saudi Arabia in with Iran when he raised concerns about “puppeteering” in the region.

Mr Johnson said: “There are politicians who are twisting and abusing religion and different strains of the same religion in order to further their own political objectives. That’s one of the biggest political problems in the whole region.

“And the tragedy for me –and that’s why you have these proxy wars being fought the whole time in that area – is that there is not strong enough leadership in the countries themselves.”

The Foreign Secretary said there were not enough “big characters” in the region willing to “reach out beyond their Sunni or Shia” group.

He told the conference: “That’s why you’ve got the Saudis, Iran, everybody, moving in and puppeteering and playing proxy wars.”

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “As the Foreign Secretary made very clear on Sunday, we are allies with Saudi Arabia and support them in their efforts to secure their borders and protect their people.”

Mrs May’s spokeswoman said: “Those are the Foreign Secretary’s views. They are not the government’s position.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4312807.1481235040!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4312807.1481235040!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Boris Johnson meets Saudi Arabias foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir earlier in the year. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Boris Johnson meets Saudi Arabias foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir earlier in the year. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4312807.1481235040!/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-will-negotiate-with-all-eu-leaders-not-just-merkel-1-4312776","id":"1.4312776","articleHeadline": "Brexit: UK will negotiate with all EU leaders, not just Merkel","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481231681000 ,"articleLead": "

Theresa May has played down suggestions that German Chancellor Angela Merkel holds the key to the kind of Brexit that Britain can expect to get.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4312775.1481231606!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Angela Merkel has said UK cannot cherry-pick freedoms. Picture: AFP/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

As leader of the European Union’s most populous and economically powerful country, Mrs Merkel is widely viewed as the strongest influence on the EU’s approach to Brexit and her comments are scrutinised closely for clues to her attitude.

Brexit supporters argue that she will want a liberal trade regime to preserve one of Germany’s largest export markets for luxury products such as cars, while others warn that Berlin’s priority will be to send a signal to other EU states that quitting the 28-nation bloc has consequences.

Earlier Mrs Merkel said that the UK would not be allowed to “cherry pick” from the four freedoms – including freedom of movement – required as a condition of single market membership.

Speaking to a UK newspaper, Mrs May insisted it was important to deal with all 27 of the other EU states and not simply focus on Germany.

She acknowledged that the two-year negotiation – which MPs voted this week should be triggered by the end of March – will not be “easy”, and acknowledged that the remaining EU countries do not want to see a repeat of the 23 June Leave vote in other member states.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4312775.1481231606!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4312775.1481231606!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Angela Merkel has said UK cannot cherry-pick freedoms. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Angela Merkel has said UK cannot cherry-pick freedoms. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4312775.1481231606!/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/mike-ashley-buys-new-jet-as-sports-direct-profits-slump-1-4311905","id":"1.4311905","articleHeadline": "Mike Ashley buys new jet as Sports Direct profits slump","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481195859000 ,"articleLead": "

Profits at scandal-hit Sports Direct have taken a hammering following the collapse in sterling – but it has not stopped billionaire owner Mike Ashley splashing out on a new corporate jet.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4311904.1481182640!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley said the past six months had been 'tough'. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

The retailer said that underlying earnings plunged 33.5 per cent to £145.3 million in the first half of the year, slumping even further on a pre-tax basis, by 57 per cent to £71.6m.

The group, which has endured a long list of controversies over the past months, compounded its problems by failing to hedge against the fall in the value of the pound in the immediate aftermath of the EU referendum.

Ashley said: “The last six months have been tough for our people and performance. Our UK sports retail business continues to be the engine of Sports Direct, but our results have been affected by the significant deterioration in exchange rates, and our assessment of our risk relating to our stock levels and European stores performance.”

The company said revenue rose 14 per cent to £1.6 billion, but warned of a challenging environment, which the firm expects to continue into the “foreseeable future”.

Nevertheless, the half-year results also revealed that, in order to “facilitate efficiencies”, Sports Direct will be taking delivery of a corporate plane in the coming weeks at a cost of £40m. This adds to a helicopter which is already used by “senior management, employees and our business partners on a regular basis”.

READ MORE: Mike Ashley takes charge as Sports Direct chief quits

The news comes after a string of controversies for the firm which has seen Ashley hauled before MPs to be grilled over working conditions, the company host a tumultuous “open day” at its headquarters, and its chief executive Dave Forsey quit – only to be replaced by Ashley.

Ashley sought to address the shambolic year through the trading statement, claiming again that he would like Sports Direct to become the “Selfridges of sports retail”.

He said: “What matters most to me is how tough the last year has been for the people who work at Sports Direct. Our people have once again found themselves in the spotlight through no fault of their own, yet they remain hard-working and loyal.

“It is for this reason that my immediate priority will be to protect the people at Sports Direct.”

But chairman Keith Hellawell, a former police chief, lashed out at what he called an “extreme” campaign against the company and said it was affecting performance.

“I have no doubt that the extreme political, union and media campaign waged against this company has not only damaged its reputation and influenced our customers, it has impacted negatively on the morale of our people. I begin to question whether this intense scrutiny is all ethically motivated.”

Hellawell also made overtures to one of the firm’s tormentors, Labour MP Iain Wright, who is heading up a parliamentary inquiry into the retailer. Wright has been offered the “opportunity to attend Shirebrook to meet with a representative sample of 500 of our workforce in order to get a balanced view of life at the company”.

The invitation comes after MPs claimed last month that they had discovered an undercover recording device during an unannounced visit to the Derbyshire warehouse.

Despite the Financial Reporting Council announcing an investigation into Sports Direct over the retailer’s relationship with a firm owned by the tycoon’s brother, the company said it has entered into an agreement with Double Take Limited, in which Matilda Ashley, Mike Ashley’s daughter, is a director. Double Take will license Sports Direct exclusive rights to the cosmetic brand Sport.

Referring to the controversy over working practices at its warehouse in Shirebrook – where it was revealed that some employees were paid below the national minimum wage – the company said staff morale has suffered.

Sports Direct added that demand from workers to move from zero-hours contracts to full employment is “low”, but it is exploring arrangements which “may prove more attractive”.

The retailer has also been condemned by shareholders over its corporate governance practices. To this end, the company has announced the appointment of a new non-executive director, David Brayshaw. A former banker, Brayshaw has held jobs at the likes of Barclays, HSBC and Citigroup.

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" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "RAVENDER SEMBHY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4311904.1481182640!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4311904.1481182640!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley said the past six months had been 'tough'. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley said the past six months had been 'tough'. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4311904.1481182640!/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/markets-economy/slump-in-factory-output-likely-to-prove-a-blip-1-4312030","id":"1.4312030","articleHeadline": "Slump in factory output likely to prove a blip","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481192240000 ,"articleLead": "

Output in Britain’s manufacturing sector unexpectedly slumped in October, according to official figures that were described by economists as “disappointing” but likely to be a blip.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4312029.1481192163!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The textiles, pharmaceuticals and food sectors saw heavy falls in production. Picture: Ian Rutherford"} ,"articleBody": "

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that output from the sector fell 0.9 per cent in ­October, compared with a

0.6 per cent rise in September – economists had been eyeing growth of 0.2 per cent.

Overall industrial production also came in below expectations, dropping for the third month in a row to a decline of 1.3 per cent in October. Economists had been pencilling in total production output to nudge up by 0.4 per cent month-on-month.

Jack Coy, an economist at think-tank the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), said: “Failing emphatically to meet consensus expectations for a slight rise in output, this is disappointing news.

“The fall in output represents the sharpest monthly drop since 2012. Nonetheless, the news should not be overstated as a signal of a Brexit-related downturn, as other factors underpin the fall. The sharp fall was mainly due to temporary maintenance, including a shutdown of the Buzzard oil field in the North Sea.”

READ MORE: Manufacturers hit two-year exports high post-Brexit

The ONS said manufacturing output notched up its biggest fall since February, with the production of basic pharmaceutical products dropping 3.6 per cent. Oil and gas extraction plummeted 10.8 per cent after the Buzzard shutdown.

Year on year, total industrial output was down 1.1 per cent and manufacturing output fell by 0.4 per cent.

Manufacturing PMI figures for October had painted a brighter prospect for the sector, with output hitting 54.3, down from 55.5 in September. Any reading above 50 denotes growth.

Lee Hopley, chief economist at manufacturing organisation EEF, said the industry was on course to mount a comeback before the end of the year.

“This is not the start to the fourth quarter that we expected to see in the official statistics, given the rather more buoyant survey indicators over the past few months.

“Output falls appear fairly widespread across subsectors, but falls in pharmaceuticals, textiles and food were responsible for much of the drop over the month.

“While this is a disappointing set of figures, more upbeat commentary coming from across the sector … points to this trend reversing in the final months of the year.”

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" ,"byline": {"email": "sreid@scotsman.com" ,"author": "SCOTT REID"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4312029.1481192163!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4312029.1481192163!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The textiles, pharmaceuticals and food sectors saw heavy falls in production. Picture: Ian Rutherford","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The textiles, pharmaceuticals and food sectors saw heavy falls in production. Picture: Ian Rutherford","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4312029.1481192163!/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/brexit-norway-style-single-market-access-next-best-thing-1-4311728","id":"1.4311728","articleHeadline": "Brexit: Norway-style single market access ‘next best thing’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481150780000 ,"articleLead": "

The Scottish Government last night sent the clearest signal it is seeking a Norway-style deal on access to the European single market after its Brexit minister suggested membership of the trading area on current terms was no longer possible.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4304762.1481150705!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Michael Russell, Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotlands Place in Europe."} ,"articleBody": "

Following the latest round of talks on Brexit between devolved administrations and the UK Government, Michael Russell said full membership of the single market was only possible by remaining in the EU, and that seeking access on the same terms as Norway was the “next best thing”.

And in a hint that talks could lead to agreement on a common position on single market access, Scottish Secretary David Mundell said Mr Russell’s comments meant the two governments were “much more on the same page”.

However, Scottish Government sources denied it had altered its position or changed its objectives.

On a recent visit to Ireland, Nicola Sturgeon said she would “seek continued membership of the European single market” after Brexit, and last month told a committee of MSPs she wanted “membership of the single market, not some vague access to the single market”.

Emerging from yesterday’s meeting at Westminster, Mr Russell said: “The language is important. Membership of the single market is to do with being a member of the EU.

“That’s clearly not going to happen unless there’s a major change of heart.”

He added: “The issue we are now addressing is how we can continue to observe the four freedoms, how we can be part of that like the Norwegians, that is the next best thing.”

Describing the comments as “significant”, Mr Mundell said: “We’ve had clarification from the Scottish Government that their priority is access to the single market.

“There has been a lot of confusion in recent weeks about what membership meant, compared with access, and I think Michael has from my perspective and the committee’s perspective clarified that.

“That’s a positive because it means that we’re much more on the same page.”

Speculation that a Norway-style model could emerge as the Scottish Government’s preferred Brexit outcome has grown as ministers prepare to present a set of options for Scotland’s future relationship with the EU.

Former First Minister Alex Salmond MP last month travelled to the headquarters of the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA) in Geneva to meet with ministers from non-EU countries who trade within the single market.

Mr Russell conceded that a Norway-style deal was “not as good as being a member” because it would mean observing single market rules with little input in the decision-making process.

He said: “Norway and Iceland, and Switzerland through another set of arrangements, are members in that way. What they lack is a decision making role. I think that’s a weakness, but to have that, you have to remain as a member of the EU. There’s no other way.”

He added: “In the hierarchy of what we want, the first is that the UK should still be within the EU. The second one is not being outside the single market, observing the four freedoms for the UK is the next one.

“If the UK is not going to do that, then it has to be Scotland observing them.”

Talks yesterday also made progress on the future of the UK’s cooperation with Europe on justice and security, Mr Mundell said.

Before going meeting with UK ministers yesterday, Mr Russell told a committee of MPs that freedom of movement, one of the four freedoms that underpin the single market, was “most important” to Scotland. He warned that immigration is the only way to maintain a “sustainable economic population”, particularly in rural areas.

Last night Mr Mundell denied fresh reports that ministers are considering a deal to allow a second independence referendum with a ‘sunset clause’ attached, requiring the Scottish Government to hold the vote after the UK has left the EU.

" ,"byline": {"email": "paris.gourtsoyannis@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Paris Gourtsoyannis"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4304762.1481150705!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4304762.1481150705!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Michael Russell, Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotlands Place in Europe.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Michael Russell, Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotlands Place in Europe.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4304762.1481150705!/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-scotland-entitled-to-voice-supreme-court-told-1-4311772","id":"1.4311772","articleHeadline": "Brexit: Scotland entitled to ‘voice’, Supreme Court told","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481146794000 ,"articleLead": "

Scotland is entitled to “a voice” on Brexit, the country’s most senior law officer has argued at the Supreme Court in a historic case to decide if Theresa May must consult parliament before carrying out Brexit.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4311771.1481146718!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC will address court again tomorrow. Picture: AFP/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC said the Scottish Government was not asking for a veto by intervening in the case, but said MSPs were entitled to a vote before the triggering of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which starts the two-year process of negotiating the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

In submissions to 11 justices in the UK’s highest court, Mr Wolffe said whether Scotland consented is “a matter of constitutional significance”. He argued EU law provisions would become redundant following withdrawal from the EU with a whole series of effects on Scotland’s devolved legislative powers.

The Lord Advocate said: “Ultimately the approach I invite the court to take reflects the proper institutional roles of the UK Parliament and the Scottish Parliament, in a context where the Scottish Parliament has wide legislative competence and the effect of withdrawal from EU would be significant with regard to devolved matters.

“In that context it is constitutionally relevant and significant to know whether the Scottish Parliament consents to those effects. It is then for the UK Parliament to decide, in light of the views of the devolved administration, to decide what to do.”

Mr Wolffe argued that giving notice under Article 50 would require an Act of Parliament at Westminster and a legislative consent motion from Holyrood.

And he said that the Sewel Convention, which says the UK government should consult Holyrood when legislating on devolved matters, was “part of the law of the land” because it was referred to in the Scotland Act.

The Lord Advocate will continue submissions today, the last day of the hearing.

" ,"byline": {"email": "paris.gourtsoyannis@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Paris Gourtsoyannis"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4311771.1481146718!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4311771.1481146718!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC will address court again tomorrow. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC will address court again tomorrow. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4311771.1481146718!/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/mps-to-get-eu-deal-veto-but-davis-resists-calls-for-detailed-plan-1-4311706","id":"1.4311706","articleHeadline": "MPs to get EU deal veto but Davis resists calls for detailed plan","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481146639000 ,"articleLead": "

David Davis has told MPs they will get a vote on the UK’s exit deal from the EU as the government saw off an attempt to force it to reveal its Brexit plan.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4311758.1481146563!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Labour led a debate calling on the government to publish its Brexit negotiation plan. Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

The Brexit secretary told the House of Commons: “If the European Union Parliament has a vote, it’s inconceivable this House doesn’t, simple as that.” Mr Davis added that “no law will be changed without the explicit approval of Parliament”.

During a debate brought by Labour to call for publication of the government’s strategy before the EU exit process is triggered, Mr Davis likened Brexit negotiations to threading a needle.

“If you have a good eye and a steady hand it is easy enough,” he said. “If somebody jogs your elbow it’s harder. If 650 people jog your elbow it’s very much harder.”

Veteran Europhile Ken Clarke MP said the commitment from ministers was “extremely vague”. Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer called for an early outline to allow amendments.

A potential revolt by Tory MPs was avoided when the government put forward a compromise amendment to the Labour motion, supporting Mrs May’s pledge to invoke Article 50 by the end of March.

Sir Keir was accused of “falling into a Tory trap” by Green Party leader Caroline Lucas for backing the amendment. He conceded Labour would not delay the process beyond March.

" ,"byline": {"email": "paris.gourtsoyannis@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Paris Gourtsoyannis"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4311758.1481146563!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4311758.1481146563!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Labour led a debate calling on the government to publish its Brexit negotiation plan. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Labour led a debate calling on the government to publish its Brexit negotiation plan. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4311758.1481146563!/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/tata-commits-to-future-in-port-talbot-saving-4-000-jobs-1-4311693","id":"1.4311693","articleHeadline": "Tata commits to future in Port Talbot - saving 4,000 jobs","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481133183000 ,"articleLead": "

Over 4,000 jobs that were at risk at a steel plant in Port Talbot, Wales, have been secured after unions got a commitment from multinational Tata Steel to keep production there.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4311692.1481133107!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Tata steelworks in Port Talbot, South Wales. Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

The announcement yesterday that Tata would keep two blast furnaces operating for five years came after hours of meetings with union leaders. Compulsory redundancies will be avoided but unions say the revised pension plan remains “worrying.”

“This proposal would secure jobs for years to come and bring serious investment not just to Port Talbot but to steelworks across the U.K.,” said Roy Rickhuss, general secretary of the Community union. “Reaching this stage of the process is a credit to the hard work of our members, who never gave up the fight.”

The future of the plant and others around the U.K. had been in doubt since March when Tata Steel, based in India, announced plans to sell its U.K. operations.

The business was losing £1million a day due to high costs and a glut of cheap Chinese steel in global markets.

Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones said: “This agreement is great news for the future of steel-making in Wales.

“I am pleased to announce over £4 million to develop skills and training for Tata employees, we have also made significant progress towards defining a wider package of support for Tata.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4311692.1481133107!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4311692.1481133107!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Tata steelworks in Port Talbot, South Wales. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Tata steelworks in Port Talbot, South Wales. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4311692.1481133107!/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/michael-gove-support-for-independence-fallen-since-brexit-vote-1-4311611","id":"1.4311611","articleHeadline": "Michael Gove: Support for independence fallen since Brexit vote","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481129963000 ,"articleLead": "

Support for Scottish independence and the SNP’s “secessionist sermonising” has fallen since voters backed Brexit, Michael Gove has claimed.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4311610.1481129888!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Michael Gove. Picture: Neil Hanna"} ,"articleBody": "

The Conservative former Cabinet minister told the Commons the union has been strengthened by the Leave vote, with evidence showing it is now “more popular”.

Mr Gove made the remarks as MPs debated the Government’s plan for Brexit, with ministers under pressure to reveal more detail about their strategy.

A majority of Scots backed Remain in June’s referendum, with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon saying she is looking at ways to keep the country in the European single market.

But Mr Gove claimed Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson is now the most popular politician north of the border as she “wants to embrace” the referendum result.

• READ MORE: SNP support for Brexit as high as Labour

After detailing how concerns about the economy had not come to fruition following the Brexit vote, Mr Gove added: “It was also a legitimate concern of some of those who voted Remain that by voting to leave the European Union we’d do damage to the United Kingdom.

“The truth is, of course, since we voted to leave the European Union support for a second independence referendum has fallen, support for Scottish independence has fallen, support for the Scottish National Party and its secessionist sermonising has fallen, and the single most popular politician is Ruth Davidson - the only leader of any party that wants to embrace the result.”

Pro-Brexit Mr Gove also said: “Two of the legitimate concerns expressed beforehand - our economy would be damaged and our union would be damaged - the evidence is actually our economy is stronger and the union is more popular.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4311610.1481129888!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4311610.1481129888!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Michael Gove. Picture: Neil Hanna","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Michael Gove. Picture: Neil Hanna","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4311610.1481129888!/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/brexit-maintaining-freedom-of-movement-vital-to-scotland-1-4311535","id":"1.4311535","articleHeadline": "Brexit: Maintaining freedom of movement ‘vital’ to Scotland","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481126686000 ,"articleLead": "

Maintaining freedom of movement is “most important” to Scotland as it bids to stay part of Europe’s single market, MPs have been told.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4311534.1481126611!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scotland's Brexit Secretary Mike Russell. Picture: Ian Rutherford"} ,"articleBody": "

Holyrood Brexit minister Mike Russell highlighted the importance of migrants to Scotland’s economy, saying parts of the country relied on EU citizens coming to the area for a “sustainable economic population”.

Overseas workers are also “crucial” to parts of the economy such as the health sector and higher education, he added.

Mr Russell said freedom of movement was also important to the technology sector and higher education, where 25% of research staff are European.

With 62% of Scots who took part in the UK referendum on European Union (EU) membership having voted to remain, the Scottish Government has repeatedly made the case to maintains its links with Europe, with staying part of the single market cited as crucial.

• READ MORE: Government doesn’t need Holyrood approval for Brexit, court told

Being in the trading bloc guarantees the free movement of goods, capital, services and people, with Mr Russell saying: “Of those, important as they are, the most important to Scotland is freedom of movement. Without freedom of movement, Scotland would have a very considerable problem.”

Mr Russell, Holyrood’s minister for UK negotiations on Scotland’s place in Europe, pointed to Canada as an example of a country which has successfully established different migration policies in different areas.

He called on the UK Government to have the “openness to sit down and discuss these options with us”.

Mr Russell said systems needed to be set up to manage variations in immigration policy between regions but told MPs on the Scottish Affairs Committee: “You can manage that with some ease.

“It is not a major deal breaker, you can do it, the question is do you want to do it?”

Scotland is “not full up”, he added, telling the committee: “There are many parts of Scotland in which the presence of EU nationals, in the short or long term, is the only conceivable way in which you will have a sustainable economic population at the present moment.

• READ MORE: SNP support for Brexit as high as Labour

“There is a particular fixation with migration and I understand we have very different circumstances, but it can be resolved like any other issue if you have the will to resolve it and you apply intelligence to it.”

Glasgow University principal Anton Muscatelli chairs a group of experts commissioned by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to consider how best Scotland’s relationship with the EU can be protected in the wake of Brexit.

Prof Muscatelli said the issue of freedom of movement had been the subject of a “lot of discussion” by the Standing Council on Europe.

He also told MPs migration was “critical to certain sectors” in Scotland, adding: “If you look at the overall Scottish economy, its demographic decline was in large part arrested by net inward migration by skilled labour, a lot of it from the EU.

“That is critical, especially as Scotland is now in a devolved structure within the UK where its tax base is going to be critical in determining its own fiscal resources. It needs to grow the economy, it has to have that freedom of movement.

“For London, for Scotland, indeed I would argue for Wales and the northern parts of the UK, it’s going to be absolutely critical to maintain that flow of skills in order to allow growth in those economies.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4311534.1481126611!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4311534.1481126611!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Scotland's Brexit Secretary Mike Russell. Picture: Ian Rutherford","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scotland's Brexit Secretary Mike Russell. Picture: Ian Rutherford","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4311534.1481126611!/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/odd/first-jane-austen-fiver-worth-50k-spent-in-scotland-1-4310606","id":"1.4310606","articleHeadline": "First Jane Austen fiver worth £50k spent in Scotland","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481120652000 ,"articleLead": "

The first special £5 note deemed a work of art has been spent in Scotland and is now in public hands.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4310604.1481048550!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The public are being urged to check their new fivers after engraved bank notes worth as much as �50,000 were circulated. Picture: SWNS"} ,"articleBody": "

The rare note was spent at a cafe, while another will be spent at a pub in Northern Ireland. A third will be spent in Warwickshire or Gloucestershire, with the fourth heading for South Wales.

Estimated to be worth over £20,000 the new Bank of England notes, created by the ‘world’s smallest engraver’ Graham Short, feature a 5mm portrait of Jane Austen.

Mr Short made four, each with a unique Austen quote, and rather than auction them as he has done with other artwork in the past he decided to launch a modern-day twist on Willy Wonka by passing them into public hands around the UK and Ireland to give four people a Christmas windfall.

Fellow artist and business partner Tony Huggins-Haig said: “Graham and I feel passionately that art should be for everyone, and wanted to do something that benefited the ordinary man or woman in the street.”

Graham previously hit headlines when he engraved the words of the Lord’s Prayer on to the head of a pin.

And his last work - a portrait of the Queen, engraved on a speck of gold inside the eye of a needle - sold for £100,000.

Graham, from Northfield, Birmingham, said: “I’m always looking to do something different. When I saw the new £5 note, I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be good if I could engrave something on it.

“I didn’t know what at first, but then I found out that next year is going to be the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death and her image is also going to be on the new £10 note, which is coming out next year, so it ties in quite nicely with that.

“I’ve no idea how much they will be worth if people try to sell them. But previous pieces I have worked on have been insured for more than £50,000.

“If somebody finds one I hope they will maybe put it on eBay. If they can get some extra money for Christmas I’ll be thrilled.”

A fifth engraved note will be donated to the Jane Austen Society to mark the 200th anniversary of the classic novelists death next year.

Quotes and their notes

“If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more.” (Emma)

Serial number: AM32 885551

“To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love.” (Pride and Prejudice)

Serial number: AM32 885552

“A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of.” (Mansfield Park)

Serial number: AM32 885553

“I hope I never ridicule what is wise or good.” (Pride and Prejudice)

Serial number: AM32 885554

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4310604.1481048550!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4310604.1481048550!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The public are being urged to check their new fivers after engraved bank notes worth as much as �50,000 were circulated. Picture: SWNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The public are being urged to check their new fivers after engraved bank notes worth as much as �50,000 were circulated. Picture: SWNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4310604.1481048550!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4310605.1481048553!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4310605.1481048553!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "New fivers after engraved with Jane Austen's portrait could worth as much as �50,000. Picture: SWNS","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "New fivers after engraved with Jane Austen's portrait could worth as much as �50,000. Picture: SWNS","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4310605.1481048553!/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/uk/former-colonel-welcomes-appeal-in-alexander-blackman-case-1-4310978","id":"1.4310978","articleHeadline": "Former colonel welcomes appeal in Alexander Blackman case","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481112427000 ,"articleLead": "

The former commanding officer of Royal Marine Sergeant Alexander Blackman has welcomed the decision to grant a fresh appeal in the case.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4310977.1481112352!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "File photo of Sergeant Alexander Blackman, the former Royal Marine serving a life sentence for murdering a wounded Afghan captive. Picture: Andrew Parsons/PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

Blackman, also known as Marine A, is serving a life sentence for murdering a wounded Afghan captive but an independent review concluded he faces the “real possibility” of having his conviction quashed following the presentation of new evidence.

His former commanding officer, Colonel Oliver Lee, who resigned his commission in protest soon after Blackman was sentenced, said he was “extremely pleased” at the latest development in the case and said a “much more balanced and full picture” of the circumstances surrounding the killing needed to be considered.

The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) has referred the conviction to the Courts Martial Appeal Court.

Blackman was found guilty of murder at a court martial at the Military Court Centre in Bulford, Wiltshire, in 2013.

But the presentation of new evidence relating to Blackman’s mental health at the time of the death in Helmand - and the fact that an alternative verdict of unlawful act manslaughter was not available during the trial - means the case will return to the court.

The decision marks the latest step in the fight by Blackman’s wife, Claire, to clear her husband’s name.

Col Lee said the court martial should have taken greater account of the acute stress Blackman was under at the time.

He said: “I took a view that the proceedings against Sgt Blackman hadn’t been balanced and that in order for him to be dealt with justly - I don’t seek to condone his behaviour or exonerate him from his responsibilities - but in order for him to be dealt with justly, not leniently, a much more balanced and full picture of the situation in which he found himself needed to be presented to those who were making fundamental decisions surrounding his future.”

The former officer told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: “What should happen to him now - and it’s why I’m extremely pleased about the outcome of yesterday’s CCRC announcement - is largely ... that his case is considered in the round, in the broadest sense, such that he is dealt with in a fair manner.”

Blackman, who was serving with Plymouth-based 42 Commando, quoted Shakespeare as he shot his victim at close range with a 9mm pistol after the Afghan had been seriously injured in an attack by an Apache helicopter.

Footage from another Marine’s helmet-mounted camera showed Blackman shooting the Afghan prisoner in the chest.

Blackman was then heard telling him: “There you are. Shuffle off this mortal coil, you c***. It’s nothing you wouldn’t do to us.”

He then turned to comrades and said: “Obviously this doesn’t go anywhere, fellas. I just broke the Geneva Convention.”

During the trial, Blackman, of Taunton in Somerset, said he believed the victim was already dead and he was taking out his anger on a corpse.

Two other servicemen - known as Marine B and Marine C - were acquitted of murder.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4310977.1481112352!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4310977.1481112352!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "File photo of Sergeant Alexander Blackman, the former Royal Marine serving a life sentence for murdering a wounded Afghan captive. Picture: Andrew Parsons/PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "File photo of Sergeant Alexander Blackman, the former Royal Marine serving a life sentence for murdering a wounded Afghan captive. Picture: Andrew Parsons/PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4310977.1481112352!/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/man-held-over-racist-threats-to-gina-miller-1-4311203","id":"1.4311203","articleHeadline": "Man held over ‘racist threats’ to Gina Miller","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481111486000 ,"articleLead": "

A man has been arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated malicious communications over threats made to the businesswoman behind the Brexit legal challenge.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4311202.1481111412!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Gina Miller arrives at the Supreme court in London. Picture: AFP /Ben Stansall/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Gina Miller, 51, said last month that she had received a series of racist messages following her decision to spearhead a High Court challenge against the Government.

The Metropolitan Police said a 55-year-old man had been detained on Monday at an address in Swindon, Wiltshire, over the threats made online from November 3 onwards, before being released on bail.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Jack Hardy"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4311202.1481111412!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4311202.1481111412!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Gina Miller arrives at the Supreme court in London. Picture: AFP /Ben Stansall/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Gina Miller arrives at the Supreme court in London. Picture: AFP /Ben Stansall/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4311202.1481111412!/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/hundreds-gather-to-bid-farewell-to-hms-lusty-illustrious-1-4311069","id":"1.4311069","articleHeadline": "Hundreds gather to bid farewell to HMS ‘Lusty’ Illustrious","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481108084000 ,"articleLead": "

Sailors of all ranks from ratings to admirals have joined hundreds of people to wave off the Royal Navy’s former aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious as it was towed away to a Turkish scrapyard.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4311068.1481108009!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "HMS Illustrious leaves the Forth Estuary for the last time. Picture: Toby Williams"} ,"articleBody": "

The 22,000 tonne ship, affectionately known as “Lusty”, sailed from its home at Portsmouth Naval Base for the final time with crowds lining the harbour walls to say their farewells.

The ship, a shadow of its former glory with its paint peeling and engines ripped out, was pulled by a tug out into the Solent.

Former sailors gave a salute and three cheers as it sailed past the Round Tower in Old Portsmouth, the traditional vantage point for families to see warships arriving and leaving the historic base.

Illustrious was formally decommissioned in August 2014 after 32 years of service and has been sold to the Turkish company LEYAL Ship Recycling Ltd for about £2 million.

The sale came despite proposals to turn the carrier into a floating hotel, museum or even a UK centre for powerboats.

Following the retirement of the Harrier aircraft in 2010, Illustrious went on to serve as one of the Navy’s two helicopter carriers.

This has left the service without a fixed-wing aircraft carrier until the first of the next generation of carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth, is due to be commissioned next year.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said: “Over three decades Illustrious set the highest standards for service that the Royal Navy will continue with HMS Queen Elizabeth when she arrives into Portsmouth next year.

“Backed by a rising defence budget, our new aircraft carriers will lead a growing Royal Navy as Britain steps up to defend our country and our interests.”

Captain Jerry Kyd, former commanding officer of HMS Illustrious and current CO of HMS Queen Elizabeth, said: “Lusty provided a world-class service to the Royal Navy and we bid her goodbye with fond memories.

“As she leaves Portsmouth I’m looking forward to the arrival of HMS Queen Elizabeth, which will ensure that we remain a global maritime power.”

David Stares, 51, from Fareham, who served as an able seaman aboard Illustrious between 1982 and 1985, said: “She was a lovely ship, she was cutting edge technology. Now she’s gone despite a lot of people wanting to save her. She was a brilliant ship, great crew, she was a large family.”

Admiral Sir Jonathon Band, former First Sea Lord and CO of Illustrious, said: “It’s a sad day but it’s better to describe it as a day of reflection and to think about your time on the ship concerned and I was lucky enough to command her for two years.”

David Rogers, chairman of the HMS Illustrious Association, said: “It is obviously quite sad that she is going - she served the country well for some 32 years - but it is inevitable that she is going to make way for the Queen Elizabeth class carriers.”

Illustrious is the last of the Invincible class of aircraft carriers which included the Ark Royal and Invincible which were introduced into the Navy in the 1980s.

The carrier, which was built by Swan Hunter shipbuilders on the Tyne and launched by Princess Margaret in December 1978, had its entry into service brought forward so it could assist in the Falklands War effort.

The warship’s deployment was so rushed that its commissioning ceremony took place at sea en route to the Falklands on June 20, 1982, while it was formally commissioned on its return.

During the conflict, it relieved sister ship HMS Invincible in providing a floating airfield for aircraft unable to use the islands’ damaged RAF base.

Illustrious then went on to support the forces in Afghanistan and served in the Bosnian and Sierra Leone conflicts and also helped evacuate Britons during the Lebanon war in 2006.

In 2008, the carrier became the star of Channel 5’s six-part documentary Warship which followed its deployment to the Mediterranean, Africa, the Middle East and south-east Asia for a series of exercises and diplomatic visits to 20 ports.

In 2013, Illustrious was involved in the efforts to distribute disaster relief in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Angus Howarth"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4311068.1481108009!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4311068.1481108009!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "HMS Illustrious leaves the Forth Estuary for the last time. Picture: Toby Williams","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "HMS Illustrious leaves the Forth Estuary for the last time. Picture: Toby Williams","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4311068.1481108009!/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/dugdale-calls-for-new-act-of-union-to-prevent-uk-breakup-1-4311063","id":"1.4311063","articleHeadline": "Dugdale calls for \"new Act of Union\" to prevent UK breakup","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481107475866 ,"articleLead": "

Kezia Dugdale has called for the Act of Union to be updated for the 21st century to stop the pressures of Brexit from pulling the UK apart.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4311062.1481107586!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale sets out the case for a federal UK at a speech in London"} ,"articleBody": "

In a speech in London, the Scottish Labour leader said the opposition should convene a People's Constitutional Convention to reach a new devolution settlement for the whole UK.

Ms Dugdale warned that the fallout from the EU referendum \"risks breaking the Union once and for all\", with the Scottish Government seeking independence in Europe while UK ministers push ahead with Brexit despite Scotland's vote to remain.

She said Scotland had been \"the canary down the mine\" during the independence referendum and said \"politics driven by nationalism and identity... have now taken their place firmly in the mainstream of all UK politics.\"

Ms Dugdale said: \"The time has come for the rest of the UK to follow where Scotland led in the 1980s and 1990s and establish a People’s Constitutional Convention to re-establish the UK for a new age.

“The convention should bring together groups to deliberate on the future of our country and propose a way forward that strengthens the UK and establishes a new political settlement for the whole of our country.

“Some may say this is unrealistic, but it would follow the model of the Scottish Constitutional Convention which, without Government support, established the basis for the settlement that delivered a Scottish Parliament in 1999.

“It would also – for the first time – provide a coherent approach to answering the question of how our country is best governed.

She added: “While devolution has been positive for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, we have to acknowledge that progress has been erratic and while there has been significant progress in some parts of the UK, other parts have been left behind.\"

“So I would not want the convention to just deliberate and report, but to produce a new Act of Union which would reaffirm the partnership between our nations and renew it for the future.

“After more than 300 years, it is time for a new Act of Union to safeguard our family of nations for generations to come.”

Ms Dugdale said the convention should set out the case for a \"radical reshaping of our country along federal lines\" resulting in \"significant changes to how central government operates\".

She reiterated calls for the House of Lords to be replaced with a \"Senate of Nations and Regions\" sitting outside of London, and said social protections including workplace rights should be devolved once they return from Brussels after Brexit. Ms Dugdale also said Scotland should set its own minimum wage.

However, she said the UK would continue to have an important role in guaranteeing the \"safety net of social protection\" and redistributing wealth.

Proposals for an new Act of Union will be put to the Scottish Labour Party conference at Perth in February.

Ms Dugdale said the plans had been discussed with UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The Scottish Labour leader said the case for Scottish independence was weaker after Brexit, claiming it would erect trade barriers with the rest of the UK in an \"act of economic vandalism far greater than even Tory Brexit has handed us.\"

" ,"byline": {"email": "paris.gourtsoyannis@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Paris Gourtsoyannis"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4311062.1481107586!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4311062.1481107586!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale sets out the case for a federal UK at a speech in London","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale sets out the case for a federal UK at a speech in London","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4311062.1481107586!/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/pfizer-fined-84m-over-unfair-epilepsy-drug-pricing-1-4310874","id":"1.4310874","articleHeadline": "Pfizer fined £84m over ‘unfair’ epilepsy drug pricing","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481102359000 ,"articleLead": "

Drugs groups Pfizer and Flynn Pharma have been fined nearly £90 million for “excessive and unfair” pricing to the NHS after hiking the cost of an anti-epilepsy drug by up to 2,600 per cent.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4310873.1481097029!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Drugs giant Pfizer has been handed a record fine by the competition watchdog. Picture: Mark Lennihan/AP"} ,"articleBody": "

The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) said drug maker Pfizer and distributor Flynn Pharma broke competition law when they increased the cost of a medicine used by about 48,000 patients across the UK.

The watchdog said their moves saw the cost to the NHS of phenytoin sodium capsules rocket from around £2 million a year in 2012 to about £50m in 2013 – far more than Pfizer was charging in any other European country.

Pfizer was handed a record £84.2m fine, while Flynn Pharma was fined £5.2m. The CMA has also ordered both firms to reduce their prices for the anti-epilepsy drug.

READ MORE: GSK fined £37.6m for ‘stifling’ drug competition

The CMA said that before September 2012, Pfizer made and sold phenytoin sodium capsules to UK wholesalers and pharmacies under the brand name Epanutin and the prices of the drug were regulated.

But Pfizer sold the UK distribution rights for Epanutin to Flynn Pharma in September 2012, which then saw the drug de-branded – or made generic – meaning that it was no longer subject to price regulation.

Both firms then each ramped up the price of the drug, meaning that overnight the NHS saw the cost surge by between 2,300 per cent and 2,600 per cent, according to the CMA. It said the NHS at one stage saw the price of 100mg packs of the drug jump from £2.83 to £67.50.

The NHS had no alternative but to pay, as epilepsy patients who are already taking phenytoin sodium capsules should not usually be switched to other products due to the risk of loss of seizure control.

Philip Marsden, chairman of the case decision group for the CMA’s investigation, said: “The companies deliberately exploited the opportunity offered by de-branding to hike up the price for a drug which is relied upon by many thousands of patients.

“These extraordinary price rises have cost the NHS and the taxpayer tens of millions of pounds.”

He added: “This is the highest fine the CMA has imposed and it sends out a clear message to the sector that we are determined to crack down on such behaviour and to protect customers, including the NHS, and taxpayers from being exploited.”

The CMA said Pfizer and Flynn Pharma had abused their dominant positions in the market by over-charging for the drug.

Pfizer claimed the anti-epilepsy drug Epanutin was loss-making before it was de-branded, but the CMA found that any losses would have been recouped within two months of the price rises.

Both groups have now been given up to four months to reduce their prices, to ensure there is no risk to the supply of the drug to patients who rely on it. The CMA said the firms could charge prices which are profitable, but they must not be excessive and unfair.

Pfizer rejected the watchdog’s findings and said it plans to appeal against the decision.

It said its distribution rights deal with Flynn Pharma in September 2012 “represented an opportunity to secure ongoing supply of an important medicine for patients with epilepsy”.

“In this transaction, and in all of our business operations, we approached this divestment with integrity, and believe it fully complies with established competition law,” it added.

The group said the increased price of the drug was still 25 per cent to 40 per cent lower than the cost of an equivalent medicine by another supplier to the NHS.

Flynn Pharma said it will also appeal against the decision. Chief executive David Fakes said: “We believe that left unchallenged, the CMA’s decision today would stunt investment in generics, eventually leading to a reduction in supply and less choice for doctors and patients.

“It is a matter of common interest for us to appeal and see this decision overturned.”

Today’s fines come after GlaxoSmithKline and a number of generic pharmaceuticals were hit with a £45m penalty in February after a “pay-to-delay” scandal surrounding blockbuster anti-depressant drug Seroxat.

Glaxo was found to have made more than £50m of payments to companies making cheaper generic versions of Seroxat to delay them coming to market.

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" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "HOLLY WILLIAMS"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4310873.1481097029!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4310873.1481097029!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Drugs giant Pfizer has been handed a record fine by the competition watchdog. Picture: Mark Lennihan/AP","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Drugs giant Pfizer has been handed a record fine by the competition watchdog. Picture: Mark Lennihan/AP","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4310873.1481097029!/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/david-davis-under-pressure-to-reveal-brexit-negotiation-plan-1-4310913","id":"1.4310913","articleHeadline": "David Davis under pressure to reveal Brexit negotiation plan","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481100489000 ,"articleLead": "

Brexit Secretary David Davis is expected to face calls in the Commons to reveal how detailed a plan Theresa May will set out before starting negotiations with the European Union.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4310912.1481100414!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Brexit secretary David Davis. Picture PA/Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

Faced with a revolt by up to 40 Tory MPs, the Prime Minister yesterday bowed to pressure and backed a Labour motion which says she should publish a plan before triggering the formal process of leaving.

In return, most of the rebels and Labour will back a compromise Government amendment to support Mrs May’s pledge to invoke Article 50 to start Brexit by April.

Both sides will claim victory in the parliamentary battle, with Labour hailing Mrs May’s move as a “significant 11th-hour concession”.

But a Number 10 source indicated Mrs May could be hoping to expose die-hard Remain supporters in a vote, saying: “Crucially, from our perspective, it’s making sure that Parliament are very clear they are not going to use this as a delaying method.

“So it’s now down to MPs to signal that they also want to get on with Brexit by supporting our position.”

Downing Street stressed it would not affect the Government’s Supreme Court battle to overturn a ruling that it needs Parliament’s approval before triggering Article 50, because the vote is on a symbolic motion rather than legislation.

The concession also left Mrs May some wriggle room, because the Labour motion allows her to keep details of the strategy secret if revealing them would damage the UK’s position in the negotiations.

Amid speculation surrounding the level of detail Mrs May will set out, Labour urged her to publish the plan by the end of January, in a possible attempt to leave time to further force her hand.

Remain-backing Tories including Anna Soubry called for a White Paper setting out the different Brexit options for MPs to scrutinise.

But Tory former minister Sir Oliver Letwin, who chaired the Government’s Brexit unit immediately after the referendum, said he did not expect Mrs May to set out any more detail than what is already known.

He said it was already clear from Government commitments to striking trade deals around the world and having total control over immigration that Britain would leave the EU customs union and single market.

Sir Oliver told BBC Two’s Newsnight: “I don’t know how long it (the plan) will be, but I’m sure Whitehall will create something mellifluous and mysterious.

“But I very much doubt, and I hope certainly, that it won’t say anything very material that hasn’t been said already.”

Mr Davis, who will reply to the debate for the Government, is also likely to face questions about the apparently accelerating timetable for negotiations, after the EU’s lead Brexit official warned the UK will have to reach a deal within 18 months.

European Commissioner Michel Barnier urged the UK to “keep calm and negotiate” as he suggested October 2018 will be the deadline for agreement so any deal has time to be ratified by the European Parliament and national leaders sitting in the European Council.

The question over whether Britain can really “have its cake and eat it” is also likely to arise after Mr Barnier said the UK will not be allowed to “cherry-pick” which EU rights and obligations it wishes to keep, suggesting it cannot stay in the single market if it does not accept free movement.

The suggestion of transitional trading arrangements was first raised by Mr Davis last week and he is likely to face calls for more clarity.

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer will lead the debate for Labour and is expected to call on the PM to set out her “basic plan”.

Speaking to the Scottish Parliamentary Journalists’ Association, he said: “I’ve never asked for a running commentary and I do appreciate when you go into negotiations you don’t want to give away your detailed negotiating position.

“But there are headline issues upon which we need to have answers. Are you aiming to be in or out of the customs union? What is your position on the single market, what about transitional arrangements and what about the residual rights of EU nationals? Just basic headline issues we need to have the answer to.”

Mrs May has so far played her cards close to her chest, yesterday committing only to a “red, white and blue Brexit” in an attempt to stamp out speculation about whether the Government is aiming for a “hard” or “soft” Brexit, outside or inside the single market.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4310912.1481100414!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4310912.1481100414!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Brexit secretary David Davis. Picture PA/Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Brexit secretary David Davis. Picture PA/Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4310912.1481100414!/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/inquest-into-car-plunge-deaths-of-viola-beach-band-members-1-4310896","id":"1.4310896","articleHeadline": "Inquest into car plunge deaths of Viola Beach band members","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481097764000 ,"articleLead": "

An inquest into the deaths of up-and-coming British band Viola Beach will take place later today.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4310895.1481097689!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Indie-pop band Viola Beach and their manager were killed when their car plunged off a bridge into a canal in Sweden. Picture: PA/Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

All four members of the Warrington band - Kris Leonard, River Reeves, Tomas Lowe and Jack Dakin - were killed alongside their manager Craig Tarry when their hire car plunged 25 metres off a bridge into a canal in Sweden.

The men, aged between 19 and 35, were 18 miles from the capital Stockholm when the Nissan Qashqai plunged into the canal in the early hours of February 13 after the band had finished a gig.

Officers were called to the incident at about 2.30am and reports from Sweden at the time said the car had gone through a barrier of a bridge that had opened to let a boat pass underneath.

The barrier, 50 metres before the opening, had flashing lights and warning signs, according to police in Stockholm.

Viola Beach, who had featured on BBC Introducing, a programme showcasing up-and-coming music artists, described themselves as an “indie pop” band.

Their debut album was posthumously released and their debut single Swings & Waterslides entered the official singles chart, topping the iTunes chart as tributes poured in from the music world.

After the crash, a statement from the families of the band’s members said: “We are tremendously proud of everything the boys achieved in such a short space of time.

“Craig, Jack, Kris, River and Tom shared a huge passion, talent and dedication to music.”

The day-long inquest begins at Warrington Coroner’s Court later.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4310895.1481097689!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4310895.1481097689!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Indie-pop band Viola Beach and their manager were killed when their car plunged off a bridge into a canal in Sweden. Picture: PA/Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Indie-pop band Viola Beach and their manager were killed when their car plunged off a bridge into a canal in Sweden. Picture: PA/Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4310895.1481097689!/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/media-leisure/co-op-travel-brand-to-disappear-in-thomas-cook-deal-1-4310852","id":"1.4310852","articleHeadline": "Co-op Travel brand to disappear in Thomas Cook deal","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481095567000 ,"articleLead": "

Holiday firm Thomas Cook is to buy out its high street travel agent partner in a move that will see the Co-operative Travel brand disappear from the high street.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4310851.1481095490!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Thomas Cook is taking full control of its holiday store network. Picture: Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Thomas Cook said it will take full ownership of the 764-strong network of travel branches, buying the Co-op Group’s 30 per cent stake and Central England Co-operative’s 3.5 per cent holding for £55.8 million. All stores will be rebranded as Thomas Cook over the next two years.

The deal brings to an end the partnership launched in October 2011 when Thomas Cook, the Co-operative Group and the then Midlands Co-operative, now Central England Co-operative, merged to create the UK’s largest travel agent.

It follows a decision by the Co-op to take up its right to sell its stake, which was part of the original deal.

READ MORE: Thomas Cook profits hit by ‘difficult’ year for travel

Peter Fankhauser, chief executive of Thomas Cook, said: “This purchase gives us full control over our retail store network, enabling us to better integrate our stores with our online offering, while also helping us to focus on growing sales of added extras such as holiday-related financial services. Over the next two years, we will bring all of our UK stores under the Thomas Cook banner so we can make full use of the best brand in travel.”

Thomas Cook will have the right to carry on using the Co-operative Travel brand until November 2018. Rod Bulmer, chief executive of consumer services at the Co-op, commented that “having a minority stake in a travel business does not fit with the strategy of the Co-op”.

He said that the Co-op planned to invest the proceeds from the deal back into the mutual’s wider business, which also includes food stores and funerals.

The joint venture with the Co-op initially had more than 1,200 shops, but has shrunk as Thomas Cook axed costs from the merged network and amid competition from online holiday rivals. Co-operative Travel originally started life as a day excursion organiser in 1905.

Thomas Cook recently posted a 40 per cent fall in underlying profits to £308m in what the holidays giant said had been a “difficult year for tourism”. This included terrorist attacks in Europe and political instability in holiday hotspot Turkey.

John Colley, a professor at Warwick business school who is an expert on mergers, said: “The weak pound and threat of terrorism, together with Co-op’s wish to narrow its scope, presents the perfect opportunity for a cheap price.”

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" ,"byline": {"email": "mflanagan@scotsman.com" ,"author": "MARTIN FLANAGAN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4310851.1481095490!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4310851.1481095490!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Thomas Cook is taking full control of its holiday store network. Picture: Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Thomas Cook is taking full control of its holiday store network. Picture: Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4310851.1481095490!/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/vauxhall-says-no-confirmed-reports-of-car-fires-in-corsas-1-4310850","id":"1.4310850","articleHeadline": "Vauxhall says ‘no confirmed reports’ of car fires in Corsas","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481095470000 ,"articleLead": "

Vauxhall said it has received “no confirmed reports” of fires starting in the heating and ventilation systems of some Corsa models after it was reported there may be a risk.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4310849.1481095394!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A Vauxhall Corsa. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

According to The Sun, analysis of a burnt-out Corsa D, a model introduced in 2006, found the fire had broken out “in the region of the heater system”.

An expert told the newspaper that heating problems that affected wiring in some Vauxhall Zafira models had also been detected in the Corsa’s heating and ventilation components.

The investigator said the Corsa model also appeared to have similar heater components to the Hummer H3, a 4x4 manufactured by parent company General Motors (GM) that suffered similar issues.

The Zafira B and the H3 were subject to recalls in the UK and the US after a series of vehicle fires were blamed on faulty wiring in the heating systems.

A Vauxhall spokesman said: “Vauxhall confirms that there is a different vehicle heating and ventilation system configuration in Corsa D/E to the Hummer H3, inclusive of a different connector.

“This is why the risk assessment applied to the Hummer H3 cannot be applied to Corsa D/E.

“Vauxhall has no confirmed reports of vehicle fires originating in the vehicle heating and ventilation system of the Vauxhall Corsa D/E.”

The Sun commissioned research by GBB, an automotive forensic investigation firm, after several Corsa owners reported their cars had caught fire.

In a report, lead engineer Philip Hoyes said “resistive heating” associated with failure in the Zafira B “has also been identified in the heater wiring harnesses of Vauxhall Corsa D models”.

“A fire-damaged Corsa D, with a history of wiring harness damage, was examined to reveal an origin of fire in the region of the heater system,” the report also said.

“The wiring harness and the failure mode identified in Corsa D models appears similar to those of ... Hummer H3 where a risk of fire led to recalls in 2015.

“I recommend that Vauxhall consider that the resistive heating that affected the Hummer vehicles produced by its parent company General Motors is also occurring in its UK Corsa model.”

According to campaigners, more than 300 Zafiras have caught fire in recent years, leaving their occupants with just a few seconds to escape.

In May it was announced that more than 234,000 were to be recalled for a second time to improve the electrical components in the heating and ventilation system.

It followed action last year by GM to recall nearly 200,000 H3s in the US over concerns of fire breaking out in a similar area of the car.

Iain Stewart, a Tory MP who sits on the Commons transport committee, said Vauxhall should either immediately arrange for a recall and fix of affected cars or “be upfront and demonstrate beyond doubt why there are no grounds for concern”.

He added: “I shall be discussing these allegations with my colleagues on the committee and we may decide to reopen our inquiry into this matter.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Ryan Wilkinson"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4310849.1481095394!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4310849.1481095394!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A Vauxhall Corsa. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A Vauxhall Corsa. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4310849.1481095394!/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/markets-economy/martin-flanagan-eu-upheaval-weighs-on-takeover-deals-1-4310832","id":"1.4310832","articleHeadline": "Martin Flanagan: EU upheaval weighs on takeover deals","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481094050000 ,"articleLead": "

There has been much evidence that UK businesses have put investment on hold following the landscape-shifting Brexit vote.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4310831.1481093973!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Martin Flanagan says the resignation of Italian premier Matteo Renzi will do little to improve the landscape for M&A deals. Picture: Gregorio Borgia/AP"} ,"articleBody": "

But that has now been mirrored in the latest data for acquisition activity as well, showing a distinct slowdown since that historic decision. One suspects that the latest seismic event throwing prime minister Matteo Renzi out of office in Italy will do nothing to reverse this new caution.

Political stability is always a desirable backdrop for a major acquisitive move, usually secondary to the commercial arithmetic but an important corporate comfort blanket, nevertheless.

Latest data from the Office for National Statistics shows that UK merger and acquisition (M&A) activity nearly halved between July and September, with 140 deals worth £1 million or more – against 278 in the three months leading up to the UK’s European Union referendum.

M&A by overseas businesses for UK companies fell more than 40 per cent to 41 in Q3 from 71 between April and June. These figures are too stark to be purely coincidence.

READ MORE: US companies splash out £2bn on Scots takeovers

As one leading UK business figure told me during the summer, following Brexit the very least likely to happen was that UK and foreign businesses would “scratch their heads” before embarking on strategic acquisitions.

An interesting fact is that the value of acquisitions has gone up in Q3 even if the number has fallen. For instance, Japanese firm SoftBank bid a stonking £24 billion to take over Arm Holdings, the UK microchip designer for Apple.

The value of deals in the third quarter was £34bn, up from £33.1bn in the previous three months. What does this tell us? Probably that most companies, particular the minnows and mid-ranking, have been chastened in their M&A ambitions by Brexit. But the big boys with the big pockets have been readier to look above and beyond Brexit to the wider strategic horizon in their purchases.

Even so, the populist anti-elite earthquake that is happening on the bigger political stage has gained significant momentum and I think it will now lead even the biggest players to lower their sights on deals in the UK and Europe.

We are in cataclysmic times. An overly acquisitive CEO may currently be seen not as a visionary, but as not plugged in.

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" ,"byline": {"email": "mflanagan@scotsman.com" ,"author": "MARTIN FLANAGAN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4310831.1481093973!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4310831.1481093973!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Martin Flanagan says the resignation of Italian premier Matteo Renzi will do little to improve the landscape for M&A deals. Picture: Gregorio Borgia/AP","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Martin Flanagan says the resignation of Italian premier Matteo Renzi will do little to improve the landscape for M&A deals. Picture: Gregorio Borgia/AP","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4310831.1481093973!/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/snp-support-for-brexit-as-high-as-labour-1-4310633","id":"1.4310633","articleHeadline": "SNP support for Brexit as high as Labour","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481068860000 ,"articleLead": "

The same proportion of SNP supporters as Labour voters backed Brexit in the EU referendum, according to new research.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4310632.1481050793!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Support for Brexit was as high among SNP supporters as in Labour, a new survey has found"} ,"articleBody": "

The survey by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) concluded that Leave won the EU referendum by galvanising disengaged voters who are “economically deprived and anti-immigration”. More than half of non-voters in the 2015 general election cast a ballot in the referendum, with 60% of them voting Leave.

Labour and the SNP saw 36% of supporters reject the party position and vote for Brexit, compared with 26% of Liberal Democrats.

The research identified a move away from left-right politics, with voters dividing between socially liberal Remainers and conservative Leavers. Remain also failed to get out its vote, according to NatCen.

" ,"byline": {"email": "paris.gourtsoyannis@jpress.co.uk" ,"author": "Paris Gourtsoyannis"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4310632.1481050793!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4310632.1481050793!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Support for Brexit was as high among SNP supporters as in Labour, a new survey has found","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Support for Brexit was as high among SNP supporters as in Labour, a new survey has found","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4310632.1481050793!/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/sport/football/teams/celtic/celtic-fan-arrested-for-throwing-burger-at-a-horse-1-4310805","id":"1.4310805","articleHeadline": "Celtic fan arrested for throwing burger at a horse","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481068706000 ,"articleLead": "

Brendan Rodgers’ side went out of the Champions League on a positive note after drawing 1-1 with Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4310804.1481068629!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Stewards react to trouble in the crowd during the match between Celtic and Manchester City. Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

Click here for the latest results, fixtures and stats>>>

Buoyed by their side’s performance, the Celtic fans continued to sing well after the game, as they were kept in the ground for safety reasons.

One fan, however, missed all of this after being arrested earlier in the day for throwing a burger at a police horse.

He was arrested on the spot and taken into a police van, where he started “kicking about”, and will spend Tuesday evening into Wednesday morning stuck in a police cell.

The incident was confirmed by Greater Manchester Police, who tweeted: “Celtic fan arrested for throwing a hamburger at a police horse in Piccadilly Gardens. Male started kicking about in the van! #nightinacell”

They then added: “Police horse ‘Lancaster’ is in a stable position after burger thrown at it by Celtic fan!”

There were also scenes of crowd trouble at the section separately home and away fans, while City supporters complained about the number of Celtic fans who purchased tickets for the home end.

READ MORE - Ian Cathro on Hearts, media critics and the January window

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" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4310804.1481068629!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4310804.1481068629!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Stewards react to trouble in the crowd during the match between Celtic and Manchester City. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Stewards react to trouble in the crowd during the match between Celtic and Manchester City. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4310804.1481068629!/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/grandparents-of-missing-raf-man-corrie-mckeague-offer-reward-1-4310742","id":"1.4310742","articleHeadline": "Grandparents of missing RAF man Corrie McKeague offer reward","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481061009000 ,"articleLead": "

The grandparents of an RAF serviceman who vanished on a night out ten weeks ago have pledged a “five-figure reward” for information leading to his return.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4310741.1481060932!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Corrie McKeague was last seen on 24 September in Suffolk. Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

Corrie McKeague, 23, was last seen in the early hours of 24 September in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. He was later reported missing when he failed to turn up at his base, RAF Honington, ten miles from the town.

His grandparents Mary and Oliver McKeague, from Cupar in Fife, announced the reward as they said they believed his disappearance may involve a third party that he may have gone with.

His grandfather Oliver said: “Corrie’s base at RAF Honington is near two other military bases, RAF Marham to the north, and Aldershot Camp to the south, and each recently reported suspected kidnapping attempts of military servicemen.

“You could draw a near straight line on a map and connect all three. Corrie’s base is right in the middle.”

Grandmother Mary McKeague said: “We’ve pledged this reward in hopes that it will motivate someone to come forward and help us find my beautiful grandson, Corrie, who went missing the day of his stepmother’s birthday.

“We’re heartbroken, but we’re not giving up.

“Corrie would expect us to stay strong.”

The gunner and team medic was separated from friends while leaving the Flex nightclub on St Andrews Street South, his grandparents said.

He was last seen in Bury St Edmunds town centre on CCTV at 3:25am wearing a light pink Ralph Lauren shirt, white jeans and brown suede Timberland boots with light soles.

The last sighting shows him walking from a shop doorway and into a horseshoe-shaped area in Brentgovel Street, with no sign of him emerging.

“The CCTV cameras show him walking in but not coming out,” said Oliver McKeague. “He seems to have just vanished. But people don’t just vanish; they leave or they get taken away.

“We think Corrie arranged to meet someone that night but we don’t know who, and then got into a car and disappeared.

“We know he didn’t just run away; he loved his fellow squaddies, his life and the career direction he had chosen.

“He was so proud the day he passed out and joined 2 Squadron RAF Regiment three years ago, and so were we.”

The McKeague family are asking for information from anyone who may have been in the town on evening when he went missing or who may know of his whereabouts.

This can be given via the Suffolk Police incident room on 01473 782019 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Sam Russell"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4310741.1481060932!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4310741.1481060932!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Corrie McKeague was last seen on 24 September in Suffolk. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Corrie McKeague was last seen on 24 September in Suffolk. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4310741.1481060932!/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/may-calls-for-brexit-of-red-white-and-blue-ahead-of-mps-vote-1-4310716","id":"1.4310716","articleHeadline": "May calls for Brexit of red, white and blue ahead of MPs vote","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1481057814000 ,"articleLead": "

Theresa May has tried to quell tensions in government over whether the UK negotiates a hard or soft Brexit, by insisting she wants a “red, white and blue Brexit”.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4310714.1481057736!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Tim Farron criticised the Prime Minister for what he called "jingoistic claptrap. Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

The Prime Minister said that getting a good deal which left Britain operating within a single European market was the key thing, rather than being hung up on labels.

“These terms that have been identified: hard Brexit, soft Brexit, black Brexit, white Brexit, grey Brexit. Actually, I think what we should be looking for is a red, white and blue Brexit. That is the right deal for the United Kingdom. What is going to be the relationship for the UK with the European Union once we have left the European Union?

“That’s what we are about and that’s what we will be working on.

“When people voted on June 23 they voted for us to take control of our borders, they voted for us take control of our laws, and take control of our money, and how we spend our money. We want to get the best possible deal in trade,” she said.

Mrs May has in the past drawn ridicule from political opponents over her “Brexit means Brexit” slogan which critics have branded meaningless.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said yesterday: “The Prime Minister has surpassed herself with this statement. It’s jingoistic claptrap.”

MPs will be challenged by Mrs May to explicitly back her to trigger Brexit by April in the House of Commons today.

The Prime Minister will hope the move fends off a potential Commons rebellion as up to 40 Tory backbenchers were thought to be ready to back a Labour motion calling for her to set out her Brexit plan.

An amendment in the name of Mrs May will accept the Labour motion, allowing potentially rebellious Tories to back it, prominent Eurosceptic Steve Baker revealed in a tweet.

A Downing Street spokesman stressed that the amendment was “a separate issue” from the government’s Supreme Court battle to overturn a ruling that it should obtain Parliament’s approval before triggering Article 50.

The spokesman added: “The Prime Minister has been clear that we will set out our plans in due course. That remains the position.

“We won’t be showing our negotiating hand until we have to, but we have not suggested we will not set out the position. That’s what the amendment goes to.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "PAUL WILSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4310714.1481057736!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4310714.1481057736!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Tim Farron criticised the Prime Minister for what he called "jingoistic claptrap. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Tim Farron criticised the Prime Minister for what he called "jingoistic claptrap. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4310714.1481057736!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}