{"JP":[ {"NewsSection":{"name":"uk","detaillevel":"full", "Articles": {"count":25,"detaillevel":"full","articlesList":[ {"article": { "url":"http://www.scotsman.com/business/companies/financial/bank-of-scotland-owner-stung-by-ppi-and-mortgage-costs-1-4515132","id":"1.4515132","articleHeadline": "Bank of Scotland owner stung by PPI and mortgage costs","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501156583000 ,"articleLead": "

Lloyds Banking Group has taken a £1.6 billion hit to cover ballooning compensation costs linked to the mis-selling of payment protection insurance (PPI) and to resolve its mistreatment of mortgage customers.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4515131.1501138011!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Despite the hit, Lloyds saw its first-half profits rise. Picture: John Devlin"} ,"articleBody": "

The Bank of Scotland owner said its PPI costs for the six months to 30 June swelled to £1.05 billion, having earmarked £350 million for claims in the first quarter, and provisioned for another £700m in the second quarter.

The group said it will help cover a jump in PPI claims from around 7,700 a week to 9,000 through to the claim deadline set for the end of August 2019, but brings its total bill for PPI misselling to more than £18bn.

• READ MORE: Taxpayer bails out of Lloyds after nine years

Chief financial officer George Culmer said it was “disappointing to be having to do it again” but did not take a further rise off the table.

“It will depend upon where those future volumes go,” he said.

Lloyds has also agreed to compensate about 590,000 mistreated mortgage customers, some of whom were mistakenly charged unaffordable fees after falling behind on payments between 2009 and 2016.

The Financial Conduct Authority said Lloyds expects to shell out £283m as part of the redress scheme, prompting the bank to set aside a further £155m in the half year to June 30.

Arrears repayment costs were bundled into a £540m provision meant to cover additional conduct issues including alleged mis-selling of packaged bank accounts.

Results today showed that Lloyds’ underlying profits rose 8 per cent to £4.5bn for the first six months of the year, with total income 4 per cent higher at £9.3bn.

Chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio, who earlier this year was the subject of speculation over a possible move to rival HSBC, also pledged his continuing commitment to the group, saying: “I enjoy the job. I like the people here at Lloyds. I have no intention of going anywhere.”

It was the first set of results to be released by the bank since it was returned to private hands earlier this year.

Despite the PPI and mortgage arrears hit, statutory pre-tax profits grew 4 per cent to £2.5bn, and the group – which also owns Scottish Widows and Halifax – said its interim dividend would increase 18 per cent to 1p a share.

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

Horta-Osorio said the hike in its payout to shareholders was “in line with our progressive and sustainable dividend policy”.

Against the backdrop of additional provisions for PPI mis-selling and redress for mortgage customers, he said: “When issues arise we have to take care of them”.

But he pointed out that it was impossible to draw a complete line under redress, comparing mis-selling and sometimes inappropriate behaviour to bad debts. “There will always be redress costs, just like impairment losses. In the retail business there will be mistakes that will be made.”

Horta-Osorio said that uncertainty remains over the ongoing EU exit negotiations, adding that he did not expect any outcome to be much clearer much before the 2019 deadline.

He also said that Lloyds wants to expand in the motor finance sector because its market share of 14 per cent was lower than its general retail financed market share of 21 per cent.

Lloyds – which rescued HBOS at the height of the financial crisis – is still in the process of paying victims of fraud at the hands of HBOS Reading staff between 2003 and 2007, having set aside £100m in the first quarter to deal with those compensation costs.

The corrupt financiers were jailed earlier this year for the £245m loans scam.

Lloyds is also set to fork out a further £200m to cover the rising costs of setting up its ring-fenced retail bank, meant to meet new UK rules designed to shield households and firms in the event of another banking crisis. Its ring-fenced operations are still set to open in 2019, Lloyds said.

Hargreaves Lansdown senior analyst Laith Khalaf said: “Overall this is a strong set of numbers from Lloyds, blighted, but not overshadowed, by misconduct costs.”

He added: “The bank’s fortunes are heavily reliant on the UK economy, which still hangs in the balance as we leave the European Union, though even if we are entering a period of economic weakness, Lloyds is at least doing so from a position of strength.”

Culmer said the group’s net interest margin – the difference between what it pays on deposits and charges on loans – would be about 2.85 per cent in the second half, up from 2.82 per cent for the first six months.

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" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Kalyeena Makortoff and Martin Flanagan"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4515131.1501138011!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4515131.1501138011!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Despite the hit, Lloyds saw its first-half profits rise. Picture: John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Despite the hit, Lloyds saw its first-half profits rise. Picture: John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4515131.1501138011!/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/general-election/free-movement-from-uk-to-eu-will-end-in-march-2019-1-4515487","id":"1.4515487","articleHeadline": "Free movement from UK to EU will end in March 2019","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501154770000 ,"articleLead": "

Free movement will end when Britain leaves the European Union in March 2019, the Immigration Minister has said.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4515486.1501155788!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Brandon Lewis (left) said free movement of labour would end as of March 2019"} ,"articleBody": "

Brandon Lewis said freedom of movement was one of the “core principles” of the EU, and that a new immigration system would be in place when Britain formally departs the union - two years after Article 50 was triggered.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Free movement of labour ends when we leave the European Union in the spring of 2019 - we’re very clear about that.”

Asked why free trade and single market access would not also end then, Mr Lewis said: “There’s a period of negotiation we’re going through with the European Union at the moment, but we’re very clear that free movement ends - it’s part of the core principles, the four key principles, of the European Union - when we leave.”

Pressed on whether it was a red line to end free movement in March 2019, he said: “It’s a simple matter of fact that the four key principles of the European Union include free movement - we won’t be a member of the European Union when we leave.”

His comments came after Home Secretary Amber Rudd announced she will commission the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to carry out a detailed analysis of the role of EU nationals in the UK economy and society.

Mr Lewis said: “There will be a new immigration system in place from the spring of 2019 and that will be outlined in the Immigration Bill that will go through Parliament next year.”

He also told the programme that it remained the Government’s “long-term aim” to bring immigration down to “sustainable levels”, but did not say when that would be achieved.

“(It is) our determination to see net migration fall to sustainable levels and we think that is around tens of thousands - it’s something we’ve had and continue to have as our long-term aim.”

Mr Lewis would not confirm if the target would be reached in this Parliament, and said: “If this was an easy thing to do we would have already done it.

“We cannot, people know, control our net migration levels fully until we leave the European Union.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Harriet Line"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4515486.1501155788!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4515486.1501155788!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Brandon Lewis (left) said free movement of labour would end as of March 2019","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Brandon Lewis (left) said free movement of labour would end as of March 2019","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4515486.1501155788!/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/sky-profits-slip-on-higher-football-broadcasting-costs-1-4515300","id":"1.4515300","articleHeadline": "Sky profits slip on higher football broadcasting costs","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501148225000 ,"articleLead": "

Sky has reported a fall in full-year profits after it was stung by an increase in the cost of broadcasting live English Premier League football.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4515299.1501148445!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sky was stung by an increase in the cost of broadcasting live English Premier League matches. Picture: Sky/PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

The Game Of Thrones broadcaster saw operating profits slip 6 per cent to £1.4 billion in the year to 30 June after absorbing £629 million of costs linked to its deal to show England’s top-tier football.

Revenues climbed 5 per cent to £12.9bn over the period, despite Sky pointing to a weaker UK advertising market.

• READ MORE: Rupert Murdoch’s £11.7bn Sky bid set for further probe

The financial results came as it added 280,000 customers in the UK, including 35,000 in the fourth quarter.

Group chief executive Jeremy Darroch said the results underscored Sky’s “growth and development” and also announced plans to create 300 new technology roles.

He added: “Sky’s growth and development has continued to be strong in 2017. We are creating 300 new technology roles to further enhance our capability to deploy in and out-of-home streaming platforms.

“We enter 2017/18 in a strong position with significant growth potential. Despite the broader consumer environment remaining uncertain, we are confident of delivering on the plans we’ve laid out.”

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

The group is still the subject of a takeover attempt by Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, which is attempting to acquire the 61 per cent of Sky it does not already own in an £11.7bn deal.

Earlier this month, culture secretary Karen Bradley said she was “still minded” to refer the bid to the UK’s competition watchdog.

The minister said no final decision has been taken but, unless new evidence changes her mind in the coming weeks, she will refer the bid to the Competition & Markets Authority on “at least one ground” – that of media plurality.

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" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Ravender Sembhy"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4515299.1501148445!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4515299.1501148445!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Sky was stung by an increase in the cost of broadcasting live English Premier League matches. Picture: Sky/PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sky was stung by an increase in the cost of broadcasting live English Premier League matches. Picture: Sky/PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4515299.1501148445!/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/martin-flanagan-petrol-and-diesel-ban-could-use-some-help-1-4515157","id":"1.4515157","articleHeadline": "Martin Flanagan: Petrol and diesel ban could use some help","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501140795000 ,"articleLead": "

Where President Macron in France has led, the UK is following.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4515156.1501140866!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "'The anti-petrol engine momentum must be worrying the oil majors,' writes Martin Flanagan. Picture: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

The UK government’s pledge to ban new diesel and petrol cars and vans by 2040 shows that as far as pollution and global warming are concerned the direction of travel is correct. But environment secretary Michael Gove’s announcement is likely to prompt restrained plaudits.

• READ MORE: Ban can only work when electric cars finish their journey

Yes, long-term planning is necessary on vital issues (40,000 premature deaths are caused annually from air pollution), but we are still talking about a ban that is comfortably more than two decades away in the UK.

Admittedly, greener and less congested Norway has an easier task, but that country wants to reach the goal by an altogether more exciting deadline of 2025.

Even so, Frederik Dahlmann, assistant professor of global energy at Warwick Business School, makes a valid point in saying that the UK government’s move will also “give car buyers an incentive to consider the different types of engine options available in light of the long-term development of the market”.

He says: “With the rapid development and deployment of electric vehicle models, there is a good chance that apart from buyers of ‘collectors’ items’ and ‘classic cars’, demand will have largely shifted well before the deadline”.

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

Consumers can be quite canny in seeing the way the wind is blowing. Even so, the faster Gove’s department can move on shorter-term initiatives costing £200 million with local councils to ease the country’s vehicle-induced noxious fumes the more it will grab the public’s support.

As Gove says, this could include more work on bus fleet conversions and possible restrictions on drivers – although he is not a fan of the “blunt instrument” of charges – in particularly polluted areas.

Incidentally, the anti-petrol engine momentum must be worrying the oil majors, only now recovering from more than two years of lower prices. If the automotive industry can deliver the aspiration, then logic suggests oil demand will fall sharply in its train, alleviated partly by demand from airlines and wider industry.

Analytics business Wood Mackenzie reckons that by 2035 demand for diesel and petrol in the UK car industry will have fallen 40 per cent.

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" ,"byline": {"email": "mflanagan@scotsman.com" ,"author": "Martin Flanagan"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4515156.1501140866!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4515156.1501140866!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "'The anti-petrol engine momentum must be worrying the oil majors,' writes Martin Flanagan. Picture: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "'The anti-petrol engine momentum must be worrying the oil majors,' writes Martin Flanagan. Picture: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4515156.1501140866!/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/general-election/scottish-and-welsh-ministers-to-discuss-brexit-repeal-bill-1-4515141","id":"1.4515141","articleHeadline": "Scottish and Welsh ministers to discuss Brexit repeal bill","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501138568000 ,"articleLead": "

Scottish and Welsh ministers will meet in Cardiff today to discuss their opposition to the Brexit repeal bill.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4515140.1501138548!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scotlands Brexit Minister Michael Russell will lead a team of Scottish Government representatives in Cardiff today"} ,"articleBody": "

The devolved administrations have said they cannot recommend that legislative consent is given to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill as it stands.

The legislation - designed to transpose EU law into British law so the same rules apply on the day of Brexit as the day before - will see EU responsibilities in devolved areas initially transferred to Westminster.

The Scottish and Welsh governments said it amounts to a power-grab, and must be amended to give certainty to businesses, citizens and to protect devolution.

Scotland’s Brexit Minister Michael Russell and Welsh Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford will be joined at the meeting by the Scottish Government’s Lord Advocate James Wolffe QC and the Welsh Government’s Counsel General Mick Antoniw.

It comes after Scottish First Minster Nicola Sturgeon and Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones teamed up to oppose the Bill when it was published earlier this month.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Mr Russell said: “The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill is quite simply an attack on the hard-won powers of the Scottish Parliament and on the principles of devolution.

“We cannot and will not stand by and let powers in devolved areas be taken by the UK Government. The Bill must be changed to respect devolution and our parliament.

“I look forward to discussing how we can protect devolution with Professor Drakeford and our priorities for amending the Bill.”

Professor Drakeford said: “The Welsh Government’s position has always been that we agree there is a need for an orderly exit from the EU, but that it needs to be based a set of arrangements that gives certainty to businesses; to our communities and respects the devolution settlement.

“The EU Withdrawal Bill does absolutely none of those things as it is currently drafted and the UK Government cannot expect the support of the devolved administrations on that basis.”

The UK Government has said it intends to respect the devolution settlement as powers are returned from the EU under Brexit.

But it has said it is necessary to bring powers back to Westminster before devolving them in order to develop common frameworks and prevent trade barriers being created within the UK.

A UK Government spokesman said: “We have been clear that the Repeal Bill will not take away any decision-making powers from the devolved administrations immediately after exit.

“Instead, to protect the UK internal market, some decision-making powers being transferred into UK law will be held temporarily to allow intensive discussion and consultation with the devolved administrations.

“As the Secretary of State has made clear, it is our expectation that the outcome of this process will provide a significant increase in the decision-making power of each devolved administration and we are committed to positive and productive engagement with the Scottish Government.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Lynsey Bews"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4515140.1501138548!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4515140.1501138548!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Scotlands Brexit Minister Michael Russell will lead a team of Scottish Government representatives in Cardiff today","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Scotlands Brexit Minister Michael Russell will lead a team of Scottish Government representatives in Cardiff today","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4515140.1501138548!/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/weak-growth-to-continue-as-brexit-weighs-on-economy-1-4514220","id":"1.4514220","articleHeadline": "Weak growth to continue as Brexit weighs on economy","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501134175000 ,"articleLead": "

The UK’s weak start to the year is set to continue as Brexit uncertainty and a squeeze on household budgets takes their toll, economists have warned after latest quarterly GDP figures showed sluggish growth.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514219.1501058510!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The growth figure marks a slight improvement on the first quarter's reading of 0.2%. Picture: John Devlin"} ,"articleBody": "

GDP growth of 0.3 per cent in April to June was marginally up on the 0.2 per cent seen in the first quarter, when inflation dealt a blow to consumer spending, but well down on the 0.7 per cent recorded in the last three months of 2016.

• READ MORE: Cheaper fuel helps drive inflation rate down to 2.6%

The initial estimate from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) covered the three months after Britain formally notified Brussels of its intention to leave the European Union in Theresa May’s Article 50 letter of 29 March.

The second-quarter performance was underpinned by the services sector, with output expanding by 0.5 per cent, up from 0.1 per cent for the quarter before driven largely driven by the retail and the film industry.

• READ MORE: Scotland’s economy: ‘remarkable’ growth for factory sector

However, the construction and manufacturing industries held back the economy, falling by 0.9 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively for the period.

Darren Morgan, ONS head of GDP, said the economy had experienced a “notable slowdown” in the first half of the year.

“While services such as retail and film production and distribution showed some improvement in the second quarter, a weaker performance from construction and manufacturing pulled down overall growth.”

Rain Newton-Smith, the CBI’s chief economist, said it expects growth to remain “lukewarm“ over the next couple of years.

“Providing businesses with certainty and stability has never been more important,” she said.

“A limited transition period as we leave the EU where the UK stays in the single market and a customs union until a final deal is in force, would help create a bridge to a new trading arrangement. It would give businesses the confidence they need to invest, expand and create jobs.”

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

Sebastian Burnside, chief economist at RBS, said the figures showed how the squeeze on household budgets was already affecting the economy and “how much more is to come”.

“Families are finding inflation is eating into their income and the response from spending is starting to be seen. Output from the retail and leisure sector has barely grown at all in the last six months, whereas in the run up to Christmas it was expanding at around 6 per cent.

“It will take more than six months of restraint to restore sustainable growth however.”

The second-quarter estimate comes after a series of downgrades from economists who are anticipating GDP to slow in the coming years as Britain embarks on its EU divorce.

PwC expects GDP to grow by 1.5 per cent in 2017, revising down a previous estimate of 1.6 per cent growth.

Credit rating agency Moody’s has also warned that the UK economy could be tipped into recession if Britain fails to land a deal with the 27-nation bloc.

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" ,"byline": {"email": "businssdesk@scotsman.com" ,"author": "PERRY GOURLEY"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4514219.1501058510!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514219.1501058510!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The growth figure marks a slight improvement on the first quarter's reading of 0.2%. Picture: John Devlin","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The growth figure marks a slight improvement on the first quarter's reading of 0.2%. Picture: John Devlin","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4514219.1501058510!/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/opinion/kenny-macaskill-action-is-needed-to-assuage-the-collective-pain-etched-deep-in-the-scottish-soul-1-4514545","id":"1.4514545","articleHeadline": "Kenny MacAskill: ‘Action is needed to assuage the collective pain etched deep in the Scottish soul’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501131600000 ,"articleLead": "

Last week I was in the Western Isles, the land of my father. There’s something mystical about the isles and they call out to those with roots there, as well as to others who discover them.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514544.1501075514!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Clearances, emigration and visions of destitution are etched in the collective history of the Scots. Picture: Ian Rutherford"} ,"articleBody": "

Like many, my father was born there but brought up elsewhere. However, it was the island he considered he came from, not the village in the shadow of a central Scotland pit that he grew up in.

In that he wasn’t alone, as the islands, as with other rural parts of Scotland, catch hold of their emigrant sons and daughters; and keep hold of their descendants. Whether they now live in a tenement flat in a city or a house in a small town, the call of the land is heard and more often heeded than ignored.

There’s a pride in the natural beauty of both mainland and island Scotland but also a deep-rooted pain felt in its history.

The land issue is burned deep in the soul of every Scot, an innate belief that an injustice occurred and that what was our ancestors’ birthright was stolen from them. The look-but-don’t-touch situation that existed in many parts of Scotland enraged those who wanted to wander the lands of their forebears, but were excluded.

Salt was rubbed in the wound when many of those lording over their manor or estate were absentee landlords with either little relationship with the land or dubious title to it. Robber barons, as the late great Tom Johnston described them, and as the Green MSP Andy Wightman has written, the poor had no lawyers.

Compounding that was the knowledge that some were cleared from their native land and forced to find shelter across the seas. It’s been written about extensively and eloquently from John Prebble to Jim Hunter and still angers to this day. The visions of destitution and pain are etched in the collective history of the Scots. It has affected other nations as emigrant Scots have carried it with them to their new homes.

John McKenzie, the radical lands minister in New Zealand at the end of the 19th century, broke up large estates to form that nation of small farmers that in many ways still exists today.

That was done largely down to the misery he had seen inflicted when growing up in Alness and streams of Highlanders cleared from Sutherland made their way to the coast, to depart from the land of their birth. He vowed to ensure that those sins wouldn’t be inflicted in his new home.

Many of the wild glens we see now were far from wildernesses in previous times. But the people and their cattle were moved for sheep or sporting estates, and the very nature of the terrain has changed.

It may be years ago, but the hurt is felt down through the generations and injustices continue, as young people are unable to obtain a house in their native village, never mind land on the ground they’ve grown up upon. Some of it is historical fact, other aspects are mythology, but all create a cocktail that is imbibed by most Scots and leaves a bitter taste to this day.

Scotland isn’t alone in that collective history that can become partly mythology. And while some aspects rightly needed challenged or corrected, the story is important all the same.

The Irish have the great famine and their forced emigration, especially to the USA. Generations have seared in their very soul as a consequence. It partly defines their relationship with Britain, given the deliberate cruelty of it, even if it was more due to incompetence than deliberate policy. But, it also drives huge contributions to famines elsewhere around the globe, from generations who’ve never known hunger but feel it gnawing in their genes.

The USA has the frontier spirit. It’s imbued by all irrespective of where the new immigrants have come from or when they arrived. Generations that blazed a trail or rode in a wagon moulded a society and left a legacy that lingers to this day, in 
attitudes to guns and the welfare state.

I recall the village my grandparents grew up in, which was next to some of the best salmon waters in Europe and yet access was denied as they neither had title to the lands they’d grown up in or the wherewithal to meet the significant charges imposed by latter day owners.

Lewis became the fiefdom of James Matheson, who had made his money in the Far East and partly through opium. As Justice Secretary, I recall meeting my Chinese counterpart and both apologising for Matheson’s actions and noting that if it occurred today, the land would be confiscated under Proceeds of Crime legislation. Instead families were cleared and the land has been sold on many times since.

The Land Raiders that sought to fight back are now at long last remembered with memorials. But the bitterness remains. I recall my grandmother, a very kind and Christian lady, being scathing about those who owned the land and waters that she and her people were restricted from.

Of course, progress has been made in access and credit goes to several recent administrations of different political hues. But it’s both long overdue and still doesn’t go far enough. When the Scottish Parliament reconvenes after the summer recess it will continue what seems almost a perennial debate about how to try and right that wrong, when so many years have passed and so many different owners have acquired the land.

It’s complex as the land has been sold on, and the world in which we live has changed. But, further action is needed to assuage the collective pain and repay a historic debt etched deep in the Scottish soul.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "KENNY MACASKILL"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4514544.1501075514!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514544.1501075514!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Clearances, emigration and visions of destitution are etched in the collective history of the Scots. Picture: Ian Rutherford","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Clearances, emigration and visions of destitution are etched in the collective history of the Scots. Picture: Ian Rutherford","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4514544.1501075514!/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/corbyn-coup-on-scottish-labour-fails-1-4514756","id":"1.4514756","articleHeadline": "‘Corbyn coup’ on Scottish Labour fails","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501083370000 ,"articleLead": "

An alleged attempt by supporters of Jeremy Corbyn to strengthen his grip on Labour in Scotland has failed, party insiders have claimed.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514755.1501083351!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

The UK leader’s office reportedly tried to block Ian Murray, MP for Edinburgh South and an ally of Scottish leader Kezia Dugdale, from becoming chairman of the Scottish Parliamentary Labour Party (SPLP) at Westminster.

A majority of new Scottish Labour MPs returned at June’s snap election are said to have backed Danielle Rowley, MP for Midlothian, to lead the SPLP.

But when senior Labour peers heard of the plan, they arrived en masse at a recent SPLP meeting to ensure Mr Murray succeeded Lord Foulkes as chairman.

A spokesman for Mr Corbyn’s office told The Herald that neither the leader or his staff were involved in the SPLP election and denied there was any plot.

Mr Murray, who was until June the only Labour MP in Scotland, resigned his position as shadow Scottish secretary in 2016 as party of a wider party rebellion against Mr Corbyn’s leadership.

In a tweet posted in March in response to reports that Mr Corbyn was “absolutely fine” with a second referendum on Scottish independence, Mr Murray said: “Often asked why I resigned from the shadow cabinet. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Jeremy Corbyn”.

Mr Corbyn last month named a newly-elected MP as shadow Scottish secretary, overlooking Ian Murray after previously saying he would “extend the hand of friendship” to members of the Parliamentary Labour Party who had criticised his leadership.

Lesley Laird was named to Mr Corbyn’s front bench team less than a week after winning the Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath constituency.

SNP MSP George Adam said: “Kezia Dugdale’s authority as Labour leader appears to be absolutely shot, needing a staged intervention by unelected Lords able to get her close ally into a key internal position.

“Ms Dugdale was amongst the most vocal critics of Jeremy Corbyn – but her new MPs are no fans of fellow Corbyn critic Ian Murray.

“This division is far more damaging than the cats-in-a-sack infighting that defined Labour for years.”

READ MORE: Ian Murray overlooked for shadow Scottish secretary role

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "CHRIS McCALL"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4514755.1501083351!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514755.1501083351!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4514755.1501083351!/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/when-can-shops-refuse-your-old-1-coin-1-4514312","id":"1.4514312","articleHeadline": "When can shops refuse your old £1 coin?","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501064257000 ,"articleLead": "

The deadline for spending your old £1 coins is fast approaching with shops soon able to refuse to accept them.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514310.1501064237!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The old coin is to be phased out, with less than 100 days remaining."} ,"articleBody": "

The new pound coin has become more common than its round predecessor, the Treasury has announced.

There are now more new 12-sided quids in circulation than circular pounds.

Ministers announced the landmark as they urged the public to continue to return their old coins.

READ MORE: New £1 coin: Everything you need to know

The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Andrew Jones, is visiting a coin storage facility in Belfast on Wednesday, where more than £350,000 worth of coins are processed and redistributed daily, to banks and businesses across Northern Ireland.

The old coins cease to be legal tender on October 15. The new version was introduced on March 28.

“To have more new coins in circulation than old at this point is great news,” said Mr Jones.

“However, with less than 100 days to go, the clock is ticking.

READ MORE: New £1 coin rollout to cost city council £200,000

“We are urging the public to spend, bank or donate their old pound coins and asking businesses who are yet to do so, to update their systems before the old coin ceases to be legal tender.”

Chief executive and deputy master of the Royal Mint, Adam Lawrence, said: “The Royal Mint is very proud to have delivered the new 12-sided £1 coin and ensuring a smooth transition is now our top priority.

“We hope our announcement about the changeover point in July will encourage those businesses who have not yet upgraded their equipment to do so ahead of the October 15 deadline.”

The new 12-sided coin was brought in to tackle the rise of counterfeit coins, which cost businesses and the taxpayers across the UK millions of pounds every year.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DIANE KING"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4514310.1501064237!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514310.1501064237!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The old coin is to be phased out, with less than 100 days remaining.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The old coin is to be phased out, with less than 100 days remaining.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4514310.1501064237!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4514311.1501064238!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514311.1501064238!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The new coin. One pound sterling. The Royal Mint.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The new coin. One pound sterling. The Royal Mint.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4514311.1501064238!/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/mike-ashley-wins-court-battle-over-15m-london-pub-deal-1-4514289","id":"1.4514289","articleHeadline": "Mike Ashley wins court battle over £15m ‘London pub deal’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501063433000 ,"articleLead": "

Newcastle United owner and Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley has won a High Court battle with investment banker Jeffrey Blue over a £15 million deal allegedly made in a London pub.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514288.1501063367!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Mike Ashley, a former Rangers shareholder, won his High Court battle. Picture: PA"} ,"articleBody": "

Mr Ashley was not in court to hear the judge deliver his ruling, but his lawyers said he had won a “comprehensive” victory.

He said he had met Mr Blue and three other finance specialists at the pub and ‘consumed a lot of alcohol’.

READ MORE - Mike Ashley: ‘I like to get drunk - I am a power drinker’

“I can’t remember the details of the conversations that we had in the pub as it was a heavy night of drinking,” Mr Ashley had said.

“I do remember that we had a lot of drinks and a lot of banter.

“If I did say to Mr Blue that I would pay him £15 million if he could increase (Sports Direct’s) share price to £8, it would be obvious to everyone, including Mr Blue, that I wasn’t being serious.”

He said he paid Mr Blue, who he called ‘Jeffers’, £1 million for ‘other deals’ unrelated to the night in the Horse and Groom.

Mr Blue told the judge that Mr Ashley was a ‘serious businessman’’.

He said the work ethic at Sports Direct was ‘like nothing else I have ever seen’.

But he said Mr Ashley sometimes did business ‘in unorthodox ways and in unusual venues’.

He told how Mr Ashley once vomited into a fireplace after a senior management meeting that was ‘effectively a pub lock-in’ and said the businessman would take naps under tables at ‘boring’ meetings.

Mr Justice Leggatt told lawyers, at the end of the trial, that the case had been ‘a lot more interesting than some’.

READ MORE - Ex-Rangers shareholder Mike Ashley an ‘honest bloke’, court hears

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "RUSSELL JACKSON"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4514288.1501063367!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514288.1501063367!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Mike Ashley, a former Rangers shareholder, won his High Court battle. Picture: PA","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Mike Ashley, a former Rangers shareholder, won his High Court battle. Picture: PA","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4514288.1501063367!/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/fresh-hope-for-muscular-dystrophy-sufferers-1-4514245","id":"1.4514245","articleHeadline": "Fresh hope for muscular dystrophy sufferers","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501059907000 ,"articleLead": "

A single jab for muscular dystrophy developed by British scientists has the potential to help those with the illness, a professor has said.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514244.1501060189!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The UK and French team corrected a mutation in a dozen Golden Retrievers that had developed the disorder. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

A clinical trial is already being planned with patients being recruited within the next couple of years.

The gene therapy achieved remarkable results in dogs with muscular dystrophy - paving the way for clinical trials in humans.

The UK and French team corrected a mutation in a dozen Golden Retrievers that had developed the disorder.

Professor George Dickson, of the University of London in Egham, Surrey, said: ““There are ongoing animal tests to be done to enable a clinical trial.”

Prof Dickson added: “We foresee patient recruitment over the next 12 to 24 months.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "MARK WAGHORN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4514244.1501060189!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514244.1501060189!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The UK and French team corrected a mutation in a dozen Golden Retrievers that had developed the disorder. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The UK and French team corrected a mutation in a dozen Golden Retrievers that had developed the disorder. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4514244.1501060189!/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/people-with-neurotic-tendencies-live-longer-says-new-study-1-4514144","id":"1.4514144","articleHeadline": "People with neurotic tendencies live longer, says new study","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501052578000 ,"articleLead": "

The old saying about worrying yourself into an early grave is a myth, suggests a new study.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514143.1501052558!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Turns out worrying could be good for you, according to a new study. Picture: ThinkStock"} ,"articleBody": "

And people with neurotic tendencies actually live longer, according to the research.

A study of more than 500,000 Britons found the characteristic reduced the risk of death for those who were in “fair” or “poor” health.

The study, published in the journal Psychological Science, also showed a specific aspect related to feelings of vulnerability was linked with lower mortality - regardless of well-being.

Professor Catharine Gale, of Edinburgh University, said: “Our findings are important because they suggest being high in neuroticism may sometimes have a protective effect - perhaps by making people more vigilant about their health.”

Five years ago US researchers found neurotics displayed the lowest levels of a biomarker linked to inflammation and chronic disease.

They are usually moody, nervous and worriers and the trait has been associated with depression and excessive drinking and smoking.

Prof Gale said by definition they are more likely to experience negative emotions such as irritability, frustration and guilt.

But research investigating links between neuroticism and mortality have produced inconsistent results.

Some have shown higher risk of death and others no relationship - or even less risk.

So Prof Gale and colleagues suspected the relationship could depend on how people rated their health.

The researchers used data from the UK Biobank collected from 502,655 people aged 37 to 73 who completed a validated personality assessment measuring neuroticism.

They also indicated if they thought they were in excellent, good, fair or poor health overall.

The data also included information on smoking, exercise, body mass index, blood pressure, cognitive function and medical diagnoses such as heart problems, diabetes and cancer.

Death certificates from the NHS Central Registry revealed 4,497 participants died in the follow-up period of 6.25 years, on average.

In general mortality was slightly higher among those with higher levels of neuroticism.

But when Prof Gale and colleagues took into account self-rated health the trend was reversed - with slightly lower risk of death from all causes and from cancer.

Prof Gale said: “When we explored this further we found this protective effect was only present in people who rated their health as fair or poor.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "MARK WAGHORN"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4514143.1501052558!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4514143.1501052558!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Turns out worrying could be good for you, according to a new study. Picture: ThinkStock","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Turns out worrying could be good for you, according to a new study. Picture: ThinkStock","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4514143.1501052558!/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/opinion/tim-flinn-we-don-t-need-dead-wood-in-the-lords-let-s-have-the-brightest-and-best-instead-1-4513456","id":"1.4513456","articleHeadline": "Tim Flinn: We don’t need dead wood in the Lords – let’s have the brightest and best instead","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501048851000 ,"articleLead": "

All proper democracies have a second chamber to help moderate the first one or, as with the USA, to moderate the President – as Donald Trump is learning to his discomfort.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4513455.1500981537!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Members of the House of Lords are often political appointees. Picture: Alastair Grant/AFP/GettyImages"} ,"articleBody": "

That Scotland lacks an upper house is regrettable. Two Scottish houses could use Holyrood on alternate days, as that building is rarely busy with anything really worthwhile (it produced no new legislation between March 2015 to March 2016). However, while we do share the House of Lords with the rest of the UK, many of us find that institution less than satisfactory.

One reason why the Lords lacks popular appeal is because it is mainly filled with unelected people, several of whom apparently sign in regularly more to receive the substantial daily allowance than to benefit the nation with their experience, wit and wisdom. The Lords has been called ‘God’s Waiting Room’, given that faded politicians, officials and chums of various Prime Ministers end their days there.

One solution proposed is for the public to vote in House of Lords members; however, that is likely to produce the ‘same old, same old’ as parties fail to resist the temptation to put up their own dead wood.

Why not instead give the seats to those who have succeeded in worthwhile activities in the real world, but who have never been politicians?

Surely a five year spell to top off a brilliant career in music, sport, science, art, business, medicine, design, building, engineering, police, education, religion, farming, broadcasting, finance, exporting, military, fishing, charitable work, etc, would attract a wide range of hitherto unexploited talent?

House of Lords membership would be automatically offered to all who have reached the top in the real world of work. Where more than one candidate was possible, professional bodies for each sector could decide which of their retirees most merited the honour.

Politicians and voters would be kept well out of things. No one would be obliged to accept the offer (and the strict attendance and contribution requirements attached) – the House of Lords isn’t for ­everyone.

The membership number, pay and perks would be as for the lower chamber, but rather than party whips, there would be a compulsion to stand down after five years to enable fresh blood.

An important aside is the merit of limiting lower house membership, to two elections say, and for much the same reason: career politicians drain energy and morality from politics. As de La Rochefoucauld reminded us ‘the graveyards are filled with indispensable people’.

A drawback to modern politics is the combative political process and the Machiavellian harshness of life endured by those who seek office.

The often unworthy skills needed to climb the greasy political pole are why such persons often self-identify their unsuitability for office. This proposal counterbalances that.

Tim Flinn is a retired education psychologist. He lives in Garvald, East Lothian.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4513455.1500981537!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4513455.1500981537!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Members of the House of Lords are often political appointees. Picture: Alastair Grant/AFP/GettyImages","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Members of the House of Lords are often political appointees. Picture: Alastair Grant/AFP/GettyImages","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4513455.1500981537!/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/scottish-government-s-incentive-scheme-to-keep-trainee-doctors-1-4513983","id":"1.4513983","articleHeadline": "Scottish Government’s incentive scheme to keep trainee doctors","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1501045201000 ,"articleLead": "

The Scottish Government is to introduce incentives to keep trainee doctors in the country as part of the new graduate level medical course.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4513982.1501015582!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Scottish Government are making plans to try and keep docotrs."} ,"articleBody": "

The four-year course will have 40 places available with the aim of addressing the GP crisis in rural areas and is being delivered by medical schools in St Andrews and Dundee in collaboration with the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Shona Robison revealed the new course will have an “element of bonding” in a written answer to shadow health secretary Miles Briggs who asked how it will encourage Scottish-domiciled students to apply.

A similar bonding scheme currently operates in Wales and takes a four-pronged approach targeting GPs at different stages of their careers – in a bid to convince them to live and work in the country.

It includes an incentive scheme for a limited number of posts for some trainees and is dependent on GPs working in the area for an agreed length of time.

Applications for the new course which offers existing graduates a route into medicine will open in September, Health Secretary Shona Robison confirmed last month.

The course, which will begin next Autumn, will be open to existing graduates from any discipline with an interest in pursuing a medical degree.

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “Bonding has been used for some time in dentistry training and we are exploring how this model could be used in other areas. We will be announcing further details soon.”

The new course will commence against a backdrop of a recruitment crisis throughout the NHS in Scotland with a projected deficit of 828 GPs in Scotland by 2021. Senior doctors including Dr Miles Mack, chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners and Dr Alan McDevitt of the BMA have both spoken about the need to widen access to medical schools and the importance of recruiting GPs who can identify strongly with the local communities in the areas they practice.

Miles Briggs, Scottish Conservative Public Health Spokesman, said: “I welcome this new graduate level course in as far as it goes – and if it is successful I hope that the Scottish Government will look at expanding the number of places available on this course in future – but it will obviously be some time before these graduates are retrained and working in our health service.

“I will also be asking for more detail on the scheme and how the Scottish Government will ensure that it Scottish domiciled students in particular are able to benefit from it.”

Scottish Labour health spokesman Anas Sarwar said: “We welcome any attempt to address the shortage of doctors in the NHS, and we do need to find ways to encourage recruitment and retention.

“But we can’t ignore the reality facing our doctors, and after a decade of SNP mismanagement, the NHS workforce commission established by Labour will examine this in detail. More than one in three GP practices in Scotland has a vacancy for a doctor.”

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "KEVAN CHRISTIE"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4513982.1501015582!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4513982.1501015582!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "The Scottish Government are making plans to try and keep docotrs.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "The Scottish Government are making plans to try and keep docotrs.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4513982.1501015582!/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/domino-s-to-let-customers-order-pizza-with-amazon-echo-1-4513384","id":"1.4513384","articleHeadline": "Domino’s to let customers order pizza with Amazon Echo","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1500991939000 ,"articleLead": "

Domino’s Pizza has inked an agreement with Amazon Echo that will enable voice ordering for customers as it looks to boost slowing sales growth.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4513672.1500991921!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Dominos has launched voice ordering through Amazons Alexa. Picture: Mikael Buck/Dominos"} ,"articleBody": "

The delivery chain will launch what it called an “industry first” with voice ordering through Amazon’s Echo device as of today, as well as introducing GPS tracking for its pizzas.

• READ MORE: Amazon launch device that controls household devices through voice

Domino’s chief executive David Wild said: “Following a successful trial, we’ll be rolling out GPS, which will enable customers to track their delivery and help franchisees with labour management.”

The firm said the introduction of GPS tracking will provide “significant labour savings” for the franchisee, whilst also enhancing the overall online consumer experience.

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

However, the group reported first-half sales of £546.5 million which, while marking a 10.5 per cent increase on last year, represented a slowdown on the 17 per cent growth seen in the same period in 2016.

Like-for-like sales grew 2.4 per cent, a marked decline on last year’s 13 per cent growth as the firm flagged a “softer consumer environment and a slowdown in the overall delivery market”.

Pre-tax profit rose 9 per cent to £44.6 million, with the firm to shortly open its 1,000th British outlet.

• READ MORE: Domino’s delivers on profits – thanks to cheap cheese

Wild added: “The first half of 2017 has been another period of good progress for Domino’s Pizza Group, despite a more uncertain UK economic environment.

“The core business delivered strong year-on-year system sales, continuing to take pizza market share, with good like-for-like performance.

“We’ve had a record six months in the UK, opening 40 new stores and have consequently raised our expectations from 80 to 90 this year.

“I’m delighted we’ll shortly be opening our 1,000th British unit and we are well on track to achieve our goal of 1,600.”

Meanwhile, Amazon’s UK chief has expressed his desire to maintain a “diverse workforce” following Brexit as the internet giant revealed it is to create 450 research and development jobs at its new London headquarters.

Doug Gurr said that the firm employs a large number of EU citizens, adding that he is pleased that their status is being prioritised in Brexit talks.

“In common with any large organisation here, we have a large number of EU citizens, and we love that, we’ve always celebrated diversity in the workforce,” Gurr said.

“We benefit hugely from a diverse workforce, we’re very optimistic and hopeful that will continue to be the case going forward.”

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" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Ravender Sembhy"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4513672.1500991921!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4513672.1500991921!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Dominos has launched voice ordering through Amazons Alexa. Picture: Mikael Buck/Dominos","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Dominos has launched voice ordering through Amazons Alexa. Picture: Mikael Buck/Dominos","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4513672.1500991921!/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/shrinkflation-fuels-rise-in-cost-of-sweet-treats-1-4513010","id":"1.4513010","articleHeadline": "‘Shrinkflation’ fuels rise in cost of sweet treats","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1500975878000 ,"articleLead": "

Shrinking chocolate bars have helped bump up the total cost of sweet treats over the past five years, new figures have revealed.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4513009.1500975859!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Toblerone bars are among products which have been affected by 'shrinkflation'."} ,"articleBody": "

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said so-called “shrinkflation” – where the size of a product is reduced and the price stays the same – has added 1.22 percentage points to the inflation rate of the sugar, jam, syrups, chocolate and confectionery category since 2012.

The statistics agency said chocolate manufacturers had blamed the drop in size on the rising cost of raw materials. However, the European import price of sugar sank to its lowest level on record in March this year, while cocoa prices have dropped sharply since record highs seen in 2015.

The ONS brushed aside the idea of Brexit being a key factor behind the falling size of chocolate bars.

It said: “Manufacturers’ costs may also be rising because of the recent fall in the value of the pound, leading some commentators to attribute shrinkflation on the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. But our analysis doesn’t show a noticeable change following the referendum that would point towards a Brexit effect.

“Furthermore, others (including Which?) had been observing these shrinking pack sizes long before the EU referendum, and several manufacturers have denied that this is a major factor.”

The statistics agency found 2,529 occasions where different types of products had changed size over the past five years, but said the difference had little impact on the headline rate of inflation.

It said the figure included products which were sampled more than once.

Toblerone made the news late last year when its US maker, Mondelez International, changed its distinctive mountain peak shape and made bars lighter because of rising ingredient costs. McVities’ digestives dark chocolate biscuits have dropped in size from 332g to 300g, while the price increased by 10p to £1.69p in Tesco, according Which?

The consumer website also said that Tropicana Creations Pure Premium Orange and Raspberry juice has also decreased from one litre to 850ml, but the price in Asda remained at £2.48.

A separate survey has revealed British households are spending less money on holidays, cars and white goods after suffering the tightest squeeze on their finances for three years.

The IHS Markit Household Finance Index (HFI) hit 41.8 in July, down from 43.7 in June, with a reading above 50 indicating growth.

Higher inflation and sluggish wage growth weighed on spending power, with the amount spent on big-ticket items such as holidays and cars falling at the fastest rate since December 2013.

Tim Moore, IHS Markit’s senior economist, said the “recent moderation” in inflationary pressures had yet to feed through to households.

He said: “The latest downturn in financial wellbeing was the greatest recorded for three years, reflecting reduced cash available to spend and lacklustre pay growth.

“There are signs that squeezed household budgets and worries about earnings have started to spill over to consumer spending patterns.

“Consumer aversion to spending on big-ticket items (such as cars, holidays and large appliances), appears to have been magnified by upward pressures on household debt, as well as stretched cash available to spend.

“The latest survey pointed to a renewed rise in household debt, alongside another increase in demand for unsecured borrowing.”

The UK economy’s lacklustre start to the year is expected to continue when official figures for the second quarter are released tomorrow. Economists are expecting gross domestic product (GDP) to expand by 0.3 per cent between April and June.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "BEN WOODS"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4513009.1500975859!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4513009.1500975859!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Toblerone bars are among products which have been affected by 'shrinkflation'.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Toblerone bars are among products which have been affected by 'shrinkflation'.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4513009.1500975859!/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/grocery-giant-asda-plays-down-b-m-takeover-speculation-1-4513218","id":"1.4513218","articleHeadline": "Grocery giant Asda plays down B&M takeover speculation","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1500967703000 ,"articleLead": "

Senior Asda sources have played down speculation that the supermarket giant owned by Walmart of the US is weighing a £4.4 billion takeover offer for UK discount retailer B&M.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4513217.1500967724!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Analysts said acquiring B&M would give Asda access to a network of high street stores. Picture: Paul Faith/PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

However, the pouring of cold water on reports of what would be the latest in a flurry of consolidation involving the supermarket sector failed to stop B&M’s shares jumping markedly. The stock closed up almost 5 per cent at 357.5p yesterday.

• READ MORE: Asda sees positive momentum despite fresh sales fall

B&M is owned by the billionaire Arora brothers, and has former Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy as chairman. The Aroras have built the group into a 500‑store player since taking control in 2004.

Analysts said that acquiring the chain would give Asda access to a network of high street shops through which to distribute its products, including the George clothing range.

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

Clive Black, analyst at Shore Capital, said: “B&M would bring great capability in general merchandise value retailing for Asda, with its strong range, authority, pricing and space growth, whilst providing George, Asda’s excellent apparel brand, the scope for space growth in largely complementary locations. B&M is also increasingly effective in grocery. Cost synergies would be potentially evident in central overheads, sourcing and logistics.”

A deal would also release pressure on Asda’s core supermarket business, which has seen years of sales declines amid rising competition.

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" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "martin flanagan"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4513217.1500967724!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4513217.1500967724!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Analysts said acquiring B&M would give Asda access to a network of high street stores. Picture: Paul Faith/PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Analysts said acquiring B&M would give Asda access to a network of high street stores. Picture: Paul Faith/PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4513217.1500967724!/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/charlie-gard-s-parents-end-legal-battle-over-treatment-1-4512772","id":"1.4512772","articleHeadline": "Charlie Gard’s parents end legal battle over treatment","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1500967406000 ,"articleLead": "

Charlie Gard’s parents have ended their legal fight over treatment for their terminally-ill baby son, saying: “We are sorry we could not save you.”

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4512863.1500967387!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Chris Gard (L) reads out a statement while Charlie's mother Connie Yates (R) looks on. Picture: AFP/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Chris Gard and Connie Yates announced their decision as a High Court judge was preparing to oversee the latest round of a five-month legal battle.

Reading a statement, Ms Yates told the packed courtroom from the witness box: “This is one of the hardest things that we will ever have to say and we are about to do the hardest thing that we’ll ever have to do, which is to let our beautiful little Charlie go.”

She said “a whole lot of time has been wasted” and said she hoped Charlie’s life would not be in vain.

Ms Yates wept as she said: “We are sorry we could not save you.”

Charlie suffers from a rare inherited disease - infantile onset encephalomyopathy mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome (MDDS) - and his doctors at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children (GOSH) in London have argued that he should be allowed to die with dignity.

But his parents wanted him to be given an experimental treatment by specialist Michio Hirano, a professor of neurology at Columbia University Medical Centre in New York, who travelled to London last week to examine Charlie for the first time and discuss the case with Great Ormond Street doctors.

READ MORE - Hospital staff treating terminally ill Charlie Gard sent death threats

On Friday lawyers for GOSH told the High Court that the latest scan carried out on Charlie made for “sad reading”.

On Monday, Mr Justice Francis had been scheduled to analyse what his parents said was fresh evidence at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court.

But as the hearing got under way, the family’s barrister Grant Armstrong told the judge: “This case is now about time.

“Sadly time has run out.”

Saying the case was “worthy of a Greek tragedy”, Mr Armstrong said Charlie’s parents had made a decision following the latest medical reports and scans.

He said damage to Charlie’s muscle and tissue was irreversible.

“The parents’ worst fears have been confirmed,” he said.

“It is now too late to treat Charlie.”

Great Ormond Street Hospital said “the agony, desolation and bravery” of the decision by Charlie’s parents “command GOSH’s utmost respect and humble all who work there”.

Mr Justice Francis paid tribute to the family and said no-one could comprehend their agony.

He also praised Great Ormond Street staff who had worked “tirelessly”.

The judge said it was a “disgrace” that staff had been subjected to abuse and threats.

But outside court, supporters calling themselves Charlie’s Army reacted with anger and tears, chanting “shame on you judge” and “shame on GOSH “.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "ANGUS HOWARTH"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4512863.1500967387!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4512863.1500967387!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Chris Gard (L) reads out a statement while Charlie's mother Connie Yates (R) looks on. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Chris Gard (L) reads out a statement while Charlie's mother Connie Yates (R) looks on. Picture: AFP/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4512863.1500967387!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4512771.1500906718!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4512771.1500906718!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Charlie Gard. Picture: Family handout/PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Charlie Gard. Picture: Family handout/PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4512771.1500906718!/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/business/companies/financial/tsb-rises-to-the-challenge-with-business-banking-role-1-4513178","id":"1.4513178","articleHeadline": "TSB rises to the challenge with business banking role","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1500963222000 ,"articleLead": "

Banking sector challenger TSB has appointed a commercial banking director as it looks to ramp up it business lending offering.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4513177.1500963382!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Richard Davies joins TSB in the new role of commercial banking director. Picture: Contributed"} ,"articleBody": "

Richard Davies is due to take on the newly created role within the bank’s executive team by the end of 2017.

• READ MORE: TSB’s Spanish owner pledges long-term commitment to UK

Davies is said to possess a “broad experience of building and leading commercial banking, with a particular passion for SMEs and digital innovation”. Prior to joining HSBC as chief operating officer for its UK commercial bank, he was chief executive of SME-focused challenger OakNorth.

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

TSB chief executive Paul Pester said: “There’s still plenty to do as we continue on our mission to bring more competition to UK banking and break the stranglehold that the big five banks have had on the market for far too long.

“The combination of ­Richard’s entrepreneurial flair seen at OakNorth, combined with his experience in leading commercial banking arms at HSBC and Barclays means he will be a real catalyst to develop TSB’s ambitions in this area.”

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" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Scott Reid"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4513177.1500963382!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4513177.1500963382!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Richard Davies joins TSB in the new role of commercial banking director. Picture: Contributed","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Richard Davies joins TSB in the new role of commercial banking director. Picture: Contributed","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4513177.1500963382!/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/opinion/professor-hugh-pennington-inquiries-can-blame-but-they-re-not-courts-1-4512542","id":"1.4512542","articleHeadline": "Professor Hugh Pennington: Inquiries can blame but they’re not courts","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1500962440000 ,"articleLead": "

Public inquiries are in the news, again. The ­Grenfell Tower Inquiry team has counsel in place - three heavyweight QCs. Their inquisitorial activities will play a major role in setting the tone of the public part of the inquiry.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4512541.1500895697!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A public inquiry has been announced into the deadly Grenfell Tower inferno. Picture: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

Meanwhile, in England an inquiry into hepatitis C and HIV transmitted by blood transfusions and blood products has been announced. It will follow two public inquiries into the same subject, the Lindsay Tribunal in the Republic of Ireland (1999-2002) and the Penrose Inquiry in Scotland (2008-2015).

The Penrose final report was called a whitewash. It was burned in public. It is a fair guess that this happened because nobody was singled out for blame, and nobody went to prison.

But public inquiries regularly apportion blame. Careers were ­significantly blighted by evidence during the public inquiry I chaired in Wales into an E.coli outbreak. Regulators hadn’t regulated. Complaints hadn’t been heeded. Dishonesty went undetected. Inspections were inadequate. But the law hadn’t been broken. The villain of the piece, a butcher, was jailed before the start of our public hearings.

Public inquiries are inquisitorial, not adversarial. They are not a court. Counsel quizzes the witnesses. The chair is in charge. As Lord Cullen said in his Piper Alpha report, his remit was wide-ranging, “but did not entitle me to embark on a roving excursion into every aspect of safety in the North Sea or into every grievance, however sincere or well-founded, that was entertained”.

There had to be a tenable connection with the disaster before a ­particular line of evidence would be explored.

Public inquiries try to achieve fairness by ­Maxwellisation, when a person who might be criticised in the report is sent a draft for their comments. The term comes from an investigation into Robert Maxwell’s running of the Pergamon Press in 1974. Aberdeen University Press was part of it. According to the public record, that is why the university gave him an honorary LLD. I was at his graduation at Marischal College. He was really chuffed. All he had before was a degree from the Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow.

Public inquiries describe what happened in a disaster, try to explain why it occurred, and aim to prevent a repeat by making evidence-based recommendations. Criminality is a police matter. My inquiry in Wales was typical in that our public hearings waited until a trial had finished. But we worked in parallel with the police; their findings were very helpful to us.

Most public inquiries last years. The disaster they investigate has in itself nearly always induced rapid technical investigations and changes to rules and regulations. In 2015, Penrose didn’t need to propose new procedures to make blood transfusions and blood products safe; they had been introduced long before, occasioned by the march of science.

This is just as well. After delivering its report, an inquiry ceases to have any standing or authority.

Professor Hugh Pennington is an emeritus professor of bacteriology at the University of Aberdeen. He has chaired inquiries into E. coli outbreaks in Scotland and South Wales.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4512541.1500895697!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4512541.1500895697!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "A public inquiry has been announced into the deadly Grenfell Tower inferno. Picture: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "A public inquiry has been announced into the deadly Grenfell Tower inferno. Picture: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4512541.1500895697!/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/sara-cox-stalker-who-hoarded-child-porn-is-jailed-1-4513057","id":"1.4513057","articleHeadline": "Sara Cox stalker who hoarded child porn is jailed","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1500929472000 ,"articleLead": "

A convicted paedophile who stalked BBC Radio 2 DJ Sara Cox by sending her disturbing letters and hoarded indecent images of children has been sentenced to 16 months in jail.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4513056.1500929453!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sara Cox. Picture: file image"} ,"articleBody": "

Anthony Collins, 50, pleaded guilty to harassment relating to notes posted to the 42-year-old Bolton-born host of The Great Pottery Throw Down on BBC Two.

Maidstone Crown Court heard Collins bought her address details online for £17 and sent her letters handwritten in felt-tip pen along with a printed photo of Cox, referred to by her married name Cyzer.

Prosecutor Mary Jacobson said Ms Cox received an envelope on 24 January containing two letters in which Collins wrote that he was lonely, psychologically disturbed and had a long criminal history.

He added that he was poor, living unhappily in a bedsit and he asked Cox to invite him to BBC Radio 2’s studios, saying she was “lovely, warm, kind and sexy”.

In one of the letters, Collins wrote: “Sara, I’m Tony Collins, I’m 49, tall with green eyes. I know you are married to Ben Cyzer and know he is a successful man. I’m unsuccessful in my life.”

Collins referred to Ms Cox’s fondness for dogs and horses, and named her dog in one of the letters. He also included his mobile phone number and a passport picture of himself, Ms Jacobson went on.

On 7 February, Cox’s husband also received a handwritten letter at his workplace, along with a picture of his celebrity wife holding a child, and a diagram with the words “Cancer Analysis” in capital letters.

Ms Jacobson said: “When Ms Cox found out her husband had received a letter she was immediately much more scared.”

When Collins was arrested on 10 February, police found indecent images of girls aged four to 15 in Collins’ bedside table drawers.

Officers also discovered a fake BBC visitor’s pass, a Google map print out of Ms Cox’s sister’s work address and more unposted letters.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "TOM PUGH"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4513056.1500929453!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4513056.1500929453!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Sara Cox. Picture: file image","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Sara Cox. Picture: file image","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4513056.1500929453!/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/fox-pressed-on-chlorinated-chicken-amid-us-trade-deal-talks-1-4512726","id":"1.4512726","articleHeadline": "Fox pressed on chlorinated chicken amid US trade deal talks","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1500925845000 ,"articleLead": "

Decisions on whether to allow chlorine-washed chicken to be sold to British consumers would be taken at the “very end stage” of a potential US-UK free trade deal, Liam Fox said as he condemned media “obsession” with the subject.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4512725.1500905499!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Chlorine-rinsed chicken from the US could be on sale in British supermarkets following a post-Brexit trade deal."} ,"articleBody": "

The International Trade Secretary was in Washington for talks on post-Brexit trade links with the US amid concerns that any agreement would open up British markets to US agricultural products including the controversial chickens.

Dr Fox said closer trade ties could boost prosperity in both countries and hit out at Brexit critics, claiming they were “dreaming” if they thought the UK could end up remaining in the European Union.

Asked if he would feel comfortable eating a chlorine-washed chicken, Dr Fox said: “In a debate which should be about how we make our contribution to global liberalisation and the increased prosperity of both the UK, the US and our trading partners, the complexities of those – the continuity agreements, the short-term gains that we may make, the opportunities we have and our ability to work jointly towards both a free-trade agreement and WTO liberalisation – the British media are obsessed with chlorine-washed chickens, a detail of the very end stage of one sector of a potential free trade agreement. I say no more than that.”

Dr Fox urged Remainers to accept the result of the referendum and help secure the best outcome for the UK rather than seek to “thwart” Brexit.

READ MORE: Alex Salmond: Indyref2 will come right as Brexit goes wrong

The prominent Brexiteer said: “Those who are still intent on trying to thwart the process, or seem to hope that something will magically appear that will change the referendum results, they are dreaming.”

Answering questions following a speech at the American Enterprise Institute conservative think tank, Dr Fox said it would be “optimistic” to think a free-trade deal with the EU could be concluded by the time of Brexit in March 2019 but ministers were supportive of a transitional deal so that businesses would not face a cliff-edge change in the rules. There was a “growing consensus” in Cabinet for an “implementation” phase, which would see the UK voluntarily keep some of the EU’s laws and rules, he said.

But he rejected Brussels’ demands for the European Court of Justice to guarantee the rights of EU citizens in the UK after Brexit, saying it was a “very strange view of jurisprudence”.

Theresa May’s spokesman said it was too early to discuss details of any trade deal, such as the issue of chlorinated chicken.

Labour MP Ben Bradshaw, a leading supporter of the Open Britain campaign, said: “The government is putting the Fox in charge of the hen coop when it comes to food safety. This row about chlorine chicken is a direct result of the government’s decision to leave the single market. They are so desperate for new trade deals to make up for some of the losses that they seem ready to compromise on the safety of the food we eat.”

READ MORE: Brexit transition deal could last until 2022, says Liam Fox

Britain is to release a report detailing the UK’s trade links with every single one of the 435 congressional districts in the US, in a bid to win the backing of American politicians for a swift post-Brexit trade deal.

The publication, which highlights more than 700,000 US jobs supported by exports to the UK in 2015, has been compiled by an US/UK trade and investment working group set up by Dr Fox’s Department for International Trade.

In his speech to the AEI, Dr Fox warned global growth and prosperity were under threat from an increase in protectionist measures “silting up” world trade since the crash of 2008. He called for swift completion of the mooted Trade in Services Agreement to liberalise trade in sectors like banking and healthcare.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "DAVID HUGHES"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4512725.1500905499!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4512725.1500905499!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Chlorine-rinsed chicken from the US could be on sale in British supermarkets following a post-Brexit trade deal.","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Chlorine-rinsed chicken from the US could be on sale in British supermarkets following a post-Brexit trade deal.","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4512725.1500905499!/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/lord-heseltine-predicts-general-election-by-2019-1-4512911","id":"1.4512911","articleHeadline": "Lord Heseltine predicts general election ‘by 2019’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1500912095000 ,"articleLead": "

The Conservative Government will face a general election in about two years’ time, former deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine has predicted.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4512910.1500912077!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Lord Heseltine, who has predicted a new general election in 2019. Picture: Getty Images"} ,"articleBody": "

And the Conservative peer warned that by this point, Theresa May’s administration will be “torn apart by leadership speculation and the growing clarity of our weakness in the Brexit talks”.

Writing in The Times, he warned that a shift in public mood on Brexit could leave the Conservatives “holding the baby” as the electorate demands continued EU membership.

It should be “alarming” to the Tory leadership that young people joining the electoral roll each year could be worth 1,000 extra votes against Brexit in every constituency, he said.

READ MORE - IMF downgrades UK’s growth forecast as economy weakens

Downing Street declined to respond to Lord Heseltine’s comments, which come after reports that 15 Conservative MPs may be ready to sign a letter of no confidence in the Prime Minister - well short of the 48 required to trigger a leadership contest.

Meanwhile, Mrs May was given strong backing by the secretary of the influential 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers, who said she would have the support of MPs and peers if she chose to sack Cabinet members who leaked against her.

Nigel Evans said the “men in grey suits” had told the PM that it was “time perhaps for them to go if they carry on with their antics”.

And he told BBC Radio 4’s Westminster Hour: “It’s not just Tory backbenchers who’ve been coming up to me and saying we’ve had enough of this... People back in my constituency say this should not happen. I spoke to the Association of Conservative Peers the other day and they said `Please tell Theresa May she has our support as well’.

READ MORE - Brexit transition deal could last until 2022 says Liam Fox

“So we’ll back the Prime Minister and if they carry on doing some of the stupid things they’ve been doing, she can get rid of them with the authority of the ‘22.”

Describing the May Government as “a rabbit frozen in the spotlight”, Lord Heseltine said that the party’s prospects at the next election depend on its ability to “refocus the agenda and govern”, with a programme of increased devolution and reforms to education, housing, local government and skills.

He predicted there would be a window of opportunity following autumn’s elections in Germany for a “re-examination” of the EU’s free movement rules, and said the UK should concentrate on reducing immigration from outside Europe, by intensified policing of the Mediterranean routes and a Marshall Aid-style programme to improve living standards in migrants’ home countries.

“I believe the Government faces an election in about two years, which suits the self-interest of all the opposition parties,” wrote Lord Heseltine. “The mid-term blues and Brexit will by then change the public’s anti-election mood.

“The Government will be torn apart by leadership speculation and the growing clarity of our weakness in the Brexit talks.”

And he warned: “If, as I anticipate, public opinion on Europe moves against Brexit, be sure Labour will change with it.

READ MORE - Michael Gove signals agreement on free movement during Brexit

“We could be left holding the baby. It will be too late to recognise the danger when the vote of confidence is called.”

Veteran Tory backbencher Michael Fabricant said that the party should unite behind Mrs May, even though she “f***** up” the General Election.

In response to a tweet from a constituent calling for unity behind Mrs May, the Lichfield MP replied: “She f***** up GE2017, but that does not mean she does not do a great job as PM with a clear vision for Brexit. I agree with you.”

The former whip said there were always “a dozen or so disgruntled MPs ready to sign a letter against any PM”.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": ""} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4512910.1500912077!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4512910.1500912077!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Lord Heseltine, who has predicted a new general election in 2019. Picture: Getty Images","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Lord Heseltine, who has predicted a new general election in 2019. Picture: Getty Images","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4512910.1500912077!/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/michael-fallon-aircraft-carrier-critics-need-to-shut-up-1-4512891","id":"1.4512891","articleHeadline": "Michael Fallon: aircraft carrier critics ‘need to shut up’","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1500911327000 ,"articleLead": "

Armchair critics of Britain’s most powerful warship need to “shut up for a while”, said the Defence Secretary as he hailed the return of “big decks and fast jets”.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4500703.1500911308!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "HMS Queen Elizabeth. Picture: Royal Navy/MoD/Crown Copyright/PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

Whilst on board HMS Queen Elizabeth, the 280-metre, 65,000-tonne aircraft carrier, Sir Michael Fallon, who was visiting the ship for the first time while at sea, also praised it as “great for British industry”.

During his address to the crew gathered on the four-acre flight deck of the vessel on Monday, he said it had “been a while since HMS Illustrious”, adding: “But big decks and fast jets are now back.

“This ship is so much bigger than Illustrious and it combines, of course, sea power with air power.

“Already we have 10 F-35s being flown and trained in the United States. By the end of this year we will have 14 of those fast jets - the world’s most sophisticated fighter.”

The Defence Secretary also told the ship’s company it was time for the “armchair critics to shut up for a while”, adding that HMS Illustrious “has now gone”.

READ MORE: £3bn HMS Queen Elizabeth ‘vulnerable to low-cost missiles’

“But Queen Elizabeth, the biggest and the greatest warship this country has ever built, will go on now from these trials to defend our country, to safeguard our sea lanes, to work with our allies and partners to keep the peace, and to save lives across all seven seas,” he added.

When pressed on what he would say to the “armchair critics”, Sir Michael said: “They should come and see this wonderful flagship of the Royal Navy, which will help keep this country safe for 50 years to come.

“In a modern world, we need a strong Navy, we need an aircraft carrier, and from an aircraft carrier you need to be able to fly the best jets.”

The £3 billion behemoth is set to be the nation’s future flagship - her 700-strong ship’s company plus 200 contractors are currently sailing off the coast of Scotland for maiden sea trials.

During her estimated half a century working life, HMS Queen Elizabeth can be pressed into action for various work such as high-intensity war fighting or providing humanitarian aid and disaster relief.

Quizzed on how relevant the ship would be over the coming decades, Sir Michael, who stepped on to the carrier from a Merlin helicopter, said: “In a modern world we need aircraft carriers.”

He added: “The coalition would not have been successful in Iraq in defeating Daesh terrorism in Mosul without the strikes the American jets have flown from their aircraft carrier in the gulf.

“We can’t tell what the future will hold, or which part of the world the terrorist threat may next emerge. We can’t tell that now, so we have to be sure we can play our part with our allies in any of the seven seas.”

Sir Michael also said in his address that the “mighty aircraft carrier” was “great for British industry”, with many yards across the UK, thousands of people, and hundreds of apprentices and businesses involved in its creation.

“90% of it - British - 17 million parts. This ship is a floating showcase for British industry, British talent, British skills and British brainpower,” he added.

“This is a great day for Britain. There are only three other countries in the world building aircraft carriers - and we are building two.”

READ MORE: Paris Gourtsoyannis: Future of shipbuilding in Scotland unclear

The aircraft carrier and F-35B stealth fighter jets will provide the armed forces with a military operating base which can be deployed worldwide.

Four weeks ago HMS Queen Elizabeth sailed for the first time from Rosyth, under the authority of the Aircraft Carrier Alliance, which is responsible for building and delivering the ship to the Royal Navy.

Since then, the initial period of sea trials, set to last around six weeks, have been taking place to test the fundamentals of the ship, including monitoring speed, manoeuvrability, power and propulsion, as well as undertaking weapons trials and additional tests on her levels of readiness.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is expected to enter Portsmouth and be accepted by the Royal Navy towards the end of the year.

The second ship in the class, HMS Prince of Wales, is currently being fitted out in the Rosyth dock, and Sir Michael announced to the ship’s company that this second aircraft carrier would be officially named on 8 September.

" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "GEORGINA STUBBS"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4500703.1500911308!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4500703.1500911308!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "HMS Queen Elizabeth. Picture: Royal Navy/MoD/Crown Copyright/PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "HMS Queen Elizabeth. Picture: Royal Navy/MoD/Crown Copyright/PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4500703.1500911308!/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/mccoll-s-profits-fall-after-co-op-stores-acquisition-1-4512634","id":"1.4512634","articleHeadline": "McColl’s profits fall after Co-op stores acquisition","commentCount":0,"publishedDate":1500899276000 ,"articleLead": "

Profits at convenience store chain McColl’s were almost cut in half after it took a hit from its acquisition of 298 Co-op branches, despite warm weather boosting sales.

","articleThumbnail": {"thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4512633.1500899511!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Earnings at McColl's were hit by costs linked to the Co-op stores deal. Picture: McColl's/PA Wire"} ,"articleBody": "

The group, which owns the Glasgow-based RS McColl chain of shops, said pre-tax profits fell from £8.2 million to £4.5m in the first half of the year after it booked £2.3m in exceptional costs linked to the Co-op deal.

• READ MORE: McColl’s given green light to bag 298 Co-op stores

But revenues rose 7.6 per cent to £504.8m in the six months to 28 May, with like-for-like sales growing 0.2 per cent.

In the second quarter, comparable sales increased 1.4 per cent, supported by “favourable weather and our evolving mix of growth products”.

Chief executive Jonathan Miller said: “I am encouraged by the performance we have delivered over the first half of the year as our business has continued to gain momentum.

“We have traded well in a challenging environment, and also benefited from the recent hot weather, which has helped to drive sales in key growth categories including grocery and alcohol.

“We are delighted to have completed the integration of the acquired stores, on time and on budget.”

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

Analysts believe the Co-op deal has the potential to drive a surge in earnings at McColl’s, but the grocery sector is in flux, with a number of bigger players attempting to consolidate.

• READ MORE: Tesco agrees bumper tie-up with wholesaler Booker

Tesco is attempting a £3.7 billion merger with Booker and a mooted attempt by Sainsbury’s to acquire Nisa is also thought to be on the cards.

Miller added: “As the wider convenience and wholesale sector evolves and continues to grow, McColl’s is in a strong position to benefit.

“We remain confident that our standing as a leading neighbourhood retailer will allow us to continue to achieve further progress against our strategy and deliver sustainable returns for shareholders.”

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" ,"byline": {"email": "" ,"author": "Ravender Sembhy"} ,"topImages": [ {"image": {"url":"/webimage/1.4512633.1500899511!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/box_600/image.jpg","thumbnailUrl":"/webimage/1.4512633.1500899511!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_170/image.jpg","alt": "Earnings at McColl's were hit by costs linked to the Co-op stores deal. Picture: McColl's/PA Wire","width":600,"height":315,"thumbnailWidth":170,"thumbnailHeight":"auto","imageAlt": "Earnings at McColl's were hit by costs linked to the Co-op stores deal. Picture: McColl's/PA Wire","landscapeurl":"/webimage/1.4512633.1500899511!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/image.jpg","landscapewidth":595,"landscapeheight":398}} ] ,"bodyImages": [ ] ,"polls":[ ] ,"videos":[ ] ,"imageGallerys":[ ] ,"externalLinks": [ ] ,"relatedList":{"count":0,"list":[ ]} }} ]}}} ]}