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Bank of Scotland owner Lloyds’ profits double

Lloyds Banking Group has seen pre-tax profits nearly double in the three months to the end of September compared to the same period a year ago.

Pre-tax profits rose from £1 billion to £2 billion as the bank released more cash held aside during the pandemic, including £84 million in the quarter, meaning £740 million of the £1.2 billion held during the Covid-19 crisis has now been added back to the balance sheet.

Also today, speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle granted an urgent question in the Commons on the fishing dispute amid reports of a Scottish vessel being detained in France.

The SNP’s environment, food and rural affairs spokeswoman, Deidre Brock, raised the question.

The Environment Secretary said he has asked officials to urgently investigate the situation surrounding a Scottish vessel detained in France, saying it’s “too early” to say precisely what has happened.

Shadow environment secretary Luke Pollard said in the Commons: “The fishing dispute with France is very troubling and facts need to be established.”

He asked if an external waters licence has been issued “to the Scottish scalloper currently detained in Le Havre, as its name does not appear on the MMO website. Is that an oversight?”

Environment secretary George Eustice said: “My officials are investigating the circumstances around this vessel that’s been detained in France.

“It is too early to be able to identify precisely what happened. But I have seen reports that it was on a list originally and then appeared not to be on a list. But it is something that I’ve asked our officials to urgently investigate.”

Cally Palace owner puts hotels up for sale
The McMillan family is seeking new owners for its portfolio of hotels in south-west Scotland after more than 60 years in the hospitality trade.

Founded in 1962 by Hammy and Janet McMillan, the group has been family-run for three generations and includes North West Castle in Stranraer, the Cally Palace Hotel & Golf Course in Gatehouse of Fleet, and Fernhill Hotel in Portpatrick. All are said to be trading strongly since coming out of lockdown.

John McAuslin: Sunak scant on new ideas as uncertainty hangs heavy over the UK economy
Rishi Sunak’s meteoric ascent from rising star of the Conservative Party to the hotly-tipped frontrunner to eventually replace Boris Johnson as Prime Minister has been much commented on since he took on the role of Chancellor.

His opening remarks in his latest Budget to the House of Commons were delivered with the gusto of a pre-election Budget.



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