James Ashton

James Ashton is Head of Business across the Independent, Independent on Sunday and London Evening Standard.

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James Ashton: Greggs can’t build until construction does

The former chief executive of Greggs, Ken McMeikan, used the expression “from barristers to builders” to describe the broad spectrum of customers the sandwich shop serves every week.

James Ashton: L&G can edge out the Qatari capital flow

Given the strategy that is propelling it forward, it is striking to note that Legal & General’s shares this week reached a high not seen since NatWest tried to acquire the company 14 years ago.

Gym bosses warm up for battle over VAT burden

Industry says cutting tax on memberships would improve nation's health, reports James Ashton

James Ashton: Dictating strategy from despatch box won't help Centrica keep the lights on

Outlook Complaints from senior politicians over profiteering, criticisms that bosses treat customers poorly – the predictable reactions to Centrica's results get more and more like those that afflict the Royal Bank of Scotland.

James Ashton: Young high-flyers just want to count beans

Outlook When I was a student, spending more time scribbling for the university newspaper than leafing through great literary works, PricewaterhouseCoopers was a godsend. The accounting firm always placed with us the largest advert of any recruiter to plug its milk-round days, money that shored up The Chronicle's finances on more than one occasion.

James Ashton: No wonder Tony Hayward doesn't want to stay on

Outlook Now his business is concentrated about as far from Britain as you can get, Tony Hayward is ideally placed to comment on our looming energy crisis. A manifesto published by the former BP boss the other day urged the Government not to turn its back on fossil fuels, to build our own nuclear power stations instead of hoping the French will do it for us and to slash subsidies for on and offshore windpower. Sounds easy.

James Ashton: One more mountain to climb, Sir Nigel?

Outlook Eyebrows were raised four years ago when Sir Nigel Rudd took the chair at Invensys, the industrial controls group that agreed to be sold yesterday to Schneider Electric of France. It was too small, too dull and probably didn't have much of an independent future. All that remains true today, except by repairing its finances and plugging its pension deficit, Sir Nigel and his chief executive Wayne Edmunds have made it saleable.

August 3, 2012: Jessica Ennis of Great Britain competes in the Women's Heptathlon High Jump on Day 7 of the London 2012 Olympic Games

Olympics legacy: Was it all worth it? It’s obvious

James Ashton reflects on London 2012 a year on

The sun sets over our capital's gorgeous skyline - but beneath, the tension mounts as Brazil's Pedro Cunha and Ricardo Santos take on Tarjei Viken Skarlund and Martin Spinnangr of Norway, in the men's beach volleyball on Horse Guards Parade

Olympics legacy: Did London 2012 provide a boom - or leave us bust?

We were told that London 2012 would boost business and revive the UK economy. Has it? James Ashton continues our week-long special investigation of the Olympic legacy

Centrica eyes move for top BP executive

One of BP’s top executives has emerged as a surprise candidate to become the next chairman of British Gas owner Centrica.

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