James Ashton

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

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Wash career advice out of your hair: start by selling shampoo

Agenda: The art of persuading someone to part with their hard-earned cash for something they didn’t know they wanted can take you a long way

Peter Cruddas returned as chief executive last year, having stepped back to become a chairman

Founder Peter Cruddas signals £1bn float after CMC storms into profit

Cruddas unveiled pre-tax profits of £32.8 million in the year to 31 March

Which? planning £20m commercial expansion

The consumer association Which? is planning a £20m push to expand its commercial activities, which could make up a third of its profits in the next five years.

Would it kill Ed Miliband to start listening to captains of industry?

Big business has plenty of reasons not to like Ed Miliband. His pledges to reform  how energy is sold, pounce on unused land and cap banks’ market share if Labour is elected next year would mark a period of unprecedented intervention that has sent a shiver down bosses’ spines.

Alex Salmond and Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon present the White Paper for Scottish independence in November 2013 in Glasgow

Independence and a currency union may not be compatible for Scotland

My week: Mr Salmond’s plan is to share the pound in a sterling zone with the rest of the UK, but this idea is not proving popular in the Treasury

After Royal Mail, ministers might adjust their set on selling Channel 4

The criticism levelled at Vince Cable over the botched Royal Mail flotation this week might have an unlikely consequence. No, it won’t claim the Business Secretary’s scalp because in a delicately balanced Coalition Cabinet, the Liberal Democrat is too big to fail.

My Week: Tax tourism is a flagship policy, and Obama is helping things along

There are several factors that have turned the cross-border mergers and acquisitions tap back on this year. A recovering world economy, boardroom confidence and cash piled high on balance sheets have all played a part. Over lunch this week, one senior corporate adviser pointed out another secret weapon in generating deal fees: Barack Obama.

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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee