James Ashton

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

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Thomas Cook’s chief executive Harriet Green: “I felt I would be pacy, resilient and able to generate belief in the company”

Harriet Green: Thomas Cook gets the green light

The travel giant was on its knees just a year ago. Now the woman behind its £1.6bn rescue talks to James Ashton

James Ashton: Bankers toiling in these dog days will be wagging their tails at bonus time

The whodunnit 'Broadchurch' was praised for its ‘restrained approach’

James Ashton: 'Absentee landlord' shareholders? No, we're all activists now

Outlook The attention that has been given to making sure shareholders are not the "absentee landlords" that Lord Myners grumbled about in the aftermath of the financial crisis should have made redundant the description of any investor as an activist. It clearly hasn't, as Carl Icahn's move on Apple proves.

James Ashton: Rentokil is still not sprung from its trap

Outlook Whenever Rentokil Initial says it is doing better, I smell a rat. This is a company that has flattered to deceive for as long as I have been writing about it. A glance at yesterday's figures shows that underlying revenues are falling, it is enduring tough times in Europe, and it is trying to put in place a more efficient country-by-country operating model. So what's changed?

James Ashton: Smart-meter plans aren't looking so bright

Outlook The companies queuing up for a slice of work from the Government's grand plan to put a smart energy meter in every home have been waiting for a verdict longer than most homeowners used to have to hang around for the meter reader to knock on their door.

James Ashton: Extra time for Manchester United with latest sponsor

Outlook I suppose the whole point of companies you have never heard of taking out multi-million-pound sponsorships is to raise their profile. So Bulova, which traces its history back to 1875, must hope that becoming Manchester United's official timekeeper will help it shift a few more luxury watches.

James Ashton: Luck and timing drive the fortunes of BBC and the Bank’s new generation

For the life of me last summer I was trying to write something intelligent to link the twin successions that were occupying two of London’s most important institutions.

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
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Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little