CITY DIARY : Mr Norris snatches a preview of the Treasury quiz masters

Peter Norris, the former chief executive of Barings who was fired after its collapse last year, made a surprise appearance at the Treasury Committee's hearing yesterday. The MPs were quizzing another fired former chief executive, Michael Lawrence, late of the London Stock Exchange, about his abrupt departure. Mr Norris, was not being questioned, but was rather sitting at the back of the room stroking his dark, bouffant hair. He was there presumably to see what it will be like when the same committee quizzes him soon on the circumstances surrounding the collapse of Barings. He is currently being investigated by the Securities and Futures Authority (SFA) about the collpase. Although Mr Norris has officially severed all connections with the merchant bank, he was accompanied yesterday by Deborah Reed, official spokeswoman from Barings, plus several other unidentified people. Yesterday the Committee gave Mr Lawrence a pretty easy ride, and Mr Norris left half way through. But Mr Norris should not think it will all be plain sailing. MPs can be merciless when they sniff a headline.

Jeff Randall, the former editor of the Sunday Times business section, is going back to the paper after a mere six months at Financial Dynamics, the City PR firm he joined with a fanfare last year. Mr Randall said yesterday that he is taking a "material" pay cut to return to writing, and that his move to become the Sunday Times' assistant editor has absolutely nothing to do with the recent ructions at Financial Dynamics. The firm has been in the spotlight following regulators' inquiries into share dealings in one of its clients, Caradon. FD has also publicly been rebuked by the Takeover Panel for improperly releasing information to an analyst about a client during a takeover bid. Mr Randall said last night he had been through far more fraught periods at the Sunday Times, such as when Tiny Rowland was suing the paper; he was absolutely sure that FD would be vindicated. He said that after a long run as a journalist he had wanted to do something else, but within four to five months had started to miss the newspaper life. Nick Miles, one of the top people at FD, said; "We're dissappointed ... the lure of Wapping is greater than the lure of Furnival Street."

The build up to the Grand Slam decider in the Five Nations rugby union championship on Saturday between England and Scotland at Murrayfield has reached fever pitch. Nowhere less so than in the board room of BICC, the cables and construction group, which has traditionally been headed by Scots. For instance, the present chairman Sir Robin Biggam, a Scot, is being succeeded by Lord Weir - a prominent Scots Tory. Alan Jones, the chief executive, would appear at first meeting to be a Sassenach, having a thoroughly English accent. His father, however, owned a vast sheep farm north of the border, in South Lanarkshire. There was double outrage in the BICC boardroom then when Mr Jones declared he would be cheering England on Saturday. We expect to see his head on a stick, whatever the result.

King Hussein of Jordan is addressing 200 British business leaders today at the London Business School on the role business can play in resolving international conflict. His Majesty will deliver the Stockton Lecture and then hold a question and answer session. According to the LBS, "the issue of international conflict is something most businesses shy away from.

"Even though international businesses often do a better job than international political bodies in bridging cultures, moving resources, and creating economic well-being, they can step very gingerly where conflict is concerned."

His Majesty will reflect on his experiences and suggest in what way, if any, business can help.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Sport
footballBrighton vs Arsenal match report
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK
film
News
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Tax Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Tax Assistant is required to join a leading ...

Recruitment Genius: Outbound Sales Executive - OTE £25,000

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Developer - Watford - £45,000 - £47,000

£45000 - £47000 per annum + bonus + benefits: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / ...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Product Manager - (Financial Services) - SW London

£35000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine