Business Diary: Lloyds group bags former UKIP man

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The Independent Online

Lloyds Action Now, the pressure group that wants compensation for shareholders who have lost out due to the bank's takeover of HBOS, got a few headlines yesterday with its announcement of test cases against the Bank of England and the Treasury. But the Diary thought Adrian Lithgow, the group's spokesman, looked familiar. We were right: he is the same Adrian Lithgow who was forced to resign as head of communications for the UK Independence Party four years ago after pleading guilty to racially aggravated harassment and threatening behaviour. Lithgow got into a row with railway staff at Victoria Station in London, with a Yugoslavian member of staff suffering some particularly unpleasant abuse.

A tale of two Hathaways

As if Warren Buffett wasn't doing well enough without help from outsiders, it turns out the investment performance of his Berkshire Hathaway group is getting an artificial boost from an unlikely source. American blogger Dan Mirvish has done a bit of research which reveals Buffett's company's share price rises every time the actress Anne Hathaway hits the headlines. It turns out computerised trading programmes are struggling to tell the difference between the two Hathaways – on the Friday before the Oscars, for instance, Berkshire stock was up 2 per cent.

A limited offer from Travelodge

Another marketing wheeze from the folk at Travelodge: free weekend breaks to celebrate the royal wedding. There are just a few eligibility criteria: the deal is only for married couples named William and Kate and they have to take the break on the royal wedding weekend at the end of next month. The Diary promises to ask the hotel group how many couples actually benefit from the deal.

Ping-pong back on for JPM Tokyo

Some good news from Tokyo at last, where JP Morgan boss Jamie Dimon has been spending a few days rallying the troops' morale in the investment bank's office. The bank's briefing on the trip says life is starting to return to something like normal for staff in Tokyo: above all, you will be relieved to hear, that "the table tennis club has resumed its regular practice schedule".