Business Diary: M&S hosts a star-studded do

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The Independent Online

To the Marks & Spencer summer party at its swanky head office in Paddington, west London.

Guests from the business world, including Sir Philip Green, the owner of Bhs and Topshop, Charles Dunstone, the chairman of Carphone Warehouse, and Harold Tillman, the boss of Jaeger, were joined by M&S's in-house celebrities – Twiggy, Tess Daly, Myleene Klass and Lisa Snowdon. Lord Mountbatten, who supplies M&S with organic chicken, was also in attendance, professing his delight that someone had asked him if he "worked in fashion".

Bolland has hard act to follow

The M&S bash also saw Marc Bolland make his first pledge since joining the retailer as chief executive ... to hold a summer party again next year. M&S cancelled the event last year because it didn't think it was appropriate during the recession, particularly as it had undertaken a hefty cull of jobs in 2009. The Dutchman also lavished praise on Sir Stuart Rose and his team for steering M&S through the downturn, but admitted that speaking after his chairman who "talks and acts like a machine gun" was not easy.

Lloyd's moves into kids' books

Fair play to Lloyd's of London for its efforts to engage with the community, working, with eight and nine-year-olds at a school in the East End borough of Tower Hamlets. The project has spawned a book, How The World REALLY Works: Insurance At Lloyd's Of London, which "explains the complex workings of insurance in a format kids can understand". One imagines that Jacqueline Wilson and Co are not exactly quaking in their boots.

Autonomy to back Spurs

Congratulations to Spurs, who have signed up the FTSE 100 technology company Autonomy for a £20m sponsorship deal. It was no doubt just coincidence that Autonomy's shares slipped 16p in the minutes after the deal was announced on Thursday (and before Arsenal fans break into laughter, we should point out that the stock finished the day in the black).