Business Diary: The grace and gratitude of King

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The Independent Online

Our award for most gracious acceptance of criticism of the day goes to Justin King, the chief executive of Sainsbury's, who one might have expected to be rather put out when a shareholder offered some damning views on the supermarket's clothing range at yesterday's annual general meeting. King simply smiled sweetly and replied: "Criticism is a gift."

Icap's meet is short and sweet

On the topic of AGMs, Sainsbury's, Marks & Spencer and all those other companies that have run into trouble with quarrelsome shareholders at their yearly get-togethers could learn a thing or two from Icap. The inter-dealer moneybroker held its own AGM yesterday and it wasn't exactly a stormy affair. Icap hosted the do in a small meeting room at its own offices in the City, it was attended by a few dozen people, and business was wrapped up within a quarter of an hour or so.

Slick manouevre by AP on BP

BP knows that its spill in the Gulf of Mexico is an enormous story. Still, is it really bigger news than the Middle East peace process? We ask only because Associated Press, the newswire service, has just announced the appointment of Steven Gutkin as "Oil Spill Editor". He's charged with overseeing AP's coverage of the disaster. Gutkin's previous posting was Jerusalem Bureau Chief.

The cost of cutting you up

Have you been cut up recently by white van man? Well before you get cross, maybe you should ask yourself why these notoriously poor drivers always seem to be rushing around with so little for care for other road users? The answer may just be that they're struggling to pay their tax bills. The accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young reckons

company van drivers are now paying four times as much tax as they were three years ago because of changes to the way they're taxed on their vehicles. White van man and friends paid £40m tax last year, apparently, up from £10m in 2006.