Duty calls

THE Scotch whisky industry toasted the government’s decision to freeze spirits duty at the Scotland Office this week.

Industry representatives, MPs and members of the media attended a reception hosted by Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell and the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) at Dover House in Whitehall. The event heard from Peter Gordon of William Grant & Sons, incoming chairman of the SWA, who is replacing Pierre Pringuet of Pernod Ricard. Mr Gordon highlighted the economic contribution made by the industry.

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Political banter

IT would not be going out on a limb to suggest that Angus MacSween, chief executive of cloud computing firm Iomart, is not an advocate of Scottish independence.

Mr MacSween said this week that the political uncertainty which has been rumbling on since the Brexit vote and the Trump election has not affected business at the Scottish firm. Referring to Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Mr MacSween added: “We can’t blame her not winning customers unfortunately!”

Smoke in the city

BACK in Whitehall and there was a moment to savour for Graham Johnston, owner of family smokehouse Smoky Brae, last weekend. Mr Johnston was the only Scottish food producer to be invited to 10 Downing Street to celebrate Small Business Saturday. Mr Johnston said: “The opportunity for Smoky Brae to not only visit but also exhibit in 10 Downing Street was incredible.”