MSPs have voted against a motion by the Scottish Conservatives to delay Scotland's controversial short-term lets scheme, but the row still rumbles on.

With the new licensing regime for short-term lets set to go live on October 1, the Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers (ASSC) wrote earlier this week to First Minister Humza Yousaf suggesting that the legislation may be in breach of the European Convention of Human Rights, and data protection and privacy laws.

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The intervention came ahead of a failed bid by the Scottish Tories for a 12-month delay and review of the regulations, which empower local authorities to implement licensing regimes for short-term holiday letting accommodation in their areas.

The aim of licensing is to regulate the huge number of properties in Scotland now offered to tourists as holiday lets, which critics say is having a detrimental impact on housing supply for local residents and causing anti-social behaviour in certain areas.

However, representatives of the self-catering industry say the cost and complexity of securing a licence in certain areas is causing operators of small outlets such as B&Bs and guest houses to leave the industry in droves. It was estimated that just 20% of the estimated 32,000 short-term lets in Scotland had applied for a licence by August 31.

BP: Climate strategy under scrutiny as Looney resigns


The chief executive of oil giant BP resigned with immediate effect on Tuesday night after admitting that he failed to fully disclose past personal relationships with colleagues.

The Herald: Bernard LooneyBernard Looney (Image: Agency)

Bernard Looney, who has spent his entire career with BP, was not "fully transparent" when questioned last year about his conduct. BP's board of directors launched a review after receiving information from an anonymous source in May 2022.

During that review, Mr Looney disclosed a "small number of historical relationships" with colleagues prior to becoming chief executive in 2020. No breach of BP's code of conduct was found, but the board was given assurances by Mr Looney regarding disclosure of past personal relationships and his future behaviour.

"Further allegations of a similar nature were received recently, and the company immediately began investigating with the support of external legal counsel," BP said earlier this week. "That process is ongoing.

"Mr Looney has today informed the company that he now accepts that he was not fully transparent in his previous disclosures. He did not provide details of all relationships and accepts he was obligated to make more complete disclosure."

Scottish gold miner warns of administration


The company which operates the Cononish gold and silver mine near Tyndrum has warned there is a “material risk” it may fall into administration in the next few weeks.

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Shares in Scotgold Resources were suspended on Monday morning after it told the City that it could fail if one unsecured creditor does not agree to a new payment plan.

The warning came as the company said a third-party review of the mine plan for Cononish, announced in July, had shown that significant capital investment is required but noted that funding talks now under way may not be successful.

John Lewis: Staff bonus takes back seat to other priorities


John Lewis has hinted that the suspension of staff bonuses could continue as other investment priorities take precedence.

The Herald: Sharon WhiteSharon White (Image: John Lewis Partnership)

The retailing group, which also owns the upmarket Waitrose chain of supermarkets, reiterated its priorities as it warned that its recovery plans will be pushed back by two years because of "inflationary pressures". This was despite a 41% cut in pre-tax losses for the first half of the year.

John Lewis - which is owned by its 74,000 employees, who are referred to as partners - said in March of this year that it will not pay a staff bonus for only the second time since the scheme began in 1953. That came after a worse-than-expected £230 million annual loss, again only the second in its history.

"Our priorities for investment remain to modernise the business, improve customer service and do more for partner pay, where we can," the group said on Thursday. "These demands are significant and take precedence over the partnership bonus."