March 20, 2017 / 1:11 AM / a year ago

PRESS DIGEST- British Business - March 20

March 20 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories on the business pages of British newspapers. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.

The Times

* A senior director of MI5, Jeremy Fleming, is coming out of the shadows to become the new head of intelligence eavesdropping service GCHQ.

* Shareholders could win the legal right to block excessive pay deals for company bosses, as part of British Prime Minister Theresa May's attack on large executive pay.

The Guardian

* Google executives are bracing for a two-pronged inquisition from the advertising industry and the government over the company's plans to stop ads being placed next to extremist material.

* Former British ambassador to Washington, Peter Westmacott, has issued a withering criticism of U.S. President Donald Trump and his inner circle, accusing them of making absurd claims about UK's involvement in alleged wiretapping of Trump Tower that he warns could damage close ties between the two countries.

The Telegraph

* Billions of pounds' worth of water contracts will be awarded to utilities in the coming weeks ahead of the opening of the business supply market. The first major framework contract is expected to be awarded by Crown Commercial Services on behalf of UK's public sector which is understood to be worth between 800 million pounds to 900 million pounds.

* British housebuilder Crest Nicholson Holdings is facing an embarrassing investor backlash over generous share awards for its top executives as the government weighs radical reforms to rein in excessive pay.

Sky News

* A man named David Hempseed has been charged after a member of staff at a NatWest bank in Birmingham was held hostage, police say.

* Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has insisted to a rapturous crowd at her party's conference that "there will be an independence referendum".

The Independent

* Theresa May is expected to visit Wales this week as she commences a tour of the devolved nations ahead of triggering Article 50 within the next fortnight.

Compiled by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru

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