9am news briefing

TOP Lothian police chiefs held discussions on cost-cutting measures at a luxurious hotel while rank and file officers fear for their jobs, it was reported today.

The group of eight officers, including Chief Constable David Strang, spent around £2000 on dinner and an overnight stay at Dalmahoy Hotel, Kirknewton.

They were aiming to agree on how to implement cash-savings measures which could see Scotland’s eight police forces merge.

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A Lothian and Borders Police spokesman said: “We can confirm that eight members of the force stayed away overnight at a hotel in the force area to allow for an extended meeting to agree how to take the force through the significant changes of the police reform programme.”

• The firm behind the refurbished National Museum of Scotland has scooped a top award.

Scottish architect Gareth Hoskins’ firm won the Andrew Doolam award for the best building in Scotland for 2011.

The museum, which re-opened in August following a £47 million overhaul, has welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors to its new galleries.

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• VIRGIN Money is set to float on the stock exchange as early as 2014 following its deal to buy Northern Rock for up to £1 billion.

The purchase, which leaves taxpayers facing a £400 million loss, creates a bank with four million customers and accelerates Virgin’s ambitions to take on the big five lenders.

The firm’s Edinburgh-based chief executive Jayne-Anne Gadhia, who will run the enlarged bank, said: “We think we would be ready for a flotation in two years and then it’s all down to the markets.”

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