Picture worth a pretty penny

AS LEAVING gifts go, former Pearson boss Marjorie Scardino’s present takes some beating. The firm’s annual report shows that when she left at the start of the year, the 65-year-old was rewarded for her 15 years at the top with a painting of lilies by the late Ivon Hitchens. The Capitalist hears that Pearson bought the picture for a modest £12,000, however it is now valued at £100,000. Not a bad golden goodbye.

■ Yet more beer banter in the capital as the week draws to a close with Mayor Boris Johnson offering an olive branch to Nick Clegg, days after the deputy PM implied he would like to pour a pint over BoJo’s head. As a peace offering, the Mayor of London declared “it's time for a truce with me and Cleggy”, to which the deputy Prime Minister warmly responded: “I'll buy him a pint then.” And what better timing? After the chancellor scrapped the planned beer duty in Wednesday’s Budget, at least “it will be a penny cheaper from next week”, pointed out Clegg.