RED FACES at Rightmove, after the property website waded into the online chatter about the London riots with a horribly misjudged Facebook and Twitter message about house prices.

“Are the riots affecting where you live?” Rightmove asked its 13,600 followers as buildings burned, shops were looted and families feared for the safety of their children. “What do you think will happen to house prices in those areas?”

But no-one was in the mood to discuss property valuations. “You are not serious?” retweeted one outraged follower, sparking a social media backlash that led to the offending post being deleted and a torrent of grovelling tweets from Rightmove.

“We should have known better,” backtracked the FTSE 250 business on its “badly thought through” strategy. “Apologies all,” the company added later. “That was a stupid message for us to send out. We are incredibly sorry if and where we caused offense [sic].”

“It demonstrates the ego of Rightmove that they thought they could use the riots as an opportunity to discuss house prices,” commented one property source to The Capitalist.

Rightmove founder Harry Hill (pictured left) may have the last laugh though: shares in his company last night climbed 21 points to close 1.98 per cent up. All publicity is good publicity…

TO ROYAL Windsor Racecourse for a night of gambling on the horses with Vestra Wealth, hosted by managing partner David Scott and investment manager Andrew Palmer following one of the most volatile trading days of the year.

“No-one is making any money anywhere else so we took some of our clients racing to make some money there,” said Scott on the low-key Monday night out designed to balance out what had been “a very depressing day”.

As in the City, the financial gains were modest, with Scott enjoying a 20-1 win with a £20 stake on Joe Packet in the Vestra Wealth Management Handicap. “It wasn’t a huge win but it was better than nothing,” said Scott, after standing drinks all round for his IFA guests.

STAFF at First Columbus are determined to continue the build the business “with the same passion” shown by its founder John Nuttall, after the firm’s charismatic managing partner passed away last Thursday after suffering a cardiac arrest.

Nuttall, who died aged just 39, will be greatly missed at the broking and advisory firm he founded in 2006, following seven years at Panmure Gordon/WestLB and four years at Investec Securities.

“John’s dynamic approach to life was an inspiration to all around him,” said First Columbus as it notified the City of the loss. “He was warm, charismatic, loyal and profoundly generous, and he had time and an ear for all.” Arrangements for a memorial service, to be held next week, will be announced shortly.