The UK’s largest accountancy firms are understood to be preparing to purge risky or unprofitable audit clients after a string of corporate collapses and scandals have increased regulatory scrutiny of the sector.

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Department store group Debenhams is expected to appoint Stefaan Vansteenkiste as its new chief executive officer, while Terry Duddy will step down as chairman in September.

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The UK food industry has asked the government to waive aspects of competition law to allow firms to co-ordinate and direct supplies with each other after a no-deal Brexit.