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Search for missing climbers in Scotland suspended

Tim Newton and Rachel Slater are missing on Ben Nevis. Credit: PA

The search for two experienced climbers missing for several days in the Scottish Highlands has been suspended for the rest of the weekend due to "increasingly hazardous weather" and a continuing risk of avalanches.

A search team of 26 people braved severe sub-zero temperatures, high winds, falling snow and limited visibility on Saturday in a bid to find Rachel Slater, 24, and 27-year-old Tim Newton.

The couple, from Bradford, West Yorkshire, failed to return from an outing on Ben Nevis last weekend, and treacherous conditions have hindered air and ground searches on Britain's highest peak in recent days.

Police confirmed that there have been no positive sightings resulting from Saturday's efforts and said searches have been suspended for Sunday.

Officers hope the conditions will pick up again on Monday or Tuesday.

Search set to resume for missing Ben Nevis climbers

High winds and driving snow led to the search being suspended on Friday. Credit: Andrew Milligan / PA Wire/PA Images

Search teams hope to resume the hunt for two climbers missing for a week in the Scottish Highlands after bad weather hindered the operation.

Rachel Slater, 24, and Tim Newton, 27, failed to return from an outing on Ben Nevis last weekend and treacherous conditions have hindered air and ground searches on Britain's highest peak.

Relatives of the pair from Bradford, West Yorkshire, remain hopeful the experienced climbers will be found.

The search will continue tomorrow with a improvement in the weather conditions expected.

We would like to thank the climbing community for their support during this difficult time.

– Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team

Police said conditions will be assessed early on Saturday before a decision is made to resume efforts to trace them.

High winds and driving snow led to the search being suspended on Friday.

Scottish MPs vote to keep income tax in line with UK

Income tax in Scotland will remain in line with the rest of the UK. Credit: Danny Lawson / PA Archive/PA Images

Scottish MPs have voted to keep the country's income tax rate in line with the rest of the UK for 2016/17.

MSPs at Holyrood were voting to set the new Scottish rate for the levy for the first time under changes brought in as part of the 2012 Scotland Act.

Labour and the Liberal Democrats in Scotland wanted the rate to be increased by 1p, saying such a move would raise almost £500 million for education and local services.

But MSPs backed Deputy First Minister John Swinney's proposal by 74 to 35 for the Scottish rate to be set at 10p in the pound for 2016/17, keeping income tax the same on both sides of the border.

In short Scottish tax payers will see no increase in their income tax next year. That is the right decision. It is a decision that takes into account the challenges that are faced by members of the public.

– Deputy First Minister John Swinney
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