MIKE Russell flashed his claws at Holyrood’s Europe committee on Thursday, after the convener moaned UK Brexit Secretary David Davis had never attended the committee, yet recently appeared on the Edinburgh Fringe. “I did myself appear in the Alex Salmond show and appear at this committee, so it can be done,” miaowed the SNP’s Brexit minister.

THE latest Westminster register of interests reveals new MPs aren’t wasting any time settling in. Edinburgh West LibDem Christine Jardine had been sworn in for just 11 days before bagging “a ticket and hospitality for the Wimbledon championships from the All England Tennis... and the BBC” worth £224. Also featured was trade union stalwart Chris Stephens, SNP MP for Glasgow South West. The workers’ champion is big on job creation. “I employ my spouse, Aileen Colleran, as part time Parliamentary Assistant,” he reveals.

TALKING of happy families, we see the “apolitical” pro-independence group Hope Over Fear has become a private limited company. Incorporated last week, its secretary is the former socialist MSP turned convicted perjurer Tommy Sheridan. His wife Gail, described as a “self-employed columnist”, is the sole director, while the sole shareholder is Tommy’s karaoke-tastic mum Alice. So, despite indignant denials, definitely not a front for our Tommy then…

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A BAD sign for Neil Gray, the SNP MP for Airdrie & Shotts, we see. Or to be more precise, a giant advertising hoarding on the touchline of his local football club. It promotes him as the member of parliament for the non-existent constituency of “Airdrie & Coatbridge”. Sniggering Labour supporters have posted a snap online with the message: “Finally, an explanation for why Neil has done so little in Shotts over the last 2 years!”

ALSO on Facebook, North Lanarkshire Nat councillor Greg Lennon has been posting with pride about new “SLOW” markings on local roads. Alas, at Glasgow JP court this week he was fined £140 and had three points put on his licence for speeding. It was a “minor” offence, he emails Unspun. “I was traveling on a road I was unfamiliar with and I had a momentery lapse of awareness. I have since learened from that experience and I am very vigalant when it comes to observing the speed limit.” Perhaps after speeding, Greg can now address his spelling.

HAPPY Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear SNP Growth Commission, Happy Birthday to you. Yes, the Nat brains trust set up by Nicola Sturgeon to find the answer to life, independence and everything is a year old. When the FM launched it in September last year, it was supposed to produce an initial report by the end of 2016. We’re still waiting. As one wag notes, all it seems to grow is the grass under its feet.

FINALLY, fresh news on the accursed Iain ‘Mad Dog’ McGill. The serial Tory candidate struck out yet again this week. After almost becoming an MSP last year, then almost an MP or MSP this year, he thought his luck had changed when a vacancy arose for a Tory MEP. As the person ahead of him on the party list was a peer, and all peers are needed for Brexit votes, he thought it was a cinch. Alas, Baroness Mobarik duly nabbed the gig for herself. Still, there’s always 2021, Mad Dog.