BABY-Faced Tory Miles Briggs has been sharing his lesser-known qualities in a fascinating interview with Holyrood magazine. The Lothians MSP revealed that at school his fellow pupils perceptively voted him the person “most likely to be a politician”. However, in a related metaphor, they also said he was the person “most likely to be a prostitute”. Just to clarify the issue, he added: “Luckily, the first one has been the road I have pursued in life.”

THE Tories' public (with an L) health spokesman, Mr Briggs also discussed his reading habits. He said he’d recently been enjoying comedian Adam Kay’s brutal memoir of his days as a junior doctor, ‘This is Going to Hurt’. All very on message. But what was the last book he read? “To be completely honest it was the Minecraft annual”, he admitted sheepishly.

THE Carillion collapse has been hell for most, but a bonus for economy secretary Keith Brown, as it let him roll out his favourite anecdote. Taking questions on the failed infrastructure firm, he told MSPs it reminded him of his conviction for not paying a Skye Bridge toll. “I bow to nobody in my opposition to PFI!” he boasted. Nor to modesty. He told the same tale in his maiden speech in May 2007. Told a committee it in February 2013. Told the chamber it a month later. And then told the chamber again two months after that. What a rebel!

HE’S not the only one with a lively turn of phrase. Giving evidence a committee this week, finance Secretary Derek Mackay assured them he was flexible on business rates. “My mind is not set in concrete,” he declared. Meanwhile colleague Fiona Hyslop is more likely to have her feet set in concrete. The culture secretary screwed up at the end of an SNP debate on Tuesday, and became the sole Nat to vote with the Tories against her own motion.

RICHARD Leonard was in Dundee yesterday giving what Scottish Labour billed as a “major speech… outlining the key issues of his leadership for 2018”. It’s about time. Unspun hears that when he addressed his party’s MPs at Westminster last month he left them baffled as to his future plans, lecturing them instead on Labour party history. As the audience was not unfamiliar with the subject, our mole says he went down as a patronising flop.

ADDRESSING the David Hume Institute, Nicola Sturgeon joked that its annual series of political speeches was almost a winter festival on a par with Edinburgh's Hogmanay. However Sir John Elvidge, the former permanent secretary to the Scottish Government, wasn't sure the FM was headline act material. Thanking Ms Sturgeon, he deadpanned: “I have difficulty seeing the First Minister as interchangeable with Rag'n'Bone Man.”

CHAIR Angela Grahame QC firmly laid down the law when it came to the Q&A session at the end of the First Minister's speech. “Try your best to be short,” she ordered the audience, before embarking on a long-winded, lawyerly explanation of how to ask a question. "I may look like a mild mannered janitor," she warned. "But I will cut you off if you make a statement." A terrified Ms Sturgeon suggested teaching as a future career.