THE Westminster recess seems to have left some folk at a baffled loose end. Like Labour’s Hugh Gaffney. The MP for Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill recently wandered out his office with a tub of Celebrations to feed passing voters. “Today I decided to do something different so I bought a box of chocolates & took to the streets of Coatbridge to hand them out,” he tweeted. “There’s nothing better than spending time with the people that sent me to parliament.” An accompanying photo showed Shug and, er, zero takers.

THE 'Gaffer' is also known for his dim view of bookies, criticising them in parliament and on his Facebook page. Calling fixed odds betting terminals the crack cocaine of gambling, he seethed online in January about bookmakers “trying to bleed money from the working class in towns like Coatbridge, with young, single, low income men being most at risk”. This week, the new register of parliamentary interests showed Mr Gaffney had just declared a £650 jolly for two at Ayr races. The donor? Those angels at William Hill.

HUMAN limpet Ross Thomson was much mocked for clinging like grim death to Boris Johnson in a media scrum at Tory conference. It generated a slew of social media versions, our favourite being an animated BoJo and Ross dancing the tango. The Brexiter for Aberdeen South then branded some fellow Scots Tory MPs “a***holes” for daring to hatch a Stop Boris plot codenamed Operation A***. Who could he mean? We hear his fury was aimed at none other than Scottish Secretary David Mundell. Miaow.

TALKING of conferences, the Scottish LibDems have picked theirs for spring 2019. Hamilton Town House is a brave choice for a party without an MSP in Central Scotland and one councillor in South Lanarkshire, but the 700-seat auditorium should provide ample space. Or then again, too much. As one Holyrood wag noted, ‘It’ll the first time anyone is guaranteed tickets for Hamilton.’

SNP minister Kevin Stewart has been forced to correct a boast in Holyrood’s Official Report that he laid down the law about public toilets. He recently told MSPs he “made it clear” to Highland Council's leader that he should reconsider closing loos because of the effect on tourism. The only problem was it never happened. Mr Stewart read out a briefing meant for cludgie championing culture secretary Fiona Hyslop by mistake. D'oh!

FORMER SNP MP and Kremlin-TV star Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh celebrated her birthday this week. Husband Zulfikar was so happy for her he tweeted “All the riches in the world are useless without you, Happy Birthday to the Diamond in my life”. Awww. His Diamond then tweeted back: “Thank you, Zulfi, but my birthday’s tomorrow #bigmistake.” Tasmina’s diplomatic co-host, Alex Salmond, would surely never make such an error.

AN invite arrives for Holyrood’s first Hallowe’en film night. Not The Brexorcist but something called The Man Who Saved the World. Eh? A clue lies in the sender, dogged anti-nuclear campaigner Bill Kidd MSP. The film is the story of a Russian officer who averted the apocalypse by ignoring a false alarm. Or as Bill sums it up: “Enjoy popcorn and sweets and be truly terrified of what lies just beyond your door… TRIDENT!”