NICOLA Sturgeon made her twice-a-year appearance before Holyrood’s conveners on Wednesday, an event as fierce as being poked with a wet duvet. However uber convener Christine Grahame did manage a dig after the FM tussled with Tory Gordon Lindhurst. When Ms Grahame observed both were lawyers, Ms Sturgeon modestly fussed she hadn’t been one for ages, unlike advocate and barrister Mr Lindhurst. “Don’t underestimate yourself,” Ms Grahame said, before noting drily: “I’m sure you don’t.”

THE First Minister got her own back on Ms Grahame at FMQs, when the latter asked about EU plans to stop the clocks going back in winter. Noting this happens tonight, Ms Grahame said: “ I must remember to do that; I didn’t do it one year.” The First Minister joked that Ms Grahame being “one hour out of sync with the rest of us might explain an awful lot”. After a dose of the Grahame glare, she added: “I am sure I will pay dearly for that comment.”

A BAD week for Clan MacGregor, Scotland’s naffest political dynasty. At Holyrood, MSP Fulton desperately plugged the SNP candidate in the Coatbridge South by-election. She works for him, used to go out with his brother SNP councillor Fergus, and had a third brother, Findlay, as her election agent. She lost. Clan MacGregor also has a fourth brother, Fraser. The F-thing has long caused confusion. However the result has at least made the names easier, as they have been collectively dubbed the Failure MacGregors.

WE hear the Failures did not please SNP deputy leader Keith Brown, who promoted their candidate at party conference. Mr Brown, who is also SNP campaign director, turned up at Thursday’s count expecting victory, only for the result to become all too clear when the candidate he had lavishly praised ran into the loo in tears pursued by two distressed campaign aides.

THE byelection wasn’t just agony for the SNP. Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard threw everything at the contest, cancelling meetings at Holyrood so every MSP could go and knock doors. Even shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry was roped into the North Lanarkshire Council fight. Labour’s win delighted the Corbynites. But this being Scottish Labour, we hear some Holyrood moderates declared themselves gutted when the result came in - they would have preferred an SNP win that shamed Mr Leonard.

A BAD week too for James Matthews of Sky News. Covering the Glasgow equal pay strike, he asked a bloke in the sea of women why he was there. The man duly chuntered on before slagging off the SNP. Alas, Mr Mathews had failed to recognise Hugh Gaffney, who in turn failed to mention he was the Labour MP for Coatbridge.

PERHAPS Mr Matthews should read Unspun more, where ‘The Gaffer’ is a regular. Humbug Hugh was named this week in a Holyrood debate on Monklands hospital. In June, he declared he was “delighted” at plans to move it to Gartcosh, in his seat. Then Labour decided to attack the SNP by demanding the hospital stay put. The Gaffer duly tweeted a snap of himself outside: “Here at the Monklands hospital demanding that it remain in the Monklands,” he wrote, equally delighted at his shameless volte-face.