Taken 3

APPROPRIATELY red faces for Scottish Labour yesterday as Anas Sarwar and Sir Keir Starmer's visited the Siemens plant in Cambuslang. As a room full of apprentices, senior execs and his boss watched on, Mr Sarwar was asked if he was worried about any of the three SNP MSPs vying to replace Nicola Sturgeon. "I'll take any of them," he said, prompting snorts of laughter from the young trainees. Whatever could they have been thinking?

Fryer tuck

The firm's caterers laid on a Scottish themed spread for the visit. There were Tunnocks Teacakes, tablet, Cranachan, clootie dumpling and dinky deep-fried Mars bars. Despite urging from journos, Sir Keir refused to touch the battered delicacy. "When I first became Labour leader I was given some very good advice, which is, never eat on camera," he said. Presumably by Ed Miliband. Anas went for it, however, and said it reminded him of eating chocolate after a samosa as a kid. One gourmet hack pronounced that they must have been posh deep fried Mars bars as they 'didn't taste of fish'.

Conflict zone

CULTURE Secretary Angus Robertson was this week revealed as being unable to make cash decisions for large chunks of Scottish culture as they’re based in his Edinburgh seat and he can’t appear biased. His dogsbody junior Neil Gray covers the capital’s festivals, museums and galleries instead. Unspun hears Angus also turned down an invite to speak at the Edinburgh Book Festival last year “in a personal capacity” in case of any conflict of interests. As this would surely have been to plug his 464-page history of Vienna - branded dull, dire and turgid by Amazon reviewers - it was probably the best thing he’s done for culture yet. 

Wheelie bad

ANGUS did however make an appearance at Glasgow University on Tuesday, where Humza Yousaf unveiled him as a supporter of his SNP leadership bid. Also backing him was local Kelvin MSP Kaukab Stewart, who, like many a student, stumbled as she left the University Union and knackered her ankle, leaving her hobbling in Humza's wake. If only there had been someone with a wheeled medical aid, a scooter say, who could have helped her? 


TUESDAY also saw the now infamous SNP hustings / brawl on STV, where Kate Forbes piled into Humza Yousaf over his record. Unspun hears his team were livid afterwards, including his wife Nadia, who told his rivals it was unacceptable. Indeed, she was so incensed that she let slip Nicola Sturgeon - who claimed not to have watched the event - had phoned Team Humza as soon as it finished. Purely to be impartial, no doubt.

Anyone for Denis?

THE morning after, Kate Forbes was at the Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh to slag off her Government’s notion to ban alcohol advertising. Also there was her other half, Ali MacLennan. Did he fancy being First Husband? the press pack asked. No, he said, before admitting a few of his pals had already started calling him Denis, after Denis Thatcher. Well, he is reportedly a Tory… 


RAVE reviews for David Hayman in the Tron Theatre's jet black Troubles-era comedy Cyprus Avenue. The Glaswegian actor used his pre-production publicity to take aim at Glasgow City Council for cutting the Tron's £130,000 annual funding. But perhaps he should have urged the play's writer, David Ireland, to raise it with his brother-in-law, the city council’s squirming head of comms Colin Edgar. Ouch.