Trouble brewing for Rishi over Northern Ireland  

In news which comes as a surprise to no-one who has paid even cursory attention to Northern Ireland, the DUP are set to vote against Rishi Sunak's protocol deal with the EU when it comes before the Commons on Wednesday.

This means that several of their fellow rabid British nationalists in the Conservative party's European Research Group are also likely to vote against the deal. Because, to them, Brexit was always only ever about false claims that Britain is being victimised by an evil European Union – and if they can't pick fights with Brussels all they have left is the ruinous reality of a Brexit which has dismally failed to deliver any of the benefits which its advocates promised.

However, even if all the ERG's members and the entire DUP vote against it, the deal will still be approved by the Commons as Keir Starmer's Labour party has promised to support it.

The danger for Sunak is that a significant back bench Conservative rebellion could signal serious problems for him further down the line, if as expected the Tories perform badly during the local elections in England which are due to take place in May.

Boris Johnson to face questions from MPs over partygate

Also on Wednesday this week in the Commons, Boris Johnson is due to make a four hour long appearance before the Parliamentary Privileges Committee which is investigating whether he deliberately misled the House over the 'Partygate' affair.

Spoiler alert: he did.

In an attempt to get his retaliation in early, the former Prime Minister and his supporters are now furiously briefing against the committee in an attempt to pre-empt its findings. They are accusing the Committee of “having moved the goalposts” in order to find Johnson guilty and are telling friendly sources in the media that the entire process is “unfair”. Johnson's ally Jacob Rees-Mogg has joined in the attacks on the committee, claiming that it “makes a kangaroo court look respectable” and asserting that the Labour chair of the committee is engaged in a “stitch up”.

The National:

Although Johnson's supporters have told the right wing press that they are confident that the committee will find Johnson did not mislead Parliament, they are simultaneously engaging in a campaign to discredit the committee in order to discount its findings should it rule that Johnson did indeed mislead the House and seek sanctions against him.

Johnson still harbours hopes of a political comeback despite his hopes being delivered a serious blow when Sunak reached a deal on Northern Ireland with the EU. If the Privileges Committee finds against him and MPs vote to sanction him, this could deal a death-blow to Johnson's political career, a humiliation which he is desperate to avoid.

Donald Trump’s chickens come home to roost

In what may spell another humiliating end to the hopes of a political comeback of a habitual liar, it is expected this week that former US president Donald Trump could be indicted on charges connected to the payment of hush money to former porn star Stormy Daniel prior to the 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen has already served prison time for his part in the scandal.

Over the weekend on his social media platform Truth Social, a clearly panicked Trump released a ranting statement littered with spelling mistakes saying he expects to be arrested on Tuesday and urged his supporters to launch mass protests. However, Trump's lawyer has said that the former president's legal team has had no communication from law enforcement officials informing them of an indictment on Tuesday and that Trump's claim was based on media reports.

But the Stormy Daniels issue may be the least of Trump's worries. Prosecutors are also preparing charges against Trump on far more serious allegations relating to his attempts to pressure officials in Georgia to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in the state.

Membership row casts shadow over Sturgeon’s final week as FM

Kate Forbes, one of the leadership candidates in the SNP leadership election, has apparently U-turned on her previous suggestion that independent auditors should oversee the election process. During a television interview at the weekend she said she was “very confident” in the ability of the party to run the election properly and that she did not want the contest to be re-run, as her competitor Ash Regan has suggested.

The change of heart comes after Saturday's resignation of the SNP's chief executive Peter Murrell, following a damaging row about the party's membership figures.

The resignation came the day after the party's press officer Murray Foote resigned after claiming that a senior figure in the party, widely believed to be Peter Murrell, had misled him about the party's membership figures.

READ MORE: Angus Robertson: UK Government is 'actively undermining' Scotland overseas

The incident was apparently the last straw for the party's ruling NEC which the next day delivered an ultimatum to Peter Murrell, demanding that he either give a firm date for resigning or face an immediate vote of no confidence.

The figures were released last week and showed that the party has lost over 30,000 members in recent years.

Following the row over membership figures leadership candidate Ash Regan has suggested that party members who have already cast their vote be permitted to change their minds if they so wish, pointing to a facility that exists within Mi-Voice – the firm tasked with running the ballot – which allows members who have already chosen their preferred candidate to alter their vote.

The row casts a shadow over Nicola Sturgeon's last week in office as First Minister, with her stepping down and her husband Peter Murrell resigning as Chief Executive, the SNP is embarking on a new era. The winner of the leadership contest will not be short of challenges to deal with, above all uniting the party and charting a new course to a popular vote on independence.