The six most pointless summer "news" stories

It's August. There is no news to report, so our newspapers are filling their pages with this guff instead.

Westminster is deserted. School's out for summer. Half the population is on holiday, and given that A-level results are still a week away, newspapers really don't have much to say.

Here are six of the best "stories" written to flesh out today's papers.

1. HOLD THE PRESS! Upminster Cricket club isn’t allowed to flatten its pitch, the Telegraph reveals.

2. The biggest change to law and order for decades: police are being taught how to say “No” the Times tells us.

3. The Daily Mail, on the other hand, features some really cutting edge, insightful gender science.

4. Westminster is rocked by the Times’ revelation that Cameron listens to Bruce Springsteen.

5. Who would have thought it? Chocolate makes you FAT, according to the Telegraph.

6. Read all about it! This one in the Independent just sells itself.

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"Do not let us down": Scottish MEP receives standing ovation after begging European Parliament

While Alyn Smith won applause, the Scottish Government moved behind the scenes. 

The Scottish National Party MEP Alyn Smith was not exactly a household name before the EU referendum. 

But his impassioned speech to his fellow MEPs begging them to help Scotland stay in the EU has caught the imagination of many Remain voters.

In a session where UKIP's Nigel Farage told MEPs "virtually none of you have ever done a proper job in your lives, Smith struck a very different tone.

Waving a sheet of paper showing Scottish voters had voted to Remain, he said: "I want my country to be internationalist, co-operative, ecological, fair, European. And the people of Scotland, along with the people of Northern Ireland, and the people of London, and lots of people in Wales and England also, voted to Remain within our family of nations."

He urged MEPs to negotiate with cool heads and warm hearts.

And then, raising his voice, he told MEPs: "Please, remember this. Scotland did not let you down. Please, I beg you, cher colleagues, do not let Scotland down now."

MEPs rose to applaud the heartfelt speech. And meanwhile, hundreds of miles away in Holyrood, the Scottish Government had hit the phones.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced she would be meeting European Parliament President Martin Schultz on Wednesday.

Although the SNP's promise of an independent European Scotland was shot down during the Scottish referendum, it seems this time round MEPs are more sympathetic.

Guy Verhofstadt, the former Belgium PM, who leads the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe parliamentary group has already tweeted: "It's wrong that Scotland might be taken out of [the] EU."