RUTH Davidson’s Conservatives have made a higher number of inaccurate claims than any other political party in Scotland over the past year – and that’s a fact.

Today is International Fact Checking Day and to mark the occasion, The Ferret website carried out a review of findings by its Ferret Fact Service in its first year of putting political parties’ comments and other claims to the test.

The team checked out 97 statements and claims made across 64 published articles on The National’s website and in three newspapers, the Sunday Herald, Daily Record and Irish Times.

The website revealed its fact-checks have had more than 24,000 online shares, and have been read approx-imately 1.9 million times across print and online.

The National:

The review found that 24 per cent of the facts it checked were true, and a further 24 per cent were mostly true. Fifteen per cent were given a half true verdict, while 14 per cent we found to be mostly false.

A false rating was given in 22 per cent of cases, while the website said: “Just two per cent got our lowest verdict of FFS (for fact’s sake!).”

The Ferret Fact Service checked 74 claims by political parties and politicians. The SNP were fact-checked 36 times, Labour checked for 20 claims, the Conservatives 17 and the Greens just once.

The Ferret stated: “The party with the most false claims were the Conservatives, with 70 per cent of claims checked either mostly false, false or FFS.

“The SNP had the largest percentage of true and mostly true claims, with 75 per cent of our fact-checks on the party concluding with one of these ratings.

The National:

“Labour had a similar proportion of true verdicts, but around one in five of the claims we checked was either false or mostly false.”

Of claims by individual politicians, The Ferret said: “Ruth Davidson has been given the most false ratings of any politician on the list, having been caught making three false statements.”

It added: “Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard got the most true ratings with four. Kezia Dugdale (three claims) and Nicola Sturgeon (five claims) have both avoided any of our false verdicts.”

Conservative MSP Dean Lockhart was given one of the two FFS ratings “for overestimating the number of nurses, police officers and train drivers in Scotland by more than 300,000”.

The second FFS rating also went to a politician. Former Labour trade minister and Brexit campaigner Lord Digby Jones was given the lowest mark for claiming in July last year that trade deals with the US and Australia were “in the bag”.

The Ferret Fact Service is growing in popularity. The website said: “Our fact-checks have had more than 24,000 online shares, and have been read approximately 1.9 million times across print and online.

The National:

“Our internationally accredited fact-checking work has led to Hansard corrections. We have been cited at least 30 times in national newspapers, and our work is regularly mentioned on television and radio.

“A central focus for the Ferret Fact Service was fact-checking unverified viral stories and claims online, so 13 per cent of our fact-checks were on viral content.

“These included non-political claims such as a widely shared Reddit post claiming Scotland is the only country in the world where Coca-Cola is not the most popular soft-drink due to our love for Irn-Bru (it isn’t).

“We also put to rest a long-standing false claim about Buckfast being a factor in 40 per cent of Scottish crimes, which had been cited by numerous news sources over the past decade.”

SNP MSP George Adam said: “With the Tory Brexit promises unravelling almost on a daily basis, it’s hardly surprising to find that they are bottom of the class when it comes to accuracy.

“But this is a particularly damning indictment of Ruth Davidson who has been given the most false ratings of any politician.

“The more she acts as apologist-in-chief for the Tory Government’s reckless hard Brexit – which will do so much damage to jobs and living standards in Scotland – the faster her credibility will slide.”

Scottish Labour declined to comment and the Scottish Conservatives did not respond before The National went to press.