THE SNP has launched a new “fact checking” service designed to refute claims made by political opponents.

Keith Brown, the party’s new deputy leader, was responsible for the new media device which sources say will feature in any big campaign in the future – such as a referendum or election.

The move follows increasing irritation among the SNP and its supporters that the mainstream media is anti-independence and does not reflect SNP policies fairly.

READ MORE: The Lying Kings: The Ferret finds Tories are worst for false claims

The frustration that the party’s key messages were being misrepresented featured heavily in the 2014 independence referendum and has continued since then.

Recent “SNP bad” stories – as they have come to be called – in the pro-Union press have seen warnings over the safety of baby boxes, which have been pictured burning after being set on fire.

Last week Labour MSP Jenny Marra claimed Lesley McLay, former chief executive of Tayside health board, received £300,000 after standing down this month, when she had actually received £90,000.

Launching the new Fact Check account, Keith Brown said: “The new @theSNPMedia Twitter account will be used to help amplify the SNP’s message, and act as a fact checking service covering erroneous claims by opposition politicians and news stories with factual errors or claims that are mis-representative.

“This channel will be popular with our supporters and will offer a more rounded view to all people interested in current affairs in Scotland.

“Last week’s irresponsible and false claims by Jenny Marra MSP – and some of the subsequent reporting of the claims – are an example and a timely reminder of why this service will be useful.”

An inside source for the SNP said: “This fact checking service will empower our supporters, inform followers and will be useful just now and in the big campaigns that lie ahead.”

Following Marra’s statement last week, John Brown, chairman of NHS Tayside, wrote to her stating that payments to McLay amounted to £90,000. The health board said the payments were “legal and contractual entitlements and no additional payments have or will be made by NHS Tayside”.

Sandra White, an SNP MSP who sits on Holyrood’s health committee, demanded an apology from Marra, but the Tayside MSP refused to apologise or retract her claims.