FACEBOOK and Twitter have been urged to take action against a new secretive campaign group accused of spreading “disinformation and misinformation” about the Scottish Government’s Covid vaccine roll-out.

The #ScotlandVaxFACTS account appeared on social media at the start of the month, running adverts warning about “Sturgeon’s failing roll-out plan.”

In their promoted posts, they claim that “Scotland is lagging behind the rest of the UK in delivering vaccine jabs” and accuse the Government of forcing GPs to waste available doses.

Though the group only has a handful of followers on their social media pages, Facebook transparency data shows the group spent £1000 on one advert posted last week, with the intention that it reach a million people.

The SNP’s Stewart McDonald MP said the group had all the “hallmarks of a political Astroturf disinformation venture”.

The man behind the #ScotlandVaxFACTS social media presence is Pablo O’Hana. He is a Manchester-based PR Marketing & Communications manager who has previously worked with the LibDems and on the Remain campaign in the EU referendum.

According to his LinkedIn page, in 2016 he “picked up three awards including ‘best breakthrough campaign’ for an election campaign described by The Times as ‘absolutely bloody brutal, ruthless ... but highly effective’”.

READ MORE: Covid: Gregor Smith warns vaccine misinformation is among 'biggest dangers' Scotland faces

In 2018, O’Hana formed Apostrophe Talent agency, which looks after “some of the country’s brightest and most exciting celebrities, charities, public figures, campaigns and organisations”.

He has previously worked with former Doctor Who star Billie Piper, and daytime TV legend, Kate Garraway.

Yesterday, when approached by The National about #ScotlandVaxFACTS, a spokesperson for Apostrophe said: “We do not comment on behalf of third-party accounts.”

While the Scottish LibDems said the party had worked with O’Hana in the past, they told us they were not involved in this new campaign.

McDonald has now written to the social media giants asking them to take action.

In the letter, seen by The National, the SNP defence spokesman, says he is concerned that the pages are “advertising as a facts-based service about Scotland’s Covid-19 vaccine programme, when in truth it is highly speculative and political in nature.”

He says many “facts” being shared by the page don’t stand up to scrutiny.

McDonald writes: “The pages make several claims that appear to be based entirely on guesswork – such as vaccines being wasted and speculating entirely about the vaccination programme of Scotland’s public health authorities – and passing this off as a fact-based service. It is evidently no such thing.”

He adds: “At a time when we rely on facts and truth to ensure trust in the vaccine and so not to fan the flames of tension for those already anxiously awaiting their vaccine, it is imperative that your platform takes aggressive action to root out disinformation and misinformation.

“I believe it is evidently in the public interest that you review the accounts named above and their associated adverts – which I believe have all the hallmarks of a political Astroturf disinformation venture – and make an assessment as to whether or not they are appropriate to be hosted on your respective platform for one minute longer.”