The National:

WHAT do you do if you’re a member of the London commentariat and a big news story breaks in Scotland?

First, check what you know about Scotland. What’s the capital? Who’s first minister? All the simple stuff.

But there’s a problem. This big breaking news story involves somebody named James Hamilton. Who is he exactly?

No problem, to wikipedia it is.

That may sound like a joke, but it’s seemingly the exact thought process one Telegraph columnist and soon-to-be reporter for Andrew Neil’s GB News had yesterday.

When Tom Harwood made it to Hamilton’s wikipedia page, he found something interesting.

News nose twitching, Harwood couldn’t wait to tweet what he’d found.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon did not breach ministerial code, James Hamilton finds

It seems that Hamilton, the lawyer brought in to conduct an independent investigation into whether Nicola Sturgeon had broken the ministerial code just as he had previously done in Wales, was a member of the SNP!

The person brought in to conduct an independent inquiry into the leader of the SNP was a member of that very party!

Can you believe it?

Why had this huge news not been in the media until now? Why had the baying Unionist attack dogs not already found this key piece of trivia? Why had it taken Harwood going on a wikipedia page to reveal the truth?

Well, as you may have guessed, because it is a complete fabrication.

That didn’t stop Guido Fawkes’s brightest though, as he got tweeting. He wrote: “Interesting edits taking place on James Hamilton's wikipedia page today.

“Some users seem intent on removing lines stating that the report author is a former SNP adviser and member of the party.

“Interesting given his report clears Sturgeon…”

Perhaps, as one Scott Wortley suggested: "Some users are intent on removing this because James Hamilton is a highly regarded Irish lawyer, was the Irish director of public prosecutions, and is not and has not been a member of the Scottish National Party?"

Labour activist Duncan Hothersall added: "Probably because those lines were made up bollocks."

In a now deleted second tweet, Harwood went on: “Politician cleared by member of said politician's own party. Same energy”, alongside two images, one of the Sturgeon story, and another of Donald Trump.

Unfortunately for Harwood, his scoop didn’t go unnoticed.

The National:

Ross Greer MSP wrote: “Britain's dimmest right-wing grifters spreading a new conspiracy theory this evening. Fact check: No, James Hamilton was not a member of and advisor to the SNP.

“But sure, we have nothing to worry about from GB News.”

Harwood was recently hired to Andrew Neil’s newly announced news channel, which has been likened to Fox News in the US.

Other Twitter users (the ones who didn’t just take Harwood’s claims at face value at least) were quick to slam the Guido Fawkes writer.

The University of Glasgow's Ewan Gibbs wrote: "This is what deskilling and hollowing out of journalism looks like.

"Tom is the sad equivalent of guys that were paid to stand guard outside closed down factories to protect the remains of buildings where skilled people used to work."

“Wannabe Telegraph 'journalist' inadvertently reveals perils of only relying on Wikipedia for 'facts' to try and score easy political points against the SNP. Oh dear”, one wrote.

“Clearly Tom hasn’t had the typical primary school talk of: ‘Wikipedia is not a legitimate source’”, another added.

One Ross McNulty wrote: “Here we see a ‘journalist’ who is about to join up with GB News sharing bogus, uncited Wikipedia edits to suit a particular political agenda! Looking forward to a similar quality and nature of output when the channel launches.”

Any uncited reference to Hamilton being a member of the SNP has since been removed from the wikipedia page, with the admins saying the contributions appeared to be acts of “vandalism”.

READ MORE: Holyrood harassment complaints inquiry publishes findings on Alex Salmond case

When The National asked Harwood about his claims, he insisted he hadn’t made any.

He suggested that us, Greer, and by extension everyone else, had "misread the tweet”.

Harwood went on: “I have not made any claims. The tweet … says that Hamilton's Wikipedia page has been edited today removing claims he was associated with the SNP. That's not a value judgement, that's a report.”

Asked why his second tweet, which said: “Politician cleared by member of said politician's own party”, had now been deleted, Harwood said: “The ‘same energy’ meme I posted was inappropriately being interpreted as a report, so I have taken it down to avoid confusion.”

So the first tweet was a report, but the second tweet (sent directly after and connected to the first) was not.