The National:

IF you were in any doubt about the journalistic rigour which is deployed over at GB News – even by their biggest named hosts – Alastair Stewart has just made it clear.

The former ITV newsreader doesn’t seem to be doing much in the way of reading nowadays. That's a shame, as he might have spared himself being very publicly embarrassed.

It all started after Stewart took it upon himself to enter the indyref2 debate …

READ MORE: Douglas Ross rages at Supreme Court indyref2 case 'that nobody wants'

The GB News host wrote on Twitter: “In 2014, Alex Salmond, Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP agreed publicly that the independence referendum was a once-in-a-lifetime vote.”

Did they? No.

At best it would seem Stewart was attaching undue importance to the “once in a generation" style slogans which pro-independence figures did deploy before the 2014 vote.

But just like the £350-million-a-week line on the side of the big red Brexit bus, they were nothing more than a soundbite. Just ask Ciaran Martin, the constitutional expert who prepared the legal documents for the Edinburgh Agreement.

Apparently never one to take notes, Stewart spent the next few hours inanely tweeting, posting laughing emojis at pretty reasoned statements.

Stewart's really embarrassing moment came in response to one Twitter user who wrote: "Evidence this statement, you HACK."

To do so, he shared an article put together by The National’s fact check service in 2020.

Unfortunately for the GB News poster-boy, he doesn’t appear to have read it first.

The article Stewart shared found that his own claim – that SNP bosses had “publicly agreed” indyref2 was “once in a lifetime” – was “false and deliberately misleading”.

Incredibly, he still hasn't deleted the post, despite being publicly called out by one of The National's editors. 

FACT CHECK: Claim SNP vowed indyref was 'once in a lifetime' opportunity

While Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon did use the phrase “once in a lifetime opportunity” to describe the vote, that was nothing more than a political slogan.

Perhaps Stewart should take his own advice, of which he is apparently proud enough to have pinned it to the top of his Twitter page: “Only speak your mind if it is in possession of something worth hearing.”

If everyone at GB News took that on board, the channel would probably have to shut down.