The Scottish National Party has been left red-faced after being fooled by a hoax Twitter account for Sir Ian Blair.
In a press release issued this week, the SNP claimed that its policing policy had been praised by the former Metropolitan Police Commissioner.
According to the release, Sir Ian had "hailed the Scottish Government's approach to policing, stating 'you folks up there treat your police with more dignity and respect for the risk their vocation holds'".
The press statement, which was quickly withdrawn – but not before it was spotted by PoliceOracle.com – also quoted the MSP Sandra White as saying: "Sir Ian Blair's comments reflect the stark contrast in what is happening in policing north and south of the border.
"In Scotland we have put more than 1,000 additional bobbies on the beat who have helped to drive crime in Scotland down to a 37-year low."
Unfortunately, the Twitter user @SirIanBlair, whose gushing tribute to the SNP sparked the press release, was an impostor – as they made clear in their account information.
Last night an SNP spokesman said: "It was a mistake. We found out quite quickly and had to withdraw it. It was just a bit of fun. We're happy to accept we were spoofed."