Strange day at the office. A colleague on another local paper was tasked with verifying a report their newspaper had received, from someone claiming to be a Downing Street press officer, that a Minister had resigned.
The MP in question (not David Cairns, the Scottish Office Minister who actually has resigned) was overseas and unavailable, so my colleague was reduced to phoning Downing Street and the relevant Government department to try to find out what was going on.
She collared the MP's researcher on the House of Commons terrace. I'm told the researcher was frantic, because she had been contacted by numerous journalists but had no idea what was happening.
My poor colleague was under extra pressure from journalists like me, who had not only started making our own inquires but were trying to get her to tell us what she knew (as she worked for the MP's local paper, she probably had the best chance of finding out).
Eventually, she managed to track down the press officer who had phoned her paper - except that he denied making the call, and actually now worked in the Cabinet Office, not Downing Street.
My colleague got the press officer to phone her newsdesk, so the news editor could confirm the voice was different.
The original tip-off had been a fake, but it clearly came from someone who knew the names of Downing Street press officers (or at least, of people who worked there recently), which takes a bit of inside knowledge or digging.
I'm not sure what the moral of the tale is, except that nobody knows what's going to happen next at Westminster.
Apologies for not giving names, but I don't want to repeat false rumours about Ministers even with the words "it wasn't true" in big letters.