A NUMBER of leading media websites are giving users error messages this morning following an internet outage.

Websites for the Guardian, Financial Times, Independent, and the New York Times were among those down.

The UK Government’s website is among a number of affected sites in what appeared to be a worldwide internet issue.

The website – gov.uk – reads “Error 503 Service Unavailable”.

The Guardian tweeted: “The Guardian’s website and app are currently being affected by a wider internet outage and will be back as soon as possible”.

Other websites affected included the online discussion platform Reddit, the Evening Standard and French newspaper Le Monde.

US firm Fastley, an internet content delivery service which helps websites speed up loading times and present their content to users, says it is investigating an outage on its platform which may have caused the internet issue and taken dozens of major websites offline.

Fastly, which has been widely reported as the source of the problem, updated its service status page, saying: "The issue has been identified and a fix is being implemented."

A number of the affected websites had earlier begun to confirm that the issue was linked to Fastly.

Alex Hern, the Guardian's technology editor, tweeted that Fastly "has been identified as the cause of the problem".

"The outage, which began shortly before 11am UK time, saw visitors to a vast array of sites receive error messages including 'Error 503 Service Unavailable' and a terse 'connection failure'," he tweeted.

The Quartz site has also attributed the issue to Fastly via Twitter.

Fastly offers services such as speeding up loading times for websites, protecting them from denial-of-service cyberattacks and helping them deal with bursts of traffic in order to stay online and stable.