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Last Updated: Sunday, 9 July 2006, 17:31 GMT 18:31 UK
Police probe Newsnight flag item
England flag
The report followed incidents involving English emblems.
Police have received a complaint about an item on the BBC's Newsnight programme which saw a car bedecked in English flags attacked by vandals.

Programme-makers left the car in the Gallowgate area of Glasgow after an item on Scottish attitudes to England.

Cameras then filmed as five youths attacked the vehicle with bricks.

The piece was broadcast on 30 June after a series of incidents in Scotland which had seen people attacked for wearing English emblems.

Cultural life

The car stunt drew criticisms that it had been staged and effectively stirred up racial hatred.

A Strathclyde Police spokeswoman said: "We can confirm that we have received a complaint and inquiries are ongoing."

The Scottish National Party's broadcasting spokesperson Pete Wishart now plans to raise the matter in the Commons in a Government-sponsored debate about the BBC.

He said: "The sensationalist report by the UK Newsnight arm contrasted sharply with a Newsnight Scotland version which was informative and measured - and at a fraction of the cost I would guess."

As the Newsnight report shows, this is hardly reflective, proportionate or even responsible for the audience in Scotland
Pete Wishart
Scottish National Party

The Perth and Perthshire North MP said this underlined why Scotland needed its own broadcaster, so that national and cultural life can be "properly represented".

"To the great irritation of many in Scotland we have been exposed to the sports coverage and commentary of another nation," he said.

"As the Newsnight report shows, this is hardly reflective, proportionate or even responsible for the audience in Scotland."

The BBC has rejected claims that the incident was staged and said the item generally portrayed light-hearted banter among Scots on the subject.

A spokesman for the broadcaster said: "We've not had any contact from the police, but if we do we will respond to that."

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03 Jul 06 |  North East/N Isles
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26 Jun 06 |  North East/N Isles
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21 Jun 06 |  Scotland
Vandals try to burn England flag
19 Jun 06 |  South of Scotland


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