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Last Updated: Monday, 12 July, 2004, 17:06 GMT 18:06 UK
History spurs anti-English tirade
Wullie Leggatt
Mr Leggatt says he does have English friends
A councillor barred from a pub for taunting English people at a wake has said he simply does not like them because of the Battle of Culloden.

Wullie Leggatt, an independent on Fife Council, said English fans were a disgrace and commentator John Motson should be shot.

Mr Leggatt said his dislike stems from Culloden more than 250 years ago.

He was ordered to leave the Jubilee Tavern in Burntisland after shouting at the mourners, who were from Yorkshire.

The incident happened when Portugal scored against England at Euro 2004.

Mr Leggatt, a former lance corporal in the Argylls, said: "I was in the pub watching the game and there was a bit of banter going around.

I've got plenty of English mates, they'll give me dogs' abuse for this. But I don't like them (the English) because of Culloden
Wullie Leggatt
"When (Michael) Owen scored, the England fans began cheering, but there was a stony silence from the rest of the pub.

"One of them was wearing an England top, it was like a red rag to a bull, so when Portugal equalised I went: 'Ha, Ha! F*** you! Ya f***ing beauty!'

"Then the barman turns round to me and says: 'Hey you, out!' I finished my drink and left, I didn't even get to see Portugal win."

Mr Leggatt, who moved to Fife from Paisley several years ago and has represented the Burntisland and Auchtertool ward on the council for 14 months, said he had been drinking for some time before the incident.

Battle scars

He recently hit the headlines for arguing at a Fife Council meeting in Glenrothes that paedophiles should be "hung, drawn and quartered".

Mr Leggatt added: "I've got plenty of English mates, they'll give me dogs' abuse for this. But I don't like them (the English) because of Culloden.

"Their fans are a disgrace, rioting all the time and as for their commentators, well (BBC's John) Motson should be put up against the wall and shot."

The CRE is aware the English community in Scotland does experience discrimination and harassment
Maureen Fraser
CRE Scotland
Douglas Sinclair, chief executive of Fife Council, warned Mr Leggatt's actions may have breached the code of conduct for Scottish councillors.

It states the public has a "high expectation of councillors" and cautions that their conduct must be "above reproach".

Mr Sinclair said: "The allegations in relation to Mr Leggatt arose not in his conduct as a councillor but as a private citizen.

"Nonetheless, his actions, if they can be corroborated, clearly have the effect of bringing not only Fife Council but also Scottish local government into disrepute.

"Fife Council has an absolute commitment to promote good race relations and eliminate racial discrimination, a commitment which applies to all councillors and employees."

Mr Sinclair added: "In light of this I have written today to the Standards Commission for Scotland asking them whether the alleged incident would qualify as a breach of the Code of Conduct and if so, whether they would consider undertaking an investigation."

'Still a problem'

If the commission decides to hold a hearing and concludes there has been a breach of the code, it can suspend an individual for up to one year or disqualify them from office for up to five years.

The Battle of Culloden in 1746 was the last fought on British mainland soil and saw the defeat of Jacobite rebel leader Bonnie Prince Charlie on a moor outside Inverness at the hands of government forces.

The Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) in Scotland said anti-English racism was rare but still a problem.

Maureen Fraser, director of CRE Scotland, said: "The CRE cannot comment on individual incidents. However, the CRE is aware the English community in Scotland does experience discrimination and harassment.

"A small but consistent percentage of our casework relates to complaints from English people who feel they have been treated less favourably on the basis of their national origin.

"The development of good community relations is a priority for the CRE and we would therefore be concerned by any actions that undermine this."


SEE ALSO:
English incomers the 'New Scots'
15 Oct 03  |  Scotland
English face Scots 'antagonism'
06 Oct 03  |  Scotland
Anti-English claims "a myth"
03 Sep 02  |  Scotland
CBI chief accepts 'prat' apology
02 Sep 02  |  Scotland
Finnie apologises for 'prat' remark
01 Sep 02  |  Scotland
A nation apart
21 Jun 02  |  Scotland
Scots 'anti-English' - survey
28 Jun 99  |  UK News


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