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Last Updated: Saturday, 18 November 2006, 12:26 GMT
Probe into Newsnight flag story
England flag
The report followed incidents involving English emblems.
Prosecutors are investigating a BBC Newsnight programme in which Scottish youths smashed up a car decorated with England flags, police said.

Vandals were filmed attacking a vehicle bedecked with St George flags which a TV crew had left parked in the east end of Glasgow during the World Cup.

Strathclyde Police confirmed that it had sent a report on the incident to the procurator fiscal.

An official investigation was launched following a viewer's complaint.

The controversial experiment came under fire from politicians at the time, including Glasgow Labour MP Mohammed Sarwar and the Scottish National Party, which launched an early day motion in the House of Commons criticising the programme's makers.

Far from portraying Scottish people as 'a bunch of racist thugs' the film showed that, for the most part, the banter was light-hearted.
Peter Barron
Newsnight editor

The BBC has denied any wrongdoing and rejected claims that the incident was staged.

It said the item generally portrayed light-hearted banter among Scots on the subject.

Peter Barron, the editor of Newsnight, wrote shortly after the controversial show was broadcast: "The filming was not staged and it is absolutely untrue to suggest the Newsnight production team encouraged those involved in the vandalising of the car.

"The piece was a legitimate social experiment following incidents in which English fans had been attacked for wearing England emblems in Scotland.

"Far from portraying Scottish people as 'a bunch of racist thugs' the film showed that, for the most part, the banter was light-hearted."

But SNP MP Peter Wishart welcomed the report to the procurator fiscal. He said: "I trust there will be a thorough and robust investigation and all the circumstances surrounding this ridiculous prank will be examined.

"I still believe this was a stupid stunt by the BBC and that the anger it generated was justified."

A spokeswoman for Newsnight said: "We have had no communication from the procurators fiscal."

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