Scottish paper accused of xenophobia and racism in story about beggars

Protesters who accused a Scottish weekly newspaper of xenophobia and racism staged a rally outside its offices.

About 30 people gathered outside the Ayrshire Post to complain about last week’s front page story, headlined “Beggar off”, which claimed “roving eastern European gangs” and “lone-wolf Scottish scroungers” were earning up to £200 a day by begging on the streets of Ayr.

The demonstrators objected to the descriptions used in the story and, following the protest, the terms were removed in an an amended version of the story published online. A petition signed by 600 people called on the paper to apologise for “targeting the vulnerable poor and homeless”.

Complaints were also aired on social media. A message on Facebook page said the article had used “xenophobic, racist and inciteful language”…