RACISM PROBE AS SALMOND SMOKED; OH ECK ROW ROCKETS; Cops called in after English town torch effigy of First Minister.
Byline: DAN WARBURTON email@example.com
AN investigation has been launched by police over the "racist" burning of a giant effigy of Alex Salmond.
Officers in East Sussex confirmed they had received a "number of complaints" at plans to torch the totem at the 2014 Lewes Bonfire.
Waterloo Bonfire Society claimed they had scrapped plans to parade and burn the effigy - one of two produced - in "light of responses received".
But pictures on social media showed fireworks being fired from the figure of the First Minister. Another image shows a large plume of smoke where it stood.
Police said: "We acknowledge that concerns have been raised and are trying to establish whether or not any crime may have been committed."
Twitter users criticised organisers, with one stating: "To those burning the effigy, you're racist, you insult me and you insult Scotland."
Another wrote: "For me the issue isn't the Alex Salmond effigy that's the problem. It's the anti-Scottishness aspect i.e Nessie, kilt and 45 badges. Racist."
As part of the annual celebrations, Lewes Bonfire Council parade effigies through the streets. They then form part of an elaborate firework display.
Waterloo Bonfire Society said: "We have no wish or intention to offend and have never found ourselves in a position where we have done so in the past."
One of the effigies shows Salmond holding a sign which says "45%", with the Loch Ness Monster at his shoulder, while the other had him bare-chested in a kilt.
A spokesman for Salmond said: "The Tory-controlled East Sussex County Council obviously view the First Minister - and the 45 per cent of Scots who voted Yes - as as big a threat to the Westminster establishment as Guy Fawkes, although it's unclear why poor Nessie has been targeted.
"It's a typical Tory attitude to Scotland, whether north or south of the Border."
MOCKED Salmond effigy is paraded
BLOWN AWAY Salmond effigy is set alight