It is understood an explosive device was thrown at the football chief’s car where it exploded and spread fire to his home. The attack came in the early hours of the morning while Mr Lawwell and his family slept. The blaze quickly overwhelmed his luxury residence on the south side of Glasgow.
Celtic Football Club said in a statement: “We can confirm that significant damage has been caused toPeter Lawwell’s house and vehicles there, following an explosion and fire early this morning, forcing the family to leave the property.”
A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson added: “We were alerted at 1.02am on Wednesday, May 19 to reports of a car on fire outside a dwelling on Peel Road, Thorntonhall, Glasgow.
“Operations Control mobilised eight appliances to the scene to extinguish the fire, which was affecting a number of cars as well as the detached two-storey property.
“There are no reported casualties.
“Crews remain in attendance.”
The violence this morning comes as Rangers won their first league title in a decade.
Following the title win, Nicola Sturgeon claimed she had been left “disgusted” by the behaviour of some of the club’s fans.
On Sunday, large numbers of police were called in to control fans who had gathered to celebrate the title win.
“I’m also angry on behalf of every law abiding citizen. In normal times, the violence & vandalism, and the vile anti Catholic prejudice that was on display, would have been utterly unacceptable.
“But mid-pandemic, in a city with cases on the rise, it was also selfish beyond belief.
“People across the country still living under the most difficult restrictions – not able to see family or attend weddings and funerals – are rightly furious at the irresponsible actions of a thuggish minority who seem to care little for the risks they pose to other people.
“That said Police Scotland officers have my admiration and thanks for the job they did in difficult and dangerous circumstances.”
Twenty-eight arrests were made during the clashes while five police officers were also injured.
Police are also investigating claims of “sectarian language” used in a video which circulated on social media.
A statement from Rangers said: “We are aware of a video circulating on social media.
“It is evident that this video was shared with an adjoining narrative which attempts to discredit our players and the reputation of Rangers Football Club.
“This highlights the dangers of ‘trial by social media.”
This was met with mass protests during which demonstrators surrounded a Home Office vehicle and refused to move. Police moved in but decided the two men should be released to defuse the situation.
They had been detained over “suspected immigration offences”.
Ms Sturgeon tweeted: “Today’s events were entirely down to Home Office actions.
“Police Scotland were in an invidious position – they do not assist in the removal of asylum seekers but do have a duty to protect public safety.
“Both as MSP and as FM [First Minister], I will be demanding assurances from the UK government that they will never again create, through their actions, such a dangerous situation.
“No assurances were given – and frankly no empathy shown – when I managed to speak to a junior minister earlier.
“I am proud to represent a constituency and lead a country that welcomes and shows support to asylum seekers and refugees.”
Police were deployed after the Home Office vehicle was surrounded, but following a “suitable risk assessment” decided the two men should be released.
In a statement Police Scotland said: “In order to protest the safety, public health and well-being of all people involved in the detention and subsequent protest in Kenmure Street, Pollockshields, today, Chief Superintendent Mark Sutherland has, following a suitable risk assessment, taken the operational decision to release the men detained by UK Immigration Enforcement back into their community meantime.
Glasgow: Protestors surround immigration enforcement van
The immigration enforcement van was pictured parked on Kenmure Street, with protesters sitting on the road in front of it and a crowd around the vehicle and one man apparently lying underneath the vehicle. Roughly 200 protesters were reported to be at the scene, with chants of “Leave our neighbours, let them go” and “Cops go home” being heard.
A large number of police officers in face masks were in attendance.
A Police Scotland spokesman said: “At around 9.55am this morning, police were called to support colleagues at the UK Border Agency at an address in Kenmure Street, Pollokshields, Glasgow.
“A number of protesters are now at the location.
“Officers are at the scene and inquiries are continuing.”
The stand-off is happening in the Pollakshields area of the city (Image: GETTY)
Nicola Sturgeon has also voiced her opinion (Image: Twitter)
Mohammad Asif, director of the Afghan Human Rights Foundation, was one of what he said were hundreds of neighbours protesting against the action.
The 54-year-old said: “We’re here against the hostile environment created by the Tories and the British state.
“The same people who run from the British and American bombs put at the back of the van right now. And they are about to be deported.
“And it’s on Eid you know… the guys are not even allowed to pray. How do you do that in a democratic society? It’s a sad day.”
He added: “The good thing about this city and this country is these are all local people here who are here to defend their neighbours.”
Sabir Zazai, chief executive of the Scottish Refugee Council, wrote on Twitter: “Not close to the details on this but this is shocking, disgraceful and racist if people are raided by enforcement officers amidst the pandemic on the day of #Eid.”
Scotland’s First Minister is furious at the timing of the Home Office action, lashing out at the Westminster Government in a series of tweets.
She said: “Today’s events were entirely down to UK Home Office actions. Police Scotland were in an invidious position – they do not assist in the removal of asylum seekers but do have a duty to protect public safety. They act independently of ministers, but I support this decision.
Protesters make their point in support of those about to be deported (Image: GETTY)
An estimated 200 protesters were reported to be at the scene (Image: GETTY)
Police and protesters in Pollakshields (Image: PA)
“I disagree fundamentally with UK Home Office immigration policy but even putting that aside, this action was unacceptable. To act in this way, in the heart of a Muslim community as they celebrated Eid, and in an area experiencing a Covid outbreak was a health and safety risk.
“Both as MSP and as FM, I will be demanding assurances from the UK Government that they will never again create, through their actions, such a dangerous situation. No assurances were given – and frankly no empathy shown – when I managed to speak to a junior minister earlier.”
Tom, a neighbour who joined the protest, compared the immigration operation on Eid to a police raid on Christmas Day.
The 31-year-old, who did not want to give his surname, said: “The solidarity shown today shows the community will not stand for their neighbours being dragged from their homes.
“I’d ask Christians to reflect on what it would feel like to have your house raided on Christmas Day.”
He said the police presence was “increasing fairly rapidly”, with 10 vans at the scene at around midday.
Humza Yousaf has asked to speak to Home Secretary Priti Patel (Image: GETTY)
I am deeply concerned by this action by the Home Office
Ms Sturgeon waded in earlier, tweeting: “As constituency MSP, I am deeply concerned by this action by the Home Office, especially today in the heart of a community celebrating Eid.
“My office is making urgent enquiries and stands ready to offer any necessary assistance to those detained.”
She subsequently added: “The UK Home Office action today is creating a dangerous and unacceptable situation in Pollokshields.
“As local MSP, I am also seeking urgent answers from them – they must resolve this situation ASAP.”
Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar was also voiced his concern (Image: GETTY)
Ms Sturgeon also retweeted a post by Sikhs In Scotland voicing concern about the situation.
Scotland’s Justice Secretary and MSP for Glasgow Pollok Humza Yousaf has asked to speak to Mrs Patel about the scenes in Glasgow.
He tweeted: “This UK Border Force Operation, in Polloksheilds, the heart of the Muslim community, on Eid is a demonstration of the UK Govt’s hostile environment.
Anas Sarwar’s tweet (Image: Twitter)
“I have asked to speak to the Home Secretary to gain further details & make clear just how unacceptable this situation is.”
He subsquently added: “I am disappointed that out of 8 Home Office Ministers none of them could make themselves available to speak to me.
“Having spoken to the DG for Home Office in Scotland I have urged him to abandon the forced removal.
“He will consider next steps & I have requested an update.”
Glasgow: Protesters surround van to stop immigration removal
Meanwhile Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said he was “disgusted by the Home Office raids”.
He tweeted: “It is particularly unacceptable that this is happening during a pandemic, in an area that has a spike in cases and on the day of Eid.”
Scottish Conservatives leader Douglas Ross has yet to comment.
Express.co.uk has contacted the Home Office for comment.
Dr Linda de Caestecker warned some postcodes in parts of south Glasgow are recording “clusters” of new infections which have raised the city’s virus rate to 74 per 100,000. In comparison, there are 25.5 per 100,000 for Scotland as a whole.
Dr de Caestecker, the director of public health for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: “For Greater Glasgow and Clyde we’re seeing continued reductions in our numbers and our rates, but over recent days we have seen an increase in cases in Glasgow city.
“That’s particularly in some postcodes to the south of the city and it’s meant that our rate in Glasgow city has gone up to 74 per 100,000, although it’s still at 50 for Greater Glasgow and Clyde as a whole.
“And in some of our areas, such as Inverclyde, the rates are still low.”
She added how the spike seemed to be linked to “households mixing together”, according to data obtained through Test and Protect.
Dr de Caestecker told BBC Scotland’s Drivetime programme: “I think as the rates go down, people feel ‘well, we’re going to be relaxing restrictions very soon anyway’.
“We’ve got evidence that there is more social mixing happening in some of these areas.
“It is household clusters we’re seeing, concentrated in specific postcodes.”
Those living in affected areas are being urged to pick up rapid testing kits even if they have no symptoms.
Dr de Caestecker said the public health teams are working to get on top of the infection rise but said she was “worried about this increase”.
She said: “We’re working really hard to get on top of it quickly and make sure that we don’t let it spread further…so that there is reassurance that we can all move to these lower levels.
“We have to look not just at the rates but the hospitalisations, the numbers of people in ICU.
“Between now and Monday – it’s not for me to say what the levels will be – but at moment we are still anticipating we will move to a lower level on Monday, but we will be doing everything we can to manage this increase in cases in some defined areas of Glasgow city.”
She went on to reveal how the vaccine uptake among older age groups has been high, it slowed down in the younger people.
Dr de Caestecker added some of the localised increases are in the BAME community.
She said: “There is some evidence that they are more affected by this [increase].
“There’s a higher number of these groups in the populations in these postcodes, and so we’re working really closely with these communities.”
Glasgow is not the only region in Scotland to experience a rise in cases after Moray recorded several new cases.
This week, Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that the next stage of the roadmap will take place on May 17, with mainland Scotland moving to Level 2 and the islands to Level 1.
The First Minister said it is ‘very likely’ Moray will remain at Level 3 – so what exactly has caused a sudden spike in cases?
Moray has an infection rate four times the Scotland-wide level and the number of hospital admissions have been rising since mid-April.
The blue half of Glasgow is celebrating today after city rivals Celtic floundered to a 0-0 draw with Dundee United to hand their arch-rivals Rangers their first Scottish Premiership title in a decade.
Steven Gerrard’s side have ended their 10 year drought for honors after beating St. Mirren 3-0 on Saturday which, coupled with Celtic’s goalless draw at Tannadice, was enough to confirm Rangers’ return to the summit of Scottish football after establising an insurmountable lead of 20 points with just six games remaining. Also on rt.comWATCH: Overjoyed Rangers fans flout Scotland lockdown rules as they stand on brink of first title in 10 years
It is former Liverpool skipper Gerrard’s first trophy of his managerial career after three seasons in the Ibrox hot seat, and scuppers Celtic’s bid for 10 successive top division titles in the process.
In truth, the writing had been on the wall for some time. Celtic’s miserable form this season led to the boss Neil Lennon resigning last month amid their limp attempts at defending their crown – but even a fully-functioning Celtic side would likely have struggled this season with Rangers winning an impressive 28 of their 32 league games thus far, while shipping just nine league goals in the process.
And proving that the rivalry between the two Glasgow foes is as robust as ever, some opportunistic Rangers fans attempted to heap further pressure on Celtic ahead of their game on Sunday bu flying a banner over the stadium which asked, “Can you see us now?” while also reminding Celtic supporters that they were on the verge of a record 55th Scottish league title.
Celtic, meanwhile, remain a few rungs below on 51 league titles.
HE’S DONE IT 👏Steven Gerrard wins the first league title of his career with Rangers 🏆The first manager in 10 years to stop Celtic from winning the SPL title 👏 pic.twitter.com/7vOgFUbeL0
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) March 7, 2021
However, a host of Celtic fans have pointed out that this technically is only Rangers’ FIRST league title – after the club was liquidated and reformed in 2012 due to financial improprieties.
Spent more money hiring a plane than saving their club from Liquidation 🤣Copying an idea used by Celtic fans way back in the 90’s. Not an ounce of originality in their small brains.
— Celtic Curio (@Celticcurio) March 7, 2021
To avoid confusion, it’s their first title , this tribute act was formed as The rangers in 2012.
— willie scott 🍀 (@bigwulliestyle7) March 7, 2021
The league win signals a remarkable turnaround for Rangers who were thrust into the bottom division of the Scottish football pyramid in 2012 as punishment for an extreme financial collapse which threatened the future of the famous club.
They subsequently worked their way back up the leagues and regained status in the Scottish Premiership just five years ago where they were forced to endure Celtic’s prolonged success which they carved out in the absence of their one true historical rival for league titles.
And they will have another opportunity to rub it in when they play their game as coronated champions in the third ‘Old Firm’ game of the campaign on March 21 at Celtic Park. Also on rt.com‘Dangerous fake news’: Celtic slam Sky Sports after broadcaster mistranslates interview to include allegation of racial abuse