A BBC News article suggesting violent scenes in Glasgow last night were sparked by “rival protests” has caused a row online, with one MSP accusing the broadcaster of giving the incident the “both sides” treatment.

The No Evictions group held a peaceful protest for asylum seekers who have been “refused food in hotels” and made to live on the streets – and the National Defence League (understood to be a new version of the SDL, which had its Facebook page removed last year) called on its followers to meet in George Square shortly before that event to “stand up and protect the city”.

The group had claimed the protest for improved living conditions for asylum seekers was “another attempt by the extreme left’s rent-a-mob Antifa to bring division and anarchy” to the streets.

Their claims came after days of protests by “statue defenders” across the UK who aim to prevent vandalism to statues and monuments by anti-racist protesters.

Six men were arrested after violent clashes in George Square – with four men understood to be there to “protect statues” and two from the No Evictions group.

According to reports from the scene the protesters from the “loyalist” group arrived more than an hour before the asylum rights protesters and sat or stood idly until their arrival.

READ MORE: George Square thugs clash with asylum rights protesters

Then large groups of loyalists moved towards the asylum rights protesters where there were violent clashes – in a separate incident, police piled onto a man as a crowd nearby sang Rule Britannia at protesters chanting: “No borders. No nations. End deportations.”

There was also footage of far-right thugs hurling anti-Catholic abuse and other slurs at those in attendance.

No Evictions campaigners were led away from the square at about 6.30pm when organisers decided the situation was “not safe” for them.

The BBC’s headline and intro – that “anti-riot police have separated groups of demonstrators in the city’s George Square” – was criticised late last night.

Scottish Greens MSP Ross Greer said:  “Why is the BBC giving this the 'both sides' treatment? One group organised a peaceful rally for vulnerable people, the other turned up purely to attack them.”

Gary Robertson, the BBC presenter who had shared out the story, replied: “Ross it’s 8pm and I’m preparing for bed. I didn’t write the story. I don’t work on the website. I tweeted it because I assumed there would be interest in reading about what happened. Best wishes.”

Writer Michael Gray acknowledged it wasn’t Robertson’s “fault”, but asked him: “How else can anyone raise concerns about the BBC's false equivalence between British nationalist extremism & human rights campaigners than replying here? This trend of reporting helps embolden their violence.”

Robertson’s initial tweet has received nearly 700 replies, with most calling out the equivalence between the groups present at George Square.

The BBC has been approached for comment.

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf tweeted about the incident last night, posting: “Briefed by Police Scotland on disorder in George Square. Let’s not mince our words, this has nothing to do with statues and everything to do with racist thuggery.

“Police have made a number of arrests already and will continue to take all necessary action against those responsible.”

Meanwhile, Nicola Sturgeon condemned the scenes, calling them “disgraceful”. She tweeted: “Disgraceful scenes in Glasgow tonight. Racist thugs shame Scotland. If they break the law, they should face the full force of it. And all of us should unite to say that welcoming refugees and asylum seekers is part of who we are.”