MORE than 1,000 Scots took part in an annual St Andrew's Day anti-racism protest amid claims attacks have increased against ethnic minorities.

Campaigners marched through Glasgow city centre carrying colourful banners and placards, while a band played loud drum music.

The demonstration took place against the backdrop of reports that racist incidents and scapegoating of refugees has increased.

Protestors claimed Brexit and austerity had made led to an increase in racism.

Annie McCrae, 60, a retired teacher from Edinburgh, said: "There's been a lot of scapegoating of refugees in the last year and we need to show our solidarity with people facing abuse."

Maureen Watson, 63, from Glasgow, who is also retired, added: "Austerity and Brexit have pushed people into the arms of racism."

The Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) called yesterday's protest.

STUC general secretary Grahame Smith said he had anecdotal evidence that racism had increased since the UK voted for Brexit in June last year.

He said: "Any form of racism is unacceptable and there has been a trend towards an increase in racially motivated hate crimes. We've had reports in the last year to 18 months that there has been an increase in race related hate crimes."

Pinar Aksu, 35, a community worker who is originally from Turkey, said Brexit had led to a more racist climate in the UK.

She said: "There's also this uncertainty about what will happen to EU citizens and hardline policies like the detention of child refugees are making it all worse. To take on racism we have to show that refugees are welcome here."

Debbie Jack marched under the banner of the EIS teaching union at yesterday's march. The 43-year-old teacher said: "Racism seems to have become more normalised and there's a lot more blaming of refugees."