ORANGE Walk crowds must come forward with information about a “bigoted” attack on a priest, police have said.

Canon Tom White has told how he was spat on, verbally abused and lunged at by a man with a baton outside his church on Saturday.

The incident happened as an Orange Walk passed St Alphonsus Church in Glasgow’s east end.

Yesterday, police urged anyone with images or footage to come forward after White described the ordeal on BBC Radio Scotland.

The priest said he had been spat on twice and called “Fenian scum” and “paedophile” in what the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland has described as a “bigoted” attack.

The organisation has gone on recorded stating its members were not responsible.

Superintendent John McBride said: “We will not tolerate any form of hate crime and behaving in such a way is contemptible.

“Those who choose to react in a sectarian or religiously motivated matter will be identified and dealt with under the law.

“The public can be assured we remain committed to ridding our country of hate crime and the bigots within it who think they won’t be held to account for their actions. I can tell you they will.”

McBride added: “We are aware of several people commenting online regarding this incident and I would urge anyone with any footage or information about this particular incident to contact us as the footage could aid our inquiries.

“I am also appealing to those who were taking part in the Orange Parade, who may have seen the incident as they were walking past, to contact us and pass on any information.”

Glasgow City Council, which has come under fire from some commentators for giving permission for the procession, also issued a statement, saying: “We utterly condemn this appalling behaviour and urge anyone with any information on the incident to contact police.

“A meeting with council officials will be held this week to discuss ongoing issues. We will also continue to liaise with Police Scotland, organisers, the Scottish Government, third parties and stakeholders as part of the council’s processions code of conduct.”

The parade passed White’s church shortly after he concluded mass. He reported “unpleasant” chanting “about being up to their knees in Fenian blood” and said the situation deteriorated after police officers were redeployed.

He said: “It left myself and the parishioners vulnerable to an escalating incident which at that point I was enduring verbal assaults – Fenian scum, and worse, I was being called a beast and a paedophile.”

The Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland said: “We understand that abusive comments were directed at a local priest from a group of young men who were not part of the parade. We can confirm that no members of the parade were involved in this or any of the reported incidents.

“The Orange Order is founded on the principle of religious liberty and respect for people of all faiths. We totally condemn the bigoted actions of those involved and hope that they are dealt with to the full extent of the law.”