POLICE have been informed after a memorial honouring Scots who fought against fascism in the Spanish Civil War was vandalised.

The memorial in Motherwell’s Duchess of Hamilton Park was erected in 2012. An annual service is held to remember the 40 North Lanarkshire volunteers who “gave up everything … for the cause of all advanced and progressive mankind”.

Images submitted to The National by a reader showed the memorial covered in graffiti reading “Franco” and “vermin”, as well as fascist symbols.

A spokesperson for North Lanarkshire Council said: “We utterly condemn this appalling and cowardly act of vandalism. We would urge anyone with any information to contact Police Scotland immediately.”

Gillian Mackay, the Scottish Green MSP for Central Scotland, spoke out against the vandalism.

“This graffiti appearing weeks before annual commemorations is particularly callous,” she said. “The right-wing nature of it is concerning.

“I'll shortly be in touch with the committee at the park to see what support they need.

“If anyone has information about the vandalism get in touch.”

Historian Ewan Gibbs added: "This disgusting attack on the memorial for those that left Lanarkshire’s mining villages and industrial towns to fight fascism in Spain looks to be the work of local twenty first century fascists. I hope the monument can be restored.”

Update: Later this afternoon the memorial was cleaned by a man nicknamed "McGoo", who wanted to show his son the difference between "right and wrong".