Anas Sarwar says 'zero tolerance of hate' in Scottish Labour as former Orange Order member stands as party candidate

Anas Sarwar has said his party stands against “any form of hate” after it was announced a former senior Orange Order member would be running for the party in the council elections.

Henry Dunbar served as Scotland’s most senior Orange Order member between 2010 and 2016, and the most senior in the world from 2015-2018 after being elected Imperial President of the organisation

On Friday, it was confirmed that Dunbar will be standing as a Labour candidate in the upcoming May election, as one of two people hoping to represent the party in the Airdrie North ward.

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The Orange Order said it does not believe there is a problem with sectarianism in Scotland and it does not accept accusations that it is sectarian or anti-Catholic.

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar speaking during the Scottish Labour conference at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall (Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire).

Addressing the candidate choice on the last day of the Scottish Labour Spring conference, the Scottish Labour Leader told BBC Scotland’s The Sunday Show: "I don’t choose the candidates, local parties do, but what I expect of every single candidate regardless of their background is for them to abide by labour party values and principles and that includes a zero tolerance on all forms of tolerance of hate.”

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Former Orange Order leader to stand for Scottish Labour at council elections

Asked if Mr Dunbar is an appropriate candidate, Mr Sarwar said: "Local party members have chosen him as a candidate, they view him as an appropriate candidate in that election.”

However, Mr Sarwar said if there is any evidence of any candidate or member of his political party expressing hatred towards anyone in the community he will “root that out”.

He added: “I won’t stand for it.

"This includes anti-Catholic hatred which is real in our country and all forms of prejudice.”

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