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

A former Orange Order leader will stand for Scottish Labour at the coming council elections.

Henry Dunbar, who was Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland, will be a candidate for North Lanarkshire Council in May.

He was the most senior orange man in the world from 2015 to 2018.

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The SNP accused Labour of opening its doors to the ex-leader of a “deeply divisive organisation”.

The Orange Order's website says it is “the oldest and biggest Protestant fraternity in Scotland”, adding: “We are an organisation of people bonded together to promote the ideals of our faith.”

However, it has faced accusations of being anti-Catholic.

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar has said anti-Catholic racism is “real and abhorrent” and must be challenged.

Mr Dunbar told The Herald the Labour Party was “all about equality and fairness”.

He said: “If I’m fortunate to be elected for the Scottish Labour Party, all constituents will be the same to me. At the end of the day, I will support all the constituents.

“Nothing else comes into it. It’s all about supporting the communities. I don’t see why the Orange Order should come into it.”

An SNP spokesperson said: "Anas Sarwar claims to promote tolerance in politics, but in desperation for council candidates, Scottish Labour has opened its doors to the ex-leader of a deeply divisive organisation.”

A Scottish Labour spokesman said: “All of Scottish Labour’s candidates have promised to reflect and uphold the party’s aims and values as a tolerant, open and democratic party for the people of Scotland.

"Mr Dunbar will be held to the same high standard as all Labour candidates across Scotland.”



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