SNP urge Anas Sarwar to drop former Orange Order leader as candidate

The SNP has urged Anas Sarwar to “immediately drop” a former Orange Order leader due to stand for his party at the 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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Henry Dunbar. Picture: Channel 4 NewsHenry Dunbar. Picture: Channel 4 News
Henry Dunbar. Picture: Channel 4 News
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The Orange Order's website says it is “the oldest and biggest Protestant fraternity in Scotland”. However, it has faced accusations of being anti-Catholic.

SNP MSP Collette Stevenson said: “In Anas Sarwar’s desperation to find candidates for the local elections, he has thrown out all principle and opened his arms to an ex-leader of a deeply divisive organisation.

“It simply beggars belief that Scottish Labour think this is appropriate, but it shows how far they have sunk.

"Anas Sarwar must immediately drop Henry Dunbar as a candidate for the council elections – the politics of division have no place in Scotland.”

Over the weekend, Mr Sarwar said he has a “zero tolerance approach to any form of prejudice or hate”, adding: “And if there's any evidence of any candidate, or any member of our political party who has expressed hatred against anybody in our communities, I will root that out. I won't stand for it.”

A Labour insider said being a member of the Orange Order was likely to be a protected characteristic under equality legislation.

Last week, 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.”



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