ARLENE Foster received a “rapturous” response in Scotland – but a “silly fuss” was made about her attendance at a Fife parade, the Orange Order head has said.

The DUP leader was the main speaker at the event in Cowdenbeath last month.

The move was questioned by the SNP, while Labour and the LibDems suggested Foster could be better off working towards restoring the collapsed power-sharing executive at the Northern Ireland Assembly.

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But addressing July 12 crowds in Belfast, Jim McHarg, Scottish Grand Master, dismissed the criticism, saying: “No doubt you will have heard about the silly fuss made over the attendance of Arlene Foster at the Cowdenbeath parade.

“In fact, she was the principal speaker, something that seemed to annoy several of our Scottish politicians.

“I’m afraid that some of their comments only confirmed what we already knew – too many of them are ignorant and prejudiced in their view of the Order.

“To hear them you’d think the Order in Scotland had never had an Ulster politician on an Orange platform before.

“Arlene Foster was very welcome in Scotland, and I’m pleased to tell you she received a rapturous reception.”

Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley was amongst tens of thousands of people attending parades marking the anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne earlier today.

They took place against a backdrop of heightened tensions, with firefighters attacked and petrol bombs thrown the previous night.

Many incidents were related to the traditional lighting of Eleventh Night bonfires in loyalist areas, authorities said.

A number of these went off peacefully, but the fire service reported a near 25% year-on-year increase in bonfire-related incidents.

Meanwhile, two “crude but viable” devices were found in Derry in the early hours of the morning and vehicles were also set alight in separate incidents.

Police had warned of intelligence about plans to “orchestrate and participate in serious disorder in east Belfast” by a local UVF group.

DUP Stormont member Gary Middleton raised “great concern”, adding: “People don’t want this activity on our streets.”