LABOUR will be represented on North Lanarkshire Council by Henry Dunbar – the former world leader of the Orange Order – after he won a seat in Scotland’s 2022 council elections.

Dunbar will take up a seat on North Lanarkshire Council, having formerly been Imperial Grand President and Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland.

The 66-year-old helped organise Scotland’s biggest anti-independence event ahead of the 2014 referendum, in which 15,000 people marched in Edinburgh.

READ MORE: Scottish local elections 2022: Follow live results and updates

Dunbar told crowds: “Mr Salmond, you will not con the loyal Protestant people of Scotland. No to independence and no surrender to separatism."

He will be one of the representatives of the four-member Airdrie North ward, having won 1170 of the 5565 first-preference votes.

He was elected alongside Sophia Coyle and Richard Sullivan of the SNP and Independent Alan Beveridge.

Labour candidate Peter Kelly lost out having received just 463 first-preference votes.

Ian McNeil, who has been executive officer of the Orange Order in Scotland for three years, failed in his bid for re-election as a Labour councillor in neighbouring Airdrie South.

Speaking prior to the local elections, Dunbar told The Herald that he supports the values of Labour, believing them to be “equality and fairness”, and likes Anas Sarwar and Keir Starmer.

The National:

On whether his Orange Lodge links would influence voters, Dunbar said: “The Orange Order as an institution doesn’t really get involved in politics. They don’t tell their members what to vote, and I certainly wouldn’t suggest to the members that they vote for me. They take me on my merit. I believe I can do a good job for the constituents of the Airdrie North area.

“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.

"I’m not standing for the Orange Order, I’m standing for Scottish Labour. I’m a member of the Labour party. I’m standing for the good of the constituents. I feel very passionate about that. I’m standing for these people and it doesn’t matter to me what creed or religion or colour they are, I’ll be standing 100% for every single one of them.”

A spokesperson for Scottish Labour said at the time that all their candidates have pledged to “reflect and uphold the party’s aims and values as a tolerant, open and democratic party”, and that Dunbar would be held to this “same high standard”.

A spokesperson for the SNP, responding to Dunbar being unveiled as a candidate, 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.

"Only the SNP has the positive vision to take Scotland forward. That's why on 5th May, there has to be a vote for the SNP."