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Orange Order in No vote campaign

THE Orange Order has begun the mobilisation of its members across Scotland as part of its campaign against independence.

It has applied to join community councils and is involved in a series of roadshows across greater Glasgow, where it plans to lobby councillors on how it can get involved in the No bid.

Similar events have been taking place in other areas, and senior Orange figures plan to visit every one of its Scottish lodges before next year's Glasgow Games to ensure its membership turns out on September 18, the day of the referendum.

It has produced leaflets for all members on how it perceives independence will impact upon them. The Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland has also set up a strategy group.

Members of the Order have even discussed the prospect of forming a new party post-independence and believe securing seats in Ayrshire, Glasgow and Lanarkshire could see it hold the balance of power.

It has tried to join the Townhead and Ladywell Community Council in Glasgow and although it has been told it cannot as a religious group it is still attempting to secure a role.

It is understood it would be the first community council where the Orange order as an organisation and not individual members would be involved.

A source at the organisation said: "The Orange Order is gearing up to get involved. However, members have to realise this isn't Northern Ireland and we don't have the same clout in the Scottish context."

A spokesman said: "The Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland is continuing to internally discuss its strategy for the independence referendum and will make this public in due course."

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Local government

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