The head of Scotland’s Orange Lodge has called for a special march through Glasgow honouring the Conservative government’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic to be held later this year.

Jim McHarg, Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Scotland, said Boris Johnson’s government had stepped up to provide a “package of support unlike anything we have ever seen before”.

In a statement posted online, Mr McHarg called for a parade in the city in September as a way of thanking frontline NHS workers and politicians for their efforts during the disease outbreak.

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It came as the Order confirmed the annual July 12 march commemorating the Battle of the Boyne had been cancelled in both Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Mr McFarg said: “As a Union of nations, the Chancellor has ensured that the support measures he has introduced is there to support all parts of the UK. We remain grateful to be part of the United Kingdom and able to access this invaluable help and support.

"At an appropriate time in the future, we hope to have an event/parade in Glasgow for all of Scotland’s loyal orders, where we can all come together and show our support to the UK Government for everything they have done for us during this terrible time.

"It will be a time to thank them, and the many other services, like our NHS workers and the thousands of others who are still working as hard as ever to keep the nation going.”

He added: "We hope this parade will be able to go ahead in September, and we will start to consult with the other loyal orders in Scotland to plan this."

Figures released by Police Scotland earlier this year revealed the number of loyalist and republican marches taking place across the country rose by 20 per cent, from 1,500 to 1,800 events last year.

Mr McFarg added that events cancelled for this summer would be pushed back until 2021.

He said: “The advice from the UK Government was foremost in our mind and it is clear that there is likely to be continued social distancing in place for many months to come.

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"We also recognise the strain that the current pandemic is having on essential services and acknowledge that they will need some time to recover as we slowly come out the other side of the virus lockdown measures.

“Therefore, this year’s Boyne Parades will be held over until next year. Indeed, it is safe to say that there won’t be any Orange Parades until August at the earliest.

"This means the host venues we had hoped to visit this year, will now move forward to 2021. These venues are Ayr, Dalkeith, Glasgow Green and Holytown."