Belfast Telegraph

Orange Order hails Karen Bradley as first Secretary of State to attend Twelfth parade

North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 General view of the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 General view of the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 General view of the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 General view of the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 General view of the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 General view of the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 General view of the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 General view of the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 General view of the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 General view of the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 Loyalist Dee Stitt on parade at the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 General view of the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 General view of the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 Members of Rising Sons of Down, Donaghadee on parade at the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 General view of the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 General view of the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 General view of the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 General view of the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 Members of Rising Sons of Down, Donaghadee on parade at the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 General view of the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 General view of the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 General view of the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 Gordon Dunne takes part in the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 General view of the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 General view of the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 General view of the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 General view of the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 General view of the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 General view of the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 Members of Donaghadee Flutes and Drums on parade at the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 Members of Donaghadee Flutes and Drums on parade at the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 General view of the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 Members of Donaghadee Flutes and Drums on parade at the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 General view of the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 General view of the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 Members of Donaghadee Flutes and Drums on parade at the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 General view of the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 General view of the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 Members of the Mill Street Heroes Orange Lodge on parade at the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 Mark Davison and Trevor McCullough take part in the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 General view of the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 General view of the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 General view of the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 General view of the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 General view of the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 12th July 2018 General view of the North Down 'Twelfth' celebrations in Newtownards town centre, County Down. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

The Northern Ireland Secretary has attended a July 12 parade in Co Down.

The Orange Order claimed the visit to one of the processions at their flagship event was a first.

Staffordshire Moorlands MP Karen Bradley attended a parade in Newtownards, Co Down on Thursday.

She was welcomed to the event by the Grand Treasurer of the Orange Order, Brian Dorrian.

Orangemen from as far away as Australia were among those taking part in the North Down parade.

Ms Bradley watched the procession of 40 Orange lodges accompanied by 30 bands.

She also met spectators and other Orangemen, including District Master Mark McDonald.

Mr Dorrian said they hope Ms Bradley enjoyed her first experience of an Orange parade.

"It was a pleasure to welcome the Secretary of State to Newtownards," he said.

"We hope and trust she enjoyed her first-time experience of the Twelfth and an Orange parade, and appreciated the pageantry, spectacle and

family-friendly nature of the occasion."

A spokesman for the Orange Order said Ms Bradley was formally invited to attend a July 12 parade during a recent meeting with Grand Master Edward Stevenson.

He said they believe this is the first time a serving Secretary of State has accepted such an invitation.

A spokesman for the Northern Ireland Office did not dispute the claim.

Meanwhile, Conservative MP Nigel Mills, a member of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee at Westminster was a guest at the Belfast parade.

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