New Belfast lord mayor elected

Councillors voted for a new mayor at Belfast City Hall

An Alliance Party councillor has been elected as Belfast's new lord mayor.
Tom Ekin will take over from the SDLP's Martin Morgan.

Councillors also voted in Sinn Fein's Joe O'Donnell as deputy at the election on Tuesday, following Mr Ekin's casting vote.

Mr Ekin said: "I will work to continue the progress we are making towards a brighter Belfast, towards a Belfast we can believe in.

"We need to work together to make this city a cleaner, more attractive place to live and work in.

"I want councillors to work together effectively for all of the people because we all want what is best for Belfast."

Deputy Mayor O'Donnell said he would do his best for everyone in the city.

"I certainly hope to play my role in making Belfast a totally inclusive city and will try, in some small way, to provide people with a vision for the future," he said.

Former lord mayor, DUP councillor Sammy Wilson, said Mr O'Donnell's election was a slap in the face for unionists.

"It's an example of what happens when nationalists get a majority when they are in a minority - they clamour for power-sharing and rotation," he said.

"When they are in a majority, they forget all about that and they think of only how they can ensure they get all the top positions and they exclude unionists totally."

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