Belfast Telegraph

SDLP to delay its decision on next Lord Mayor of Belfast

By David Whelan

The SDLP has delayed a decision on who it will put forward to become the next Lord Mayor of Belfast until after the council elections.

With current Sinn Fein Lord Mayor Mairtin O Muilleoir to depart the role next month, the party has chosen to wait on a selection.

The next Lord Mayor will be drawn from the SDLP's complement on Belfast City Council.

Belfast City Council operates a rotation policy.

That means every represented party holds the position for a full term on an equal basis.

The party's group leader in the council, Tim Attwood, is favourite to take up the position.

SDLP councillors Pat McCarthy and Pat Convery have previously held the position of first citizen, in 2006 and 2010 respectively.

South Belfast representative Claire Hanna has ruled herself out of the race to become Lord Mayor.

However, North Belfast councillor Nichola Mallon remains in contention.

The SDLP will hold its annual general meeting on June 2.

It's believed the official decision on who the party's candidate for the top council post is will be announced after that gathering of members.

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