Belfast Telegraph

General Election 2019

New Belfast Lord Mayor to be selected next week following Finucane General Election victory

Sinn Fein's John Finucane is the new MP for North Belfast (Liam McBurney/PA)
Sinn Fein's John Finucane is the new MP for North Belfast (Liam McBurney/PA)

By Gillian Halliday

The process to begin the selection of a new Belfast Lord Mayor to replace Sinn Fein’s John Finucane will begin next week.

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Belfast City Council has confirmed Mr Finucane has stepped down in his role as a councillor after he was elected as the new MP for North Belfast.

The ‘double-jobbing’ rule means elected representatives must relinquish a council seat if they win either a Westminster or Assembly seat.

A city council spokesperson said Sinn Fein council members will nominate a new Lord Mayor in coming days.

“The party responsible for nominating an elected representative to Lord Mayor will do so next week. This party is Sinn Fein,” they said.

“The party will also co-opt an elected representative to the now vacant council seat in North Belfast,” they added.

Mr Finucane’s historic win over DUP deputy leader, Nigel Dodds comes seven months into his tenure as Lord Mayor.

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At the time of his appointment to the largely ceremonial role in May, he pledged to represent everyone, including unionists.

That same month, Mr Finucane’s first official engagement as Lord Mayor was to welcome Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwell to the city.

There has been speculation that the DUP may co-opt Mr Dodds into the vacant Upper Bann Assembly seat left by Carla Lockhart after she was elected as MP for the constituency.

Mr Dodds and his MEP wife Diane live in the area.

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