Northern Ireland

McCausland steps down from Belfast City Council

MLA Nelson McCausland
Image caption Mr McCausland will continue in his role as a member of the assembly

DUP Assembly Member Nelson McCausland has quit his role as Belfast city councillor for the Oldpark area.

Mr McCausland, who remains an MLA and Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure, has been a councillor for the area since 2001.

His withdrawal from the council is part of the DUP's policy of moving away from politicians performing multiple roles or "double jobbing".

He was first elected as councillor for the Castle area in 1989.

He was born in north Belfast in 1951 and educated at Belfast Royal Academy, Worcester College, Oxford, and Queen's University Belfast.

Mr McCausland was appointed High Sheriff of Belfast in 1997 and has served on the board of the Ulster Museum, Ulster Folk and Transport Museum and Belfast Education and Library Board.

Gareth McKee, a DUP constituency case worker in north Belfast, is to take over his seat on the council.

In a statement, Mr McCausland said he had enjoyed his 21 years in City Hall "immensely" and expressed his thanks to the people of North Belfast.

"I am pleased at the immense progress that has been made in the city during that time, with enormous re-development and investment," he said.

"I believe that Gareth McKee will be an excellent public representative, and I am sure that he will prove to be so in a very short space of time."

Mr McCausland confirmed that he would continue in his role as a member of the assembly.

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