Seattle Mayor Ed Murray resigns amid sexual abuse allegations

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Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has resigned after a fifth man came forward accusing him of sexual abuseImage source, Getty Images
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Ed Murray has denied the allegations but said his resignation was "best for the city"

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has resigned following allegations of sexual abuse against teenage boys.

Mr Murray said he was stepping aside just hours after the Seattle Times reported that his younger cousin, Joseph Dyer, had accused him of abuse.

Mr Dyer is the fifth man to accuse Mr Murray of sexual abuse dating back to the 1970s, the newspaper reports.

Mr Murray denies the allegations, but said he did not want "personal issues" interfering with "public business".

"While the allegations against me are not true, it is important that my personal issues do not affect the ability of our City government to conduct the public's business," Mr Murray said in a statement on Tuesday.

His resignation will take effect from 17:00 local time on Wednesday, the statement added.

Mr Murray, 62, said that he was "proud of all that I have accomplished" but added that due to the reported accusations "it is best for the city if I step aside".

The first allegation of abuse against Mr Murray was reported in April. Since then, four more men have come forward, the Seattle Times reports.

Mr Dyer, 54, said that he was 13 in the mid 1970s when he was forced by his elder cousin, Mr Murray, to have sex in his mother's home in New York.

Mr Murray, a former Democratic state representative who is in a gay marriage, says that he is the target of a political campaign aimed at stifling his progressive politics and tarnishing his record as a gay-rights champion.

The next mayoral election in Seattle, a city of about 700,000 people, will take place in November.

Seattle City Council President Bruce Harrell will take over as mayor until the election.