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Northern Ireland news

Nuala McAllister hits back in `worst mayor' row

Former Belfast lord mayor Nuala McAllister

NUALA McAllister has hit back at claims she was "one of the worst ever" lord mayors of Belfast.

The Alliance councillor, who ended her term last month, was criticised by UUP councillor Jim Rodgers who said she "failed to remain impartial" on issues like same-sex marriage and abortion.

"The lord mayor is a civic leader and they are there to represent the whole community," he said.

"Sadly Nuala McAllister was one of the most political mayors that I've ever come across."

He added that she also refused to read from the bible at meetings, something he was not happy with while mayor, "but for the good of Belfast I did".

The Alliance Party said Ms McAllister represented everyone.

"This persistent, petty and small minded criticism aimed particularly at a young female councillors says more at those who engage in it than anything else," it said.

Ms McAllister last night responded on Twitter.

"It would appear that men in grey suits in council don't like me having my own opinions but I won't stop standing up for what I believe in," she said.

"I make no apologies for wanting Belfast to be a more inclusive society, leadership is required to correct treatment of marginalised in NI."

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