UUP councillor who lives in Dublin resigns from his post

Back row, from left, Alderman Mark Cosgrove and Alderman Fraser Agnew. Front row Ben Kelso, Stephen McCarthy and UUP leader Robin Swann

THE Ulster Unionist Party has announced that party activist Stephen McCarthy will replace Ben Kelso on Antrim and Newtownabbey Council.

It comes less than a month after the Irish News revealed that Mr Kelso, who was elected in 2014, both lives and works in Dublin.

The former UUP councillor, who works for Barclays bank in the Irish capital, denied at the time that his living and working arrangements interfered with his ability to carry out his duties, despite attending just four of the eight monthly council meetings since the start of 2017.

Ulster Unionist Party leader, Robin Swann yesterday wished Mr Kelso well in his career outside of politics, adding that the party's newest councillor, who was a constituency worker, was "representative of a new generation of unionists".

"In the time I have known Stephen I have been struck by his hard work ethic and determination to get results for people. I know this is something he will continue in his new role as a councillor," he said.

Mr McCarthy said: "I have already been working for the people of Antrim and Newtownabbey for a number of years alongside Steve Aiken and Danny Kinahan and I have built great relationships with groups, organisations and constituents throughout the area. I'm looking forward to hitting the doors in the coming weeks to continue to deliver for the people of Three Mile Water".

Announcing his resignation with immediate effect Mr Kelso said: "Now is the right time for me to stand down, and I'm pleased the party has found a capable replacement in Stephen.

"I remain available to provide whatever assistance I can, and allow for an easy transition to Stephen over the coming weeks", he added.

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