Northern Ireland

DUP councillor stepping down to take up Rangers PR role

DUP councillor David Graham
DUP councillor David Graham

A DUP councillor is to step down after being appointed as the new head of communications for Rangers Football Club.

David Graham was elected to Belfast City Council in May last year and was formerly a special adviser to DUP education minister Peter Weir before Stormont's collapse in 2017.

The Orange Order member said that as a lifelong Rangers supporter, he was "delighted" to work for the Glasgow club.

His appointment raised eyebrows in the Scottish media, including after footage surfaced online of him wearing a Rangers top while hailing the club's links with 'loyalism and Protestantism'.

But earlier this week Mr Graham said that while unionist support is a "historic reality", Rangers is "proud to be a modern, diverse football club".

"We are proud of our past but we are open to everyone," he told the BBC.

Mr Graham replaces James Traynor who had been in charge of public relations at Ibrox since 2012.

He is the second councillor to announce their departure from the DUP benches on Belfast City Council in recent weeks.

Guy Spence, a former DUP deputy mayor, resigned from the party saying he had "lost all confidence" in it.

He plans to step down at the end of the month, and his successor will be then chosen by the DUP.