An Alliance Party councillor in Northern Ireland has become the country’s first openly gay elected mayor.

Andrew Muir, a North Down Borough Council member grew up in the borough and has served the electorate since 2010.

A graduate of the University of Ulster, the keen athlete holds a degree in Peace and Conflict Studies and has worked with a range of arts organisations such as the Grand Opera House and Ulster Orchestra.

Following his election, Councillor Muir said he would take office under the theme ‘Working as one’, providing courageous civic leadership for everyone. He said: “As Mayor of North Down I am determined to realise the momentous opportunities ahead and celebrate the diverse range of work taking place across the Borough towards one shared vision of an integrated, peaceful, prosperous, active clean and green society.”

Cllr Muir told UTV: “My sexuality hasn’t been an issue for me nor for my electorate nor my constituents since I became a councillor in 2010.

“And it won’t be a defining issue for me as mayor because the challenge as mayor is to reach out and represent everyone across our society – people of different faiths, backgrounds.”