Belfast’s newly-appointed Lord Mayor Nichola Mallon last night denied referring to the Queen as a ‘foreign representative’ after reports in a Belfast newspaper.
Writing on Twitter, the SDLP councillor said: “For clarification, I did not make reference to the Queen as reported in the North Belfast News and have raised this matter directly with them.”
The comment claimed to have been made by the first citizen appeared in an article in the newspaper.
DUP councillor Brian Kingston said he had taken issue with the quote attributed to the mayor which stated: “In my role as first citizen I am happy to meet with and welcome any foreign representative to the great city of Belfast and for north Belfast to be the first stop on her tour of Ireland I am immensely proud.”
The News Letter was unable to contact the Lord Mayor last night. However Cllr Mallon did take to Twitter to deny that she had made the comments.
And the News Letter understands that the councillor insists she did not make reference to the Queen as a ‘foreign representative’ or a ‘foreign head of state’.
It is also understood that the Lord Mayor is ‘distressed’ that these quotes were attributed to her and she is keen that this report should not detract from the success of this week’s Royal visit. The News Letter was unable to contact anyone at the North Belfast News for comment.
Alderman Kingston said he noted that the Lord Mayor last night denied making the comments attributed to her in the newspaper. “I had called for clarification from the Lord Mayor and I note that she has denied having made the comments attributed to her which had caused great offence. I trust that the Lord Mayor will be seeking a full retraction from this publication so that her position in the public record is clear and beyond dispute.”