SDLP Councillors in Belfast have nominated UUP Councillor John Kyle to the position of High Sheriff.
The SDLP is entitled to nominate to the position under Belfast City Council’s d’Hondt process but as the party declines to accept the position which traditionally represents the crown in the city, SDLP Councillors will instead nominate Ulster Unionist John Kyle in recognition of his personal commitment to the common ground and his work to bring people in the city together.
SDLP Leader on Belfast City Council, Cllr Dónal Lyons said:
“John Kyle and I obviously come from different political traditions. It is clear to me, however, that we share a common belief in the power of people in this city to do remarkable things when we acknowledge our differences and work together in our common interests.
“While SDLP Councillors do not serve as High Sheriff, we do seek to constructively work the common ground and by doing so, forge and improve relationships between different communities. We believe that's the only way forward for our city and our region.
“I am glad, therefore, to propose a man of the character of John Kyle as the city’s High Sheriff. John has demonstrated his commitment to working in the interests of the people of this city the Council and in his work as a doctor, particularly when he came out of retirement during the Covid pandemic to help in whatever way he could.
“Our politics has lost too much respect for difference and diversity. We all must commit ourselves to working together in the spirit of common endeavour that brought our people together 25 years ago and remains crucial if we are ever to truly share this city and this island.”