EAST Cliff and Springbourne ward councillor David Kelsey has been elected the first openly gay Mayor of Bournemouth.

Cllr Kelsey was elected to the position by The Bournemouth Charter Trustee Annual General Meeting on Friday May 28.

Bournemouth’s former mayor Susan Phillips will still be involved some mayoral roles, as she takes up her new position as Deputy Mayor.

The Mayor of Bournemouth, Councillor David Kelsey, said: “It is my absolute privilege to have been chosen to represent Bournemouth as Mayor.

“I am looking forward to working hard on the behalf of our local residents, highlighting the great work of volunteers and charities, promoting business and supporting those who work in our public services.”

This year residents were invited to watch the event virtually, as it was live streamed in line with Covid-19 safety protocols.

BCP Council’s Armed Forces Covenant Board representative, who served in Northern Ireland, spent half a year in military prison and was kicked out of the armed forces after his homosexuality was discovered in the early 1980’s.

Having been discharged with disgrace and stripped of his Northern Ireland Medal, Cllr Kelsey was finally able to reclaim his medal and clear his criminal record following a change in the policy from the government back in February this year.

Following the announcement of his new role on May 28, Cllr Kelsey uploaded a picture of him in his mayoral robes on Twitter, with a caption saying: “So proud to be the first openly gay Mayor of Bournemouth. Never let your lifestyle hold you back.”