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First openly non-binary city mayor announces that they are not standing for re-election in May

11 Mar 2022 3 minute read
Owen Hurcrum

The world’s first openly non-binary city mayor has announced that they won’t be standing for re-election forthcoming city council elections.

Bangor University graduate Owen who describes themselves as genderqueer was elected mayor in 2021 but said that having not been able to get on the property ladder in Bangor they planned to move to Norfolk for a time to complete work on a houseboat.

In a Twitter post Owen Hurcum said: “With the election period beginning next week for Welsh Local Elections 2022 many people will be announcing their intention to run for election or re-election. I wish to take this opportunity to state that I, however, will not be seeking re-election to Bangor City Council.

“This is not a reflection on Bangor City Council, nor my time as a Councillor and it certainly isn’t to do with the harassment I have been subjected to (by a small but vocal minority) on occasion. It is simply because of a change of circumstances in my personal life.

“After (sadly unsuccessful) attempts to get onto the local property market I have found myself with an alternative offer I simply couldn’t refuse. That being to move onto, and do up, a 1940’s wooden boat and make it my home. Whilst it is my full intention to bring this boat up to Bangor and live on it up here, due to the work needed on it – and it’s current location around Norfolk – it might be upwards of a year before I can do that.

“It is my feeling that it would be wrong for me to campaign to be a local representative when I know I will be away from Bangor for such a length of time at the start of the next term.

“I look forward immensely to completing the rest of this term here in Bangor. I hope also one day I might be so humbled to once again serve my community here, but it won’t be during this next Council term.”

Owen Hurcum had intended to stand as a Plaid Cymru candidate at the 2021 Senedd election but stood down after they said that they were unable to share a platform with Llanelli candidate Helen Mary Jones.

They said that they “cannot in good conscious stand as a candidate for Plaid whilst they continue to platform a candidate who has promoted, and continues to promote, transphobia”.

Helen Mary Jones, who was unsuccessful in her bid to win Llanelli, later issued a personal statement from her Twitter account, that said she has “taken time to reflect” on her past comments and actions that “caused a lot of hurt and harm to a lot of people” and none more so than the trans community.

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