Transgender activist Ellen Murray has announced she will be standing in West Belfast as a candidate for the Green Party in the upcoming Northern Ireland Assembly elections.

Murray is the first openly transgender candidate to stand for election in Ireland.

“I am delighted and excited to put my name forward as a Green Party candidate in the upcoming Assembly election,” Murray said.

“Having spent a number of years working with marginalised young people, I believe the time is right for change in Northern Ireland, to bring about equality for all.

“There is clear under-representation of many groups within the Assembly, including women, young people and the LGBTQ community. I will to give a voice to those who need it most.”

Murray said she is standing for election because she believes the political system should be accessible to everyone.

“As a young, queer, trans woman, I hope that standing for election as an MLA will offer choice and hope for those who need it most,” Murray said.

“I am proud to stand for the Green Party which has such a strong record on social issues. Having more Greens in Stormont can only help to improve the quality of life for everyone in Northern Ireland.”