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New Ulster Unionist leader to be appointed next month

Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt is embraced by his wife Lynda after announcing his resignation. Picture by Hugh Russell

The Ulster Unionists will choose a new leader at the party’s annual general meeting on April 8.

Former UTV new anchorman Mike Nesbitt tendered his resignation on Friday after a poor performance at the polls.

Mr Nesbitt was was returned in Strangford but his party lost a number of high-profile representatives, including former deputy leader Danny Kennedy, Sandra Overend and Jo-Anne Dobson.

Having lost four seats and finished with ten, the UUP was superseded by the SDLP as Stormont's third largest party.

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Mr Nesbitt had said he would remain in post until a successor was appointed.

South Antrim MP Danny Kinahan told UTV that Mr Nesbitt was still party leader.

He said Fermanagh-South Tyrone MP and former leader Tom Elliott would lead the party's negotiating team in the forthcoming talks.

North Antrim MLA Robin Swann yesterday said he would not rule out putting his name forward for the party leader position.

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