Nesbitt: Eastwood’s a guy I think I can work with

Mike Nesbitt, the new leader of the Opposition, has said that he believes SDLP leader Colum Eastwood is someone with whom he could do business if the SDLP join the UUP outside the Executive.

As the SDLP ponders its future over coming days, the Ulster Unionist leader last night offered an olive branch to his opposite number within nationalism.

Speaking on BBC Radio Ulster’s Inside Politics programme last night, he said of the young SDLP leader: “He’s a guy I think I can work with, not least because he wants Northern Ireland to work.”

Mr Nesbitt’s comments came after Lord Trimble dismissed Martin McGuinness’s savage criticism of the UUP move into Opposition.

After Mr McGuinness invoked Lord Trimble in defence of Sinn Fein’s argument against the move, Lord Trimble himself rejected Mr McGuinness’s comments as “silly” and praised the UUP decision as “courageous”.

The DUP also initially criticised the UUP move.

But, writing in today’s News Letter, First Minister Arlene Foster acknowledged that the UUP had “the right” to do what they have done, though she said that the move amounted to “walking off the pitch”.