The new Labour shadow secretary of state will today address the Ulster Unionist Party’s annual conference, in one of his first public engagements since taking up the post.
Ivan Lewis, who took over from Vernon Coaker last week, flew into Northern Ireland yesterday and will today speak publicly about his role for the first time since being appointed by Ed Milliband.
The UUP’s sole Executive minister, Danny Kennedy, is expected to use the conference in south Belfast to announce several measures to ensure the creation of an environment conducive to good business for local retailers.
A section of the conference will also be dedicated to the importance of small business to the economy with a panel including representatives of NIIRTA, the FSB and the Chamber of Commerce.
Jim Nicholson MEP will be setting out his stall in advance of the European election, dealing with issues such as helping business through cutting EU red tape.
UUP leader Mike Nesbitt is expected to use his speech to announce his alternative to the Maze peace centre.
Yesterday, Mr Nesbitt told the News Letter that he believed his party had turned a corner in recent months and was in a more confident mood.
l Full conference coverage in Monday’s News Letter.