SDLP’s Eastwood to address Ulster Unionist conference

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood. Picture: Stephen Hamilton /Presseye
SDLP leader Colum Eastwood. Picture: Stephen Hamilton /Presseye

Colum Eastwood will become the first serving leader of the SDLP to address an Ulster Unionist Party conference when he makes a keynote speech in Belfast this weekend.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s event at the Ramada Hotel, Mr Eastwood said the ground-breaking development is “a demonstration of what genuine cooperation looks like”.

The Foyle MLA added: “People across the north realise that Irish nationalism and unionism can never hope to seamlessly fit. Both the SDLP and the Ulster Unionists share the common ground of wanting to make Northern Ireland work.”

Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt said: “Behind the scenes, there is a lot of joined up work going on between the SDLP and ourselves, but this is largely unseen and Colum and I are conscious that people want to see tangible signs of cooperation.”