UUP’s Mike Nesbitt quits as leader

UUP leader Mike Nesbitt has tendered his resignation. Credit: Pacemaker

The Ulster Unionist Party’s Mike Nesbitt has quit as leader of his party, confirming the news at a press conference on Friday evening.

Mr Nesbitt said that he would stay in post until a successor could be decided, but that following the election results “the buck stops here”.

“It has been an absolute honour to have led the Ulster Unionist Party and a challenge like no other that I've ever experienced in my life,” he said.

“My only regret is that the results seem to indicate that this society is now more polarised than ever, rather than more united in a shared future which was my aspiration.”

Mr Nesbitt expressed hope that Northern Ireland would, in future, vote in an election without sectarian divides – but conceded that it would not happen in his political lifetime.

"But it will happen," he added.

  • WATCH: Mike Nesbitt quits as leader at UUP press conference