Nesbitt's call after TUV man Cudworth joins UUP ranks
Mike Nesbitt has said "the pipeline remains open" for members of other parties to join the Ulster Unionists after a former TUV Assembly candidate switched sides.
William Cudworth had been hoping to stand for Jim Allister's party in North Down.
But he has now joined the UUP saying he could "no longer following the route that the TUV were taking".
Mr Cudworth works for Bombardier Aerospace in Belfast and last year polled 700 votes for the TUV in North Down during the Westminster election.
The move has been played down by the TUV, which said that Mr Cudworth resigned after not being chosen as the party's Assembly candidate for North Down.
UUP leader Mr Nesbitt pointed to others who have chosen to defect to his party, including William McQuade, a former PUP candidate in North Belfast; Jenny and John Palmer, former DUP councillors in Lisburn and Castlereagh, as well as Joe Jordan, a Ukip candidate in Strangford at the last general election.