Ukip welcomes ex-UUP man McNarry
The UK Independence Party (Ukip) has welcomed its first Northern Ireland Assembly member into its ranks.
Former Ulster Unionist David McNarry has joined the party after leaving the UUP in acrimonious circumstances earlier this year.
Ukip leader Nigel Farage said the addition of the sitting Strangford member made the party "fully national".
"We extend a very warm welcome to David McNarry, a man of vast political experience," he said.
"It shows that Ukip is now a fully national political party."
Mr McNarry, 64, fell out with the leadership of the Ulster Unionists in January after giving a press interview in which he talked up the prospect of the UUP joining forces with its main rival, the Democratic Unionists.
Disciplinary action by then-leader Tom Elliott prompted the MLA to resign from the party's Assembly grouping.
He was subsequently expelled from the party outright.
Since the controversy, the experienced politician has sat as an independent in the Northern Ireland Assembly.
Mr Farage and Mr McNarry are set to hold a press conference at Parliament Building, Stormont, on Friday.