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Colum Eastwood is new SDLP leader

Colum Eastwood has been elected as the new leader of the SDLP defeating Alasdair McDonnell at the party's annual conference in Armagh.

Mr Eastwood, the party's youngest MLA, won 172 to 133.

Dr McDonnell, a South Belfast MP who has led the SDLP since 2011, had come under pressure to stand down from critics who claim the party cannot be led from Westminster.

But he had insisted he was the man to reverse the party's recent electoral fortunes.

Mr Eastwood, a former mayor of Londonderry, promised to inject new energy into the party.

Dr McDonnell said he had "given his all and a little bit more" as party leader and offered Mr Eastwood "every good wish" for the future.

South Belfast MLA Fearghal McKinney was voted the party's new deputy leader.

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Young pretender: SDLP's Colum Eastwood 

The conference opened at the Armagh City Hotel on Friday.


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