Ulster Unionist Party: Nesbitt rules himself out for leadership

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Mike Nesbitt said he was diagnosed with a coronary condition in 2015

The former Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt has ruled himself out from standing again for his party’s leadership and revealed he has been dealing with a coronary condition.

Robin Swann has announced he will not stand again for re-election at the party’s annual general meeting.

The meeting has been brought forward from February to 9 November.

Mr Swann said the decision had been made “after consultation with family and close colleagues”.

South Antrim MLA Steve Aiken said he will put his name forward while Upper Bann MLA Doug Beattie is considering his options.

It is understood Mr Nesbitt, who led the Ulster Unionists for five years, was considering running for a second term.

However, the former UUP leader said he has been dealing with a coronary condition since 2015 and was recently advised by medical professionals to avoid extra stress.

The former broadcaster has ruled out a second run for the party leadership, although he will continue in his role as assembly member for Strangford.