Northern Ireland

New SDLP leader Alasdair McDonnell to speak at conference

New SDLP leader Alasdair McDonnell will address his party conference later.

He is expected to pledge to regenerate the party and to underscore his desire for a collective leadership to bring about radical change.

The South Belfast MP and MLA was elected on Saturday night at the party's annual conference.

South Belfast MLA Conall McDevitt came second, Mid Ulster MLA Patsy McGlone third and environment minister Alex Attwood fourth.

Upper Bann MLA Dolores Kelly was elected deputy leader.

Throughout the leadership campaign, Dr McDonnell said he believed he could restore the SDLP with the recipe which won him a Westminster seat in South Belfast against the odds.

He has insisted he cannot do it alone and is expected to use his speech to lift party morale.

He told the BBC on Saturday night he would waste no time on his plan to rebuild and reorganise.

"It starts right tomorrow morning here in this hall," Dr McDonnell said.

"I will be coming out with my plans and I will be working them through."

Alasdair McDonnell's speech to the SDLP conference will be broadcast on the Politics Show on BBC1 Northern Ireland at 12:00 GMT.

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