Former submariner Steve Aiken has been confirmed as the new Ulster Unionist Party leader.

He said it was a momentous time for unionism and criticised his Democratic Unionist rivals for “agreeing” a regulatory border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

The UUP is aiming to win back representation at Westminster in next month’s General Election.

Mr Aiken said: “It would be a momentous time to assume the leadership of any political party but now, for unionism, for those that are pro-union, and those that just believe in Northern Ireland, it has never been more important for the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) to be ready to go out and fight for what is right for our nation.”