South Belfast MLA Claire Hanna has resigned from the SDLP assembly group following the party’s link up with Fianna Fáil.

She has also resigned as the SDLP’s Brexit spokesperson but said she will continue to be a member of the party and as an MLA representing constituents in south Belfast.

The move comes after the SDLP members voted in favour of forming a partnership with Fianna Fáil.

The motion passed by 121 votes to 53 at a special party conference in Newry on Saturday.

Ms Hanna had opposed the partnership.

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood MLA said: “At the SDLP Special Conference all members were afforded the opportunity to speak and delegates to vote on two motions. The SDLP membership overwhelmingly voted for the party to embark on a partnership with Fianna Fáil.

“It is with regret that we accept Claire’s resignation. The party membership has democratically spoken and difficult though that decision may be for some, their wishes must be respected and enacted.”

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