If Dr McDonnell is to have any hope of remaining at the helm, he must hold his South Belfast seat. Photograph: Bill Smyth/PA

There’s a sizeable rump in the SDLP which believes that this time next year the party will have a new leader. Current captain Dr Alasdair McDonnell mi(...)

SDLP deputy leader Dolores Kelly, speaking at the opening of the party’s 42nd annual conference in Belfast, said party leader Dr Alasdair McDonnell (above) was correct in “unambiguously” rejecting Sinn Féin’s call for an electoral pact.  File photograph: Bill Smyth/PA Wire

SDLP deputy leader Dolores Kelly has characterised Sinn Féin as “sleeveens” after Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness this week called for a joint(...)

Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and Junior minister Jennifer McCann outside Stormont: McCann  had said she learned of Maíria Cahill’s rape allegations a number of years ago. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

The position of Jennifer McCann as Sinn Féin junior minister was “now untenable” following the IRA rape and interrogation allegations made by Maíri(...)

The “effective closure” of the Historical Enquiries Team (HET) which investigates past killings of the Troubles will take place by the end of this year, the PSNI said today.

The “effective closure” of the Historical Enquiries Team (HET) which investigates past killings of the Troubles will take place by the end of this yea(...)

William Buchanan, son of murdered RUC officer Bob Buchanan, said: “I, on behalf of the Buchanan family, wish to place on record our appreciation for the diligence and integrity of Judge Peter Smithwick and his team.” Photograph: Paul Faith/PA

The son of Supt Bob Buchanan, who with his RUC colleague Chief Supt Harry Breen was killed in an IRA ambush on the Border in 1989, has described the f(...)

Former SDLP leaders Mark Durkan and Margaret Ritchie with the former deputy leader of the party Seamus Mallon at the annual SDLP conference, in Armagh. Photograph: Bill Smyth/PA Wire

Saturday afternoon’s session of the annual SDLP conference in the Armagh City Hotel was powerful, poignant and quietly emotional. Anne Cadwallader, au(...)

A wrecked car near the explosion in Talbot Street, Dublin, in May 1974, a bombing in which Robin “the Jackal” Jackson is believed to have been involved. Photograph: Keystone/Hulton|Archive

The Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman Dr Michael Maguire is investigating complaints from 24 families over how the RUC inquired into more than 70 loya(...)

Plans to hold the Miss Ulster competition in parliament buildings at Stormont have been pulled in the wake of an outcry from some politicians. Assembl(...)

 Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster:  “The Miss Ulster competition . . . at its most benign sounds very like ‘Father Ted’s’ Lovely Girls competition.” Photograph: Andrew Towe/DETI/PA Wire

The organiser of the Miss Ulster competition to be held at Stormont on Saturday has rejected claims that the beauty pageant is embarrassing and on a p(...)

Arlene Foster outside Stormont in a file image. The DUP Economy Minister  said staging the Miss Ulster event at Stormont was sending out the wrong message.  Photograph: Paul Faith/PA Wire

Plans for a beauty pageant at the home of the Northern Ireland Assembly have sparked controversy.The Miss Ulster competition has come in for criticism(...)