The leaders of the two main Unionist parties in the North have repeated their call for an end to loyalist protests over the flying of the Union flag.

DUP leader Peter Robinson, and Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt said they would announce a new initiative aimed at ending the flag controversy next week.

They did so after holding a series of meetings with loyalist community leaders, including some with links to loyalist paramilitary groups.

In a separate development, former Stormont First Minister David Trimble has accused the DUP of deliberately stirring things up in a cynical attempt to win back the East Belfast Westminster seat which they lost to Alliance at the last election.