Unionist Party Standing Committee members vote to enter a power sharing Assembly Executive with the SDLP.

Unionist Party leader Brian Faulkner won by a narrow margin of 27 votes, but now has a mandate to proceed with forming a coalition with the other political parties in Northern Ireland. 

After the meeting, James Kilfedder, an unpledged Unionist who opposed the motion says increased representation from Northern Ireland in London is preferable as, 

This would bring the voice of Ulster straight into Westminster, that’s what we want, and therefore Stormont would become the third tier...in the core of a reorganised local government.

He has no immediate plans to leave the Unionist Party,

I’ll certainly stay in the party, I’m an Official Unionist, I’m chief whip of the only Unionist parliamentary party in existence, and that is the one in Westminster. 

Speaking to reporters gathered outside, Brian Faulkner is satisfied with the results of the vote, and acknowledges that this is a historic day,

We’re being asked to do something that has never been attempted in these islands before...we have got a mandate from our party today to go ahead and to discuss the possibility of forming a government. We are now going ahead with that, and that’s it.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 23 October 1973.  The reporter is Liam Hourican.