The UK Unionist Party has said it will take part in any review or talks called by the British government after the Assembly elections.

The party, which is led by Bob McCartney, says in its election manifesto its members would ensure the pro-Union case was properly heard in any such review.

In 1997, the UK Unionists and the DUP walked out of negotiations leading to the Good Friday Agreement when Sinn Féin was admitted.

However, the UKUP participated in round table talks which followed the collapse of devolution last year.

The UK Unionists won five seats in the 1998 Assembly Elections. However, in January 1999, four of the Assembly team broke away to form the Northern Ireland Unionist Party. The party is fielding five candidates on this occasion.

Mr McCartney is defending a seat in North Down and is joined on the ticket by Tom Sheridan.

Former Ulster Unionist Assembly member Pauline Armitage has joined the party to defend her seat in East Derry. Another former Ulster Unionist, Larne Mayor Tom Robinson, has also joined the party and is contesting East Antrim. Nelson Wharton is the UK Unionists’ candidate in South Down.

The Ulster Unionists' leader David Trimble believes the UKUP and the smaller unionist parties could lose out in the election.

Mr Trimble told RTÉ News this morning that Bob McCartney had lost his party after the last Assembly election and had tried to reconstruct it. Mr Trimble said he felt the UKUP leader would lose his party again fairly quickly.