Ulster Unionist leader Reg Empey has said he wants the British government to intervene in any bid to take over Northern Ireland Electricity.

Mr Empey said he was concerned at reports that the ESB is planning a proposal to take over the electricity network.

Northern Ireland Electricity's parent company Viridian is currently the subject of a €2.4 billion takeover by Bahrain investment bank Arcapita.

However, reports yesterday suggested ESB would be interested in acquiring the electricity network following suggestions that Arcapita may sell off stakes in Viridian.

Mr Empey, formerly Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment in the Northern Ireland Assembly, warned there would be political consequences if the company, which is owned by the Irish Government, were to take over Northern Ireland Electricity.