The Ulster Unionist party's annual conference was addressed by an SDLP minister for the first time ever today.

Margaret Ritchie, the Minister for Social Development in the Northern Ireland power-sharing executive, received a warm reception from the Ulster Unionist party members.

Ms Ritchie told this afternoon's gathering that her attitude to those who seek to dominate business around the executive table is 'No Surrender'. 

Her remarks drew loud applause from the Ulster Unionist party members. 

Some within the UUP have urged the party leader, Sir Reg Empey, to withdraw from membership of the power-sharing administration. 

This weekend two prominent Assembly members, David Burnside and Basil Mc Crea, said the party should be prepared to pull out of government and start effective opposition. 

Sir Reg and Michael Mc Gimpsey have the UUP's two executive posts compared to the DUP's five.