The Northern Ireland Secretary has said the British government is examining ways to change corporation tax levels in Northern Ireland to attract new investment.

Addressing the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, Owen Paterson said the private sector in Northern Ireland needs to expand.

He said that his government was working on a plan to turn Northern Ireland into an enterprise zone.

Mr Paterson said that Northern Ireland would have to play its part in the forthcoming UK spending cuts, but that spending decisions would be up to Stormont ministers.

He also said that he was now consulting widely in Northern Ireland on how to deal with the past.

However, he said there would be no more costly and open-ended public inquiries.