A grandmother has revealed how she floored Northern Irish political heavyweight Mike Nesbitt with a single punch. Marie Hyland, 72, landed a single blow on the former broadcaster who quit last month as Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party. Speculation about what happened has been feverish since a picture of him flat out, with her tugging at his collar in the hotel lobby was published a week ago.

Now Marie has revealed that the pair had been chatting about her grandson, pro boxer Paul Hyland, 32, when he jokingly challenged her to a fight. She said: “I just clipped him with a quick right. He went down like a sack of spuds and he couldn’t get up.” She was at a family wedding at The Stormont Hotel, Belfast, and Mr Nesbitt was enjoying drink with pals after a round of golf.Marie had been saying how proud she was of her grandson, the Irish super bantamweight boxing champ Paul Hyland. She said: “He challenged me to a boxing match. I knew he was only messing. He said, ‘I’ll box you’. I knew he was joking, but he picked on the wrong girl … “I just clipped him with a short right. It was only a wee touch, but he went down like a sack of spuds and we couldn’t get him up. It was embarrassing!”