Published Tuesday, 02 October 2012
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Mr Nesbitt stood down the South Down MLA following a speech he made to young Unionists on Saturday.
The speech had been seen as accusing the party of "sleepwalking into Unionist unity".
Mr Nesbitt defended the move in an interview with UTV, adding that the timing of Mr McCallister's speech on the weekend of the Ulster Covenant had been "unfortunate".
He said: "John was wrong to infer that I was sleepwalking the party into unionist unity.
"He was wrong to suggest that Peter Robinson is in the driving seat in terms of control of the Ulster Unionists and the timing of the day of this big parade in Belfast was also very unfortunate
"I'd been thinking about the position of deputy leader of the group and whether it actually has a meaning and so it was appropriate time to stand him down and review."
I was elected on a ticket of bringing cohesion to the party and coherence and that does involve discipline.
"I believe that I've not been found wanting and I believe I do have the support so I'm taking action where action has to be taken," he added.
However, Mr Nesbitt also described the removal of his deputy as not a "big issue," before adding that it was an internal matter.
It is understood Mr McCallister has stepped down from his post as the party's health spokesman.
Mr Nesbitt continued: "I'm not looking for a fight with anybody. I got 81% of the vote when I was elected six months ago.
"Ten days ago at our conference, the Belfast Telegraph said 82% want me to lead the party into the next elections."
On Monday Mr McCallister, who previously ran for the party's top spot, said he accepted Mr Nesbitt had the right to remove him from the deputy leader post at Stormont.
"I made comments in a speech to a Young Unionist dinner to mark the Centenary of the Ulster Covenant and I stated that I did not believe unity to be helpful to unionism or to Northern Ireland as a whole," he explained.
"I am disappointed at the Leader's decision as I believe that in the majority of my remarks I was quoting from the Leader's speech at the Party Conference and I remain very supportive of his call to end sectarianism and tribal politics."