UUP 'in crisis' - McNarry

Published Thursday, 08 March 2012
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Independent Unionist David McNarry has told UTV that the Ulster Unionist Party is "in crisis" after leader Tom Elliott announced he is to stand down at the end of the month.

UUP 'in crisis' - McNarry
Mr McNarry said that he did not bear Tom Elliott any ill will. (© UTV)

The Strangford MLA says he is "not surprised" at the news of the Co Fermanagh man's resignation.

Mr McNarry said: "It hasn't surprised me at all, the situation I think was becoming more inevitable as the days passed by on us."

The now Independent politician quit the UUP Assembly group in January over disciplinary action, which was taken over comments he made in a newspaper interview about "secret talks" with the DUP. He was dropped from his position as deputy chair of the Stormont Education Committee as a result.

Mr McNarry said that it was "no secret" that he and Tom Elliott had "a major bust up."

"I think the truth of it is that in reality, he lost the support of his Assembly group this week. He was never going to get it back.

"There were too many factions in that group. Therefore, whoever is going to replace Tom they are going to have a very difficult time."

Mr McNarry, who was in the UUP since the age of 15, said he did not bear Mr Elliott any ill will.

"It is not my character and I know it is not Tom's.

"I bear him no ill about the decision that he has taken, I wish him well and I know if he does the right thing and I have advised him before is to stay close to those that you know best and that you can trust.

"I am sure he is thinking about that and doing that now."

On Thursday evening, Mr Elliott highlighted in a statement the reasons behind his decision.

He said some "obstruction and hostility" began immediately following his election as leader and has been "relentless" since then.

Mr McNarry said there were two mains reasons for the leader quitting.

"First of all, the constituency that Tom really represents - that is one of firm Ulster Unionism - that is Tom's background.

"In my opinion he lost it, and he never got it back and he became trapped by those who wanted to take him away from it."

He continued: "These are people who cosied up to him. People who pretended to be his friend and they have proved not to be. I know who they are and he knows who they are and I suspect most people in the Ulster Unionist Party know who they are.

"He didn't make it as the party leader that we all thought he would be. He got trapped by listening to the wrong people."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
fed up in belfast wrote (1,059 days ago):
what a bunch of overpaid muppets this lot are,argue with anyone they come into contact with ,couldnt run a kids birthday party never mind a country & to round it of they have advice centres up/down the country ,who in hecks name would go to this lot for advice.i work hard every day & pay my taxes for this lot & other useless prats to waste it.
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