News

McCrea 'happy to have say' at hearing

Basil McCrea holds a bag of files prepared for his disciplinary hearing.

Lagan Valley MLA Basil McCrea has said he is happy he was able to have his say at an Ulster Unionist Party disciplinary hearing on Friday.

Friday, 01 February 2013
Tags:
  • Politics
  • News

Mr McCrea appeared before the party's disciplinary committee during a three-hour meeting at the UUP headquarters in Belfast.

He was called before the five-strong panel after it was deemed he stepped out of line with the party on a number of issues. Mr McCrea strongly denies this.

Last month he refused to support a DUP amendment to a UUP motion in the Assembly.

He opposed the proposal to remove reference to the Good Friday Agreement in an Assembly policy on commitment to inclusivity, mutual respect, peace and democracy, in the wake of the flag dispute.

He previously had the UUP whip removed after he publicly disagreed with the party's stance on flying the Union flag at City Hall, and said he agreed with the Alliance Party motion of flying it on designated days.

After the meeting, Mr McCrea said officials hadn't indicated if the hearing had gone in his favour, but said he had put his case across.

"I do feel I've had the opportunity to put my case, and I'm looking forward to hearing what they make of it," he said.

"There was an exchange of views, of professional attitude and I had the opportunity to advance my argument."

Mr McCrea maintained he is not currently considering leaving the party.

"I've made it quite clear. I joined the Ulster Unionist Party because of the Belfast Agreement - the shared future aspect, the values and principles and I still believe that those fundamental building blocks are the way forward for this part of the world," he said.

"As long as I feel the Ulster Unionist Party is wedded to those principles, and carrying out those policies, that's where I'll be."

He added that he wouldn't rule out legal action if the committee's decision went against him.

A statement from the Ulster Unionist Party said their disciplinary committee will give "careful consideration" to the representation given by Mr McCrea.

A spokesperson said: "The determination of the Committee will be issued in due course."