McCrea and McCallister form new party

Published Wednesday, 27 February 2013
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Former Ulster Unionists Basil McCrea and John McAllister are to form a brand new party.

McCrea and McCallister form new party
Basil McCrea and John McCallister recently left the UUP. (© Pacemaker)

The pair jumped ship just over a week ago from the UUP after a single unionist candidate was agreed to run in Mid-Ulster.

They have not yet named the new party but have outlined their vision in a statement.

"It is time for a confident, generous, progressive pro union party to step forward and build support for a modern Northern Ireland," they said.

"At a time when a recent opinion poll shows clearly that a significant majority of our citizens across the entire community support the current constitutional position, pro-union parties should not be leading a retreat into sectarian trenches."

So far Lagan Valley MLA Mr McCrea, who will lead the party, and South Down MLA Mr McCallister, are its only two members.

However they believe they represent a "new political dynamic" in Northern Ireland.

"In setting up a new party, we do not underestimate the challenges," they continued.

"We are aware that many political parties are vying for the attention of the electorate and that they are unlikely to welcome a new entrant. Some will be disappointed that we did not join them given that we are in agreement on a number of significant policy areas.

"However, many people are disillusioned with the current political process. A significant number have encouraged us to start a new party.

"If the existing political parties were the answer this would not be the case."

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Shen in Belfast wrote (697 days ago):
They won't be my first choice but they will most assuredly be my second and beyond when it comes to elections. Fair play to them. AT LAST a unionist party a catholic can feel confident voting for. Hope to have the opportunity to talk to em both at some point.
Police Lover in Bangor wrote (697 days ago):
How refreshing! However I fear that Northern Ireland just isn't mature enough politically to vote for such a progressive and inclusive party. I would be fairly confident that come the next election, the usual tribal votes will seal the fate of Messers McCrea and McAllister. Sad but more than likely true
Barry in Broughshane wrote (698 days ago):
It looks like they have more support coming from the nationalist community than unionist, will be interesting come voting time to see how many of sinn fein or sdlp votes they get lol
Hugh in Belfast wrote (698 days ago):
@Jackie it's okay, you can take your blinkers off now. p.s. I know very well their history as I do with most of Ireland's history.
willy in belfast wrote (698 days ago):
Basil and Mcallister will be left out in the wilderness these two clowns are not even going to get voted in lol
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