independent

Monday 21 April 2014

McCrea disciplinary hearing delayed

The UUP leader removed the whip from outspoken MLA Basil McCrea after he criticised the party's handling of the Union flag issue

An Ulster Unionist disciplinary hearing against Basil McCrea has been postponed again.

The internal meeting to discuss the Lagan Valley Assembly member's stance in regard to the ongoing Union flag crisis was due to go ahead on Friday.

But Mr McCrea said he had been informed by party officials that the meeting has been put back to next Friday. It had already been rescheduled at the start of the year.

UUP leader Mike Nesbitt removed the whip from the outspoken MLA after he criticised the party's handling of the flag issue.

Mr McCrea described as a "stupid idea" a joint attempt by the UUP and DUP to get the Assembly Commission to examine whether the flag should be flown more regularly at Stormont.

Mr Nesbitt accused his party colleague of having an "inability to exercise self-discipline" or be a team player. He claimed he was doing "enormous damage" to the UUP.

However, Mr McCrea has insisted his views are consistent with past UUP policy on flags.

"I feel that I can satisfactorily respond to the allegations made against me," he said.

"I am confident that I acted within party policy."

Earlier this week, Mr McCrea voted against his party in the Assembly. He refused to support a DUP amendment to a UUP motion that deleted a reference to the Good Friday Agreement.

Press Association

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