Belfast Telegraph

David McNarry faces UUP inquiry

David McNarry is facing disciplinary action over alleged confidentiality breaches, his party chairman has said.

Mr McNarry dramatically quit the Ulster Unionist assembly team on Friday night after leader Tom Elliott demoted him from a Stormont committee position for remarks he made in a newspaper interview about UUP talks with the DUP.

The Strangford MLA took his seat alongside independent members in the Stormont chamber on Monday, claiming he had been overwhelmed with messages of support following his decision to walk away from the Assembly group.

UUP chairman David Campbell said: "I have referred the McNarry affair to the disciplinary committee of the Ulster Unionist Party for investigation.

"The committee will be asked to examine and report on the alleged indiscipline and breaches of party confidentiality by Mr David McNarry MLA and other associated allegations of indiscipline including breaches of party confidentiality by other party members."

The committee will report to the party officers. As the fall-out from the affair continued, his party leader on Monday stood by his call to remove him as vice-chairman of the education committee.

Mr Elliott acknowledged that he was aware Mr McNarry was going to give the interview to the Belfast Telegraph about the discussions with the DUP, but claimed his colleague had not stuck to agreed party lines and had overstated the potential link-up with their unionist rivals.

He said Mr McNarry's claim that in the future the DUP could hold Stormont's first minister position, with the UUP holding the office's junior minister post had particularly angered him.

Mr McNarry has insisted he has no intention of quitting the wider Ulster Unionist party. Despite overtures from the DUP to join its ranks, he made clear he would not be voluntarily leaving the party he joined as a 15-year-old.

Mr McNarry's comments to the media prompted Mr Elliott to write a letter to party members playing down the significance of the discussions with the DUP.

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