Belfast Telegraph

Friday 24 October 2014

McCrea and McCallister wrong to leave UUP

I AM disappointed at the decisions of Basil McCrea and John McCallister to leave the UUP.

Some commentators have claimed that the selection of Nigel Lutton in the Mid-Ulster by-election is a negative move.

I cannot see how the selection of the son of a murdered RUC officer should be a resignation issue.

Surely the community in Mid-Ulster is entitled to have the chance to elect someone who can speak up for victims of terrorism?

I also view with dismay the prospect of yet another unionist party being formed. We have the UUP and the DUP. Then there is the TUV. The PUP is still in existence and Ukip and the Conservatives have entered the fray. Until Alliance nailed its colours to the mast by taking the Union flag down from the City Hall, some voters regarded Alliance as some kind of unionist party.

I'm not sure what McCrea and McCallister hope to achieve, but I hope that they are motivated by something more honourable than frustrated ambition. The fact is that the three most high-profile UUP defections – David McNarry, John McCallister and Basil McCrea – have all failed in bids to lead the UUP. Now that is quite a coincidence.

CHERYL JOHNSTON

By e-mail

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