THE Ulster Unionist Party’s Annual General Meeting was this week thrown into disarray following confirmation from the party’s Lagan Valley MLA Basil McCrea that he will not attend a disciplinary committee on Friday, citing a pre-planned family engagement in Scotland.
UUP leader Mike Nesbitt removed the party whip from Mr McCrea and stripped him of his role as the Assembly’s Chairman of the Committee for Employment and Learning, following his public falling out with the Party’s Belfast councillors, who oppose the decision to only fly the Union flag at city hall on designated days.
It is understood the Party’s Lagan Valley Association decided at their December meeting to send a delegation of members to meet with party leader Mike Nesbitt in a last ditch attempt to find a resolution for Mr McCrea’s future.
However it is understood that following this week’s comments by Mr McCrea and reports that he is to continue to publicly defend his position, at odds with the party’s stance, that the planned Annual General Meeting is now facing chaotic scenes.
Supporters of UUP leader Mike Nesbitt have told the Star that they consider Mr McCrea’s actions this week as a refusal to accept the due process agreed by the Lagan Valley MLA’s constituency association as “disappointing” and in “bad faith.”
Mr McCrea said: “I can confirm that I received a letter asking me to turn up at party headquarters on Friday but I can’t make it because I have a pre-arranged family commitment in Scotland. I will be asking for a different date.”