MLA makes controversial video

Basil McCrea
Basil McCrea

Lagan Valley NI21 MLA Basil McCrea chose to broadcast an online video from his Stormont office on Monday (February 8) rather than go down to the chamber where the closure of Lisburn courthouse was being announced.

Mr McCrea, who is yet to reveal whether he intends to stand for re-election in the upcoming Assembly election in May, broadcast the half-hour video while Justice Minister David Ford was making a statement about the closures of six courthouses, including Lisburn.

It appears as though Mr McCrea supports the Minister’s decision to close Lisburn courthouse, despite other politicians in Lisburn, the legal profession, the Law Society and members of the public opposing the move.

At one point in the video, Mr McCrea appeared to belittle MLAs who questioned the minister in the chamber, referring to a question from UUP MLA Ross Hussey and saying “you know what, it’s much ado about nothing, really”.

In another video, posted that night, Mr McCrea appeared to endorse the courthouse closures, saying: “To be honest, these things are probably worth closing.

“I didn’t speak on it; I mean, is anyone even paying any attention to this?

“Is anyone aware of what they’re saying?”

Mr McCrea also dismissed his former colleague John McCallister’s Opposition Bill – which was debated on Monday.

Mr McCrea, who didn’t vote on many of the clauses in the bill, said that it had been “ripped to shreds”.