22/05/2012

Ulster Unionists Expel Assembly Member

Problems within unionism deepened today as the Ulster Unionist Party expelled a prominent member.

David McNarry, Assembly member for Strangford, was informed of his expulsion following a meeting of a disciplinary committee yesterday.

A UUP spokesman said: "We followed due process and arrived democratically at our decision."

The move came after Mr McNarry spoke to the Belfast Telegraph about discussions between the UUP and the DUP on the possibility of a unionist merge.

At the end of March, Mr McNarry was handed a nine-month suspension from the party.

Previously, in January, he was stripped of his role as deputy chair of the education committee.

Although the problems erupted under the party’s former leader Tom Elliot, new leader Mike Nesbitt said he "could not imagine any circumstances" under which Mr McNarry would re-join the UUP assembly group.

Mr McNarry, who will celebrate his 64th birthday on Friday, joined the UUP at the age of 15.

He will continue to represent Strangford as an independent MLA.

(NE)

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