Business as usual since resignations - McCrea

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Sitting away for their former party colleagues in Stormont on Monday was “novel”, according to ex-UUP man Basil McCrea - but it was business as usual in the Assembly.

Both McCrea and former deputy leader of the party John McCallister sat in what the latter had jokingly referred to as “the naughty seat” as the Assembly met for the first time since their dramatic resignations last week.

Speaking after today’s debates, Mr McCrea said that while it felt slightly different to sit as an informal grouping in the Assembly, on a practical basis not much had changed.

“The abiding impression is how little appears to have changed,” he said. “The real difference will come in the future.”

Mr McCrea said he had spoken to “one or two” of his former colleagues.

“There was no personal animosity, but obviously there has been a parting of the ways.”