Despite members of his own party saying they wanted to leave after he aired his views on flags, Basil McCrea is confident and “as committed as ever” to the UUP.
The former party leadership candidate caused controversy last week when he said he agreed with the Alliance party policy to fly the Union Flag on designated days only from Belfast City Hall.
On Monday night it is understood a meeting of one of the party’s branches will take place and the issue will be referred to the party executive.
Speaking to the News Letter ahead of the meeting Basil, who voted for a designated days policy when he sat as a councillor on Lisburn City council six years ago, said he is confident his position is both “appropriate and correct”.
The Assembly member called on DUP and UUP members who supported that policy in Lisburn to explain why they now hold a different view in relation to Belfast.
“I haven’t interfered with the council in Belfast,” he said. “I am simply saying if I had taken that vote I would have voted the way I did on Lisburn council.”
Mr McCrea said he could not understand the stark difference in reaction to the policy in Belfast compared to the vote taken in Lisburn when “no-one noticed” the flag coming down.
“There was no outcry and no dissent,” he said. “Everyone had an opportunity to talk about it then and no DUP or UUP councillor had any issue with it.”
Following what he called a “fulsome” discussion on the issue within the party on Saturday, Mr McCrea continued to refrain from commenting on speculation he may move to the Alliance party.
“I neither confirm nor deny - I do not comment on idle speculation. That is a red herring,” he said.