NI21’s Basil McCrea gets report of sex misconduct allegations

Basil McCrea pictured last year.
Basil McCrea pictured last year.

NI21 leader Basil McCrea should by now have an official report detailing all allegations of sexual misconduct being made against him.

Deputy leader John McCallister told the News Letter last night that his party leader would be presented with the dossier either yesterday or this morning at the latest.

“He would then have 48 hours to meet his legal advisor and respond,” Mr McCallister said.

The independent organisation investigating the complaints will then go through Mr McCrea’s rebuttals and, if necessary, they will go back and speak to the complainants again. Then they will deliver the final report to Mr McCallister and the party chair, Jane Howson.

“You are probably looking at next week before it is completed,” Mr McCallister added.

The NI21 party executive will decide whether it will be released to the public.

A copy will be sent to the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission and another copy will be sent to the Assembly Commissioner for Standards.

Just before the May 22 elections, news broke that up to nine women had lodged complaints of a sexual nature regarding Mr McCrea. However, Mr McCallister was last night unable to confirm the number of women involved.

Mr McCrea knew nothing about the probe timetable.

“I have no information,” he said. “I would love to talk about this but I am under legal instructions not to.”

He said he would be able to speak freely about the subject when the investigation is complete. The party leader strongly denies all allegations of wrongdoing.

A number of senior NI21 sources said yesterday that they had no idea at what stage the investigation was, nor when it would be completed.

The Belfast-based social enterprise carrying out the probe, counselling organisation Carecall, was saying little.

“Unfortunately we cannot divulge any information around that. NI21 are our clients and have recruited us,” a spokeswoman said. “It is up to them to decide when they get the report and what they are going to do with it.

“All Carecall’s counselling and investigation services are independent and confidential. As such we will not be commenting further on matters relating to these or to confirm or deny any such work undertaken.”

The PSNI told the News Letter last night that no complaints had been logged with it regarding the allegations.

“No communication has been made by PSNI and no reports have been received,” a spokesman said.