Basil McCrea parties as his party falls apart

Footage from Basil McCrea's film last night.
Footage from Basil McCrea's film last night.
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Basil McCrea yesterday refused to discuss the resignation of NI21’s second deputy leader – but instead headed to a party.

Yesterday morning the only person ever elected as an NI21 candidate – Lisburn councillor Johnny McCarthy – announced his resignation from the party, the second deputy leader to quit since the party’s creation in 2013.

Footage from Basil McCrea's film last night.

Footage from Basil McCrea's film last night.

Mr McCrea, who faces a tough battle to keep his Lagan Valley seat in May’s election, did not return News Letter calls about the departure of his deputy.

But in a video which he himself published online last night, Mr McCrea was seen dancing and joking at a party in Glenavy.

The Lagan Valley MLA said that the event was “great fun” and danced with a female party-goer in the video.

Mr McCrea said that the party – where someone can be heard calling in the background “where’s the shot glasses, love?” – was at the home of former NI21 chairwoman Tina McKenzie.

Cllr McCarthy said he felt better able to do his job “outside the party”.

Despite repeated attempts, no-one from NI21’s leadership could be reached yesterday – and its social media posts contained a raft of links to international stories, but zero about the dramatic developments unfolding in Northern Ireland.