Basil McCrea

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Basil McCrea
Basil McCrea Lisburn Office047.jpg
Leader of NI21
Assumed office
6 June 2013
Deputy Vacant
Preceded by Office Created
Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly
for Lagan Valley
Assumed office
7 March 2007
Preceded by Billy Bell
Personal details
Born (1959-11-13) 13 November 1959 (age 55)
Ramelton, Republic of Ireland
Nationality Irish/British
Political party NI21
Independent (2013)
Ulster Unionist (before 2013)
Alma mater University of Birmingham
University of Ulster
Profession Chemical Engineer
Religion Anglican
Website Official Website

Basil McCrea, MLA (born 13 November 1959) is a politician who is currently the Leader of NI21 and a Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Political career[edit]

McCrea unsuccessfully contested the 2005 UK General Election in Lagan Valley for the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP). He was elected in 2007 to the Northern Ireland Assembly as a UUP member for Lagan Valley. He has been a UUP Councillor on Lisburn City Council and was, until his election to the Assembly, a Party officer and spokesman for the Northern Ireland Manufacturers' Focus Group.[1] He has served as a member of the Northern Ireland Policing Board and UUP spokesman on Education. He was formerly a member of the Assembly Committee for the Department for Employment and Learning.

He stood for leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) against Tom Elliott in the contest after the UK 2010 General Election. He was widely seen as the candidate of the UUP's "liberal" wing, while Elliott was seen as the candidate of the "conservative" wing. He lost the election by 643 votes to 296. In 2012 McCrea attended a Sinn Fein event on 'uniting Ireland' and said unionism should not be afraid to put its case.[2]

In October 2012, he was one of three unionist assembly members to vote for gay marriage to be introduced in Northern Ireland.[3]

In February 2013, having been subjected to a UUP disciplinary process for publicly opposing a proposal for a "unionist unity" candidate in an impending Parliamentary by-election, McCrea announced that he was resigning from the UUP, stating that he disagreed with the tactic of joint working with the rival Democratic Unionist Party. He has mooted forming a new party with John McCallister, who left the UUP at the same time and over the same issue.[4]

Private life[edit]

McCrea was born into an Ulster Scots family in Ramelton, a small town in the north-east of County Donegal, Ireland where he grew up in his very early years.[5] His father carried an Irish passport, although Basil himself carries a British one.[6] He was educated at Belfast Royal Academy (B.R.A.) before attaining a Chemical Engineering degree from the University of Birmingham. He later attained a degree in Advanced Computer Technology from the University of Ulster. On the eve of the 2014 local & European elections, he was accused of inappropriate sexual behaviour, which Mr McCrea strongly denies.[7][8][9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ NIMFG - Northern Ireland Manufacturing Focus Group[dead link]
  2. ^ McAdam, Noel. "Basil McCrea to put unionist case at Sinn Fein 'uniting Ireland' event". The Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 26 August 2012. 
  3. ^ "MLAs VOTE AGAINST GAY MARRIAGE". Retrieved March 2013. 
  4. ^ "John McCallister and Basil McCrea resign from the UUP", BBC News, 15 February 2013
  5. ^ BBC Radio Ulster "Talkback with William Crawley" radio interview (published on Basil McCrea YouTube channel)
  6. ^ BBC Radio Ulster "Talkback with William Crawley" radio interview (published on Basil McCrea YouTube channel)
  7. ^ "NI21 row: Woman at centre of sex claims speaks out". 2014-05-23. Retrieved 2014-06-05. 
  8. ^ 23 May 2014 (2014-05-23). "NI21 sex row: Woman behind Basil McCrea allegations speaks out". Retrieved 2014-06-05. 
  9. ^ "NI21 row: Basil McCrea denies allegations". 2014-05-23. Retrieved 2014-06-05. 
Northern Ireland Assembly
Preceded by
Billy Bell
MLA for Lagan Valley
2007 -
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Office Created
Leader of NI21
2013 -
Succeeded by