Northern Ireland

Basil McCrea no longer Stormont employment committee chair

Basil McCrea
Image caption Basil McCrea is no longer the chairman of the employment committee.

Lagan Valley MLA Basil McCrea is no longer chairman of the employment committee, members have been told.

The committee's deputy chairman, Thomas Buchanan, opened Wednesday's meeting saying: "Members will be aware that Basil is no longer the chair of the committee."

Mr Buchanan of the DUP said he would be filling in until the Ulster Unionist Party assigned someone else to take up the position.

Mr McCrea quit the UUP on Friday.

The SDLP's Pat Ramsey described Mr McCrea as a "dedicated, committed and conscientious chair".

Mr McCrea's resignation, along with that of former UUP deputy leader John McCallister on Thursday, followed the DUP and Ulster Unionists' decision to back an agreed candidate to contest the Mid Ulster by-election on 7 March.

As chairman, Mr McCrea would have received an additional £11,331 per year.

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