Basil McCrea expresses disappointment in the press as he decides not to stand again…

They will eat you up if you don’t feed them, said Phillip Gould, Tony Blair’s favourite pollster. After breaking away from the Ulster Unionist party along with John McCallister Basil McCrea has told the Belfast Telegraph that he is calling it a day on politics

“I was disappointed that certain parts of the report didn’t get the attention they deserved, particularly the issue of conspiracy,” he said.

“The report was unequivocal. Ridiculous allegations that were made two years ago have proven to be unfounded, but the entire experience, the delay and the worry, has had an impact on me and on my family.

“I’m not running away, complaining that it’s too harsh. I was pleased to have been totally exonerated and I shall leave the Assembly with my head held high. I gave it my all and I’m pleased that I had the opportunity to do so.”

Parts of the press who once lionised McCrea and NI21 as the next big thing, turned on in more recent times, and effectively being left on his own in the party decided to do the decent thing, and take the exit at the next election.

Perphaps having the press (or the public narrative) on your side is not always the greatest help in the longer run…

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

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