Exclusive: Fred Cobain replaces McNarry

The Ulster Unionists have replaced David McNarry as the party’s chief whip in the Assembly. It’s part of a raft of changes in roles, including changes in some of the committee chairs held by the party. His replacement is Fred Cobain, whose left of centre views on social issues had marked him out as a potential rebel to any future tie up with the Conservative party, although there has been no confirmation that he’s against the deal. McNarry now moves to become the party’s spokesperson on Finance.


  • bisto

    Poor Old McNarry – sacked for annoying Reg’s new mates in the Tories.

    Cue Chekov et al protesting that this isn’t the case, even though they’ve been calling for it for weeks..

  • Bob Wilson

    ‘no confirmation that he’s against the deal.’
    Interesting double negative Mick

    Bisto – I missed the Conservatives calls for McNarry’s sacking – on second thoughts I didnt – there werent any.

    We know when not to respond to any obvious wind up by the DUP

  • bisto


    The Tories didn’t call for McNarry to be sacked, but Chekov (I think) did. Anyhow, it’s fairly obvious why this has happened.

  • DC

    Fred should fit in with these Tories, they are after all BluLabour now; McNarry is an idiot who belongs with Jim Allister.

  • qwerty

    “Poor Old McNarry – sacked for annoying Reg’s new mates in the Tories.”

    As Mick’s article states, I would’ve thought that Cobain makes a more unlikely Tory than McNarry.

  • fair_deal
  • percy

    Is that the taxi-driver at the end of Hearts and Minds?

  • Michael Shilliday

    McNarry was really quite supportive of the Conservative link at the party executive last week. So no conspiracy there.

  • frustrated democrat

    Is finance not more important than being a whip?

    I know which I would prefer.

  • Michael Shilliday

    FD, you’ve fallen for the line that Fair Deal has been pushing. Your comment assumes that he’s been sacked or demoted, which as you rightly come to the conclusion that he hasn’t.

  • Bemused

    McNarry is a vile creature who deserves any and every piece of unpleasantness he gets. I, like many others, will never forget his outrageous antics on live television during the initial Drumcree ‘protests’ when he quite openly cheered-on the thugs who had set about wrecking all round them and then threatened all and sundry that he and his followers could ‘paralyse’ the North if they felt like it. In any other civilised democracy the odious little twerp would have been arrested and detained on the spot. Unfortunately the persistence of ulster unionism in tolerating him and his ilk within the party will continue to cause them electoral problems in the foreseeable future.

  • Mack

    McNarry was sacked as he opposed the Northern Ireland Conservatives statement about the Orange Order. At least Fred will not be without help with Billy Armstrong Deputy Chief Whip they should be a good pair??

  • bisto


    Nice try. Chief Whip has special office space, resources and allownces etc. as you very well know. Finance spokesman does not.

    This was clearly a demotion/downright sacking.

    McNarry broke ranks: he’s been sacked.
    Cobain who was expected to be unhappy played ball with Reg: he was promoted. It’s as plain as the nose on your face.

    I also though it was very interesting that McNarry was “declined to comment” in today’s Belfast Telegraph. How often does David McNarry ever decline to comment on anything?!!!

  • Michael Shilliday

    So for you politics is about a nice office and more money? That’s quite an indictment of your attitude.

  • qwerty

    LOL! Why are the DUP supporters so keen to view every internal UUP development through the prism of one local Tory’s personal views about the Orange Order? The notion is so aburd, it’s beyond ridicule.

    One can only conclude from the fanatical obsession with Mr Peel’s opinions that the DUP can find nothing else to criticise and are really very afraid about the potential impact of the potential merger.

  • bisto

    No Michael, not at all. But it’s clear that you are attempting to decieve.

  • Michael Shilliday

    Well if that isn’t your vision of political success what is? What other measure are you using to determine he was sacked?

  • “The Tories didn’t call for McNarry to be sacked, but Chekov (I think) did.”

    I didn’t call for him to be sacked. I think these are good moves for the UUP. It makes use of people’s talents where they lie.

  • bisto

    My vision of political success is not relevant to the discussion at hand. The fact is that moving from being Chief Whip to a mere party spokesman post is a demotion.

  • Michael Shilliday

    You said:

    “Nice try. Chief Whip has special office space, resources and allownces etc. as you very well know. Finance spokesman does not. ”

    So clearly your vision of a demotion is losing taxpayer funded perks, rather than loss of ability to frame the political agenda. That’s quite disgusting.

  • bisto

    We can have a philispohical discussion about my definition of political success if you wish – I would define political success as using political office to advance the aims and priorities I believe in.

    As to the other issue – you were they one who attempted to assert there was no demotion when there so clearly was. Keep digging Michael, the fact that you are denying this reality confirms it for me.

  • Michael Shilliday

    You have failed to explain how this is a demotion beyond losing a pretty office and a few quid an taxpayers expense.

  • bisto

    Outside of Party Leader and government Ministers, Chief Whip is the next senior position in the pecking order of political parties, I would put it above a Committee Chairmanship. The fact that the Stormont authorities provide as part of the post supplementary office space and allowances is reflective of this situation. Stop attempting to misrepresent what I was saying.

    Keep denying Michael but a blind man on a galloping horse can see that this was a demotion.

  • wronghorse

    The DUP has backed the wrong horse on this. It isn’t because of the UUP Conservative tie in and associated OO argument. The demotion was because he was seen as too friendly with Basil.

  • bisto

    Wrong Horse

    That is interesting……

  • Michael Shilliday

    Again, all you have is a few quid and a fancy desk. Your argument is based on the hope that he was demoted and seeks to find evidence for it. Pity there is none there.

  • Suchard

    Has McNary been moonlighting acting as the Brush’s financial advisor on Uca Applications. 0r is my dyslexia playing me up is it Uca or Oca.Apparently The Brush is looking for the BetterWare franchise in East Antrim to try out his new wonder cleaning products there.Grant you The Brush will need all the admin. staff he can get to work as apparently he goes through staff like lightning.