Gordon goes digging in the UUP backgarden

David Gordon has been digging deeper into the relationship between Basil McCrea and his human resources adviser/note-taker, Catherine Williamson. Catherine Williamson was criticised in a Audit Office report for invoice practices and a conflict of interest while a board member of the NI Events Company. Basil McCrea made representations on her behalf to the Public Accounts Committee. Ignited also got one of his questions answered, McCrea does employ a family member. Ignited believes this raises more questions about the redundancy process.

  • autocue

    Is there any substance to the suggestion made on this site before concerning overtures to the Tories?

  • [aside]Ignited: “criteria for redundancy, alternative employment arrangements and an impartial implementation of these procedures”

    Isn’t it a funny old world? Rathlin Island Ferries Limited, in its wisdom, has decided to remove a management post from its organisation. The related redundancy will probably go through legal channels and this could well reveal whether or not there is contractual document linking DRD and RIFL. BTW, one of the functions of the post allegedly was a DRD requirement and it’s possible than none of the other staff are professionally competent.

    Also, why have the ferry shenanigans not been reported in the Belfast Telegraph? I’m told that the paper was briefed almost one year ago – and there’s no shortage of background material on NALIL blog.

  • unionist

    This particular rising star has turned out to be a brightly glowing dense lump of material burning up as it passes through the atmosphere before crashing to earth.

  • Carson’s Cat

    Leaving the Rathin ferry aside to one moment….

    There were a mountain of questions about this whole issue which had to be asked. Why on earth would you have someone who had held a fairly senior position along at a meeting as a notetaker??? It seems a little over the top from his point of view, and a little above and beyond the call of duty from her pov.

    Great quote from the mighty basil on the lobbying issue:
    Obviously, I am not in a position to provide detailed analysis but information supplied to me does seem to suggest that the issues of proportionality, fairness and factual accuracy have not been satisfactorily addressed”

    Well, at least he admits that he doesn’t let an absolute lack of knowledge on an issue stop him from making comment. But then he justifies it by essentially saying – “well that’s what she told me”. So apparently Basil will lobby for anyone on any issue simply on the basis of what you tell them – other sides to a story apparently don’t exist.

    Doesn’t show a great deal of judgement from the ‘rising star;’ of the Ulster Unionist Party does it?

  • frustrated democrat

    Whilst I have no time for this rising star in fact I think his history may be questionable, however this seems to be a bit of witch hunt.

    He used someone who knew about employment law (if we accept the press) to advise him on employment law – many companies do this. So why is her history on anything else relevant she is either qualified or she isn’t to offer the advice and whatever other relationships he may have with her are less than important.

  • I can be a bit of a scatter-brain, but here’s what I think Basil needs to answer:

    1. Was Mrs Williamson present in a paid capacity? (Report says ‘unpaid note-taker’)
    2. Did she do this as a favour to Basil after he spoke on her behalf to the PAC?
    3. What criteria did Basil’s sister meet that the two made redundant did not? Alternative employment, and the role Mrs Williamson played in the redundancies herself.

    In this instance full disclosure over Basil’s relationship with Mrs Williamson is needed.