Mr McCrea, who is viewed as a possible contender to replace Sir Reg, says the party needs to elect a new leader as soon as possible.
“There’s a general rule that whenever people decide that they’re going in any walk of life, that if you don’t go soon, what you end up with is a lot of discussions,” he said.
“They become increasing fractuous as time goes on and frankly, it does no good to either the incumbent leader or the party itself.
“The party really needs to get to grips with issues, about what it stands for, what its vision is.
“The best way of doing that is to have a leadership election.”
Update The Belfast Telegraph reports
Fellow MLA [and UUP chief whip] Fred Cobain said almost everybody in the Assembly team had been “very annoyed” by Mr McCrea’s intervention.
And the North Belfast MLA said the issue of disciplinary action against Mr McCrea would be discussed at a meeting on Tuesday of next week.
And the BBC adds
[UUP chairman David] Campbell said that the party executive had “overwhelmingly endorsed decisions about Sir Reg Empey’s leadership and the timing of any leadership election”.
“There was also widespread dissatisfaction expressed at the behaviour of Basil McCrea in attempting to conduct party business through the media,” he added.
“The decisions of the party executive are clear, and they are decisions that Basil McCrea should respect.
“The party will no longer tolerate individual members whose indiscipline threatens the efforts of the wider membership whose primary focus is on the recovery of our party and our country.”
He said that while Mr McCrea was an MLA, he could not be described as a “senior member of the UUP”.
“Mr McCrea has never held a senior post within the UUP assembly group, was not voted on to the current executive by his constituency association, and is not a party officer.”