Lord Maginnis resigns from UUP after failing to secure Mike Nesbitt’s resignation as party leader

UUP gavelThe News Letter’s Sam McBride has neatly [Ed – and quickly] summed up the state of the failing failed relationship between Lord Maginnis and Mike Nesbitt.

A set of email exchanges outline Maginnis’ demands for action following his perceived humiliation, and Nesbitt’s offer (early this morning) to hastily restore the whip to prevent Maginnis’ resignation statement this afternoon.

One email sent by Lord Maginnis to Mr Nesbitt on 17 August after a meeting between the two men said:

I, having been ‘humiliated’ both locally, nationally and internationally by your perverse and superficial action simply to prove how your [sic] such a tough guy*# (!!!!!!)…it is now time for immediate action as I outlined:

1. Withdraw publicly from the position you have adopted — I won’t quibble about how gently you do that so long as your words are positive and clearly vindicate my behaviour.

2. Immediately (before end of August) convene a disciplinary hearing —I will caution that the person who accompanies me, though not a lawyer (which is a misguided position) will have access to the Press.

3. You tender your resignation as party leader on the basis (a) that the party has not been able to prosper under your leadership and (b) that you lack the ability to make incisive political decisions.”

An email sent this morning (28 August) from Mr Nesbitt to Lord Maginnis said that he was willing to change his “timetable” for restoring the whip and said that he now saw “no reason for delay…to offer to restore the whip. I am, therefore, making that offer.”

Following Maginnis’ resignation, UUP leader Mike Nesbitt has stated that unionist people “owe a debt of gratitude to Ken Maginnis” and said that “recent matters … could have been resolved at any time”.

Maginnis was seen as a supporter of Nesbitt at the leadership election earlier this year. Hard to imagine that Maginnis would now prefer the more liberal John McCallister to have been elected as party leader?

Sometimes it’s difficult to know whether unionist politicians are more obsessed with the Parades Commission or homosexuality?

Alan Meban. Normally to be found blogging over at Alan in Belfast where you’ll find an irregular set of postings, weaving an intricate pattern around a diverse set of subjects. Comment on cinema, books, technology and the occasional rant about life. On Slugger, the posts will mainly be about political events and processes. Tweets as @alaninbelfast.