Yesterday I sat down with NI21 deputy leader, John McCallister.
In our interview we spoke about the upcoming NI21 conference, his relations with the UUP and the summer violence we have experienced.
On his relations with the UUP;
The hardest part (of leaving) was the strain that might put on some of this friendships and some people feeling diappointed or let down. When I look now and see where the UUP is…it has literally lost all sense of direction or perspective on what a pro-agreement, pro-union party would be like.
On his party’s poll ratings;
We were delighted with it actually because considering when that polling was started we hadn’t been even three months old. But I think it was a very credible start for the party and a very credible base to build from.
On the summer violence and the Orange Order’s response to it;
Appalling, I mean the violence is appalling whatever side or quarter. I make no difference, it’s wrong it shouldn’t happen. The only thing it’s destroying is Northern Ireland…The Orange Order have a huge gulf between their rural lodges and their Belfast lodges and I will say this, they need to do something about Belfast…
Audio available here
David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs