Trouble at NI21 mill…

Having a good idea (NI21) is not the same as putting it into action… Trouble in Holywood and Clandeboye

Gerry Leddy, who had been involved with the party since its inception almost a year ago, said that he could not tell people to vote for its European candidate, Tina McKenzie, as he had “no confidence” in her.

In a message posted on his Facebook page, the former North Down and Strangford constituency association treasurer said that Mrs McKenzie, who is the party chairwoman, was “a lady I have no confidence, faith or trust in”.

He added: “I could not ask a voter to vote and support this candidate.”

Mr Leddy went on: “My position from [the] party stand point is untenable as soon as a valid NI21 candidate is appointed for Holywood and Clandeboye, where I am standing as an independent, to oppose me.”

NI21 leader Basil McCrea played down the departure, which comes in the wake of another member, Shane O’Hanlon, quitting the party with a blast at the leader, and one of the party’s prospective candidates being put out by the party after being told that he had described his political views as “to the right of Hitler”.

Mr McCrea said: “I wish Gerry all the best in his endeavours.

These could just be teething problems, but my own sense is that in not looking for policy definitions of what the party stands for NI21 has risked falling into the all things to all men problem…

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty