Where will John McCallister take the Ulster Unionist Party? Who is John McCallister?

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John McCallister out for fresh air following our studio exchange


In Northern Ireland it is a straight fight for the leadership of the Ulster Unionist Party between country man John McCallister and former UTV anchorman Mike Nesbitt.

McCallister is hellbent on leading Ulster Unionists into opposition while Nesbitt has muddied his own waters on this issue, speaking about a referendum on opposition.

Having posted an exposition on Mike Nesbitt the man,  it is now time to have a look at his rival for the big post – John McCallister.

Mr McCallister joined me in the studio to discuss his life and his career to date, his aspirations for Unionism and his vision for the future of Unionism should he be elected Party Leader.

Listen to my discussion with John below or download the MP3:


Listed below is a flavour of the questions I posed:

  • Did you knife Tom Elliott in the back?
  • Who is John McCallister?
  • Were you always a Unionist?
  • Are you Irish or British?
  • For what does John McCallister stand?
  • Why is John McCallister not an Orangeman?
  • Why do you want to be leader?
  • Convince me that it is prudent for Ulster Unionists to go into opposition
  • Did you wrong-foot Mike Nesbitt?
  • How are you going to emulate the opposition that is Jim Allister?
  • From where are you going to garner support/Is Tom Elliott behind you?
  • Are you  another Tom Elliott?
  • Are you a dangerous liberal within Unionism?
  • Will you ever merge with the DUP – aren’t they effectively wearing your clothes?
  • If Mike Nesbit were to become leader and brought about a merger with the DUP  – would you quit the UUP?
  • Where do you stand on same-sex marriage?
  • Has John McCallister got a snowball’s chance in hell of becoming leader?
  • Is David McNarry history were you to become leader?
  • Competition between the two families in your life?


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About Author

Eamonn Mallie

I am a regular contributor to discussion programmes on TV and radio both at home and abroad. An experienced political editor and author specialising in Politics, Security and 20th Century Art.

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