Vixens has previously reported in Part One, that legal advice was given that the party executive wished to follow. Following that, and due to people asking questions about what the nature of the legal advice was regarding why that organisation should not be brought in, Vixens has obtained a letter sent to John McCallister from the Executive on the 15th May
“Please find attached independent specialist legal advice that was sought today.You will see that the legal advice is that it is wholly inappropriate to include a non-member of staff in an employee process such as the Carecall procedure. It is more appropriate once an actual complaint has been received that we hold an independent investigation.Since the executive are acting in a vacuum of information, in that, we do not know the nature of the allegations nor the context and John is unwilling to share that information, it becomes very difficult to come to an informed decision.”The letter further goes on to outline what steps should be taken, if and when a complaint is received, and reminds Mr McCallister that should he wish to instruct Carecall it would be a personal decision.John McCallister did instruct Carecall, stating “My entire focus is about following my responsibility about the duty of care to staff and nothing else.” As we reported on Friday, Mr Mc Callister has alleged that the Carecall report was stopped by the Chair of NI21, something which the party has denied.Speaking to Vixens tonight, an NI21 member said : “Allegations of sexual impropriety, such as those levelled against Basil Mc Crea are a very serious matter. Everyone should be entitled to a fair and impartial process. However, to protect the party – without prejudice to either complainants or Mr Mc Crea, like any good employment guide will tell you – and to follow good practice to ensure the party handled it correctly, the legal advice should be followed.”Another party member told us that members were “sick sore and tired”, of how things played out in the media at the time of the elections, and disheartened people working hard on the ground. “It was awful. We knew that people who we trusted were briefing the media, and that made it worse, and then everyone got caught up in a situation not of their making. We felt deflated and exhausted, and it looks to me that far from a cover up, people worked around the clock trying to ensure that the matter was handled sensitively and fairly.”Vixens NB: Carecall have an excellent reputation in employment related matters, and in particular in providing support and counselling when they are engaged in an organisation – the advice above, is solely related to whether or not they should be instructed for non employees.