New peer’s title will ‘reflect both towns’

Rev Dr William McCrea MP and his wife Anne
Rev Dr William McCrea MP and his wife Anne

Former DUP MP the Rev William McCrea, who was appointed to the House of Lords last month, has taken the title of Lord McCrea of Magherafelt and Cookstown.

The Free Presbyterian Minister was nominated by Prime Minister Theresa May to become his party’s fourth peer in the upper chamber.

He told the Mail that his title reflects his close association with both towns which he represented when MP for Mid Ulster and a Magherafelt councillor.

“I was reared in the Cookstown area and educated there and my wife and son have both served on the former Cookstown District Council,” he said.

“I’ve been living in Magherafelt nearly 50 years - 37 years as a local councillor - so I wanted a title which reflected this connection with both towns.”

The well-known Gospel singer said the College of Arms - the official heraldic authority for the UK, had been “most accommodating and understanding” during discussions.

His title will become official on June 19 and he will be “introduced” in the Lords on June 26.

He said he wanted to use his role as Life Peer to champion change on key issues such as adult learning facilities for people with special needs.

Helping to combat the suicide and drugs problem among young people is also uppermost on his agenda.

“I have always fought injustices and will continue to do so in the future,” he stressed.

Rev McCrea said he was taught to “always keep my feet on the ground and to remember where I came from,” and would continue to do so in the House of Lords.