18/07/2018

Ian Paisley Faces Suspension From House Of Commons

DUP MP Ian Paisley faces a 30-day suspension from the House of Commons for breaching parliamentary rules.

Mr Paisley failed to declare the details of two family holidays paid for by the Sri Lankan government in 2013.

At the time he said he had already apologised for what he described was his "unintentional failure to register the hospitality he received".

The sanction could see Mr Paisley face a by-election.

He is to address the House of Commons on Thursday, 19 July.

Alliance MLA Paula Bradshaw said: "Public trust in politics in Northern Ireland has never been at a lower ebb thanks to the ongoing impasse at Stormont and a series of scandals. If we are to regain that trust and confidence, each of us need to demonstrate an active commitment to transparency.

"Mr Paisley has let both himself and his constituents down, calling into question his personal integrity and the ability of voters to trust him. Therefore he needs to take on board the overwhelming public response to this matter and consider his position as MP for North Antrim.
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"In the past few days, a number of key matters relating to Brexit have scraped through the House of Commons thanks to a handful of DUP votes. Potentially losing one of those DUP MPs ahead of other important votes in the near future could be of vital importance, but the party needs to look at the bigger picture and decide whether it can continue to back Mr Paisley."

Sinn Féin MP Elisha McCallion called on Mr Paisley to stand down immediately.

She said: "This is an issue of integrity in government and in public office.

"Sinn Féin stood last year in an election on a platform of equality, rights and integrity in government.

"This followed a number of scandals involving the DUP in government, including RHI, Nama, and Red Sky, which had damaged public confidence in the DUP's behaviour in the political institutions.

"Since then there have been further allegations linked to the DUP's Dark Money.

"Therefore there is an onus on the DUP to act decisively when wrongdoing has been exposed as is the case with Ian Paisley Junior. There should be zero tolerance of abuse of public office for personal benefit.

"Ian Paisley Jnr should step down and resign with immediate effect."

(CD)


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