Ian Paisley Jr faces calls to quit over €56,000 Sri Lankan holidays


DUP MP Ian Paisley
DUP MP Ian Paisley

Democratic Unionist MP Ian Paisley is facing calls to quit after a watchdog recommended his suspension from the House of Commons for failing to register two family holidays funded by the Sri Lankan government.

Mr Paisley had already apologised for what he said was his “unintentional failure” to register the hospitality, which he estimated was worth £50,000 (€56,000).

Politicians from across the political divide in Northern Ireland have called on the high-profile MP to stand down.

The 30-day suspension recommended by a parliamentary watchdog yesterday could force Mr Paisley to face a by-election.

Members who are suspended from the Commons for more than 10 days are open to a recall petition. A by-election would be triggered if 10pc of the electorate in Mr Paisley’s North Antrim constituency sign that petition.

If rubber-stamped by parliament, the suspension will also mean Prime Minister Theresa May will be shorn of one of the 10 DUP MPs propping up her minority government during a period that could see a number of crucial Brexit votes in the House of Commons.



Sinn Féin Leader Mary Lou McDonald (right) and TD Louise O'Reilly call on MP Ian Paisley to resign during a press conference at Leinster House in Dublin. Photo: PASinn Féin Leader Mary Lou McDonald (right) and TD Louise O'Reilly call on MP Ian Paisley to resign during a press conference at Leinster House in Dublin. Photo: PA

Sinn Féin Leader Mary Lou McDonald (right) and TD Louise O’Reilly call on MP Ian Paisley to resign during a press conference at Leinster House in Dublin. Photo: PA

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald said Mr Paisley should do the “honourable thing” and quit. “I think the charges made against him and findings against him are very serious,” she said.

The SDLP said Mr Paisley’s position was “untenable” and it will be seeking a recall petition to dismiss him from Westminster.

Leader of the Traditional Unionist Voice party Jim Allister called on Mr Paisley to refund the Sri Lankan government the money it spent on hosting him, accusing the MP of “serious and shameful” breaches of the parliament’s code of conduct.

A DUP spokesman said the party noted the House of Commons Standards Committee’s report on Mr Paisley, adding: “These matters will now be considered by the party officers.”

Irish Independent

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