Mid and East Antrim Borough Council was not told dinner was a DUP fundraiser

DUP representatives Paul Frew, John Finlay, Sammy Wilson, Ian Paisley and Jim Shannon with Tory MP Priti Patel at the DUP fundraiser

A COUNCIL that was asked to pay £1,500 for a table at a DUP fundraising dinner declined the invitation.

Concerns have been raised over Belfast International Airport's sponsorship of the fundraising dinner.

In a letter widely circulated on social media, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council was urged to join other corporate guests at last Friday's dinner in the Galgorm resort near Ballymena.

The invitation letter sent to the council's chief executive by a PR firm said the airport was "sponsoring the dinner" but failed to state it was a DUP dinner.

The correspondence said the council's participation "would add a significant dimension" to the evening, which would partly assess "the potential" of Brexit for business.

Several councillors, including the TUV’s Timothy Gaston and Ulster Unionist Lindsay Millar, said it was not made clear that the event was a DUP fundraiser and, if council had paid for representatives to attend the event, ratepayers would effectively be financing the DUP.

However when asked by The Irish News if it had paid for a table at the event, a spokesman for Mid and East Antrim Council confirmed it had declined.

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