Political news

Ian Paisley's House of Commons suspension begins today

Suspended DUP MP Ian Paisley

DUP MP Ian Paisley is to begin his 30-day suspension from the House of Commons today.

The North Antrim MP was suspended after he failed to declare two free luxury family holidays to Sri Lanka.

Mr Paisley has also been suspended from the DUP pending the outcome of a further investigation.

His suspension from the Commons begins as Parliament returns from his summer recess.

In March 2014, Mr Paisley lobbied against a proposed United Nations resolution to investigate alleged human rights abuses during a civil war in Sri Lanka.

However, he did so without declaring his holidays to the Indian Ocean island, which were paid for by the Sri Lankan government.

The Seven Towers Leisure Centre in Ballymena is one of three venues where a petition to oust Ian Paisley can be signed. Picture by Mal McCann

A recall petition has been opened in his constituency - the first of its kind in UK parliamentary history.

If 10 per cent of constituents – 7,543 people – sign the petition then Mr Paisley must resign ahead of a by-election.

Today is the last day for North Antrim constituents to apply for a postal application to sign the petition. 

Mr Paisley has said he will fight any possible election but rejected suggestions he should quit his seat.

Ian Knox cartoon July 25 2018: If 10% of North Antrim constituents sign a recall petition, Ian Paisley will have to fight a by-election

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