TUV councillor Timothy Gaston interviewed by police over Ian Paisley social media post

TUV councillor Timothy Gaston has been interviewed by police over a social media post
Staff Reporter

TUV councillor Timothy Gaston has been interviewed by police over a social media post he wrote about Ian Paisley's recall petition.

Mr Gaston, who sits on Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, voluntarily attended Ballymena PSNI station on Monday.

He said he amended the post after Chief Electoral Officer Virginia McVea contacted him about it.

Sinn Féin MLA Philip McGuigan has said he has also been contacted by police over a social media post he put up about the petition.

Mr Paisley faced a recall petition after he failed to declare two free luxury family holidays to Sri Lanka which were paid for by the country's government. He later lobbied on behalf of Sri Lanka's controversial regime.

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The North Antrim MP was handed a 30-day suspension from the House of Commons, which began on September 4.

He was also suspended from the DUP but his membership was reinstated shortly before the end of the recall petition.

The North Antrim MP narrowly avoided a by-election when it was announced earlier this month that 7,099 people had signed the petition to unseat him - 444 short of the required number.

The son of DUP founder Ian Paisley, he would have had to step down if 10 per cent of the constituency's electorate had signed.

The recall petition was the first in British parliamentary history.

During the campaign to unseat Mr Paisley, Mr McGuigan said the Electoral Office advised him to delete a social media post in which he urged people to sign the petition.

Mr McGuigan's video suggested the vote, which had been open for six weeks, was "on a knife-edge".

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