Northern Ireland news

Petition centres open in North Antrim as voters told 'this is not an orange and green issue'

 The recall petition centre at Joey Dunlop Centre in Ballymoney. Picture by Mal McCann

THREE recall petition centres have opened in North Antrim with politicians in Ballymena reporting queues at the Seven Towers Leisure Centre first thing this morning.

Speaking outside the petition centre in Ballymoney Sinn Féin North Antrim assemly member Philip McGuigan said it was not an "orange and green issue" but "an issue of integrity".

Mid and East Antrim SDLP councillor Declan O'Loan encouraged all registered voters in the constituency to add their name to the recall petition.

If 10 cent of registered voters sign the petition Ian Paisley must resign as MP and a by-election will be triggered.

Three petition centres - in Ballymena, Ballymoney and Ballycastle - have been set up and will remain open for the next six weeks.

The first recall petition in UK parliamentary history was launched following the DUP MP's suspension from the House of Commons.

Mr Paisley has been suspended for 30 sitting days after he failed to declare two luxury family holidays to Sri Lanka, paid for by the country's government.

 A sample of the recall petition. Picture by Niall Carson, PA

SDLP councillor Declan O'Loan said a queue was building at the petition centre in Ballymena first thing this morning.

"Clearly this is a matter of great concern to the public as it is to me. It is very important to stand up for integrity in politics, and I encourage all electors in North Antrim to sign the petition."

A total of 75,478 people are registered to vote in North Antrim – meaning 7,547 signatures will trigger a by-election.

Speaking outside the petition centre in Ballymoney Sinn Féin North Antrim assemly member Philip McGuigan said: "This is an issue of integrity in government, it is not an orange and green issue.

"This is not even about nationalism versus unionism. This is an issue about trust in your politicians that they will do their jobs with integrity."

 

 Sinn Féin North Antrim assembly member Philip McGuigan with party members outside the Joey Dunlop centre in Ballymoney after signing a recall petition to oust Ian Paisley as MP. Picture by Niall Carson, PA

 The media set up outside the Joey Dunlop centre in Ballymoney this morning where North Antrim constituents can sign a recall petition which could lead to Ian Paisley resigning as MP and a by-election. Picture by Mal McCann

Read more:

 

 Ian Knox on a recall petition in Ian Paisley's North Antrim constituency

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