Northern Ireland news

Ian Paisley, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson and Karen Bradley enjoy Grand Prix hospitality

Ian Paisley was a guest of Motorsports UK at the British Grand Prix. Picture by PA Wire

TWO DUP MPs enjoyed free hospitality at last month's Formula 1 British Grand Prix, according to the latest Westminster register of interests.

Ian Paisley and Sir Jeffrey Donaldson attended the July 14 event, alongside former Secretary of State Karen Bradley, as guests of race organisers Motorsports UK,

The MPs were furnished with two tickets each, along with accompanying hospitality.

Mr Paisley and Mrs Bradley registered the total value of the donation at £,1220, while Sir Jeffrey valued it at £1,116.

The former secretary of state was one of four Tory MPs who attended the showpiece race, while Labour MP Richard Burden was also a guest.

Mr Paisley has not registered any holidays in Maldives, even though it has been claimed its government paid for a luxury holiday for the North Antrim MP and his family.

BBC Spotlight reported in June that the company which owns the Coco Bodu Hithi resort where the Paisley family stayed said Maldivian minister Mohamed Shainee requested the accommodation and settled the payment.

The holiday was taken eight months after Mr Paisley visited the country and lobbied on its government's behalf.

The DUP MP was last year suspended from the House of Commons for an unprecedented 30 days for failing to register a luxury family holiday in Sri Lanka and later carrying out paid advocacy on behalf of its regime.

He registered the holidays, paid for by the Sri Lanka Foreign Ministry, a matter of days after he was suspended – more than five years after the visits.

The value of the two holidays for the MP and family members was estimated at just over £50,000.

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