Northern Ireland news

Ian Paisley Jr repays over £4,000 of MP expenses claims

Ian Paisley Junior has repaid money claimed as MPs expenses during 2020/21. Picture by PA Wire
Staff Reporter

THE DUP's Ian Paisley Junior returned over £4,000 in expenses to Westminster after overspending his allocated MP budget, it has been revealed.

The North Antrim MP returned £4,200 for the 2020/21 financial year while fellow DUP MP Sammy Wilson repaid £40.

The pair were the only two of the north's 18 MPs at Westminster to repay expenses for the period.

Mr Paisley repaid a sum of £932.62 on January 26 of last year, that was originally claimed in connection with office costs.

The MP then repaid three sums on the same date later in the year, May 4. They were £2,646.14 and £468.19 in connection with money claimed for office costs, while £170.45 was also repaid on that same day in connection with an expenses claim for accommodation costs, according to the Sunday Independent.

The "cost type" reason for the repayments was provided as "MP budget overspend".

Mr Paisley did not provide further details to the newspaper, but when asked he said MPs' expenses are approved by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) - a body founded to regulate expenses money claimed by Members of Parliament in the wake of the MPs expenses scandal, details of which emerged in 2009.

It was also revealed East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson repaid £40 on April 9 2020, with a cost type description of "bought-in services".

An IPSA spokesperson said it was unable to provide further details on the repayments, but said: "MPs sometimes make repayments to IPSA. This could be because IPSA made a payment in error, or because an MP has gone over their budget in a particular spending category."

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