MrGrath Condemns Conduct Of Ian Paisley Jnr

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SDLP MLA for South Down Colin McGrath has said that the conduct of DUP MP Ian Paisley Jr makes his position untenable.

Mr McGrath says he welcomes the North Antrim MP’s 30-day ban from the House of Commons, but added it was not enough.

Ian Paisley Junior had accepted two all expenses paid family holidays in Sri Lanka. He is married with four children. When the Daily Telegraph examined the background to the paid holidays, Mr Paisley referred himself to the Standards Committee in the Commons.

Mr McGrath commented: “It absolutely beggars belief that it would slip the mind of a member of parliament to forget to declare two luxury holidays, paid for by the Sri Lankan Government, stacking up to the tune of £100,000.

“This DUP are absolutely shameless and a law unto themselves when it comes to the expenditure of public money… first RHI and now this.

“This is not the first time Paisley Jr has cast a cloud over members’ standards after having to resign as Junior Minister in 2008 following five months of publicity about his alleged lobbying tactics and links to a local property tycoon.

“The SDLP will be seeking a recall petition to dismiss Ian Paisley Jnr from Westminster, and should this trigger a by-election in North Antrim, Mr Paisley should not challenge the seat again.”

Ian Paisley Jnr had the highest vote for the DUP in the 2010 election North Antrim constituency winning by a majority. A by-election could now be triggered

And at a crucial time of debate around Brexit, Mr Paisely who sits on the NI Select Affairs committee and is the DUP Agriculture representative, will be suspended from the 4th September 2018 for 30 days.

Prime Minister Theresa May narrowly edged a crucial bill through the Commons yesterday and her majority is becoming waver thin.