UK MP suspended over holidays paid for by MR’s Government

British Parliamentarians have voted to suspend DUP MP Ian Paisley for 30 sitting days over a deal he had with the former Sri Lankan Government.

The MP was suspended over his failure to declare two family holidays paid for by the Sri Lankan Government. He will be absent from Parliament for some key Brexit votes, the BBC reported.

He has also been suspended by the DUP “pending further investigation into his conduct”.

Speaker of the House John Bercow called it “a regrettable state of affairs”.

Bercow will now formally inform the chief electoral officer of the decision and she has ten working days to set up a petition which, if signed by 10% of North Antrim constituents, will lead to a by-election and Mr Paisley having to stand down.

Sir Kevin Barron, chair of the Standards Committee, said they had concluded Mr Paisley was guilty of “serious misconduct and his actions were of a nature to bring the House of Commons into disrepute”.

He also said the inquiry into Mr Paisley could have been concluded earlier: “The process could have been considerably shorter if Mr Paisley had been more cooperative initially.”

Sir Kevin said Paisley did show a “greater sense of urgency” in the later stages of the investigation.

This is one of the longest bans ever to be handed down at Westminster.

According to the House of Commons library, it is the longest suspension since 1949 which is as far as online records go.

Paisley has insisted he will fight any by-election to save his Westminster seat if he is forced to stand down.

Mr Paisley’s party plays a pivotal role in supporting Theresa May’s minority government.

In June 2017, an agreement was reached that the 10 DUP MPs would back the Tories in key Commons votes.

Writing in the Ballymena Guardian on Tuesday, the North Antrim MP said he was prepared for whatever punishment came his way.

He called those pushing for such an election “opportunists”, but made it clear that he would not run away from any challenge. (Colombo Gazette)


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