Home / FINANCE / Ian Paisley will fight for seat if forced to stand down

Ian Paisley will fight for seat if forced to stand down

Ian Paisley

Image copyright
Pacemaker

Image caption

Ian Paisley failed to declare two luxury holidays paid for by the Sri Lankan government

The DUP’s Ian Paisley has insisted he will fight a by-election to save his Westminster seat if he is forced to stand down.

If 10% of his constituents sign a petition, then an election will be called.

MPs will decide later if he should be suspended from the House of Commons for breaching parliamentary rules.

Mr Paisley is facing a 30-day ban for failing to declare two family holidays paid for by the Sri Lankan government.

Writing in the Ballymena Guardian on Tuesday, Mr Paisley said he was prepared for whatever punishment came his way.

The North Antrim MP has apologised, but he faces the House of Commons ban and the threat of being forced to stand down from his constituency seat and face a by-election depending on the strength of feeling from his constituents.

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

If MPs accept the recommendation of the Standards Committee, Mr Paisley would be out of the chamber for 30 sitting days.

That would be one of the longest bans ever to be handed down at Westminster.

It also means he would be absent for some key Brexit votes.

Enda McClafferty, BBC News NI political correspondent

Much of what Ian Paisley says in his local paper this morning was included in his speech to Westminster when he apologised for not declaring two family holidays paid for by the Sri Lankan government.

He says he is now prepared for whatever punishment comes his way. But he also talks up his track record in the constituency – and some might see that as an early pitch to voters who may have to return to the polls.

He describes those pushing for a by-election as “opportunists”. He also says he has never run away from an election before and does not plan to do so now.

His fate is now in the hands of MPs who, if they accept the recommendation of the Standards Committee, will exclude Ian Paisley from the chamber for 30 days – one of the longest bans handed down at Westminster.

Mr Paisley failed to declare two luxury family holidays in 2013 paid for by the Sri Lankan government.

He later lobbied the then prime minister on the country’s behalf.

If his ban is rubber stamped on Tuesday, he could face a by-election if 10% of the eligible electorate in his constituency signs a petition.

His party is also considering if it should take action against him.

DUP party officials met at the weekend but have yet to announce what action, if any, is to be taken

Ian Paisley will fight for seat if forced to stand down}

Check Also

General election 2019: Parties concentrate on key messages as election day nears

Image copyright PA Media/AFP/Getty Images Labour claims NHS under-funding is putting patients at risk and …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *