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Dublin: 16 °C Friday 3 July, 2020

Ian Paisley Jr keeps seat as recall petition for by-election fails

The petition followed Paisley’s failure to declare two family holidays that were paid for by the Sri Lankan government.

Ian Paisley Jr suspended DUP MP Ian Paisley apologising to the House of Commons in London, July 2018 Source: PA Wire/PA Images

DUP MP IAN Paisley has held onto his seat in the House of Commons as a petition to unseat him fell 444 votes short. 

Shortly after 1am, it was announced that the petition which needed 7,500 signatures to trigger a by-election had not gone successfully. 

The outcome of Westminster’s first-ever recall petition was announced by Northern Ireland Chief Electoral Officer Virginia McVea. 

The petition has not been successful. 

The North Antrim MP was found by a parliament watchdog in July to have broken rules by not declaring two trips to Sri Lanka that were paid for by its government before lobbying on his behalf. 

The chair of the Standards Committee, Sir Kevin Barron, said they had concluded Paisley was guilty of “serious misconduct”. The Speaker of the House, John Bercow, described it as “a regrettable state of affairs”.

The value of the trips, which included helicopter flights for his family, have been put at between £50,000-£100,000.

In a statement, the DUP said:

Mr Ian Paisley MP was suspended from membership of the party on 24th July 2018, by the Party Officers, following publication of the report of the House of Commons Committee on Standards and pending further investigation into his conduct. The internal processes surrounding these matters have been completed. On Tuesday 18th September Mr Paisley was readmitted to membership of the party following a suspension of fifty-seven days and upon re-admission he is subject to a number of conditions including a ban on holding office within the party for twelve months.

“The Party will be making no further comment on these matters.”

With reporting from Rónán Duffy

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