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Dublin: 7 °C Tuesday 15 October, 2019

First recall petition in UK history opens to unseat Ian Paisley Jr

Paisley accepted up to €100,000 in free holidays from the Sri Lankan government.

Ian Paisley Jr suspended Ian Paisley Jr Source: PA Wire/PA Images

THE FIRST RECALL vote in UK history will open today as nationalist and republican parties in the North attempt to remove DUP MP Ian Paisley Jr from office.

Paisley has been fighting a PR battle since recently admitting to accepting €100,000 in free holidays from the Sri Lankan government before lobbying on its behalf.

He was subsequently suspended from parliament for 30 days, and suspended internally by his party pending the outcome of ‘further investigations’, but has nevertheless vowed to defend his seat should a by-election become a reality.

That would happen were the recall petition to receive 7,500 signatures.

Sinn Féin and the SDLP have now confirmed that they will actively campaign for Paisley’s removal.

Sinn Féin Assembly member for north Antrim Philip McGuigan will lead that party’s campaign for Paisley’s removal, while the SDLP confirmed to the Irish News that it would also actively campaign to that end.

The petition will remain open until 19 September and can be signed at three separate locations in Paisley’s North Antrim constituency – in Ballymena, Ballymoney, and Ballycastle.

Constituents meanwhile began receiving letters from the north’s chief election officer yesterday informing them of the details of the six-week long petition.

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