UK MP wrote to David Cameron on 19 March 2014 to lobby AGAINST supporting a UN resolution on human rights abuses in Sri Lanka, after receiving FREE holidays from Sri Lanka Government

In her report, the standards commissioner, Kathryn Stone, found that Paisley breached the rules on paid advocacy – lobbying in return for reward or consideration – by writing to David Cameron on 19 March 2014 to lobby against supporting a UN resolution on human rights abuses in Sri Lanka, after receiving holidays from the South Asian country’s government.

The paper claimed Mr Paisley and his family enjoyed two holidays in Sri Lanka in 2013 paid for by the Sri Lankan government. The claims first appeared in the Daily Telegraph in September 2017.

Ian Paisley could face by election after breaking Commons rules

Likely 30-day suspension of DUP MP over holidays worth £50,000 could lead to recall

The Democratic Unionist party MP Ian Paisley could be forced to stand down and face a byelection after a serious breach of parliamentary rules.

The member for North Antrim is already facing a suspension from the House of Commons for 30 sitting days after becoming a “paid advocate” for the Sri Lankan government and failing to declare family holidays worth at least £50,000.

His suspension will have repercussions for Theresa May’s government. Her working majority will be reduced by one until November, as the government tries to pass contentious Brexit legislation.

The 30-day ban, if accepted, could trigger a recall petition following a recent change to legislation. If 10% of the electorate signs a petition within six weeks, a byelection would take place at which Paisley could stand again.

Political opponents in Northern Ireland, including the Ulster Unionist party, the SDLP and Sinn Féin, have called for him to resign or face a public vote.

A spokesperson for Sinn Féin said that in the absence of his resignation or being forced to stand down by the DUP “we will support a recall if the percentage of the electorate required to trigger a recall prevails”.

Paisley’s suspension has been recommended by the Commons standards committee in a highly critical report examining two family holidays the MP took to Sri Lanka in 2013.

It could last 30 sitting days and is due to begin on 4 September, the committee said. Parliament is in recess over the party conference season, meaning the suspension would last well into the autumn.

“We have concluded that Mr Paisley’s actions were of a nature to bring the House of Commons into disrepute,” the report said.

In her report, the standards commissioner, Kathryn Stone, found that Paisley breached the rules on paid advocacy – lobbying in return for reward or consideration – by writing to David Cameron on 19 March 2014 to lobby against supporting a UN resolution on human rights abuses in Sri Lanka, after receiving holidays from the South Asian country’s government.

He also breached rules by failing to declare the personal benefit in his letter to the prime minister, and on registration of interests.

Paisley would be free to stand again in the subsequent byelection and it is understood he has indicated he would do so. His majority is more than 20,643.

Under the Recall of MPs Act, which came into effect in 2016, MPs who are convicted of a criminal offence and jailed, barred from the Commons for 10 sitting days or convicted of providing false information on allowance claims can lose their seat if there is a successful petition to recall them.

Paisley is due to address parliament on Thursday. A statement issued by his lawyer said the MP accepted the committee’s decision but argued that legal proceedings were still being considered against the Daily Telegraph, which broke the story.

“My client has apologised unreservedly at the outset for his unintentional failure to register the hospitality he received. Legal proceedings are being considered. No further comment will be made until Mr Paisley has addressed the house on Thursday.”

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/jul/18/ian-paisley-faces-commons-suspension-over-sri-lanka-holidays

Ian Paisley suspended from parliament after ‘FREE £100k’ Sri Lanka Holday- MSN.com

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/…/ian-paisley…free…sri-lanka-holidays/ar-AAAeBJs

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