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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

DUP defends handing of Ian Paisley saying ‘discipline is an internal party matter’ in response to criticism from McGuigan
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Resulting from claims made as part of a BBC Spotlight investigation, North Antrim MLA Philip McGuigan has asked for a formal investigation into the latest allegations against DUP MP Ian Paisley and criticised what he refers to as the ‘failure of the DUP leadership to discipline Ian Paisley’.

Philip McGuigan said:
“The latest media expose of Ian Paisley’s relationship with the government of the Maldives, which had been criticised by the UN over allegations of human rights abuses, raises more serious questions for the DUP.
This is the same MP who was suspended from the British House of Commons after breaking paid advocacy rules when he lobbied for the Sri Lankan government – a regime with a notorious record of human rights abuses.
It has now been alleged that a government minister in the Maldives paid for a lavish family holiday for Ian Paisley after he advocated on behalf of the government there.
I have called on the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards to investigate the claims but Ian Paisley’s own party leadership should also end its silence and confirm what action it intends to take in light of this latest scandal.
The DUP announced in December that it was investigating the first wave of Maldives allegations but we have heard nothing since then about what actions have been taken to discipline their shamed MP.
Another ‘mea culpa’ apology from Ian Paisley just isn’t going to be enough. These allegations are gravely serious and they need to be treated as such by the authorities and Ian Paisley’s own party.”
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HOWEVER a spokesperson for the DUP released the following statement in response to Mr McGuigans criticism of their handing of Ian Paisley’s discipline, saying;

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“We note the serious issues raised in the programme. The Party Officers will consider these matters within the context of our disciplinary process and any other relevant authority.

Ian Paisley MP was suspended from the Party for fifty-seven days. He was readmitted to membership, with conditions. Amongst other sanctions, was a ban on holding office in the party for twelve months. That ban is still in place. 

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 We require high standards from our elected representatives.  Discipline is an internal party matter.  We do not give a running commentary.”

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