Ian Paisley: MPs vote to suspend North Antrim MP for 30 days" width="976" height="549">
Ian Paisley failed to declare two luxury holidays paid for by the Sri Lankan government
MPs have voted to suspend DUP MP Ian Paisley for 30 sitting days.It follows his failure to declare two family holidays paid for by the Sri Lankan government. He will be absent from Parliament for some key Brexit votes.If 10% of his constituents sign a petition, a by-election in his North Antrim constituency will be called.Speaker of the House John Bercow called it "a regrettable state of affairs".Mr Bercow will now formally inform the chief electoral officer of the decision and she has ten working days to set up a petition which, if signed by 10% of North Antrim constituents will lead to a by-election and Mr Paisley having to stand down.
Sir Kevin Barron, chair of the Standards Committee, said they had concluded Mr Paisley was guilty of "serious misconduct".Mr Paisley has insisted he will fight any by-election to save his Westminster seat if he is forced to stand down.
This is a personal embarrassment says Paisley
Profile: Ian Paisley
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Mr Paisley's party plays a pivotal role in supporting Theresa May's minority government.In June 2017, an agreement was reached that the 10 DUP MPs would back the Tories in key Commons votes.Writing in the Ballymena Guardian on Tuesday, the North Antrim MP said he was prepared for whatever punishment came his way.He called those pushing for such an election "opportunists", but made it clear that he would not run away from any challenge.This is one of the longest bans ever to be handed down at Westminster.
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. While he says he is prepared for whatever punishment comes his way, 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.
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. 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
House of Commons
Ian Paisley
DUP (Democratic Unionist Party)
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