Ian Paisley: DUP MP keeps seat after recall petition" width="976" height="549">
Ian Paisley failed to declare two luxury holidays paid for by the Sri Lankan government and later lobbied on its behalf
Ian Paisley has retained his seat as an MP after fewer than 10% of his constituents signed a petition that would have forced a by-election.It was triggered after the DUP MP was suspended from Westminster for failing to declare two holidays paid for by the Sri Lankan government and then lobbying on its behalf.The petition is the first in UK Parliamentary history.It was open for six weeks at three North Antrim constituency centres.
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It needed 7,543 signatures - or 10% of Mr Paisley's constituents, in order to force a by-election and cause Mr Paisley to lose his seat.
The Recall of MPs Bill became law in 2015 under the coalition government. The Speaker of the House John Bercow was first to be notified before the result was posted online. Ulster Unionist Party Leader Robin Swann said he would "caution Ian Paisley not to see this as some sort of victory or endorsement of his actions in acting as a paid advocate for a foreign government and bringing North Antrim and the House of Commons into disrepute."He suggested that Mr Paisley "should demonstrate some humility".
Key points from the standards committee's findings
Mr Paisley went on three luxury holidays to Sri Lanka at the expense of the Sri Lankan government in 2013.
The committee found the cost "much higher" than the ?50,000 Mr Paisley estimated.
In 2014, Mr Paisley wrote to the prime minister to lobby against supporting a UN resolution on Sri Lanka over alleged human rights abuses.
By failing to declare his trip, Mr Paisley "breached the rule against paid advocacy, the committee said.
The committee acknowledged that there was "inconsistent guidance" in relation to registering such trips, but it did not "exonerate Mr Paisley from breaching the advocacy rule".
Mr Paisley's 30-sitting day suspension from the House of Commons began on 4 September, and is one of the longest-ever bans to be handed down at Westminster. According to the Commons library, it is the longest suspension since 1949, which is as far as online records go.In July, after Westminster's standards committee announced its recommendations, Mr Paisley apologised for his behaviour in the Commons.The DUP also suspended Mr Paisley "pending further investigation into his conduct".Mr Paisley's family has held the North Antrim seat for nearly 50 years.
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DUP (Democratic Unionist Party)
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