Son of the late Rev. Ian Paisley (founder of the Democratic Unionist Party in 1971), has declared he will refer himself to the parliamentary commissioner of standards.
Ian Paisley Jr declared that reports that he took two all-expenses-paid holidays to Sri Lanka with his wife and four children in 2013 are defamatory and ‘devoid of logic or fact’.
Paisley Jr had visited Sri Lanka twice in 2012, which he declared in the Commons Register of Interest but there is no mention of the trips with the combined estimated value of £100,000 in 2013.
Rumours that during these ‘holidays’ he was helping Sri Lankan officials with trade deals, despite their poor humanitarian rights.
What kind of message is one of the 10 MP’s propping up the Conservative government providing by accepting such extravagances?
The all-expenses-paid holidays saw him and his family fly via VIP Business class, staying in six hotels over the two trips, chauffer driven in a Mercedes, along with the Sri Lankan’s Ministry of Defence approving his use of a helicopter for him and his family to travel the island.
Paisley Jr tweeted a letter from his Solicitor denying the claims made against him, which can be seen below.
Another MP resigned from office in 2011 after being investigated for unusual visits with the Sri Lankan government.
Conservative MP Liam Fox also accepted hospitality from Sri Lanka officials and was not forth coming with the full details of his excursions, questions are still raised as to why he accepted hospitality from a government that had committed war crimes but refused to be investigated by the UN.
The House of Commons code of conduct states that MPs must declare visits to any destination outside of the UK if it “relates in any way to their membership of the house or to their parliamentary or political activities”.
Violations of this code are investigated by the parliamentary standards commissioner who reports to the Commons standards committee, which can recommend sanctions, subject to a vote in the Commons.
It is now a matter of time waiting for the outcome of the investigation.