Paisley ‘£100k holidays’ to be investigated by watchdog
THE Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards has confirmed that she is opening a formal inquiry into allegations made against Ian Paisley.
The move by watchdog Kathryn Hudson follows allegations made about the North Antrim DUP MP in the Daily Telegraph last week.
Mr Paisley reported himself to the commissioner over claims that he didn’t declare £100,000 in hospitality from the Sri Lankan government.
A report in the newspaper claimed he took his family on two all expenses paid holidays to the island in 2013.
Mr Paisley said the report was “devoid of fact or logic” and was “defamatory”.
Following the claims, Mr Paisley tweeted a statement from his lawyer saying: “My client totally denies the defamatory inferences arising from the article in today’s Daily Telegraph, including those relating to his registration obligations as an MP.
“He has now referred this matter, and a full explanation, to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.”
The commissioner, Kathryn Hudson, reports to the Commons Standards Committee.
The committee, which is made up of MPs and lay members, has the power to recommend sanctions.
These include an apology or temporary suspension, subject to a vote in the Commons.
Mr Paisley is being investigated for an alleged breach of paragraph 13 of the House of Commons Code of Conduct, which requires MPs to register interests.
The code also states that MPs must declare any visit to a destination outside the UK which “relates in any way to their membership of the house or to their parliamentary or political activities” and which costs more than £300, unless they have paid for it themselves or out of parliamentary or party funds.
The rules state that MPs do not have to register family holidays, so long as they are “wholly unconnected with membership of the house or with the member’s parliamentary or political activities”.
Probe: Ian Paisley