N. Ireland Politics

MP's attack on Sinn Fein expenses

Gerry Adams
Image caption Gerry Adams is one of five Sinn Fein MPs who do not take their House of Commons seats

DUP MP Ian Paisley Jnr has accused the government of "washing its hands" of the issue of payments of London allowances to Sinn Fein MPs.

Sinn Fein representatives are currently entitled to the expenses despite not taking their seats in the house.

The Leader of the House, Sir George Young, has said the payments are no longer a matter for the government.

He said they would now be dealt with by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA).

Mr Paisley, the MP for North Antrim, spoke out in the House of Commons on Thursday.

He said: "Surely there should not only be a debate about this issue, but a statement by the government, and indeed an admonishment of those members who fail to turn up to this house but are paid full allowances."

Last year, the Conservatives said that if they were elected, they would insist Sinn Fein would not get allowances unless they took their seats.

However, the IPSA, which was was set up following a public outcry over MPs' expenses, will now be in charge of overseeing all allowances.

Sinn Fein MPs have argued that they offer full representation to their constituents despite not taking their seats in the House of Commons.

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