Northern Ireland

Four DUP MPs continue to employ relatives

Gregory Campbell
Image caption Gregory Campbell employs his wife in his parliamentary office

Four DUP MPs continue to employ a family member using taxpayers' money, despite the practice being banned for new members of parliament.

Of 589 MPs, 122 employ a relative, according to the latest Register of Members' Financial Interests.

They include Gregory Campbell, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson and Ian Paisley, who employ their spouses in their offices.

Their DUP colleague, East Belfast MP Gavin Robinson, employs his father as an office manager.

None of the 61 new MPs who secured their seats at the general election on 8 June are allowed to employ a family member.

Campaigners say there needs to be a clear end date for all MPs to stop the practice.

Announcing the ban in March, the parliamentary watchdog, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, said employing family members was "out of step" with modern employment practices.

However, MPs who served in the previous Parliament were allowed to continue their existing employment arrangements with relatives.

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