Northern Ireland

Timeline: Ian Paisley suspension

Ian Paisley Image copyright Pacemaker

The events that led up to the suspension of DUP MP Ian Paisley since it was first alleged he had benefited from two paid holidays for himself and his family from the Sri Lankan government.

Timeline of events

Thursday, 7 September 2017

The Daily Telegraph publishes an article titled: 'The MP, the £100k gifts and the Brexit trade deal: Questions over Ian Paisley's register of interests after Sri Lanka trip'. The story says that documents seen by the newspaper show that Mr Paisley accepted two all-expenses-paid trips for him and his family from the Sri Lankan government. The trips took place in 2013.

Friday, 8 September 2017

Mr Paisley denies the claims in the article and promises to refer himself to the parliamentary standards commissioner. He describes the Telegraph article as defamatory, saying it is "devoid of logic" and that he has referred it to his solicitor.

Friday, 15 September 2017

The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards confirms that she will open a formal inquiry into the allegations against Mr Paisley.

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Media captionIan Paisley says his apology was 'heartfelt'

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

The House of Commons' Committee on Standards finds that Mr Paisley's actions "brought the House into disrepute" and that he had committed "serious misconduct". The Committee recommends that the North Antrim MP be "suspended from the service of the House for a period of 30 sitting days starting on 4 September 2018".

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Mr Paisley asks his constituents to retain confidence in him as he makes an apology to the House of Commons. He says it was with "profound personal regret and deep personal embarrassment" that he had to make a statement as he acknowledged he failed to declare and register the two trips. But he denies having any "ulterior motive for that genuine mistake" in 2013. He adds that he accepted his "total failure" and offered another unreserved apology "without qualification".

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Media captionIan Paisley's personal statement in full

Saturday, 21 July 2018

Senior members of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) hold a private meeting to discuss the future of Mr Paisley. DUP MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson tells the BBC that his party was not going to take "a lynch mob approach", but admits that Mr Paisley's behaviour had been unacceptable.

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

MPs vote to suspend Mr Paisley for 30 sitting days. He is also suspended by the DUP "pending further investigation into his conduct". Speaker of the House John Bercow calls it "a regrettable state of affairs".

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