Belfast Telegraph

Parliamentary standards watchdog launches investigation into DUP MP Ian Paisley

The parliamentary standards watchdog has launched an investigation into claims DUP MP Ian Paisley didn't declare luxury holidays paid for by the Sri Lankan government.

Mr Paisley reported himself to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards Kathryn Hudson over claims that he didn't declare £100,000 in hospitality from the Sri Lankans.

Ms Hudson confirmed on Thursday that the formal inquiry is now underway.

Libel lawyer Paul Tweed said the North Antrim MP had provided a full explanation to the parliamentary watchdog.

The Daily Telegraph claimed last week that Mr Paisley accepted two all-expenses paid holidays to the Indian Ocean island in 2013. It alleged that he met with Sri Lankan officials to discuss possible post-Brexit trade deals.

However, the DUP representative took to social media to declare the article "devoid of fact or logic".

Mr Tweed issued a statement on behalf of the politician. The lawyer said: "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."

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