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Probe after DUP MLA double-jobbed

By Liam Clarke

Published 06/11/2015

Gordon Lyons
Gordon Lyons

A DUP MLA who double-jobbed as a councillor has been referred to the Local Government Ombudsman after he admitted receiving expenses in both roles for nearly three weeks.

The complaint was brought against Gordon Lyons who was co-opted to the Assembly to replace Sammy Wilson in October.

Mr Wilson was forced to give up his seat at Stormont because he is also an MP, after double-jobbing was banned. Mr Lyons recently told the Larne Times that he had still been receiving his basic council allowance, which he estimated at £400-500, as well as an MLA's allowance, between August 20 and September 7.

He has now repaid £579.87 to Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.

Councillor Andy Wilson of the UUP, who raised the issue at council, said: "I asked if there was an overlap in payment and there was a furious reaction from the DUP, who called me petty. The fact is that this is several hundred pounds of ratepayers' money.

"I am glad a repayment has been made in this case and hope it is in full. The lesson for the DUP is, don't claim it in the first place and don't attack people who point it out. The thing to do is apologise."

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