Belfast Telegraph

Arlene Foster unable to watch BBC Spotlight Ian Paisley probe but 'serious issues' will be addressed

Jonathan Bell

By Jonathan Bell

DUP leader Arlene Foster has admitted she was unable to watch BBC's Spotlight programme on Tuesday evening on North Antrim MP Ian Paisley.

She was asked about the programme at a Policy Exchange event in London on Wednesday.

The MLA said she will watch the programme which made claims about a number of trips Mr Paisley made to the Maldives and over who paid for them. Mr Paisley has not responded to the programme's allegations.

"Serious issues have been raised," Mrs Foster said.

"Those matters will come before the party officers. As you know Ian was suspended for 57 days last year by the party. He is now back in the party under sanction and those sanctions still exist.

"But we will look at that and deal with those serious issues that have been raised by the Spotlight programme."

In the wake of Spotlight's original investigation last December the DUP leader said she "expected high standards" from her political representatives and the matter would be dealt with "soon".

Following that programme Mr Paisley said he acted accordingly and his holiday was paid for by a friend.

Asked about her views on the race for the Conservative party leaders Mrs Foster said it was not for her to decide and she had a "good working relationship" with both contenders and she was heartened by what she had heard from both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt.

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