Belfast Telegraph

Ian Paisley 'not going to act like a stuffed shirt' after taking punishment 'like a man'

Ian Paisley has said he is not going to "act like a stuffed shirt" in his first sit-down interview since a petition to recall him failed by 444 votes.

Speaking on UTV's A View From Stormont program, the North Antrim MP said he was keen to move on after the controversy which saw him given a 30-day sitting ban from the House of Commons, the longest on record for any MP.

Mr Paisley was hit with the punishment by a parliamentary watchdog for receiving luxury holidays from the Sri Lankan government after lobbying former prime minister David Cameron not to support a probe into alleged Sri Lankan human rights abuses.

As well as not declaring the holidays, the MP was found to have broke Commons lobbying rules.

"I'm not going to act like a stuffed shirt," Mr Paisley told UTV's Tracey Magee.

"I think I've got a wee bit of charisma, and a wee bit of life about me. And I intend to the Ian Paisley that people have elected. Have I learnt from that mistake that I made? I believe that I have.

"I'm not going to walk around, to use a phrase that my father might have used, in sackcloth and ashes.

"I faced my punishment. I faced it like a man. I took a public humiliation. I was subject to a petition to recall me, and petitioners said 'we don't want to recall you'."

In a statement to the Press Association after the result of the recall vote was declared, Mr Paisley claimed those who had not signed the petition to recall him had accepted his apology.

“The electorate has clearly spoken," he said.

“I would like to thank my true friends, family, the electorate who have stood by me with unwavering support. Hallelujah.”

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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