Belfast Telegraph

Ian Paisley Petition of Recall: Mechanism in place for six weeks in three constituency centres

The Recall of MPs Act 2015 created a mechanism for the first time enabling constituents to force a by-election in cases of serious misconduct. Under the legislation, an MP loses their seat if 10% of the electorate in the constituency sign a petition of recall.

A petition is automatically opened if an MP is convicted of an offence and sentenced to prison, suspended from the House of Commons for 10 sitting days, or convicted of making a false expenses claim.

The Electoral Office for Northern Ireland has opened three centres in Mr Paisley's North Antrim constituency where registered voters aged 18 or over can sign. The signing places - in Ballymoney, Ballymena and Ballycastle - are open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday until the petition closes on September 19. There will be extended openings to 9pm on September 6 and 13. They will shut on Bank Holiday Monday, August 27.

If a petition is carried, the recalled MP can still stand in the ensuing by-election. Mr Paisley has said that is what he will do if that is the result. Campaigning is permitted and individuals and organisations can lobby for or against the petition. Spending is limited to £500 for non-registered campaigners and £10,000 for registered campaigners, including political parties.

Belfast Telegraph

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