Belfast Telegraph

Jacob Rees-Mogg defends attendance at DUP fundraiser hosted by Ian Paisley

Leading Brexiteer Jacob Rees-Mogg defended his attendance at a DUP fundraising dinner hosted by MP Ian Paisley.

The North East Somerset MP was in Ballymena on Thursday night to address the dinner at the Tullyglass House Hotel. He was also joined by prominent Brexit-backing businessman Arron Banks.

North Antrim MP Paisley was given a 30-day suspension for failing to declare two 2013 family holidays paid for by the Sri Lankan Government. Complaints have also been made to a parliament watchdog about another holiday taken by Mr Paisley to the Maldives in October and November 2016, which was not declared on Parliament's Register of Members Interests.

Mr Paisley has said there was no link between the government of the Maldives and the holiday and that he had spoken with the parliamentary registrar, an administrative member of the Commons staff, and that he was satisfied the trip did not need to be put on the register of members interests.

Asked about the sanctions imposed on Mr Paisley and his attendance at the DUP event, Mr Rees-Mogg added: "His constituents had the opportunity to have a recall vote and they decided not to use it.

"He is a democratically elected member of parliament in this constituency. He belongs to a party that is supporting the Conservatives and maintaining the Conservative government.

"I am delighted to be here."

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