Belfast Telegraph

Parliament website lists Ian Paisley as 'Independent'

By Michael Shiels McNamee

Ian Paisley's party affiliation has been changed on the UK's Parliamentary website to 'Independent'.

Last month the DUP North Antrim MP was suspended from the House of Commons for failing to declare family holidays in Sri Lanka, for breaching rules on paid advocacy and for breaching rules on registration of interests by failing to register the two holidays.

The 30-day sitting suspension is the longest ever given to an MP on record.

Mr Paisley was suspended from the DUP in the wake of this, with the party saying it would conduct an investigation into the matter.

How Ian Paisley is currently listed on the Parliament website / Credit:

A House of Commons spokesperson told the Belfast Telegraph the change of status was a reflection of the fact he is suspended, and does not mean Mr Paisley has left the party.

It is understood the action was taken by the House of Commons without contact from the DUP.

Similar action has been taken with other parliamentarians suspended from their parties.

Earlier this year Labour MP John Woodcock was suspended from his party after allegations of sexual harassment, leading to his being listed as an independent.

Mr Woodcock has since quit the Labour party over a dispute with leadership.

A DUP spokesperson said: "The party has suspended Ian Paisley from the party pending further investigation."

Mr Paisley could face a by-election if he is recalled under the terms of the Petition of Recall Act of 2015.

The law gives constituents the power to recall their MPs, with an election triggered by at least 10% of the electorate in the constituency signing a petition.

With 75,478 constituents in Mr Paisley's North Antrim constituency, 7,547 signatures would be required to trigger a by-election.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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