Belfast Telegraph

West Tyrone by-election cost over £250k after McElduff resigned in Kingsmill row

Barry McElduff (Barry McElduff/Twitter/PA)
Barry McElduff (Barry McElduff/Twitter/PA)

Last year's West Tyrone by-election cost more than £250,000, new government figures show.

The total cost of the by-election was £254,632 after incumbent MP Barry McElduff resigned after a row erupted when he posed with a loaf of Kingsmill bread on his head on the anniversary of the Kingsmill Massacre in 2018.

Ten Protestant workmen were killed by IRA members in the incident on January 5 1976.

Mr McElduff resigned after posting the video on his Twitter account, though he denied the incident was linked to the Kingsmill anniversary.

Government figures show that £59,051 was spent on candidates' mailing costs, while running the by-election cost £195,581.

The by-election took place on May 3 2018 and was won by Sinn Fein's Orfhlaith Begley.

Mr McElduff now sits on Fermanagh and Omagh District Council after winning election in May.

The figures also showed that the cost of a recall petition involving North Antrim MP Ian Paisley was £165,644.

It was held after Mr Paisley failed to declare two family holidays paid for by the Sri Lankan government.

Mr Paisley survived the petition, the first of its kind ever held, after less than 10% of his constituents backed the move which would have seen him removed as MP.

Ian Paisley
Ian Paisley

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