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Paisley awaits decision on whether he faces inquiry over Sri Lankan hospitality claims

Thursday, 14 September 2017

NORTH Antrim MP Ian Paisley will know within the next few days whether he is to face a formal investigation into claims he failed to declare around 100,000 worth of hospitality from the Sri Lankan government.
On Friday Mr Paisley referred himself to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards after the allegations surfaced in the Daily Telegraph.
The newspaper alleged he and his family took two all expenses paid holidays to the island in 2013, adding that he recently met Sri Lankan officials to discuss the possibility of post-Brexit trade deals with the south Asian country.
Shortly after publication of the allegations, Mr Paisley's lawyer, Paul Tweed, issued a statement on his behalf.
He said: "My client totally denies the defamatory inferences arising from the article in today's (Friday's) Daily Telegraph, including those relating to his registration obligations as an MP.
“He has now referred this matter and a full explanation to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards."
The North Antrim MP said in a tweet that the report was "devoid of fact or logic" and "defamatory."
A DUP spokesman said: "Ian Paisley MP will rightly refer himself to the (Parliamentary) Commissioner for Standards. We await the outcome of that investigation."
*Full report and pictures in this week's Ballymena Guardian.

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