UK: Ian Paisley suspension exposes efforts to assist cover-up of Sri Lankan bloodbath


UK: Ian Paisley suspension exposes efforts to assist cover-up of Sri Lankan bloodbath

Steve James

28 July 2018

Britain’s House of Commons Standards Committee has suspended Ian Paisley, Jr., Member of Parliament for the North Antrim constituency in Northern Ireland, for 30 days from September 4. Paisley was found to have committed “serious misconduct” by actions “of a nature to bring the House of Commons into disrepute.” Paisley is only one of three MPs to be suspended for this length of time since 1949.

The move imperils the fragile British government of Theresa May, dependent as it is for a parliamentary majority on Paisley’s party, the right wing pro-Brexit Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). Paisley has even been suspended from the DUP itself, “pending further investigation.”

He is also likely to be the first sitting British MP ever to face a recall by-election challenge. Under the terms of the Recall of Parliament Act, recall petitions must be available for his constituents in North Antrim to sign for six weeks. If 10 percent of voters favour a recall by-election, it must be held unless a general election is less than six months away.

The standards committee found that Paisley failed to register two lavish holidays paid for by the Sri Lankan government. According to the committee, the 2013 trips involved “business-class air travel, accommodation at first-class hotels, helicopter trips and visits to tourist attractions for Mr. Paisley and his wider family.”

Following this, Paisley was amongst the signatories to a letter to then Prime Minister David Cameron in 2014 criticising British support for a resolution to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for an investigation into human rights violations during the final phases of the bloody civil…

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