Holiday puts MP back in spotlight

Holiday puts MP back in spotlight

Ian Paisley MP

Jane Witherspoon


Jane Witherspoon


North Antrim MP Ian Paisley is once again facing scrutiny over new allegations that he, his wife and children received a complimentary luxury holiday to the Maldives.

The claims were outlined in a Spotlight programme which aired last Tuesday evening in which evidence was presented that suggested Mr Paisley and his family visited the Maldives courtesy of its government in October/November 2016.

The programme examined the purpose of the 2016 trip, and whether Mr Paisley should have declared it.

The situation came to light after a Spotlight investigator delved deeper into a tweet by Mr Paisley’s wife, Fiona, which showed a picture of a beach at a luxurious resort at which the family stayed.

Mr Paisley had visited the Maldives in February 2016 with two other MPs from an All-Party Parliamentary Group.

At the time, the Maldives government, headed by President Abdulla Yameen, was being criticised by organisations including the United Nations and the Commonwealth for human rights abuses.

In the wake of his visit, Mr Paisley spoke out against plans for economic sanctions against the regime.

However, later that year Mr Paisley, who has been MP for North Antrim since 2010, travelled to the Maldives again for a holiday with his wife and two children, as per the evidence of Mrs Paisley’s tweet.

It is this trip that has him in the full glare of publicity once again due to the Spotlight investigation.

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