Source: Traditional Unionist Voice – Northern Ireland
Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister:
“It is of course nothing new for Ian Paisley to find himself in the middle of a scandal. Over the years in which he has held office either as a junior minister or MP it seems that the scandals come one after another and that when one report is completed we are just waiting for the next one to appear. So it is today with the findings against him by the Electoral Commission into the Tullyglass dinner. Whether there will be a further report from the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner to on overseas trips remains to be seen.
“Having read the information released by the Electoral Commission a number of pertinent questions remain unanswered. For example, did Mr Paisley directly receive the monies paid by Mid and East Antrim and Causeway Coast and Glens councils? (If so, why would councils agree to such an arrangement?), or is he being deemed to have received it as a beneficiary? How much of the money was actually paid to the hotel? Did the Commission have to instruct Mr Paisley to pay the monies back to the councils, was there a time limit on him doing so and if there was did he meet it? Indeed, it is even unclear if the monies have yet been paid back.
“These are all questions which Mr Paisley needs to address. The fact that they have to be asked at all is testament to the damage being done to Unionism and the standards expected of an MP.”