Press release 12th Dec 2018

Full investigation must be undertaken into secret Paisley Maldives holiday

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12th December 2018, London – In response to an investigation by BBC Spotlight alleging that Ian Paisley Jnr. MP accepted holidays on request of the Maldives Government, which were provided for by a businessmen connected to the country’s political elite at the time, Duncan Hames, Director of Policy at Transparency International UK, said:

“MPs are required to register any overseas visits that are not paid for by themselves and relate to their position of elected office. Ian Paisley cannot unilaterally exempt himself from these requirements, as he found earlier this year in relation to his trips to Sri Lanka. After being sanctioned for his previous misconduct he apologised for what he called ‘a deep personal embarrassment’, yet he now refuses to be open and transparent about who else has been providing him with such generous gifts.”

“Our research has shown there is a small but sizeable minority in both Houses that are willing to accept generous, all-expenses paid visits from a range of questionable sources. Disappointingly, many on returning from these trips, find nothing critical to say about what are some of the most corrupt and repressive regimes in the world. There should be tighter controls on who can sponsor politicians’ foreign visits, the reputation of Parliament is on the line.”