Press release 26th Jun 2019

TI-UK Reponds to allegations made by BBC Spotlight regarding Ian Paisley Jr MP

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26th June 2019, London – In response to an investigation by BBC Spotlight alleging that Ian Paisley Jr. MP accepted holidays from a then member of the Maldives Government, Duncan Hames, Director of Policy Transparency International UK, said:

“Members of Parliament are elected to work on behalf of their constituents, not foreign governments. There are very strict rules banning MPs lobbying on behalf of others in return for payment to prevent private interests usurping our Parliamentarians’ roles as advocates for the public. This is why MPs have an obligation to make declarations in the Register of Members’ Interests about any gifts they receive, and to draw attention to these entries when they may be considered to present a conflict of interest.”

“These would be very serious allegations in their own right were it not for the fact they are the second of this nature. Due to a ban on the Parliamentary Standards Commissioners announcing any of their current inquiries we do not know whether or not this matter is being investigated by them. Ian Paisley should make a personal statement to the House of Commons responding to these allegations directly, and subject himself to an independent investigation by the relevant authorities.”