DUP must come clean on Paisley scandal - SF

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The DUP has come under pressure from Sinn Fein after it appeared to rule out any further sanction against its MP Ian Paisley despite his unprecedented suspension from the Westminster parliament over holidays secretly funded by the Sri Lankan government.

Following a bizarre defence of his actions by fellow DUP MP Sammy Wilson last week, the party has finally announced that it has suspended the north Antrim representative pending an inveestigation.

Sinn Fein’s Philip McGuigan said Paisley’s lobbying efforts to prevent a human rights inquiry into the south Asian nation should be condemned.

Mr McGuigan said: “The DUP leadership have said they are conducting an investigation into disgraced MP Ian Paisley.

“However, the facts of his relationship with the Sri Lankan regime have already been well established so what exactly are they investigating?

“Does the DUP have additional information regarding wrongdoing in office? If so, that should be investigated by the proper authorities.

“The DUP leadership also need to clarify where they stand on the facts that are already known.

“Ian Paisley received lavish holidays from the Sri Lankan government. He then lobbied on behalf of that government in an attempt to prevent the UN investigating the human rights abuses, war crimes and mass murder carried out by that regime.

“They DUP leadership have yet to state their view on that.

“And given Ian Paisley’s stated intention to contest any by-election, they also need to confirm whether on not he will do so on a DUP platform.”

The hardline unionist party was accused of attempting to create a sectarian controversy over the name of a bus stop in Belfast in order to divert attention away from the latest financial scandal to emerge about the party.

Sinn Fein’s Conor Murphy has called on DUP leader Arlene Foster to ‘come clean’ on her party’s intentions towards the disgraced MP.

“The DUP Leadership have serious questions to answer over the Ian Paisley scandal and every day they refuse to do so, the demand for clarity just gets stronger,” the Sinn Fein negotiator said.

“It’s simply not good enough to say that they have suspended him without even saying for how long.

“They say they are conducting an investigation but won’t confirm if it relates only to the facts already known to the public.

“Ian Paisley has said he will be contesting that election so Arlene Foster needs to come clean and state whether he will be doing so as a DUP candidate.

“The public should not be taken for fools by the DUP. They have a right to know whether that party is going to take a stand over a lack of integrity in public office.

“They also have a right to know where the DUP stands on Ian Paisley’s lobbying on behalf of the Sri Lankan regime in an attempt to prevent the UN investigating human rights abuses, war crimes and mass murder.

“That is absolutely appalling yet the DUP leadership have yet to even condemn that aspect of this whole sorry affair.”

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