DUP's Ian Paisley should be suspended for 30 [sitting] days for breaking Commons rules, standards committee says
The Commons standards committee has published a report this morning (pdf) recommending that the DUP MP Ian Paisley be suspended from the Commons for 30 sitting days for not declaring visits to Sri Lanka paid for by the Sri Lankan government and for breaking the Commons rule banning paid advocacy.
Here is an extract from its report.
We support the conclusion of the commissioner that Mr Paisley was in breach of the code of conduct by engaging in paid advocacy in his letter of 19 March 2014 to the prime minister, and by failing to declare in that letter the benefits he and his family had received from the Sri Lankan government during two of his visits to Sri Lanka in 2013, and those he had received during his third visit in that year. We also support the commissioner’s conclusion (not contested by Mr Paisley) that he was in breach of the code of conduct by failing to register his March/April and July 2013 visits ...
Mr Paisley’s failure to register the hospitality he received from the Sri Lankan government is made more serious by the scale of that hospitality. While he has disputed the Daily Telegraph’s claim that the value was £100,000, by his own calculation it amounted to over £50,000 - and may have been significantly more than that. This massively exceeded the threshold for registration, which at that time was £660. The expenditure on the two visits included that on business-class air travel, accommodation at first-class hotels, helicopter trips and visits to tourist attractions for Mr Paisley and his wider family. Mr Paisley may have taken part in meeting with government ministers and others, but for his accompanying family members these two visits were clearly holidays at significant cost.
A 30-day suspension from the House of Commons is about the most serious penalty the Commons standard committee recommends short of expulsion from the House.
This recommendation will have to be put to the Commons for a vote, but standards committee recommendations almost always get approved without opposition, so the suspension will happen.
It means that May’s working majority will be reduced by one for several weeks in the autumn.
This is incredible. Really. I mean we all know Leave cheated their arses off but that's not supposed be be the new template.
Just... utterly reprehensible.
The last remaining vestiges of decency, honesty and intellect in British (and American) politics died in 2016.
We are in a different world now.
The fact that they have defied the pairing process twice now is the real killer. As a one off, use and burn tactic that you accept the flak for because it got you the result you needed - well that's gooseberry fool but it should never be allowed to happy again... and yet here we are.
DML wrote:You can't just ignore the rules and have them not....matter. They have to be held to account.
You can't cheat and still win, you can't not release your tax returns and still govern - its absolutely ludicrous and arrogant how much power these people think they have.
The last two years have shown that they can do exactly that.
And half the electorate will cheer them on as they do it.
They will do it and lose the next election as a result.
Whilst Corbyn is around I wouldn't be so sure. When it comes to General Election time people will often vote for the party leader over the party, and when it comes to leader May, despite how utterly terrible she is, is still seen as a better PM than Corbyn would be.
Labour offering little to no actual opposition isn't exactly helping either.