Paisley ‘nothing to hide about Ugandan trip’

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TUV leader Jim Allister has revealed that when the Syria vote was being taken in The Commons, MP Ian Paisley jnr was on a business trip to Uganda.

The House was dramatically recalled in July during the recess to vote on a Government proposal allowing it to plan military strikes on Syria.

DUP MPs voted with Labour against the Government and the motion was defeated.

Last week Mr Allister published details from the Westminster register of interests showing that, on the day of the vote, Mr Paisley jnr was on a business trip to Africa, for which he received £7,500 for 21 hours worked.

Jim Allister said Mr Paisley’s declaration showed that “North Antrim was left without a voice and a vote” in the “crucial” debate, adding “I’ll leave it to the people of North Antrim to make their own judgment.”

Mr Paisley hit back, however, pointing out that he had a pairing arrangement with an MP who supported the Government under which neither of them voted and also said he had declared the trip and had made no secret of it.

He said: “Parliament was in recess when the Syrian vote was called and I was on my way to Uganda. When our leader in Parliament and our spokesman on defence got the opportunity to speak it was made very clear that no other member would be allowed to speak, so I could not have contributed to the debate.

“My side had plenty of spare votes so, even if I had not been paired, the outcome would not have been affected.”

The North Antrim MP added: “It makes us better politicians if we have these outside interests and I welcome the fact that you have to register what you are doing.

“I have nothing to hide on this, but I don’t have to reveal professional activities,” said Mr Paisley who accused Mr Allister of posing as “Mr Morality”.




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