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DUP meets to discuss Paisley Jr's future

Senior DUP members met on Saturday to discuss the future of the MP, Ian Paisley Jr following his suspension from parliament for 'paid advocacy' for the Sri Lankan government.

Mr Paisley Jr was found to have not declared trips to Sri Lanka worth up to £100,000, whilst supporting the then Rajapaksa government in an attempt to defeat a UN Human Rights Council resolution calling for accountability. 

The DUP has not disclosed the meeting's outcome, however the party is understood to be considering releasing a statement next week. 

Speaking to the BBC, the DUP MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson said that the party wouldn't take, what he described as, a 'lynch mob approach'. 

"Ian is entitled to have his case heard, he is entitled to fairness. We are a democratic party - the clue is in our name - and this matter has been referred to our party officers," Sir Donaldson said. 

"They will consider the report prepared by the standards committee, they will consider what has happened and they will come to a decision."

The investigation into Mr Paisley Jr's conduct comes after a report by The Daily Telegraph, which found he had accepted holidays worth £100,000 from the Sri Lankan government, including two all-inclusive holidays for him and his four children, flying business class with VIP lounge access, six hotels across two trips and being chauffeur driven in a Mercedes. The trip was funded by the Sri Lankan ministry of external affairs. A helicopter was also provided for Mr Paisley and his family to travel around the island, with Sri Lankan ministry of defence approval.

The paper also submitted evidence to the Commons standards committee, which showed email discussions with a Sri Lankan official where Mr Paisley Jr offered to help the state broker an oil deal, saying he had “significant arrangements with national oil suppliers” in Oman and Nigeria.