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Petition launched to recall British MP who lobbied for Sri Lanka

A petition has been launched to unseat DUP MP Ian Paisley after he was suspended from the British parliament for failing to declare two holidays that were paid for by the Sri Lankan government and later lobbying on the country's behalf against an investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity.

The parliamentary recall petition, the first one launched since such legislation was introduced, sees Mr Paisley at risk of a possible by-election in his constituency seat of North Antrim in Northern Ireland.

If 10% of the electorate, or 7,543 people, sign the petition over the next six weeks, a by-election will be triggered.

Mr Paisley has already been suspended from the DUP and British parliament for 30 days, after an investigation 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.

A damning report by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards said Mr Paisley Jr’s actions amounted to “paid advocacy”.