DUP MP Ian Paisley says rule breach a personal embarrassment

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –DUP MP Ian Paisley has apologised in the House of Commons and admitted “deep personal embarrassment” after failing to declare two luxury holidays paid for by the Sri Lankan government.

Choking with emotion at times, Mr Paisley said he had made a “genuine mistake”.

The North Antrim MP is facing calls to stand down from Westminster over the controversy.

He has made it clear privately that he has no intention of doing so.

However, the decision could be taken out of his hands.

A parliamentary watchdog has recommended that he be suspended from the Commons for 30 days, and the controversy also has the potential to trigger a by-election.

Mr Paisley spoke briefly outside Westminster.

Asked why he accepted the luxury family holidays to Sri Lanka, he simply said: “I would ask people to carefully consider my very genuine and my heartfelt comments. I’ve made my statement fully to the House. I believe it’s up to other people to consider now what happens next.”

Asked whether he would run as a candidate if a by-election was called in North Antrim, he said: “The course of action will take its course of action. Thank you very much.”

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