Paisley meets supporters to apologise after Commons suspension

Suspended DUP MP Ian Paisley has apologised to supporters at a meeting near Ballymena on Monday evening.

The North Antrim MP was suspended after he failed to declare family holidays in Sri Lanka which were paid for by the Sri Lankan government.

Alderman John Finlay welcomes Ian Paisley to the sprecial meeting of supporters in Gracehill. PACEMAKER BELFAST

Alderman John Finlay welcomes Ian Paisley to the sprecial meeting of supporters in Gracehill. PACEMAKER BELFAST

Around 60 DUP supporters attended the meeting in the Gracehill area which was organised by party councillor John Finlay.

After the meeting, Cllr Finlay said Mr Paisley had apologised for his behaviour and admitted that he had made a mistake.

Cllr Finlay also said those in attendance were “very courteous and supportive of him”.

Mr Paisley did not speak to the media either before or after the gathering, the BBC reported.

Ian Paisley MP leaving a supporters meeting in Gracehill, Ballymena. Picture: Matt Mackey/Presseye.com

Ian Paisley MP leaving a supporters meeting in Gracehill, Ballymena. Picture: Matt Mackey/Presseye.com

He could face a by-election if 10% of his constituents sign a petition calling for one.

In a letter to party activists ahead of Monday’s meeting, Mr Finlay said Mr Paisley had already received a “very severe punishment”.

Last month, Mr Paisley was handed a 30-day ban from Westminster, effective from September 4, for breaching parliamentary rules.