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Ian Paisley recall petition opens

Ian Paisley recall petition opens

Ian Paisley, North Antrim MP since 2010, could face a by-election if 10% of North Antrim voters sign the petition.

If this petition is fulfilled, it could lead to a by-election which could cost Mr Paisley his seat in Parliament.

DUP MP, Mr Paisley, was suspended from his duties in July after MPs voted for it. This happened due to his failure to accept two holidays for himself and his family which were paid for by the Sri Lankan government.

This recall petition is the first of its kind in the UK Parliament's history.

A recent addition to British politics, the Recall of MPs Act was initiated in 2016.

The Act states that if an MP convicts a crime, is jailed or provided false information on allowance claims or is suspended from Parliament for 10 working days or more, the MP would be at risk of losing their seat if the petition to recall them succeeds.

Approximately 7,543 signatures would be needed for a by-election to occur on the MPs behalf, said the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland. 

The petition will be open to residents of the North Antrim constituency on weekdays from 8 August to 19 September and any individual above the age of 18 is allowed to take part.

If signatures reach 7,543, then a by-election will be initiated.

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