Ian Paisley fined over Ballymena fundraising dinner

Ian PaisleyImage copyright
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Ian Paisley has until 8 October to pay the fine

The Electoral Commission has imposed a fine of £1,300 on the North Antrim MP Ian Paisley.

The fine is a sanction against the DUP man for accepting money from two Northern Ireland councils for attendance at a fundraising dinner.

The event was addressed by the senior Conservative Michael Gove.

Mid and East Antrim and Causeway Coast and Glens councils took tables at the dinner at Tullyglass hotel in Ballymena in September 2017, each paying £1,500.

  • Investigation into Paisley event money
  • Audit Office examining DUP event money

The councils said the payments had been made to the hotel for attendance at a business related event.

However, the commission decided the dinner was a fundraiser and councils are not regarded as legally “permissible donors” for political parties.

It is understood the North Antrim MP has agreed to return the money to the councils and the £1,300 fine is in addition to that.

The Electoral Commission is the official watchdog, which regulates the funding of political parties in the UK.

It says the fine has been imposed due to Mr Paisley’s “failure to return donations from impermissible donors within 30 days of receiving them”.

A commission statement says the two variable monetary penalties totalling £1,300 have to be paid by 8 October 2020.

BBC News