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Last Updated: Sunday, 3 February 2008, 08:59 GMT
Paisley Jr reports 'not evidence'
Ian Paisley Jr
Ian Paisley Jr said he was merely working hard for constituents
A Stormont ombudsman's ruling that there is no evidence to suggest Ian Paisley Jr had broken assembly rules has been welcomed by the DUP member.

The BBC reported in December on his lobbying over a 50m government land deal in his North Antrim constituency.

SDLP MLA Declan O'Loan asked the Assembly's Standards and Privileges Committee to see if rules were broken.

However, Ombudsman Tom Frawley said it was not a valid complaint as media reports did not constitute evidence.

The reports focused on a land deal at Ballee, which involved a number of the junior minister's constituents and property developer Seymour Sweeney.

Mr Paisley said: "The basis of it was I shouldn't be doing work for constituents in trying to solve problems - I don't think that's a very good basis on which to complain about an assembly member.

"For years we have been subjected to criticism that we don't work hard enough - when you find one who is working his back off for people, a rival assembly member complains about it."

Mr O'Loan said his complaint was a work in progress and he is considering whether to provide further evidence.

He said the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister told him they were still considering his complaint that Mr Paisley had broken the Stormont ministerial code.

SEE ALSO
Political Landscape
01 Feb 08 |  Politics Show
Call for Paisley land deal probe
10 Dec 07 |  Northern Ireland
Paisley 'lobbied for land deal'
06 Dec 07 |  Northern Ireland



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