Page last updated at 08:20 GMT, Thursday, 12 June 2008 09:20 UK

Paisley cleared over holiday home

Ian Paisley Jnr

The Assembly Ombudsman has cleared Ian Paisley Jnr of allegations that he accepted a holiday home as a gift.

There was controversy last year after it emerged that the house on the North Coast was still registered in the name of developer Seymour Sweeney's wife.

Mr Paisley said this was nothing more than an "administrative hiccup".

He added that he would not have resigned as a junior minister had the information contained in the report been made public prior to this.

"For the last nine months I have been subject to a very detailed investigation, an investigation which was based upon an allegation which is now proved to be completely and totally without foundation, " said Mr Paisley.

"I'm now, I must say, delighted that the ombudsman has written a report and that the Standards and Privileges Committee at Stormont has accepted that report, and I believe that report exonerates me and clears me.

"If this examination had been completed in February of this year before I resigned, I would not have resigned as a minister."

The complaint against Mr Paisley was brought by SDLP MLA John Dallat, who said he saw no reason to apologise.

"It was my legitimate duty as a public representative, following complaints form the public, to use the office of the ombudsman to make an enquiry," he said.

"It was a very extensive one, taking a very long time, which indicates that the complaint itself was totally justified.

"If you make a compliant and it goes through the legitimate sources then I can't understand why there would be any need to apologise."


SEE ALSO
Paisley Jr reports 'not evidence'
03 Feb 08 |  Northern Ireland
Paisley remarks 'not a breach'
05 Sep 07 |  Northern Ireland


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