Ian Paisley, Jr.
Ian Paisley, Jr
|Junior Minister in the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister|
8 May 2007 – 26 February 2008
Serving with Gerry Kelly
|Preceded by||Office Suspended
Last officeholder: James Leslie
|Succeeded by||Jeffrey Donaldson|
|Member of Parliament
for North Antrim
6 May 2010
|Preceded by||Ian Paisley|
|Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly
for North Antrim
25 June 1998 – 21 June 2010
|Preceded by||New Creation|
|Succeeded by||Paul Frew|
12 December 1966 |
Belfast, Northern Ireland
|Political party||Democratic Unionist Party|
|Alma mater||Queen's University Belfast|
|Website||Ian Paisley Junior|
Ian Richard Kyle Paisley, Jr, MP (born 12 December 1966) is the Member of Parliament (MP) for North Antrim and member of the Northern Ireland Assembly for the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and an author. He is the son of the DUP's founder and former leader, Ian Paisley.
In 1990, he married Fiona, and they have four children. He is a member of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster.
Born in Belfast in 1966, Paisley is the youngest child of the Reverend Ian Paisley and his wife Eileen Paisley. He was brought up in a large detached house on Cyprus Avenue, Belfast (the inspiration for the Van Morrison song of the same name) with his three elder sisters, Sharon, Rhonda and Cherith, and his twin brother, Kyle. Being the younger of the twins, he was named after his father who was the younger of two brothers. He regularly attended the Free Presbyterian Church where his father preached since he was a small child of 2 or 3 years. In August 2007 he was the subject of the third episode of the BBC Radio 4 series The House I Grew Up In, in which he talked about a happy childhood and secure family life, despite political problems known as 'The Troubles' in Northern Ireland, which only marginally affected the Republic of Ireland and mainland Britain during that time.
After leaving primary school, he was educated at Shaftesbury House College, and then in the sixth form at Methodist College Belfast, before gaining admission to the Queen's University of Belfast. At university, he read Modern History and Irish Politics, and gained a BA (Hons) and MSSc respectively. After finishing his post-graduate studies, he worked for his father as a political researcher and parliamentary aide.
|This section requires expansion. (February 2008)|
In 1996, Paisley was elected to the Northern Ireland Forum for North Antrim. Then, in 1998 he was again returned for the constituency to the Northern Ireland Assembly. He is one of three DUP members who have taken their seats on the Northern Ireland Policing Board, and is also the party's justice spokesman and press officer.
Paisley successfully ran to succeed his father as the Westminster MP for North Antrim in the 2010 UK general election, winning 46.4% of the vote share. Upon his election as MP, he resigned his seat in the Northern Ireland Assembly.
Although there were rumors that Paisley, Jr. was positioning himself to become leader of his party, he denies any desire: "I've no ambition for that at all. I've never had any ambition to get anywhere beyond where I am today. Some people sought to put the knife in, in order to stop me, because they were concerned about me wanting to be leader. Well, they misjudged me completely."
Views on homosexuality
In 2005, Paisley came under some criticism for his vocal objections to same-sex marriages. Upon learning that David Trimble's aide, Steven King, had married his partner in Canada, Paisley was quoted as saying, "It is really astounding that David Trimble should have had a man such as this giving him advice – and must surely cast grave doubts on his own political judgement. I think these sorts of relationships are immoral, offensive and obnoxious."
Paisley caused further controversy in May 2007 when, in an interview with journalist Jason O'Toole in Hot Press magazine, he said that "I am pretty repulsed by gay and lesbianism. I think it is wrong. I think that those people harm themselves and – without caring about it – harm society. That doesn't mean to say that I hate them – I mean, I hate what they do." Dolores Kelly, the Social Democratic and Labour Party equality spokesman called on the Northern Ireland Assembly to censure Mr Paisley, saying "Ian Paisley is a junior minister in the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister, the department which is charged with promoting equality and bringing forward the Single Equality Bill. Vulnerable groups who are potential victims of discrimination should be able to look to him for help, not attack." However, the DUP denied that Paisley's comments were discriminatory.
In 2011, of his comments, Paisley said: “I think I have grown up since then. I have strong Christian beliefs and moral viewpoints, but you have to realise that while sin is black and white, life is a lot of grey." Although he cited growing up, he still strongly opposed homosexuality.
There was a series of public blunders and further controversy in February 2008 following scrutiny on the employment of family members by politicians after the Derek Conway scandal when it emerged that Paisley was on his father's payroll as a researcher in the constituency of North Antrim in addition to his roles as an MLA and a junior minister.
As a result of the controversy of February 2008, Paisley resigned his junior minister position on 18 February 2008.
Paisley had earlier been linked in press reports to local property developer Seymour Sweeney when, in 2007, Sweeney admitted that Paisley had lobbied on his behalf regarding plans for a private visitors' centre at Giant's Causeway. In an atmosphere of rumour Paisley strongly denied that he had any financial relationship with Sweeney, although he admitted that he had gone deep sea fishing with the developer socially. Paisley has continued in his strong commitment to the commercial development of the north Antrim coast and has strongly supported Alistair Hanna's successful Bushmills Dunes Golf Resort and Spa proposal, an 18-hole golf course and hotel complex at Runkerry, sited adjacent to the only UNESCO World Heritage site in Northern Ireland, the Giant's Causeway.
Dissident republican comments
- "The House I Grew Up In, featuring Paisley, Jr.". The House I Grew Up In. 20 August 2007. BBC Radio 4. http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/thehouseigrewupin/pip/y0w1a/.
- "Ian Paisley Jr: 'I've always been proud of dad – and proud to bear his name'". The Independent. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
- Belfast Telegraph, 31 January 2005.
- Paisley censured for homophobic comments RTE News, 3 February 2005.
- Row over 'repulsive gays' comment BBC News, 30 May 2007
- "Ian Paisley Jr says he has ‘grown up’ over anti-gay views". Pink News. 13 May 2011.
- Paisley Jr on father's MP payroll BBC News, 6 February 2008
- "Paisley Jnr resigns as minister". BBC News. 18 February 2008. Retrieved 14 June 2010.
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/7057673.stm, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/northern_ireland/7003339.stm
- "Paisley defends lethal force call". BBC News. 20 August 2008. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
- Ian Paisley Junior Official constituency site
- Democratic Unionist Party
- Electoral history and profile at The Guardian
- Voting record at Public Whip
- Record in Parliament at TheyWorkForYou
- Profile at Westminster Parliamentary Record
- Profile at BBC News Democracy Live
- Developer's DUP link 'no bearing', BBC News, 11 September 2007
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
Ian Paisley Sr
|Member of Parliament for North Antrim
|Northern Ireland Assembly|
|MLA for North Antrim
Last officeholder: James Leslie