Ian Paisley, Jr.

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The Honourable
Ian Paisley, Jr
MP
Ian Paisley, Jr..jpg
Junior Minister in the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister
In office
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
Incumbent
Assumed office
6 May 2010
Preceded by Ian Paisley
Majority 12,558 (29.6%)
Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly
for North Antrim
In office
25 June 1998 – 21 June 2010
Preceded by New creation
Succeeded by Paul Frew
Personal details
Born (1966-12-12) 12 December 1966 (age 48)
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Nationality British
Political party Democratic Unionist Party
Spouse(s) Fiona Paisley
Children 4
Alma mater Queen's University Belfast
Religion Free Presbyterian
Website Ian Paisley Junior

Ian Richard Kyle Paisley, Jr,[1] MP (born 12 December 1966) is the Member of Parliament (MP) for North Antrim, in office since 2010. Previously he was a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly for North Antrim from 1998 to 2010. Paisley, who is a member of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), is the son of the DUP's founder, Ian Paisley.

In 1990, he married Fiona, and they have four children. He is a member of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster.

Childhood[edit]

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 with his three elder sisters, Sharon, Rhonda and Cherith, and his twin brother, Kyle.[2] Being the younger of the twins, he was named after his father who was the younger of two brothers.[2] He regularly attended the Free Presbyterian Church where his father preached since he was a small child of 2 or 3 years.[2] 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 Britain during that time.[2]

Education[edit]

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.[2] 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.

Political career[edit]

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.[3] 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."[3]

Expenses[edit]

Paisley's expenses for the financial year 2012-13 were £232,000. Paisley explained that the costs covered travel and accommodation for himself and his constituency staff and none of the money benefited him.[4]

Controversy[edit]

Views on homosexuality[edit]

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."[5][6]

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."[7]

In 2011, Paisley said of his previous comments: “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."[8]

Political scandal[edit]

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.[9]

As a result of the controversy of February 2008, Paisley resigned his junior minister position on 18 February 2008.[10]

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.[11] 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.[12]

Dissident republican comments[edit]

Further controversy occurred in August 2008 when Paisley, speaking after a number of attacks on the Police Service of Northern Ireland, said that dissident republicans should be "shot on sight."[13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Ian Paisley Sr
Member of Parliament for North Antrim
2010–present
Incumbent
Northern Ireland Assembly
Preceded by
New creation
MLA for North Antrim
1998–2010
Succeeded by
Paul Frew
Political offices
Preceded by
Office suspended
Last officeholder: James Leslie
Junior Minister
2007–2008
Succeeded by
Jeffrey Donaldson