Ian Paisley Jr.

The Honourable
Ian Paisley Jr.
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
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 Ian Richard Kyle Paisley Jr.
(1966-12-12) 12 December 1966
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.


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 of Ulster where his father preached since he was a small child.[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 the Troubles.[2]


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

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]


For the 2011-12 financial year, Paisley's total expenses claim was the seventh highest of all Members of Parliament.[4] His expenses for the 2012-13 financial year were £232,000; the highest of any MP that year. The costs covered travel and accommodation for Paisley himself and his constituency staff.[5] In an interview with the Ballymena Times newspaper, Paisley stated "None of this money goes to me as MP ... They are legitimate expenses signed off by IPSA and paid directly by the Parliament".[4] He had the second highest expenses claim in the 2013-14 financial year. For the 2014-15 financial year, he was once again the second highest claimant, receiving £227,000 in expenses.[6] During the 2010-2015 Parliament, Paisley claimed a total of £1,112,667 in expenses.[7]


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."[8][9]

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."[10]

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."[11]

Political scandal

Paisley had 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 the Giant's Causeway, the only UNESCO World Heritage Site in Northern Ireland. 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.[12]

Paisley had been involved in the commercial development of the north Antrim coast and strongly supported Alistair Hanna's controversial Bushmills Dunes Golf Resort and Spa proposal, an 18-hole golf course and hotel complex at Runkerry, adjacent to the Giant's Causeway.[13] There were 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.[14] As a result, Paisley resigned his junior minister position on 18 February 2008.[15]

Dissident republican comments

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."[16]

Animal rights

Paisley has been critical of animal rights in Northern Ireland. Following the trial of a 46-year-old man who allowed his pet dog to starve to death and avoided prison time, Paisley wrote a letter to the Attorney General for Northern Ireland in which he was critical of the outcome, remarking "To treat an animal like that is utterly atrocious and it has to be dealt with." [17]


  1. "Who's Who". ukwhoswho.com.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 "The House I Grew Up In, featuring Paisley Jr.". The House I Grew Up In. 20 August 2007. BBC Radio 4.
  3. 1 2 "Ian Paisley Jr: 'I've always been proud of dad – and proud to bear his name'". London: The Independent. 12 July 2010. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
  4. 1 2 Black, Rebecca (13 September 2013). "Ian Paisley defends having highest expenses claim by any MP". The Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  5. "DUP's Ian Paisley Jr had highest expenses claim". BBC News. 12 September 2013. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
  6. Monaghan, John (11 September 2015). "DUP MPs top UK parliamentary expenses table". The Irish News. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  7. McBride, Sam (11 April 2015). "Election Diary: NI's MPs cost £15.6m since last elected". The News Letter. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  8. Belfast Telegraph, 31 January 2005.
  9. Paisley censured for homophobic comments RTÉ News, 3 February 2005.
  10. Row over 'repulsive gays' comment BBC News, 30 May 2007
  11. "Ian Paisley Jr says he has 'grown up' over anti-gay views". Pink News. 13 May 2011.
  12. "Runkerry golf resort plan gets green light". BBC News. 21 February 2012.
  13. Paisley Jr on father's MP payroll BBC News, 6 February 2008
  14. "Paisley Jnr resigns as minister". BBC News. 18 February 2008. Retrieved 14 June 2010.
  15. "Paisley defends lethal force call". BBC News. 20 August 2008. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
  16. http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/mp-ian-paisley-slams-dog-cruelty-sentence-34794236.html
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Ian Paisley Sr
Member of Parliament for North Antrim
Northern Ireland Assembly
Preceded by
New creation
MLA for North Antrim
Succeeded by
Paul Frew
Political offices
Preceded by
Office suspended
Last officeholder: James Leslie
Junior Minister
Succeeded by
Jeffrey Donaldson
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