Junior minister, parliamentary assistant, MLA..

The implications of case of the Conservative MP, Derek Conway, have been rippling through the Assembly and the BBC’s Mark Devenport has some of the parties’ declared lists of family members employed, although the UUP have stated that they are in the process of compiling theirs. According to Mark’s post

The DUP won’t confirm any family details sticking to a statement issued on Friday by their chief whip Lord Morrow which says they have to respect the confidentiality of their 100 plus staff in more than 40 offices.

Interestingly, the Belfast Telegraph’s David Gordon has already spotted one DUP family member employed by another – namely NI Executive Junior minister, Ian Paisley Jnr.

Assembly register of interests is published online. The current version is dated July 2007, although it does include declarations by some MLAs dating back to the previous year. A number of members have updated their entries since last July – including Mr Paisley Jnr, who listed trips to China and Switzerland made in August and September 2007. His declaration of payment from his father is believed to relate to the DUP leader’s work as north Antrim MP. The MLA is named as one of his father’s three-strong team of parliamentary research assistants and secretaries in a current official register of Commons pass-holders.

The register of interests is here. [Ian Paisley Jnr’s entry last updated 26th October 2007]. That would explain why he had been signing letters on behalf of Ian Paisley Snr, MP, then-MEP, MLA.. It’s not, of itself, evidence of anything more than someone with three hats to wear.. but the question of what expenses can be claimed for which hat might be interesting. Update As Malcolm suggests in the comments zone below, Turgon’s post from last week, and the comments there, are also worth noting.

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