Paisley is sued by his daughter for sex bias after job snub

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The Independent Online

Ian Paisley's daughter is taking legal action against her father for sex discrimination after she failed to win a top job in his Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

Other senior members, including MPs and her brother Ian Jnr, have been named by Rhonda Paisley, who was turned down for the £20,000 post. She is taking the case to an industrial tribunal in Belfast.

A party spokesman said: "We are content with the person who did get the job. It's all in the hands of our lawyers and we are not going to be distracted by this from the bigger issues." The job in the policy and communications unit went to Dr Philip Weir, one of the party's councillors in Craigavon, Co Armagh.

The Office of Industrial Tribunals confirmed it had received notification of the case, but said the hearing was not likely to be scheduled until next year. The case has been taken against Alan Ewart, the party's chief executive, but also names Mr Paisley, the MP for North Antrim.

Ms Paisley, a former DUP councillor and former Lady Mayor of Belfast, is single and lives with her father and mother, Eileen. Shehas worked for her father as his assistant but stepped down when he ended his career at the European Parliament last year.

She was one of several candidates who applied to join the DUP's six-person unit, which deals with drafting responses to consultation documents and drawing up policy.

A senior party source said: "Everybody is amazed she is going ahead with this. It came completely out of the blue because she is very close to her parents, although it has not affected their relationship." Ms Paisley was unavailable for comment.