A British parliamentary standards watchdog has been urged to re-investigate Ian Paisley after another series of claims about luxury foreign holidays.

Politicians from both sides of Northern Ireland's community divide urged the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards Kathryn Stone to examine the allegations levelled against the North Antrim MP.

His DUP party leader Arlene Foster acknowledged that "serious issues" had been raised in last night's BBC Spotlight programme about Mr Paisley's trips to the Maldives.

The programme claimed one of a number of undeclared luxury family holidays Mr Paisley reportedly took was paid for by a former minister in the Maldives government, while another trip had also been complimentary.

Mr Paisley was suspended from the House of Commons in 2018 for 30 days for "serious misconduct" for failing to declare two family holidays to Sri Lanka in 2013.

He survived the British parliament's first ever recall petition.

Mrs Foster said the fresh claims would be investigated by party officers.

"As you know Ian was suspended for 57 days last year by the party," she said.

"He is now back in the party under sanction and those sanctions still exist.

"But we will look at that and deal with those serious issues that have been raised by the Spotlight programme."

Sinn Féin MLA for North Antrim Philip McGuigan urged Ms Stone to investigate.

"Another tearful 'mea culpa' apology from Ian Paisley just isn't going to be enough," he said.

"These allegations are gravely serious and they need to be treated as such by the authorities and Ian Paisley's own party."

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood, who also referred the issue the commissioner, called on Mrs Foster to act.

"Ian Paisley should come forward now and clarify the circumstances of these holidays, who paid for them and on what basis," he said.

"If he does not, then it is for Arlene Foster to take action and to do so quickly."

Ulster Unionist leader Robin Swann said the programme had raised "serious allegations" which needed answers.

"There's no point in him hiding away until the heat dies down," he said.

"The continued foreign escapades of the Member of Parliament for North Antrim do nothing to enhance the reputation of the area."

Alliance chief whip Kellie Armstrong said: "If this behaviour is true and he is found to be guilty of it, Mr Paisley will have once again let down not only his constituents but also himself.

"If we are to regain the trust of the wider public in politics, there must be full openness and transparency from all."

TUV leader Jim Allister claimed Mr Paisley was damaging unionism.

"Such self-inflicted injury is not what we need or expect from a Unionist MP," he said.

Last December, BBC Spotlight raised queries over who paid for a luxury holiday the DUP MP and his family took to the Coco Bodu Hithi resort in the nation in 2016.

Mr Paisley said then that he paid for part of the holiday and the rest was paid for by a friend.

He did not reveal the identity of this friend, but added that the friend was unconnected with his work and has received no benefit as a result of his work.

Last night, a follow-up BBC Spotlight programme, Paisley In Paradise Revisited, reported that the friend was Dr Mohamed Shainee, who at the time of Mr Paisley's trip to Coco Bodu Hithi was the Maldives Fisheries and Agriculture Minister.

Dr Shainee told the programme he did not pay for the trip.

However the programme reported that in a statement, Sunland Hotels which owns the resort, told them: "In 2016, Mohamed Shainee requested Sunland Hotels co-owner Hussain Hilmy for a rate at one of the company's resorts ... Shainee settled the payment for Ian Paisley's stay at the head office."

BBC Spotlight also raised questions about other visits it reported that Mr Paisley made to the Maldives.