This week Mr Paisley posted a picture of himself alongside the Sri Lankan high commissioner, with the caption: “With Sri Lanka high commissioner to discuss NI-Sri Lanka trade deal after Brexit.”
Two days after the meeting in Parliament, Mr Paisley posted a picture of himself alongside Liam Fox, the International Trade Secretary, with whom he discussed “our trade agreements post Brexit”.
Mr Paisley initially declined to answer a series of questions about the Telegraph’s findings, including discussions he had with Mr Gunawardena about a potential oil deal.
But on Friday he said: “I can categorically state that I have never brokered any oil deal for this gentleman or anyone else.”
He also tweeted a statement from his lawyer saying: “My client totally denies the defamatory inferences arising from the article in today’s Daily Telegraph including those relating to his registration obligations as an MP. He has now referred this matter, and a full explanation, to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.”