DUP politician Paul Berry has reportedly enlisted Madden and Finucane solicitors to represent him at a disciplinary hearing with party chiefs.

The law firm, one of the biggest in the north, boasts a large client list which includes a number of well-known republicans.

Mr Berry, assembly member for Newry and Armagh, has been at the centre of controversy over his private life. He was suspended by the DUP in July over claims two months earlier in The Sunday World newspaper that he met a male masseur in a south Belfast hotel.

The masseur claimed a sexual encounter had taken place but this has been denied by Mr Berry, who is married.

In a separate development yesterday, the gay man, referred to as ‘Gary’ told The Sunday World he would be willing to tell DUP leader Ian Paisley all about his encounter with Mr Berry.

“If they want to meet me I have no problem with that,” he said.

“I will sit down and tell Mr Paisley and the rest of the party exactly what happened in the hotel room.

“They will have to guarantee that I can remain anonymous because I have to protect my family. But I have no problem giving evidence. It’s time they heard the truth about what happened.”

Neither Madden and Finucane solicitors nor Mr Berry could be contacted for comment last night. But Mr Berry is reported to have hired the firm because he be-lieved they were experts in their field and because they were recommended to him.

Despite the allegations which surfaced just days before May’s elections, Mr Berry still received the highest poll for a unionist candidate in Newry and Armagh in the Westminster election and also retained his seat on Armagh council in the local government elections.