Thursday, 7 January 2010

NI First Minister Knew of Wife's Dodgy Dealings #IrisRobinson

Tonight in BBC NI Spotlight are looking at the Robinson families sway over Castlereagh Borough Council. Slugger O'Toole has a live blog which you can review of the events as they unfolded between the Tweeters and the participants.

Between them Peter and Iris have both served on the council, there are a number of public buildings in the area the last one of which I was in was the Dundonald Ice Bowl. Peter served from 1977-2007, Alderman Iris since 1989.

There is one other important building in Castlereagh Borough Council. It sits on a hill. It is the seat if the Northern Irish Assembly. It may for not very much longer the office of Peter Robinson First Minister. Apparently Mrs Robinson took £50,000 from two property developers and the money was given to the 19 year old man with whom she had an affair. She also failed to declare her interest.

In Christmas 2008 while the two were in holiday in Florida. There were plans afoot for the young man to pay the money back. Iris was planning to keep some to pay her debts, and the rest to go to Metroplitan Tabernacle Church. However, Peter stepped in to say it should go back to the people it was taken from. He apparently didn't know that the 19-year-old at that time was her lover as well as implicating his wife, fellow MP, MLA and councillor on his old stumping ground. That revelation came 3 months later.

Considering that both Henry McLeish and David McLetchie had to resign as First Minister and Leader of the Scottish Tories for far less transgressions than this surely Peter Robinson's days are numbered. Even if he wasn't directly involved his lack of disclosure tarnishes him, and his statement last night was not that of a broken man, but a worried man. Worried about what was still to come.

The DUP under the reigns of Big Ian were always seen as the protector of Northern Ireland from the loose morals of the world. Now the world knows what some of the rest of us have known that there is corruption within the DUP and it is worse at times that even the worse excesses of the MPs from the rest of the UK. Why else keep up your seat(s) on council for election cycles long after being elected to other higher offices.

The DUP can no longer look down on everyone with a sanctimonious air.

Oh BTW there was also the naming of the young man whom Iris had an affair with.

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