Irish Republican News · January 14, 2010
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
IRISH REPUBLICAN NEWS: Robinson’s future unclear
Robinson’s future unclear
peterrobinson.jpg

Castlereagh Borough Council has confirmed its plans to initiate its own investigation into the Iris Robinson affair.

Aside from the question of her extra-marital affair with a teenage youth, it was recently revealed she had lobbied property developers for cash to set up a business for her lover.

It has been confirmed that Mrs Robinson has resigned as an MP and it is understood her resignation has also been tendered at the Six-County Assembly.

Mrs Robinson has also resigned from the local authority where representatives now want to investigate the circumstances of how her boyfriend Kirk McCambley, aged 19 at the time of their relationship, was awarded the lease by the council for the local Lock Keepers Inn.

Mrs Robinson also failed to declare an interest in his application when the venture was discussed at council.

According to the BBC, she secured 50,000 pounds from two property developers to finance her lover’s new restaurant on the banks of the river Lagan, south Belfast, but failed to disclose her involvement.

A team of consultants is to be appointed by Castlereagh Borough Council to carry out an independent investigation into the awarding of the lease.

Councillors unanimously agreed to an “open and transparent” external investigation at a special meeting of the full council last night. However, the inquiry is not bound by any financial or time limits.

There is still uncertainty about Mr Robinson’s overall political future but his party, with the backing of former leader Ian Paisley and his wife Eileen, has provided him with a six-week window to rescue his career.

On Monday, most of the DUP parliamentary party gathered in the great hall of Parliament Buildings, Stormont, as deputy leader Nigel Dodds read out a short statement offering the party’s “unanimous” and “wholehearted” support to Mr Robinson.

This was just hours after acting First Minister Arlene Foster went on BBC radio to robustly defend Mr Robinson and challenge some DUP assembly members who had said off the record that there was “no hope” for his leadership to stop their “whispering”.

Mr Robinson said he was stepping aside for three purposes: to look after his wife Iris and his family; to rescue his reputation; and to try to resolve the stand-off with Sinn Fein over when policing and justice will be devolved to the Six-County Executive.

But rumour and speculation has continued over the true nature of the Robinsons’ relationship, as well as their millionaire lifestyle, which earned them the moniker ‘Swish family Robinson’.

Ulster Unionist leader Sir Reg Empey has dubbed Mr Robinson a “lame-duck” politician while SDLP leader Mark Durkan said Mr Robinson was severely politically weakened.

“Now he has seen reason to move it is hard to see how he can come back, and if he does he will certainly be diminished,” said Mr Durkan.

The DUP leader is understood to have rejoined his colleagues ahead of the political talks in Belfast this [Thursday] night.

© 2010 Irish Republican News