Gregory Campbell: Peter has a week to clear his name…

ACCORDING to Gregory Campbell on Stephen Nolan’s Radio 5 Live show, Peter Robinson has a week to clear his name. Campbell, who didn’t actually attend tonight’s meeting of DUP officers, refused to give his unequivocal backing to Robinson, adding that the DUP leader’s neck was on the line.

Meanwhile, names are being mentioned about who might take over if Robinson resigns. Deputy Dodds appears uninterested, which leaves figures like Arlene Foster and Sammy Wilson in the frame, although whether an ex-UUPer or a politician so lacking in gravitas would be given the post is another question. This may also be something other parties like Sinn Fein, as well as the two governments, are considering – is Robbo still the least worst option for political progress? Mick doesn’t buy it, but there was a ‘Save Dave’ campaign for Trimble before his position became completely untenable. Could we end up with Keep Pete? And what happens if Robinson stays beyond next week, but public opinion remains hostile in the run-up to the general election? How fast can a man move in a grey suit?

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  • Mick Fealty

    It’s actually profoundly unhealthy to keep unsupported leaders in power. Beisdes, the Uk and Irish Governments no longer have the time nor money nor energy for this kind of silly games.

  • Mark McGregor

    gonzo, if that is the worst the herdmaster of the unruly 12 can do expect both survival and transfer soon

  • Mick Fealty

    Stage one of a leadership bid?

  • Pete Baker

    Gonzo

    Despite the BBC’s headline, the actual quotes suggest less of a ‘deadline’ and more room to manoeuvre

    The East Londonderry MP said: “I think Peter Robinson has the confidence of his party – that is the position and has been the position.

    “But he himself has said that he wants to put his own credibility on the line in the manner in which he has done by setting up this investigation which in some respects is a very brave thing to do.”

    He added: “Peter himself has asked for a week to resolve those issues, respond to them and refute them.

    “I think we should allow him that week and hopefully we then move on in a week’s time.”

  • Belfast Gonzo

    The party will, if it has any sense, shut up now for a week before judgment is passed. But this probe really needs to be open and transparent – if Robbo is cleared, it’s not just the DUP who need to know how and why.

  • Henry94

    If Dodds isn’t interested then they are stuck with Robinson. They don’t have any other serious options. With the TUV on the scene pro-agreement unionists need to ask if they can afford the luxury of two parties.

  • Scaramoosh

    After panorama on Monday, the end is nigh. there is no logical successor to Robinson; not least as the DUP was essentially Pailey’s party, and Robinson was able to carry the party and the electorate as paisley’s right hand man.

    When Robinson does go, there is nobody left who will be politically capable of cutting the deal with Sinn Fein.

    Onwards to the election, and there are certain to be defections to TUV (both amongst the electorate and DUP Members). This will be to Sinn Fein’s gain. In the longer term Unionism will have to realign in the centre ground.

  • Stephen Blacker

    Gregory Campbell’s views do not surprise me. He has never been happy with the deal Paisley did with SF. He would be one of the so called “12 angry men” and I think he would have been happier in the TUV.

    I am sorry to say but i think Peter Robinson has been holed below the waterline. It is probably the worst time in our Peace Process that this could have happened and i fear for Stormont.

    It is very difficult to pick out a new leader that is strong enough to cope with the challenges of leading Unionism in a positive manner, but if Peter is unable to continue i will put my money on Arlene Foster.

  • ranger1640

    If Robinson does not go the DUP are history.

    Post Robinson the DUP will need to get back to canvassing hard in the working class Unionist areas to selvage their vote and in the middle class areas they are toast.

    The UUP and TUV will have a golden chance to make head room. My prefered option is for the post Robinson DUP and UUP to become a single Unionist party, but I can’t see it.

    Strange that a few quid and the subsequent attempt to pay the money back will take the head of the FM. yet a paedophile scandal and cover up leaves another party leader relativity untarnished???

    Strange wee world Northern Irish politics!!!

  • Paul

    at least he is acting in an hounrable way and has said he will go if thats whats happens then so be its more than can be said of Gerry Adams appalling antics and hes still in his position who quite frankly is not worth the time of day by anyone.I am gobsmacked that the media have being so WEAK in relation to gerry adams and the sinners pathatic.

  • Mark McGregor

    ‘think’ and ‘but’ are where that statement is at. it is equivocal, trust is gone

  • cut the bull

    it could be a leadership race between Arlene and Gregory,with her constantly looking over her shoulder after she wins.

  • cut the bull

    or with the mood thats in it at the moment Gregory being victorious and every body hoping he damages some things and does’nt wreck every thing.

  • SF is an entirely different kettle of fish than the DUP. There is no one within SF willing to challenge Gerry, but there are plenty in the DUP willing to challenge Robbo.
    Of course both should go, but I’ve a feeling Gerry has got lucky and the Robbo affair, and the other scandals which have yet to come to light, will take the heat off him.

  • JD

    “Onwards to the election, and there are certain to be defections to TUV (both amongst the electorate and DUP Members). This will be to Sinn Fein’s gain. In the longer term Unionism will have to realign in the centre ground. ”

    A real “post Paisley” party. That will take time. However with the TUV capturing the far right anti-everything constituecy, the two Unionist Parties will need to move together to stop a Sinn Fein first Minister.

    How is Dave Cameron going to help them with that?

  • percy

    c’mon arlene– go with that song

  • percy

    the other possibility, which slugger has missed,due to a big news week, is that David Vance has joined TUV;
    Now a big name like that could conceivabley lead the TUV to victory, and we’d have him as First Minister…
    I do concede the caveat that this might be the beer talking though !

  • Pigeon Toes

    ” But this probe really needs to be open and transparent ”

    There’s a novel thought.

  • Henry94

    Double Standards

    There is no one within SF willing to challenge Gerry

    I’m sure there are people in Sinn Fein who think about the end of the Adams era but there is nobody willing to see him brought down by a scandal. He deserves better than that in the opinion of party members and supporters I would say.

  • cut the bull

    If Sammy Wilson is even considered as a candidate for the leadership of the DUP. Then the party has committed suicide.

  • LukeCass

    lol ” Sammy Wilson “

  • Driftwood

    Anecdotal, but the general feeling among (non-voting) ‘pro-union’ people is nonchalance and indifference.
    The (Conservative) and UUP vote will remain as it is because of inertia. The TUV will fight it out with the DUP for the hardliners. At Westminster, this will matter little, because the Tory/UUP voters are indifferent. Maybe Stranngford, South Antrim, Upper Bann etc if Sir Reg can mount an effective campaign, but inertia favours the incumbent.
    So it goes..

  • Pigeon Toes

    If our representatives (elected or otherwise) were “open and transparent” there would be no need to have similar probes of their affairs.

    After all their jobs rely on them complying with various codes of conduct, not to mention their legal obligations.

  • JD

    “at least he is acting in an hounrable way and has said he will go if thats whats happens then so be its more than can be said of Gerry Adams appalling antics and hes still in his position who quite frankly is not worth the time of day by anyone.”

    If SF & Gerry want to behave like the Catholic Church and the Bishops they’ll get their answer.

    Go into a Catholic Church during mass nowadays and look at the empty pews.

    That’s the fate that awaits Sinn Fein.

  • cut the bull

    so there could well a new victowious unionist pawty after a hard and at times stiffly fawt ewection.

  • TAFKABO

    I think that Cameron’s people are playing closer attention to this whole deal than perhaps people realise.
    There’s every possibility that the Tories will be relying on Unionist votes after the next election. It’s not in his interests to see potential Unionist MPs losing their seats to Sinn Fein, due to a split unionist vote.
    The whole thing is nothing if not interesting.

  • danielmoran

    MSG 8 Stephen Blacker. I would say that it’s a bad sign for the DUP if Gregory Campbell is now the definitive arbiter of the party’s fortunes. The man is an outright bigot, self publicist and all round embarassment to his party’s top brass.
    therefore, I’d love to see Greg take over from Robbo. The sooner this bunch of neanderthals is back to their pre 1999 status as a small rump party, the better for the Unionist community. and I’m a fellow Derryman, with his unholiness, Greg. and a nationalist.

  • Sammy Morse

    There’s every possibility that the Tories will be relying on Unionist votes after the next election. It’s not in his interests to see potential Unionist MPs losing their seats to Sinn Fein, due to a split unionist vote.

    If he does a deal with the DUP over FST and South Belfast, his relationship with both the SDLP and SF will be poisonous. Not a great position to be in for a Direct Rule PM.

  • iluvni

    Is Bob McCartney still alive?
    He’s very intelligent you know. Maybe he could come back.

  • cut the bull

    Cedric Wilson could make a come back qnd stand as the DU Me candidate in any future assembly election.

  • brendan

    ‘After panorama on Monday, the end is nigh’

    Am I missing something here, or should that read, after Spotlight on Thursday?

  • JD

    “The sooner this bunch of neanderthals is back to their pre 1999 status as a small rump party, the better for the Unionist community.”

    The TUV will be that party – they can win over a sizable part of that pre 1999 DUP constituency and then… – they are stuck.

    “If he does a deal with the DUP over FST and South Belfast, his relationship with both the SDLP and SF will be poisonous. Not a great position to be in for a Direct Rule PM. ”

    In addition to this an abstentionist SF MP in Fermanagh/Sth Tyrone is not going to vote against the Tories in the Commons – a DUP one might.

    The more split and weaker the DUP are at the election they more chance Dave Cameron can pick up a few seats in NI.

  • Driftwood

    iluvni
    Bob McCartney was (no longer is, unfortunately) a Premiership player who got involved with the GM Vauxhall paint trophy league. Wisely decided that amateur league wasn’t his style, and left the field of play to the Proles.
    And now we have what we have.
    A dysfunctional Camberwick Green.
    But bringing in the (intellectual) cavalry is no longer an option. David Cameron notwithstanding.
    We have to survive on Spam.

  • Alias

    Peter Robinson is easily the sharpest political operator in Stormont. I can’t see the DUP voting to get rid of the man who is most responsible for that party’s finesse as an election machine, not to mention revealing the Shinners to be bunch of dumb goons in suits as opposed to the savvy negotiators they that the UUP’s ineptitude made them look like.

    Peter Robinson will be exonerated by the officials that he has asked to investigate his conduct because there is no ‘duty to report’ (whistleblowers charter) in any of the codes of conduct regulating public life, so he cannot be held to be in breach of a duty that he did not possess.

    He can then point to that official exoneration of his conduct, and say that he intends to get down to the business of state, calling for an end to ‘libellous’ comment about that conduct.

    So he is legally in the clear, but may not be politically in the clear in regard to Iris. He might be better to release a statement claiming that they intend to separate. That gets her out of his hair, and won’t then worry DUPers that images of the two together could damage the party. He doesn’t actually have to separate if that is not his intention, but it would certainly be helpful to him if he did.

    However, even if he did not, I think his worth to the party outweighs his ‘baggage’ and as long as the party makes the same calculation…

  • If Robinson stays the DUP will definitely lose North Antrim to the TUV. East Belfast will be Empey’s if he decides to stand and Strangford will go the UU/C.
    South Antrim, East Antrim, East Derry and Upper Bann will also be up for grabs with the three-way split.
    If Robinson stays on the DUP will lose seats, and they can forget about North Down. If he is replaced the losses will not be as big.

  • Driftwood

    Alias
    But he ‘loves’ Iris, and stands buy her. God told him so.
    Party politics is not in the equation when his love for her is so strong.
    It’s all in the bible apparently.
    I’m not sure which gospel , but if they stay together he wins East Belfast.
    Deutoronomey 22: 22 or something like that.
    Unsure about what the good book says about Strangford. Check out Revelations.

  • The Raven

    Perhaps the Book of Jonah might be more relevant…

  • LukeCass

    The bible? What a load of shit.

  • Banjaxed

    Gregory for leader? Gregory? *THAT* Gregory?

    Jeeziz Kriyst, even if I were Gregory I wouldn’t vote for me!

  • wje

    “It’s our first big political scandal. And it will not be the last. There’s another parked conveniently in the wings for Robinson’s erstwhile rivals Sinn Fein.”

    Which one is that, Mick? Give us a clue.

  • Ulick

    “the other possibility, which slugger has missed,due to a big news week, is that David Vance has joined TUV;
    Now a big name like that could conceivabley lead the TUV to victory, and we’d have him as First Minister…£

    Hehe… I’m finding it difficult to express how funny I find that suggestion. The only thing that compares is a dumb arse like G Campbell thinking he could be Robinson’s successor. Neither Vance or Campbell would last five metaphorical minutes.

  • Ulick

    Alias,

    Peter is toast.

    Sorry,

    Ulick

  • [b] A Little Something XXXXTra for AIdDirty Weekend in the Rotten Whether, Sir? [/b]

    So … we have the typical pathetic political ploy of the plundering and blundering puppet, a bought for third party opinion from an eminent in another totally different field, for a friendly voice to try and calm the clamour and brow beat the masses and profess an informed opinion in a world of informed opinions which smell a rat in a barrel of rotten apples. The First Minister, and supposed glorious leader of the nation, is going to be told whether he was a good boy and knows how to do his job and how to follow the rules and regulations of the Government Game*. Although probably the idea is, that the baying mob be so advised so that dodgy business as usual can continue.

    Brilliant, that is just the sort of First Minister and political party material the province needs to lead it to Nowhere and Chaotic Anarchy in a Hurry.

    Will somebody please advise the Buffoons on the Hill, that Better than the Past is Needed. It does make one wonder though, and realise too of course with a cabal at the top in control of billions, and earning millions on account to be directed as they see fit, why they always hang on for dear life and never ever do honourable things.

    Politics …. a most dishonourable, well, some would even think it a profession for butchers and bakers and candlestick makers which tells y’all about the less than stellar skill sets of all playing ITs Games.

    And with Broad Bands of IT and All these New and Real and Virtually SurReal HyperRadioProActive InterNetworking Communications Channels with CyberIntelAIgent Pioneers and Informative Blogs making Access to News and Views and Intelligence so Easy, is it a Great Game for All to Play, and Everyone has their own particular part to play. No part is too great or too small; no one is too old or too young to do something.

    And the Part you Play is the Part you Create Yourself for the System to Pay, for the System is So Designed for Everyone to Pay for Play, ergo must the System Pay whatever is asked of it, with those in Charge of IT leading the Way into the Future Unknown.

    Welcome to the Cinderella RockerFeller Program in HyperRadioProActive IT Hosting of NIRobotIQs ….. and a Colossal AIGem of an Emerald Isle Jewel of a Titanic Civil CyberSpace Project, Loughside?

    And now you know who and what you are dealing with? Would any care to make/take an intelligent guess for an officious and/or official comment of boldy going acknowledgement of spectacular progress in Novel Fields or a preposterous indignant pontification, pimping and pumping it’s Private and Pirate with an Unconvincingly Unambiguous Plausible Deniability. Go on, Live a Little before you Die and Fade Away. Take a Walk and a Talk on the Wwwild Side of Life with the Sides that Control You.

    * The Golden Rule for Power Control and Regulation #1 ….. There are no Rules and Regulations so whenever under Sustained Penetrative Offensive Attack always invoke an Additional Independent Diversionary Folly of Peer Review of Rules and Regulations.

  • Danny O’Connor

    luke cass
    that is a very offensive statement,and if you believe it in your heart – you’ll not be in hell 5 seconds before you realise that you are wrong,If in your terms,you believe and are wrong – you lose ,if you are right you lose nothing,why not believe -it is a no lose situation,but if you are a gambler and you are certain beyond doubt, continue on with your beliefs,but the world is full of gamblers who lost the heap.

  • Keithbelfast

    I would love to see a Frost/Nixon style debate between John O’Connell and amanfromMars.

  • Cynic2

    “Anecdotal, but the general feeling among (non-voting) ‘pro-union’ people is nonchalance and indifference.”

    I disagree. From my soundings the religious right are appalled and believe they cannot vote for him. The moderates (especially women) feel this treatment of her (especially on the night of the ‘suicide attempt’ ) was appalling. If it was a serious attempt, why did she not need immediate medical attention. And he now says that she didnt need an ambulance but as soon as the GP arrived in the morning he summoned one – possible to Section her? It just doesnt add up and female voters see his performance in the Assembly that day within hours of her attempt as simply appalling.

    He’s now a major liability for core DUP voters. The Party Officers need to realise that before the contagion spreads

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    reply to

    Cynic2(post 21)

    I would agree with your post.

  • Panic, these ones like it up em.

    Iluvni said

    “4.Is Bob McCartney still alive?
    He’s very intelligent you know. Maybe he could come back.”

    It intrigues me that people think intelligent people make good politicians.

    Why would an inteligent person want to or even believe that they can influence or persuade the rest of us dumb asses (myself included) to do the right thing.

    Masses of dumb asses are hard to deal with.

    Thats my inteligent thought for today. I am off to sort the ice inconveience with my salt seller.

  • Danny O’Connor,

    As much as I enjoy your drunken 6am posts, Pascal’s wager has been entirely discredited, notably by Bertrand Russell, who asked how we could know that a God who endowed us with the faculty of reason would prefer us to abandon it in favour of blind faith. It is now considered a comfort blanket for believers and of no persuasive value at all. What if you have the wrong God? How do I choose the right one – the one threatening the most wicked damnation?

    More on topic, I hope we’re spared Campbell as I doubt the peace process would survive him. Is he related to Ken Campbell, donor to Iris/McCambley?

  • Comrade Stalin

    Sammy,

    “If he does a deal with the DUP over FST and South Belfast, his relationship with both the SDLP and SF will be poisonous. Not a great position to be in for a Direct Rule PM. “

    Bear in mind, though, that Cameron is presumably being advised by the same people who thought it would be a good idea to have a tie-up with the UUP. The precedent for doing stupid and potentially destructive things is already there.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Danny,

    The bible is indeed a load of old shit. And when the time comes and you realize that you’ve wasted your life worshipping an imaginary friend in the sky, you’ll be annoyed.

  • Sammy Morse

    Bob McCartney was (no longer is, unfortunately) a Premiership player who got involved with the GM Vauxhall paint trophy league. Wisely decided that amateur league wasn’t his style, and left the field of play to the Proles.

    Driftwood,

    you are Bob McCartney and I claim my £5!

  • danielmoran

    brendan MSG 6 I’m not sure if the ‘Panorama’ slot is only a convenient way of showing the spotlight doc. as seen on Thursday only in NI, to viewers in Britain, or a seperate production, by the Panorama team.

  • gmacor

    In the present circumstances he should agree to the devolvement of Police and Justice next week.
    This will put it up to the angry men in the party and the TUV who are not going away either.
    It will also help to set the agenda on his terms and give him the much needed space to recover his political position.
    It will also wrong foot Sinn Fein who are drooling at the possibility of taking the First Ministers post.
    If he remains politically paralysed then as sure as night follows day they will get him, just as the dissidents in the English Labour party will get Mr. Brown.
    I am not a DUP supporter nor am I a nationalist however I do admire his political skills and I am grateful for the political risks he has taken this far. I wish him well professionally and personally.