Iris is sacked by the DUP as Castlereagh initiates investigation…

She is also to step down as MLA and MP… There is still the unanswered question as to what is to happen at Castlereagh Borough Council… He cross party colleagues have initiated an inquiry to the whole affair… Interesting to note that Mrs Robinson’s ill judged business dealings appear to date from after Peter Robinson resigned his council seat to take on Ministerial duties…

  • The timing may have been skilfully delayed to avoid a very damaging Westminster by-election?

  • Mick Fealty

    You think it would be more damaging than the general election?

  • courageunderfire

    The DUP are going to get slaughtered in this general election .. I see this and the combined crisis in stormont bringing the whole lot down round their heads

  • Drumlins Rock

    finger crossed Peter fights it out,

  • Mick, the timing may be interesting to note, but Peter leaving the council didn’t leave Iris on her own.

    Their son Gareth Robinson (who is a parliamentary assistant to his father) was elected as a councillor in the same Castlereagh East district as his mother in 2005. http://www.ark.ac.uk/elections/lgcastlereagh.htm

  • Comrade Stalin

    The recent history is strange. Some of the most recent bye-elections have seen a gap of 4-5 months between the seat being vacated and the election. Others, apparently during the summer months, have a delay of about 1 month. It would be interesting to hear what the rules are.

  • Mick,

    The longer any election is delayed the better for the DUP, a bad result BEFORE the general election will not only spread fear throughout the DUP camp and damage morale it will do exactly the opposite in the TUV camp.

    Drumlins Rock,

    that would be my preferred outcome BUT when you factor in the damage that can be done to the DUP if he stays, and stays badly wounded, then the ‘honourable’ thing for him may well be to go as leader, hopefully clear his name and retain his Westminster seat. He has served the party well.

  • Mrazik

    Their son Gareth Robinson (who is a parliamentary assistant to his father) was elected as a councillor in the same Castlereagh East district as his mother in 2005. http://www.ark.ac.uk/elections/lgcastlereagh.htm

    Posted by Alan in Belfast on Jan 09, 2010 @ 03:02 PM

    Was said Mr Robinson at this now infamous council meeting as well?

  • …and a by-election obviously favours a much smaller party like the TUV.

  • Mick Fealty

    That’s a question well worth asking, and getting an authoritative answer to. I put in a request to the council for a whole range of information, but I’ve yet to receive anything back.

  • Dewi

    That was quick – expelled from the party no less…and Peter gets a week to put his case..due process for a sick woman?

  • Mick – don’t hold your breath with Castlereagh council’s reply. I’m about to blog about what I held off saying back in October, but the standard of their FOI is abysmal – a word I feel I can truly stand over!

  • granni trixie

    Generally I believe that it is unfair if a husband or wife has to bear the brunt of a partner’s wrongdoing. In this particular case, PR has to pay a severe price because it compromises him as First Minister and leader of the DUP. I do not see why he should have to resign as an ‘ordinary’ politican – this would be dispoportionate…he could rebuild his career if not his marriage.

    Although having said that – I always thought it would have been appropriate for him as leader of the DUP to make some statement distancing the DUP from his wife’s utterances on homosexuality. I surmised that not doing so was a strategic move to keep the Paisley vote on board. Now I don’t know what to think…how does the homophibic phase of Irisgate fit in the time frame?

    Amazing how new facts and angles emerge every day in this story,going beyond that of the usual sordid affaire kind.

  • The Raven

    Alan, if their FOI process is anything as bad as trying to get feedback on why someone who was imminently qualified for a position wasn’t shortlisted, I won’t be surprised in the least. Do it, man!

  • Mick Fealty

    Alan, I think we can guarantee they are going to get some well deserved heat on that over the next few months or so… Something I will follow with considerable interest…

  • belfast greyhound

    There is one small cloud the size a a man’s fist on this horizon of decisiveness for the DUP.
    They can throw her out of the Party and dance around her political corpse BUT she will only be a corpse when SHE decides to leave all her offices.
    They cannot throw her out of any of the political offices she holds and nothing in what she has done in the length of her political life would suggest that she is likely to fall on her financial sword over this.
    She knows all she has to do is hang on in there and will walk away with a pension and cash after the next election.
    Worse, either she is so ill that she is unable to speak to anyone and would therefore be unable to make a rational decision about her future so only someone acting in her name could make any decisions for her, or she is just having us on.
    I’m sorry there are too many ‘unknowables’ about this whole business.
    Did she make a credible and real attempt to commit suicide nor didn’t she?
    [Sorry BG, I appreciate your point, but a bit too much detail there – mods]
    As I said in previous posts the money is what to follow and Peter needs to show that his actions were not involved in any way in this.

  • wild turkey

    if their FOI process is anything as bad as trying to get feedback on why someone who was imminently qualified for a position wasn’t shortlisted, I won’t be surprised in the least.

    Raven there is always industrial tribunal if there thought to be an instance of discrimination based on religion, political belief, gender, disability or sexual orientation.

    i’ve similar tales about c’reagh from others regarding recuitment and selection processes… but then again it appears C’reagh can reach a decision with due alacrity when there is only one viable candidate for a post and/or contract.

    having been down the tribunal route myself, it is soul destroying and weighted heavily in favour of the employer, but that is just my experience and opinion.

  • Wouldn’t it be more intelligent of the DUP to keep her within the fold? Inside the tent pissing out, as it were? Someone who loses her jobs, is kicked out of her party, blamed for everything in public by her husband and who still faces the possibility of divorce might decide to come out fighting once they have regained some energy.

  • This scathing post on the Sky News website …http://tinyurl.com/DearIris-Peter ….is hard to ignore and dismiss as being wrong and unfair, for what would happen to you in similar circumstances, elsewhere? And whenever you have the likes of this rampant and rabid and accepted …….. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6974024.ece …. do you condone and cordially invite fascism and anarchy in through the front door to trash the house and destroy parties.

    [quote][b] Iris is a hippocrite, a trait found in a lot of ‘extreme’ christians. I wonder did the same psychiatrist that advised them that homosexuality was a mental illness, also advise them that depression (which Iris suggested changed her personality) could be used to explain the sheer outright corruption. Legal proceedings should be started and a prison sentence would be appropriate. If her mental state of mind is to save her from prison, then should we let th 40% of prisoners already convicted out, as they meet the criteria for a personality disorder(proven by ‘genuine’ psychological research). Iris is guilty, Peter by association and failure to disclose information. Both should be stripped off all public positions, sentenced by law, and stripped of any assets that are related to corrupt practices with building contracters.

    If Joe Bloggs ‘extorted’ money he would go to prison. Why should the Robinsons not?

    Posted By :Seamus [/b][/quote]

  • Kevsterino

    The DUP website is looking rather cobwebbed at the moment. This is a snippet from Ms. Robinson’s MP profile:

    “Iris is well known for her total and absolute commitment to her constituents. She makes herself available day and night”

  • Comrade Stalin

    Belfast Greyhound:

    They cannot throw her out of any of the political offices she holds and nothing in what she has done in the length of her political life would suggest that she is likely to fall on her financial sword over this.

    Not entirely true. Jim Allister did point out that the DUP MLAs were all made to provide resignation letters, presumably so that Robinson could “resign” any of those causing trouble and replace them. It’s straightforward to put her out of the assembly.

  • Just as a matter of general interest and information, it is my understanding that in Holland is it not allowed for family members be in politics together at the same time, and I suppose for all the very good reasons that we are now witnessing, for it does allow for and perversely tempt one to imagine a family dynasty to take over from the business of an excellence of delivery of Public Service at the People’s Pleasure.

    Done well, and this is the Enigmatic Paradox, is Politics a Lovely Dirty Game which takes No Prisoners to Win ……. which is why so Many are Born Losers at it and why it is best left to IT and Media Experts too, who would Control Distribution of their Views too?

    Or would you like to disagree and deny that Media shapes your View of the World and now Edutains you Subliminally …….. hence Special Intelligence Server Interest in All Matters?

  • Under a Resolution of the House of Commons on 2 March 1624, Members of Parliament cannot directly resign their seat.

    Death, disqualification and expulsion are the only means by which a Member’s seat may be vacated during the lifetime of a Parliament. Therefore a Member wishing to resign has to go through the process of applying for a paid office of the Crown, which automatically disqualifies the Member from holding a seat in the House of Commons. There are two such offices: Crown
    Steward and Bailiff of the Chiltern Hundreds and of the Manor of Northstead.

  • brendan

    The former head of Castlereagh council is the current head of the Policing Board. Might the tehtacles of this affair reach Clarendon Dock?

    Not to say of course that any wrongdoing regarding tendering process lies with him.

  • belfast greyhound

    Comrade Stalin
    I take on board all you say but even if that it is true for Stormont it cannot apply to Westminster where the arcane rules are different.
    She will sit and sit and sit for the money – after all her love of money has been the root of her downfall.
    We live in interesting times.
    Just what are the rules really governing getting rid of people from positions they have been elected to?
    As UUP Reg said you could not make this up and the the fall out is entirely unpredictable except in one way – the DUP with its ‘political flippers’ will suffer enormously at the polls when the election comes.

  • Sammy Morse

    It would be interesting to hear what the rules are.

    There aren’t many. It’s up to the defending party to move the writ and, at this stage, there’s no reason why they need to move it before General Election polling day and face humiliation at the polls to elect an MP for probably about two months by the time the by-election is held.

    I always thought it would have been appropriate for him as leader of the DUP to make some statement distancing the DUP from his wife’s utterances on homosexuality.

    Why? It’s only what he and most of the DUPpers think anyway.

  • iluvni

    24.The former head of Castlereagh council is the current head of the Policing Board. Might the tehtacles of this affair reach Clarendon Dock?

    Not to say of course that any wrongdoing regarding tendering process lies with him.

    Posted by brendan on Jan 09, 2010 @ 07:56 PM

    Oh thats a good one. Jesus, the shock of all this weeks stuff would be enough to give anyone a dodgy ticker…

  • Dewi

    “It’s up to the defending party to move the writ”

    Only by convention – any MP can move the writ – Plaid Cymru did for the Hunger Strike by-elections in FST.

  • Sammy Morse

    Only by convention – any MP can move the writ – Plaid Cymru did for the Hunger Strike by-elections in FST.

    …because the defending party didn’t have any remaining MPs to move the writ.

    I wonder who would move the writ if an SF MP died in harness?

  • Dewi

    We are of course both wrong Sammy – we are thinking of death. Resignation (or being nominated to the Stewardship of the Chiltern Hundreds…) is a different matter. There’s something in the back of my mind that says that there is a timetable set from when nomination is sought…not sure though.

  • Dewi

    That’s nonsense from me. After resignation a writ still needs to be raised.