Sex, texts and cheques scandal: Wells breaks cover to defend Robbo…

JIM Wells is first to break cover and come out with an unequivocal and stout defence of Peter Robinson on Nolan’s 5 Live show earlier (starts about 1hr 5mins in).

There are people who do support Peter… My analysis of the facts, as they stand at the moment, would indicate to me that Peter Robinson, the First Minister of Northern Ireland, has done nothing wrong which would warrant his resignation or removal as First Minister and I will be supporting him to remain as First Minister and continue the good work he has done.

The thing is, we may almost be beyond the point of no return here – it no longer seems to be about whether Robinson has or hasn’t technically breached the ministerial code. What happens if Robbo is cleared and the governments rally behind him, but the drip-drip effect of more stories continues to erode public opinion and opponents take advantage, which is inevitable before an election? Do the DUP really want to fight an election with a lame duck leader whose private life and financial dealings dominate the agenda?

Robinson may find he is in the position Trimble once found himself in – a man good for the process, but toxic to his party.When Nolan put it to Wells that Sinn Fein will be wondering if Robinson’s capable of doing a deal now, the DUP man responded:

Peter Robinson is capable, there’s absolutely no doubt about that. He’s one of the most capable politicians ever to have graced the scene in either Northern Ireland or the United Kingdom (sic). He is continuing as First Minister and no doubt will take on the battle with Sinn Fein as he has been doing up to now. So I think you can rule that out.

But I think it is important that rather than allowing this feeding frenzy to continue by the media, that we accept that the facts as they stand at the moment indicate that he should not be leaving office at this stage – or in fact for many years – and he should be allowed to continue the work that he has been doing so well over this last 18 months.

There’s something deeply admirable about Jim doing this, though some will dismiss it as panglossian naiveté. Ten out of 10 to Jim for loyalty, but will others now follow?

  • cut the bull

    The biggest question in all of this is, who is there within the DUP to replace Peter as a potential leader?
    Could there be a return of Papa Doc?

  • willis

    I understood that Sammy Wilson had also given Robbo backing. I went to Queens with Jim, and have always found him to be decent and fair.

    The fair bit is important here. Things are happening fast and there is a real danger of throwing the baby out with the bathwater and cutting of a nose to spite a face (cliche alert!)

    We had our fun but it is a cold wet (thankfully) Monday morning and some serious responsibilities have to be faced up to.

  • “Sex, texts and cheques scandal: Wells breaks cover to defend Robbo”

    BG, I thought Wells was defending Peter, not Iris.

  • Peter and his colleagues/cohorts are pushing the Peter did no wrong line, which may or may not be true.

    As leader of the DUP and First Minister is there another charge that he did nothing right, and that is just not good enough whenever one is supposed to be a leader amongst equals. And amongst equals no one is indispensable or more valuable than another and if there are no other equals in the DUP, then does the DUP have a problem?

    Peter is effective in the DUP because all other are ineffective? Is that Arlene Foster’s argument.

  • fpveritas

    If Peter is the best they got

    The rest must be for the skip

  • iluvni

    Arlene Foster, on Nolan, blowing shite about Peter Robinson as a giant amongst Unionist politicans, the foremost thinker of his generation…begs the question why she didnt join the DUP in the first place.

  • Cynic2

    This is all nonsense. Irisgate has done immense damage shattered the image of the Leader and damaged the Party.

    Some allege he was a knave in not making declarations (although the proof is very sketchy at best). Others believe that for a couple who worked so closely together they were almost joined at the hip, if he didnt know what she was up to he should have known. Others are appalled at his public denunciation of a very sick woman and others see him as a fool who was cuckolded for so long.

    Whatever the view , its damaging. It makes the leadership look ridiculous. No party can stand that.

    The DUPs were already reeling from TUV attacks and I expect him to go today on some face saving formula to ‘care for his wife and sort out his private life’.

    You know you are in deep trouble when Woodward says you are indispensible

  • fpveritas

    Was the statement from Iris SIGNED by Iris

    If not ???????????????????????????????????

  • I also have a lot of time for Jim Wells (its a bird watcher thing) and it strikes me that he obviously cant become MP for South Down and he might be looking towards neighbouring Strangford. It might be a poisoned challenge right now but he seems to deserving of a crack at Westminster.
    Would Lagan Valleys Edwin Poots be interested?

    Wells and Poots might look on this as the ill wind that blows some good. Hard to see Jim Shannon or Michelle McIlveen getting the nod. But Jonothan Bell who was very ambitious and not publicity shy might fancy his chances too.
    If a DUP person is co-opted at Stormont, I think it would be Bell.

    Meanwhile David McNarry might also think that his career is looking up