Robinson: “They have not laid a glove on me…”

“I have nothing to fear so I am not the least bit worried about it.” The defiant words of DUP leader Peter Robinson who continues to accuse the BBC of trying to smear him over alleged links to property developers. Mr Robinson who struck a conciliatory tone in a keynote address on Thursday on launching his party’s election campaign, snapped at the BBC’s Martina Purdy when she pushed him to say whether he had been questioned by the police.BBC’s Spotlight Programme levelled a number of accusations against the Robinsons over cheques received from two developers by an associate of Mrs Robinson. Resenting the line of questioning from Miss Purdy Mr Robinson barked, “Have you any other smearing questions to ask?”

So does the DUP leader believe he and Iris will ever shake off the national press sobriquet ‘Swish Family Robinson?’

“If the national press continue to use it, if they think it is a trendy thing to say then clearly you won’t but it is having no resonance with people. Our polls are showing my standing has gone up rather than down.

“There have been hundreds of journalists and reporters who have been digging around for months and they have not been able to lay a glove on me.

“All I have had are smears, insinuation and innuendo and if there had been anything I am sure it would be out there but they will continue to smear I have no doubt about that.”

In his address to the party faithful the DUP leader drew attention to his disappointment at the European Election result. Turning to the expenses scandal Mr Robinson added:

“It’s easier for me. I have the lowest expenses of the Northern Ireland MPs and I got a clear bill of health from Sir Thomas Legge after his five years audit of expenses. I think all politicians allowed the system to continue and they all carry the blame for that and we do need to apologise for allowing that to go on.”