Assembly report clears Peter Robinson over Spotlight

Well after a number of attempts the report from the Assembly Standards Commissioner has finally released the report into the BBC Spotlight programme into Iris Robinson in January 2010.

The report clears Peter Robinson of any wrong doing, whilst Iris Robinson has been found in “serious breach” of the Stormont code of conduct by failing to declare two payments.

Speaking about the reports publication the DUP’s Alastair Ross said;

The Committee takes allegations of breaches of the Assembly’s Code of Conduct very seriously. It was therefore in the public interest that an investigation was carried out in order to establish the full facts in relation to the allegations made.

“I am pleased that the Committee has unanimously agreed with the Commissioner’s conclusions and I would urge everyone to read the report carefully.

However, Alliance’s Anna Lo is still sceptical;

This report should have been published years ago. Serious damage has been done to public confidence in the political institutions by the length of time taken to publish this report. Part of the delay was caused by the legal challenges and requests by the Robinsons’ lawyer to remove certain aspects of the report. The Committee was legally obliged to delete parts of the report, some of which I opposed.

It is important in the interests of openness and transparency that this report was published. However, I do feel that the DUP dominated Committee was at times overly cautious in the deletion of some of the contents. I’m concerned that too much was deleted from the Commissioner’s report and what has been published does not do justice to his original report.

The Irish News has reported that Robinson is asking for a full apology from the BBC .

Link to the full report is here

David McCann holds a PhD in North-South relations from University of Ulster. You can follow him on twitter @dmcbfs