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Iris Robinson gets psychiatric care

Published 10/01/2010

No golden goodbye payment for Iris Robinson, it has emerged
No golden goodbye payment for Iris Robinson, it has emerged
Iris Robinson, pictured with her husband and Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson
Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson leaves DUP headquarters in east Belfast last night
Kirk McCambley was aged 19 when he had an affair with Iris Robinson
Iris and Peter Robinson pictured on their wedding day
Newly elected DUP MP Peter Robinson and his wife Iris. 4/5/1979
Peter Robinson shares a kiss with wife Iris in the First Minister's office at Stormont
Iris and Peter Robinson
Iris Robinson has said she tried to kill herself after making a midnight confession to her husband that she had an affair
Iris Robinson
First Minister Peter Robinson
Iris Robinson
Parade participants with a cutout of Iris Robinson. The Strangford MP's recent comments regarding homosexuality were a focal point for some marchers
First Minister Peter Robinson (right) and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness at a press conference in Stormont Castle
Peter Robinson

The DUP last night moved to quell growing speculation about Iris Robinson’s whereabouts in the wake of devastating details about her affair with a teenager by confirming she is in the care of psychiatrists.

The Strangford MP, who has not been seen in public since announcing last month that she is to quit all public office, is receiving “acute psychiatric treatment from the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust”, according to a statement released by her husband.

Peter Robinson said he wanted to clarify information on her medical condition amid Press speculation about her mental health and whereabouts since news of her affair with a teenager broke.

Earlier yesterday, the DUP issued a separate statement denying reports that the Strangford MP had jetted off to the French Alps for a skiing holiday in the luxury resort of Chamonix.

A party spokesman said: “This is wrong and completely untrue.”

The First Minister has insisted his wife, who revealed a battle with depression last month, is too unwell to speak to him or her solicitor about allegations over financial dealings outlined in a BBC Spotlight programme.

Sensational revelations about the First Minister’s wife began last week when she released a statement saying she had tried to take her own life after admitting to an affair.

Spotlight revealed the mother-of-three’s lover to be a then 19-year-old called Kirk McCambley, whom she took under her wing after the death of his father.

She and her husband have since been plunged into crisis after it emerged that Mrs Robinson had secured £50,000 from two wealthy developers to help her lover set up a cafe business in south Belfast.

Mrs Robinson could pick up £242 for every extra day she clings on to her politician posts.

The triple-jobbing wife of the First Minister announced in late December that she was quitting public life due to severe depression.

But resignations have yet to take effect from the House of Commons, the Stormont Assembly and Castlereagh Council.

It is believed formal departures may finally be confirmed by the end of this week.

The disgraced politician's annual salary from the House of Commons stands at £64,766. A further £14,367 a year is paid out by the Assembly, plus £9,500 from Castlereagh Council. That represents an annual total of £88,633 — working out at £242.8 per day.

Mrs Robinson has been employing two family members out of her MP office-running expenses — son Jonathan as office manager and daughter-in-law Ellen as part-time secretary.

The senior politician was cut adrift by the DUP on Saturday when she was asked to resign her Westminster and Assembly seats. She represents the Strangford constituency in both the House of Commons and Stormont.

It is understood the DUP will appoint a replacement assembly member as soon as possible.

Press Association

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