Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Press 'will turn on royal pair'

The media are likely to turn on Prince William and Kate Middleton, according to a politician

The media are likely to turn on Prince William and Kate Middleton, according to a politician who has felt the full force of bad publicity.

Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson suffered major criticism after news broke of his wife Iris's affair with a teenager and her ability to secure £50,000 from property developers to help her lover.

But Mr Robinson believes he and his family suffered undue media criticism and he fears the press may yet turn on the royal couple.

"They'll be waiting for them to trip up in some way, they'll be looking for some problem to occur, some way to embarrass," he said.

Iris Robinson was forced to resign from Westminster and the Northern Ireland Assembly in disgrace and she is now under investigation to determine if she broke any rules of office. And while the media has probed the apparent link between politics and the business world in the episode, the DUP has claimed Mrs Robinson's suicide bid and her subsequent psychiatric treatment, though widely reported, have come in for undue attention.

With huge coverage now surrounding the forthcoming marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton, Mr Robinson warned of the need for the media to give them space.

"I think there is enough in how his mother was treated, and indeed the general trends in the media, to be concerned about it," said Mr Robinson.

"The media love a bad news story. It will fill the pages. They'll be waiting for them to trip up in some way, they'll be looking for some problem to occur, some way to embarrass.

"I think we are not well served by sections of our media. There are people who are responsible and are there to report the news, and we have those who are irresponsible and want to make the news."

He added: "I think the media unnecessarily have put themselves in a position where before long, I suspect government is going to start regulating their behaviour, as happens in France and in other places."

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